Angels in My Hair: The True Story of a Modern-Day Irish Mystic

Angels in My Hair: The True Story of a Modern-Day Irish Mystic

by Lorna Byrne

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For anyone who has ever wondered about the mysteries that lie beyond everyday experience, or doubted the reality of the afterlife, Angels in My Hair is a moving and deeply inspirational journey into the unseen world.

For as long as she can remember, Lorna Byrne has seen angels. As a young child, she assumed everyone could see the otherworldly beings who always accompanied her. Yet in the eyes of adults, her abnormal behavior was a symptom of mental deficiency. Today, sick and troubled people from around the world are drawn to her for comfort and healing, and even theologians of different faiths seek her guidance. Lorna is trusted for her ability to communicate with spirits and angels—and by sharing her intimate knowledge of the spiritual world she offers a message of hope and love to us all.

Angels in My Hair is an engrossing chronicle of Lorna’s incredible life story. Invoking a wonderful sense of place, she describes growing up poor in Ireland, finding work in Dublin, and marrying the man of her dreams—only to have the marriage cut short by tragedy. Already a bestseller in Ireland, her story gives readers a unique insight into the angelic help that is around us and available to us all the time. As Lorna says, "All you have to do is ask."

In this uplifting autobiography, a modern-day Irish mystic shares her vivid encounters and conversations with the angels and spirits she has known her entire life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385530583
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 04/28/2009
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 54,372
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Lorna Byrne has been seeing and talking to angels since she was a baby. Now, having raised her family, she talks openly for the first time about what she has seen and learned. She lives quietly in rural Ireland.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Through different eyes

When I was two years old the doctor told my mother I was "retarded."

When I was a baby, my mother noticed that I always seemed to be in a world of my own. I can even remember lying in a cot--a big basket--and seeing my mother bending over me. Surrounding my mother I saw wonderful bright, shiny beings in all the colors of the rainbow; they were much bigger than I was, but smaller than her--about the size of a three-year-old child. These beings floated in the air like feathers; and I remember reaching out to touch them, but I never succeeded. I was fascinated by these creatures with their beautiful lights. At that time I didn't understand that I was seeing anything different from what other people saw; it would be much later that I learned from them that they were called angels.

As the months passed, my mother noticed that I'd always be looking or staring somewhere else, no matter what she'd do to try to get my attention. In truth, I was somewhere else: I was away with the angels, watching what they were doing and talking and playing with them. I was enthralled.

I was a late talker, but I had been conversing with angels from very early on. Sometimes we used words as you and I understand them, but sometimes no words were needed--we would know each other's thoughts. I believed that everyone else could see what I saw, but then the angels told me that I was not to say anything to anyone about seeing them, that I should keep it a secret between us. In fact, for many years I listened to the angels and I didn't tell people what I saw. It is only now in writing this book that I am for the first time telling much of what I have seen.

The doctor's comment when I was just two was to have a profound effect on my life: I realized that people can be very cruel. At the time I was born, in 1953, my parents lived in Old Kilmainham, near the center of Dublin. My father rented a little bicycle repair shop there, which had a cottage attached. If you walked through the shop and around to the left you would come to a tiny and fairly dilapidated house. It was part of a row of old cottages and shops, but most of them were empty or abandoned because they were in such bad condition. For much of the time we lived in the one little room downstairs: here we cooked, ate, talked, played, and even washed in a big metal basin in front of the fire. Although the house had no bathroom, outside in the back garden, down a little path, was a shed with a loo. Upstairs there were two small bedrooms; at first I shared one of the bedrooms, and a bed, with my older sister Emer.

It wasn't just angels I was seeing (and I saw them constantly--from the moment I woke up until I went to sleep), but also the spirits of people who had died. My brother, Christopher, had been born a year before me but he had died when he was only about ten weeks old. Although I never saw him while he was alive, I could visualize him--he was dark haired, while my sister and I were fair--and I could also play with him in spirit.

At the time I thought there was nothing strange about this; it felt as if he was just another child, although he seemed a little brighter in appearance. One of the first things that made me realize that he was different, though, was that his age could change. Sometimes he appeared as a baby, but other times he looked about the same age as me, toddling across the floor. He wasn't there constantly, either, but seemed to come and go.

