Non-intrusive hierarchical coupling strategies for multi-scale simulations in gravitational dynamics. .. While the coupling topology may become rather complicated, we introduce the hierarchical coupling language (HCL), a meta language in which complex bridge topologies can be described. The meta language is meant for stimulating the discussion on even more complex hierarchies in which the bridge operators are introduced as patterns. We present example applications for several of these cases and discuss the conditions under which these integrators can be applied. Typical applications range over 10 orders of magnitude in temporal and spatial scales when we apply the method to simulating planetary systems (AU spatial and year-temporal scale) in a star cluster that orbits in the Galaxy (100 kpc-spatial and 10 Gyr-temporal scale).