by Christopher Penczak
A Lorica Prayer roughly translates to a “breastplate” or “body armor” prayer, an incantation meant to spiritually protect the speaker, like armor would physically protect you from harm. The most famous Lorica is the Prayer of St. Patrick. Though most certainly Celtic, it’s far too Christian for many Witches to appreciate it. But while this most famous example is Christian, Lorica charms can be found in Paganism and western magick. The angelic prayer of the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram can be considered a Lorica.
Before me Raphael
Behind me Gabriel
On my right hand Michael
On my left hand Uriel
For about me flames the pentagrams
And within me shines the six rayed star.
This “girds” you with the power of the archangels on all directions. Magicians envision them facing outward, protection them from all harm. The entire ritual, known as the LBRP for short, is done regularly by Western magicians of the Golden Dawn style, to banish unwanted forces, strengthen the energy body, and evoke the aid of the angelic realm, particularly for daily protection. The root of the angelic part of the ritual most likely comes from a Jewish Prayer, which in turn was inspired by an older Sumerian prayer. 1
In the name of the Lord God of Israel,
may Michael, the protection of God,
be at my right hand;
and Gabriel, the power of God,
at my left;
before me , Uriel the light of God;
behind me Raphael, the healing of God;
and above my head Shekinah El, the presence of God
Notice how this form of the prayer would place the archangels at different quarters than most people are familiar experiencing. The Sumerian Lorica calls upon four gods, not angels, and simply surrounds the reciter of the prayer with them, without verbose descriptions of their function or role.
Shamash before me,
behind me Sin.
Nergal at my right,
Ninil at my left.
In an effort to artistically and magickally incorporate the Temple of Witchcraft’s mythos in more practical magick, we’ve added a Witchcraft specific Lorica Prayer to the first degree training, for those seeking to use something devotional in their daily protection magick. It can be recited as it is, or used as inspiration for forming your own Lorica prayer.
Today I rise through the Blessings of the Two Who Move As One
Through the Love, Power and Wisdom of the Great Spirit
I rise with blessing of life from the Great Mother
I rise with the blessings of strength from the Great Father
And I rise through the blessing of rebirth through the Child of Light
I gird myself with the heights of the Great Above
With the depths of the Great Below
And with the balance of the Great Between
I stand between the worlds like the Witch’s Tree.
I gird myself with the golden light of the Sun
With the silver light of the Moon
And with the white light of the stars
For I am a child of the Earth and Starry Heavens
I gird myself with the powers of Earth and Air
And with the powers of Fire and Water
And the Secret Fire that dwells within all things.
For I am like serpent of spirit and flesh made one.
From the dangers of flesh and spirit
From the dangers of darkness and light
From accident, injury,
From illness or attack,
I am protected.
Today I gird myself with the Blessings of the Earth
And the Beauty of the Garden
By her Flesh and Blood, Breath and Bone
By the Green of the Land
And the Blue of the Sea
By the Winds of Knowledge
And the Stones of her Body
By the Clouds and Lightning
Nature and I are one.
Magick before me.
Magick behind me.
Magick above me.
Magick below me.
Magick in my left hand
And magick in my right hand
Magick all around me
And magick within me
For all is magick.
By the Blessings of the Web and the Wheel
By the Blessings of the Three Rays of Power, Love and Wisdom
And by the Three Wells
By the Three Races of Angel, Faery and Ancestor
By the Three Creatures of Flora, Fauna and Lapis
And by the Four Directions
By the Five Gifts of the Sea People
By the Seven Wanderers of the Heavens
And by the Nine Waves of Creation
All dwell within me.
I am guided
I am protected
I am whole
In Temple ritual, we often refer to the Lady and Lord as “the Two Who Move as One.” Together they turn the wheels that are the loom of the universe, and weave the web of creation. We emphasize the role of Love, Power and Wisdom in the magickal enlightenment process, seeing the Great Spirit, the creative force, as a Divine Heart, Divine Will and Divine Mind – the three in one. The prayer above recognizes the basic cosmology of the World Tree, or Witch’s Tree, with an overworld above, an underworld below and a middle world between. Within each realm there is a well of mystery and blessing for those who quest for it. We seek harmony with nature, through the Sun, Moon and planets (who together make up the seven wanderers) and the stars, through the four elements and the body of the Earth. We invoke the power of magick that is around us, in us and flows through us, and the mystery that tells us that ultimately we are not separate from magick. We start our training by learning magick. We then perform magick through ritual and rite. We soon realize we are the magick, and while we continue our study and practice, our awareness shifts into the magickal life. In our more extensive cosmology, we teach bout the three spiritual races of the Angels, Faeries and Creatures of Flesh and Blood, and how they are expressed in the plants, animal and stones. Our mystery training explore the mythos of the Sea People and their five gifts, our ritual hallows of blade, wand, cup, stone and crown.
If you wish to be more deeply connected with the collective energy of the Temple, you can recite this prayer regularly, in whole or part, to connect with the principles and powers guiding our Mystery School. Or in turn, use it to inspire an expression of the powers you have already established a relationship with, and call upon daily for guidance and protection.