Late one cold winter afternoon, just as it was getting dark, I was alone in the little living room of the house in Old Kilmainham. There was fire in the open fireplace, which was the only light in the room. The firelight flickered across the floor where I was sitting playing with little wooden building blocks that my father had made. Christopher came to play with me. He sat nearer the fire--he said that it was too hot for me where he was, but it was okay for him as he didn't feel the heat. Together we built a tower. I would put one brick down and he would put another on top of it. The tower was getting very tall and then, suddenly, our hands touched. I was amazed--he felt so different from other people I touched. When I touched him he sparked; it was as if there were little stars flying. At that moment I went into him (or perhaps he went into me); it was as if we merged and became one. In my shock I knocked over our tower of blocks!

I burst out laughing, then I touched him again. I think that was the first time I fully realized that he wasn't flesh and blood.

I never confused Christopher with an angel; the angels I saw did sometimes have a human appearance, but when they did, most of them had wings and their feet did not touch the ground and they had a sort of bright light shining inside them. Some of the time the angels I saw would have no human aspect at all, but appeared as a sharp glowing light.

Christopher appeared around my mum a lot. Sometimes Mum would be sitting in the chair by the fire and would doze off, and I'd see him cradled in her arms. I didn't know whether my mother was aware of Christopher's presence so I asked him, "Will I tell Mum that you're here?"

"No, you can't tell her," he replied. "She won't understand. But sometimes she feels me."

One winter morning the angels came to my bed as the sun was coming up. I was curled up under the blankets; my sister Emer, with whom I shared the bed, was up and about and instead Christopher was curled up beside me. He tickled me and said, "Look, look, Lorna--over at the window."

As I have said, angels can appear in different forms and sizes; this morning they looked like snowflakes! The glass in the window seemed to become a vapor, and as each snowflake hit the window it was transformed into an angel about the size of a baby. The angels were then carried on a beam of sunlight through the window, and each one seemed to be covered in white and shiny snowflakes. As the angels touched me the snowflakes fell from them onto me; they tickled as they landed and, surprisingly, they felt warm, not cold.

"Wouldn't it be wonderful," Christopher said, "if everybody knew that they could fill their pockets with angels; that they could fit thousands of angels into one pocket, just like with snowflakes, and could carry them around with them and never be alone."

I turned and asked, "What if they melted in their pockets?"

Christopher giggled and said, "No! Angels never melt!"

I rather sadly replied, "Christopher, I wish that you could fit in my mum's pocket like a snowflake, and be there for her all the time."

He turned and looked at me, as we were cuddled up in bed, and said, "You know I'm there already."

When I was an adult my mother told me she had had a baby son called Christopher who had been born a year before me but had only lived ten weeks. I just smiled in response. I remember asking her where Christopher was buried, and she told me that it was in an unmarked grave (as was the custom in those days) in a baby's graveyard in Dublin.

It's sad that there is no grave with his name on it that I can go and visit, but he's not forgotten. Sometimes even now, all these years later, I feel Christopher's hand in my pocket pretending to make snowflakes, reminding me I am never alone.

I learned more about Christopher and my mother one day when I was about four or five years old. I was sitting at the table swinging my legs and eating breakfast when I caught a glimpse of Christopher looking as if he were about twelve years old, running across the room to the shop door just as my mother walked in with some toast. She had a big smile on her face as she said, "Lorna, there is a surprise for you in the back workroom under Da's workbench!"

I jumped up from the table, all excited, and followed Christopher. He went straight through the shop and into the dark workshop; I had to stop at the door because it was so dark in there that I couldn't see anything and I needed my eyes to adjust to the darkness. However, Christopher was just like a light, a soft shimmering glow that lit up a path for me through the cluttered workshop. He called out, "The cat has had kittens!" And there, thanks to Christopher's light, I could see four tiny little kittens--three were _jet-_black, and one was black and white. They were so beautiful, so soft and glossy. The mother cat, Blackie, got out of the box, stretched herself, then jumped out of the little window into the garden. I ran after her and called to Christopher to come too, but he would not come into the garden.

I walked back in and asked Christopher, "Why wouldn't you come outside?"

He took my hand, as if to comfort me--I loved the touch of his hand--and our hands merged again. It felt magical; it made me feel safe and happy.

"Lorna, when babies die their spirits stay with their mothers for as long as they are needed, so I stay here with Mum. If I went outside it would be like breaking those memories--and that I won't do!"

