A rainbow of candles, each one representing an aspect of consciousness, kindled in the liminal time between the end of the one year and the beginning of the next. A space for the celebration of queer spirituality, queer lives, and queer joy. That is the celebration known as Bridge of Light.
Bridge of Light was founded by Joe Perez in 2004, and further developed by Kittredge Cherry. Kittredge Cherry is a minister in the Metropolitan Community Church (a church founded by and for LGBTQ+ people) and Joe Perez is a writer on queer spirituality. It is intended as an interfaith celebration; you do not have to belong to any particular tradition or subscribe to any belief system to practice it; it is a celebration of queerness. If cis-het people want to do it, they should acknowledge and affirm and celebrate its queer origins.
I first discovered Bridge of Light when I was having my wobble. I have continued doing it since then and it has become a valuable part of my New Year rituals.
You can either light one candle a day between 26 December and New Year’s Eve, or you can light them all on New Year’s Eve. I light them all on New Year’s Eve. Your number of candles can vary depending on whether you’re connecting with the symbolism of the six-stripe rainbow flag, the seven chakras, or the eight-stripe rainbow flag.
As you light each candle, you meditate on the qualities associated with that colour in the rainbow flag. The original rainbow flag, designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978, had a specific meaning attached to each colour.
You can also meditate on the colours in the version of the chakra system where there is one colour of the rainbow associated with each chakra.
I wrote some poetry to accompany the candle-lighting in 2010 (the symbolism relates to the chakras):
New Year’s Eve is an occasion that is crying out for a bit of ritual. It is a liminal time, when magic is afoot, and portents for the following year abound. I also practice first-footing and have a New Year luck-bag that hangs in my home all year round.
I will be looking at more Yuletide and New Year customs in my next post, so stay tuned!
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