Sacred Stories Series: seasonal psycho-spiritual checkpoints to share our history & remind us to pause.
This Thursday, 29th September is Michaelmas, or the Feast of Michael and All Angels, traditionally, this is the time of year that people celebrated the equinox, beginning of autumn and the shortening of days.
Whether you are Christian, pagan, agnostic or atheist, if you live in the western world, you live in a society shaped by and saturated in these sacred stories.
The custom of celebrating Michaelmas Day as the last day of harvest was broken when Henry VIII split from the Catholic Church; Harvest Festival is celebrated now. St Michael is also the patron saint of horses and horsemen, which I appreciate, with my love of horses.
“His wings remind us that in our hardest struggles we are never that far from grace, never too far from the breath of the Divine.
Loricas are protective spiritual boundaries we set up and we can invoke them in our healing thriving lives.
Loricas are ancient prayers or charms for protection and healing. They were used by the Celts and then by the Celtic Christians that came after them.
Loricas protect our bodies, our soul’s vessel on this earth.
Lorica is from the Latin meaning leather protective armour. It is used here to mean a breastplate for the soul.
Lorica is a prayer which calls upon and entreats that the blessings and protection of the Divine, the angels and the Earth surround, protect and uplift the person in body, mind and spirit.
In our Loricas we add verses as armour, addressing needs and situations with which we need help and Divine assistance.
Write Your Own Protection Prayer
St Michael be to us a breastplate:
St Gabriel be to us a helmet:
St Raphael be to us a shield:
St Uriel be our defender:
holy Cherubim be our health
holy Seraphim be our truth:
May all holy angels and archangels guard, protect and defend us and take us at last to the realms of the blest. Amen
Make a list of the strengths you need and challenges you are living with and invite Higher Power/Wise Self/God/Divinity (however you recognise it) in.
Sometimes we find there are things we are holding on to, and we need to let them go or let help in. In our own Loricas we can pray and we can visualise these struggles shifting.
If, before I go to the hospital, I pull on a Lorica, or a magic cape, (yes like Harry Potter – except mine is for love and protection rather than invisibility), then I can wear this proudly and be calmer during scans and tests and I do not take on any stress of people around me.
I fill my breastplate of protection, my Lorica with light and see it as being whatever colour I need that day. We can get as detailed in this as we would like with colour therapy and sacred associations of the colours but, realistically, a Lorica can be as simple or as detailed and long or as short as you would like. A few lines are enough when empowered with your intent and faith. We need to infuse the Lorica with our intentions, truly and deeply. Intend it to make it so.
Living the Lorica
What do you use as a mantle in everyday life? Prayers that help you? Friends and partner, family, favourite television shows or books?
How about healing practices that protect us, that support our wellness or prevent dis-ease in our lives?
Meditation and yoga are my mantles of protection against anxiety. Green juice is my mantle for wellness and alkalinity and anti-inflammation. Connection to the Earth and my country is my mantle for my soul and my history.
But do we have mantles that are not good for us? Some examples of shields that stifle are: using television/ food/stimulants as a mantle to hide from our feelings, using cynicism and anger as armour to hide from vulnerability and taking chances.
What mantels can we draw around us in the next season? I am weaving a mantel of blessings and the potentiality of my meditation practice, of the love and support I am blessed with from people around me and the creativity I am enjoying.
Together with St Michael and the season of harvest, we can learn to shed the old mantles and form ourselves new mantles of Divine blessings and self-love.
What does Archangel Michael mean to you? If you wrote a Lorica, what would it say? Let me know in the comments.
P.S You might also like to read how to connect to what you are craving, a restful prayer for your week and finding focus: insights for exploring our divinity.