Even at that young age, I knew what he meant. My mother had poured so much love into him: all the memories she had of being pregnant and carrying him inside her, the birth, the joy and the happiness she had holding him in her arms and bringing him home--when even then she had a feeling that something was wrong, despite what the doctors told her. Mum had a precious few weeks at home with Christopher before he died, and Christopher told me of all the love that she had poured on him, and he now poured that love on her.

So my spirit brother would remain in the house, never going out, until the day came when it seemed that my mum felt strong enough to move on and was ready to let my little brother go. That day was the day when we had to leave that little shop in Old Kilmainham for good.

When I see an angel I want to stop and stare; I feel like I am in the presence of a tremendous power. When I was younger the angels generally adopted a human form--to make it easier for me to accept them--but now that's no longer necessary. The angels I see don't always have wings, but when they do I am sometimes amazed by their form; occasionally they are like flames of fire, and yet they have shape and solidity. Some of the angels' wings have feathers; one angel had wings that were so slender, tall, and pointed that I found it hard to _believe that they were wings. I wanted to ask the angel to open them up.

When angels have a human appearance--with or without wings--their eyes are one of their most fascinating features. Angel eyes are not like human eyes; they are so alive, so full of life and light and love. It's as if they contain the essence of life itself--their radiance fills you completely.

I have never seen an angel's feet actually touch the ground; when I see one walking toward me I see what looks like a cushion of energy between the ground and their feet. Sometimes it looks like a thin thread, but other times this cushion grows between the earth and the angel, and even sinks into the earth itself.

Ever since I was very young there was one particular angel who used to appear to me often. The first time I saw him he was in the corner of the bedroom and he just said, "Lorna." In some ways he looked like other angels, but there was something different about him, too; he shone more strongly than the others and he had a commanding presence, a powerful force of male strength. From that first time I saw him I always felt he was ready to protect me, like a shield, and from then on he kept appearing and gradually I befriended him. He told me his name was Michael.

School was difficult for me; most of the teachers treated me as if I were slow. My First Holy Communion was at school when I was six, and it was horrible. It should have been a very special day--as it is for most Irish children. When we were preparing for First Holy Communion in the classroom the teachers would ask the children questions, checking that they had learned their catechism, but they wouldn't bother with me; they'd say, "There is no point asking you!" And when all the other children had to stand in line and say something about the Communion, I would stand in line, too, but then I'd be dragged out and told to go and sit down. As a young child this really hurt. So while I sat down at the back of the class or on one of the benches in the corner I'd ask my angels, "Don't they know that I know my catechism, too? They aren't even giving me a chance."

Then in church on my First Communion day, as I finally made my way up to the altar I was grabbed by the arm and pulled out of the queue again because the teacher decided that the better girls should go ahead of me.

There were some kind people, though; when I was about four there was a nun called (I think) Mother Moderini. She had been told that I was slow and "retarded," but I felt she knew better. When I was in her class she would come down and ask me little questions to which I always knew the answer, so then she'd smile and rub my head.

But despite these occasional acts of kindness from a few people, I grew up an outsider. People could see that I was different and they just couldn't understand it. That aspect of my life has been very, very hard--and it still is today. People say I'm too trusting, too truthful for this world, but I cannot be any other way! The strange thing is, that to be truthful in every way--in how you think and in how you speak--and to be truthful to those around you is hard and it does tend to isolate you.

The way people think about or look at me does affect me greatly even now. Even though they may not know me, or know what I do, they know that on some level I am different. If I go out with friends and meet someone new who knows nothing about me, they will often report back to my friends that there is something unusual about me, something that they can't quite put their finger on. This can be difficult to live with.

Reading Group Guide

1. Which episode in the book sticks most clearly in your mind after reading it?

2. What do you think about the difference in descriptions between the ordinary and the extraordinary – how well does this work?

3. One reader has said ‘Either this is true or Lorna Byrne has one of the most extraordinary imaginations I’ve ever come across.’ What do you think?

4. The author speaks of the difficulty she has in describing angels, do you think she succeeds?

5. ‘People could see that I was different and just couldn’t understand it.’ Why is it that difference from the norm is marginalised in our society? Why do you think people are frightened of things that they don’t understand?

