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In autobiography, Irish mystic seeks

to share the comfort of angels

 “Angels in My Hair: The True Story of a Modern-Day Irish Mystic” by Lorna Byrne. Doubleday (New York, 2009).
320 pp., $24.95.

Lorna Byrne is an Irish mystic who says she has been seeing and communicating with angels since she was a baby (though she only later grew to understand this). Growing up poor in Dublin, as a child she was so enthralled by watching these otherworldly beings that others thought her to be mentally retarded.

Eventually, she says, she realized that she had been given a special gift, the ability to communicate with spirits and angels. Now 56, she has comforted and helped thousands over the years who have sought her guidance.
Her autobiography, “Angels in My Hair,” relates stories of her many angelic encounters. Guardian angels sometimes appeared to her “as a spark that would then grow and open up to full size; sometimes they would be massive, much bigger than the person they were minding.” These “radiant” beings showed themselves in many vivid colors, sometimes all in gold or silver or blue. Or she sometimes understood their presence through watching the lightest feather float through the air.
As a young child, she innocently assumed that everyone else could also perceive the beautiful beings she observed so readily. Eventually she realized that her gift was unique and best kept quiet. As a girl she experienced many hardships and was somewhat taken aback when her angelic companions predicted (correctly, as it turned out) that she would go on to marry her beloved Joe, that they would have children and that Joe would die early from illness.
With her children raised, Byrne decided to share her experiences in the hopes of inspiring others. Your guardian angel, she writes, “was assigned to you before you were even conceived. ... Once you were born and as you grow up your guardian angel never leaves your side for an instant; he is with you when you sleep, ... all the time.”
Although human beings must still experience the suffering and disappointments of this world, the guardian angel quietly protects and helps us through. And at death, the guardian angel eases our crossing over into eternal life.
Byrne’s message is straightforward and her literary abilities modest, yet her book is fairly engaging. She comes across as a gentle soul without guile, encouraging others to be receptive to the nurturing presence of these largely invisible beings.
In fact, she says that she wrote her book “so that people will realize that angels are walking beside us, that they are there all the time, that we just need to reach out and let them help. It’s as simple as that.” And angelic encounters are reminders “that there is a reason to live, that there is hope in all circumstances ..., our bodies might die, but our souls don’t, and ... we all have wings of some kind or another, even if we fail to recognize them in ourselves or others. We are all, in fact, angels.”

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