Incendiary Picture

Another older piece that was posted on tumblr and never found a way here. The description for it was a pretty fun thing to write, so I'm gonna copypaste that too.

I realized that even though I draw Cherubs a lot, I haven't ever done a serious picture or write-up for them. Let’s talk about my favorite holy-butts-what-were-they-smoking-when-they-wrote-the-bible angels! Honestly, these guys are scarier than most christian demons, they are made of fire and have metal hooves and animal faces. And have been linked to old-school storm deities. Seriously. Seriously.

Cherubs (also called Cherubim, Chayot, Khayyot, and about ten other variations depending on what you're reading) are the angels second closest to God, according to christian mythology and other related faiths. They’re pretty dang beastly as far as angels go—probably the most ‘monstrous’, though not the least human. They’re described like this in Ezekiel 1:6-10:

“—but each of them had four faces and four wings. Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had the hands of a man. All four of them had faces and wings, and their wings touched one another. Each one went straight ahead; they did not turn as they moved. Their faces looked like this: Each of the four had the face of a man, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle.”

They’re closely associated with fire and life, and the word ‘Cherubim’ has etymological brotherhood with the words kuribu, karabu, and kuribu, which are repectively Assyrian, Babylonian, and Akkadian terms, meaning ‘mighty/great’ (As.) or ‘auspicious/blessed’ (Bab., Ak.). What’s super great is if you poke around in Assyrian and Babylonian myths you can find non-biblical relatives to the Cherubs, i.e. Shedu and even Lammasu. Which, in turn, are linked to the sphinx! HOW NEAT IS THAT. Maybe it’s only me, but seeing how myths and religions blend and evolve from each other is just the coolest thing ever.

Abrahamic mythology. Man. Figuring it out is so much fun. Everyone should go read up on it, it takes like twenty minutes on a wiki to get a basic understanding and it is such a whacky, under-explored terrain of myth! You don't see enough of this being referenced in modern fiction.
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