6. What do you think of the following statement: ‘Sometimes, things only seem like tragedies… Sometimes tough things have to happen in order for people to change, and for things to change in their lives.’ Can you think of a time when this may have happened to you or someone you know?

7. How has reading the book changed your view of life after death?

8. Lorna describes the passing away of people she has known and the people in her life in great detail. How does her experience of it make you feel about death?

9. The author has said that this book has a unique message for each person who reads it – what message does it hold for you?

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Angels in My Hair 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 67 reviews.
FaithDN More than 1 year ago
This book is deeply insightful and causes those who have little or no faith to grow in faith as you read each page. Even those who claim to be atheist cannot deny that there are angels and God is and will always be the one who cares for our souls and loves us no matter what our circumstance. This book not only reaffirms God does exist but that Satan does too and if we stay close to God, Satan cannot hurt us. This book eases the pain for those who have suffered grief due to the loss of a loved one and even someone who has experienced abortion. This book gives hope that we are never alone. The author clearly opens the door of our minds and souls to know that people do not come in to our lives by chance. That people are in our life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. It motivates it motivates the reader to be more conscious and aware of those around us and to open our hearts to welcome outsider to provide love and comfort even to strangers. The book explains our "soul mate" to not necessarily be a person we are to be in a intimate relationship with in the sexual sense but rather we can be connected to someone as a soul mate as in the example in the book of the elderly female neighbor and the little girl next door. This book has made me reflect on miracles in my own life and the lives of those around me. I am more aware of miracles that were not accidents and understand that everything happens for a reason, not by "chance". It is a definite read for all ages and religious denominations. It is my hope that this book brings you as much faith, hope and joy that it has given me. I bought the book for 4 mothers for Mother's Day as gift, including myself and one for a coworker who recently lost her husband to cancer. They all love this book and it does bring comfort explaining that we all have angels no matter what we have done in our lives we are loved and cared for, even those commit violent crimes and murder others have angels. There is comfort for a parent who has buried a child in knowing after reading Angels in my Hair that those of us who have lost children that our children are not only with God also. I cannot think of anything else to say to describe this book to a potential reader and importance of reading this book to deepen your spirituality. It is a Great gift for any occasion.
literatissima More than 1 year ago
Lorna Byrne has seen and talked with angels her entire life. In this simply-written memoir, she shares the life experiences and spiritual encounters she has faced. As a child, she was thought to be quite slow, even labeled as "retarded" by members of her own family. As a young girl, she was shown an image of the man she would one day marry. When she met him many years later as a teenager, she knew immediately that Joe was that man. Along with a marriage and four children, Lorna's life was filled with strife and poverty, but additionally angelic visitors, visions of spirits and even a showdown with a few demons. Through it all, Lorna maintains that even before conception, a soul is surrounded by angels and that each and every person on this earth has a guardian angel. Through her eyes, death seems like a beautiful transition. Rich & spiritual, this book is a quick & easy read with deep impact.
AngelFanNY More than 1 year ago
I had visited Ireland in Dec. where most of my relatives were all buzzing about Lorna Byrne. I was given a copy of the book, forgot it, and had to wait to order from here in April. It was well worth the read and the wait!I am now giving it to a greiving friend, who I have asked to sign it as I have and pass it along. Author is not a "Hollywood pyschic"-you can see interviews of hers on youtube. One of my cousins met her in person, and felt she was life changing. Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A personal account of one woman's life accompanied by Angels, a very well written and easy to read story. I will read more of hers most definitely!
RonaldMazur More than 1 year ago
If you have ever wished that there were more to life than meets the eye, this is the book for you. It is the autobiography of an Irish woman who since her earliest moments of awareness has lived in two worlds. To her parents, her teachers and her classmates, she seemed distracted, preoccupied, perhaps even retarded. And yet today as a mature woman, a widow and a mother of four, she offers a miraculous perspective on life that challenges most of what we assume to be true-or, for that matter, possible. To read this book is to enter a sacred space. We leave our contemporary world of swirling, dizzying uncertainties and find a still point of clarity and certainty: angels exist, we matter to them and to God, and they will guide us if we can quiet the noise in our lives and listen for their whispered counsel. It may come as a feeling, a hunch, a surprising coincidence or even an unaccustomed train of thought. Once we start to take it seriously, everything will change. This does not mean, however, that all of our problems will suddenly vanish. What will change is how we view them and deal with them. Life in this world is challenging and full of mystery, as the author's account of her own life attests. Angels exist to guide us, to inspire us, and also to console us. But we are free spiritual beings and must choose to listen. Consider this: Most of what is wrong with life on our planet is a result of the actions people take, as groups and as individuals. It is true that there are natural disasters from time to time, but if we all listened to our better angels and overcame our fears and hatreds, we could lessen the suffering of others through our caring and support. The greatest threat to humanity is, and always has been, our capacity for inhumanity and indifference to our fellow beings. Lorna Byrne reminds us that each human soul is a luminous divine creation worthy of love. It is true that we have heard these things before. Yet this account is different. Perhaps it is the author's distinctive voice and presence that make this book so compelling. We sense an innocence and purity in her that is like that of a young child who has not yet known the disappointments and sorrows of life. And yet we know she has-and has transcended them. Some European interviewers have expressed the opinion that this book is not a literary masterpiece; the language is so simple that it can be read by a sixth-grader. This criticism misses the point. Some writers are masters of language who dazzle their readers with linguistic and literary virtuosity. But there are others who convey a profound experience in the simplest terms, shaping the narrative of their story so that its essence shines through their words as sunlight passes through a window. Lorna Byrne is this kind of writer. The very simplicity of her language renders many passages as evocative as poetry. We must remember, though, that this is not a novel. It is an account of her lived experiences. A friend of mine who read a chapter of the Irish edition earlier this year remarked at the time that the author either has a beautiful imagination or really does see angels. After reading the complete American edition, he recently declared: "She really does see angels." See if you don't agree. For those who would like to explore some of the issues raised by Lorna Byrne's experiences, I would recommend a book published last year in the U.S. by her editor at Random House
Gina-in-Seattle More than 1 year ago
I love this book. I have already purchased extra copies to share with the people in my life I love dearly. Lorna's descriptions of angels and guardian angels are clear, poignant, and comforting. You will want to listen to your inner voice , to trust your inner voice so much more after reading this. I find myself looking at the clouds and the sky a lot differently these days. I can't wait for her next book.
suebrien More than 1 year ago
I've bought many of these books. Lorna Byrne's work is a true gift to the world!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good read. Explains faith very well
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whenever i feel down , or sad i go through this amazyng book which keeps me focus and down to earth everytime that i feel lost.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read! If you love angels, you will love this book. Very sweet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Angels in My Hair is a wonderful book! I definitely believe we all have Angels among us! ??
Anna90 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When my mum gave me this book, first I though that no way I'm reading about the angel stuff (really not my thing) but when I started I realized that it had something very special. I cried, I laughed and I cried again... The book transfers love! Seriously!! And it made me believe that there is a guardian angel for me too... (and yes, my mum is very happy about that!)
gibbon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An autobiographical account of the author's life from the time as a child when she saw visions and heard voices which no-one around her was conscious of. The consequent diversion of her attention from the events of everyday life led to her being called "retarded" and treated worse than the other children in the family, particularly by her mother. However, her conversations with her "angels" gave her strength and the ability to withstand the often daunting conditions of life in Southern Ireland in the 1950's. Told in a straightforward style which compels belief, this story will interest all who are not convinced by currently fashionable atheism.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the most inspiring books anyone would appreciate.Makes one stop and think and appreciate the gift of "Angels "God has sent to every human being. Shows His Great Love for Us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reading this will bring back and explain childhood experiences.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down. I too list my husband much t he same way Lorna did. It gave me great peace to imagine my sweet husband being happy and healthy and being escorted to heaven by bright shining angels, full of love and joy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such an incredible story and I am so thankful she shared it with us!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have a friend angel she is awesome :) :) :) :) i have an sister Angel she anyoing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My husband is ill with cancer. He and our whole family are coping day to day. This book was a tremendous help. As I work through bouts of grief, fear and caretaking I ask angels to help. Sometimes my sadness is immediately reduced. This allows me to concentrate on caring for my husband, children and helping to inspire his faith as well to go through this hard time. This was the right book at the right time. I also read Angels in my Hair - another great book. Do buy this! And give yourself the gift of faith.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very easy book to read. Some parts seem believable but others a little to "out there" for me to believe. Don't think I would recommend.