Chakra Rainbow Arch candle holder for Bridge of Light
Welcome the new year with Bridge of Light, a new holiday honoring GLBT culture.
People celebrate Bridge of Light by lighting six candles, one for each color of the rainbow flag, on New Year’s Eve -- or from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, one candle per day.
I’m doing Bridge of Light for the first time this year, and I encourage others to join me.
Each candle stands for a universal principle and its expression in the lives and history of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people:
1. Red - The Root of Spirit (Community)
2. Orange - The Fire of Spirit (Eros)
3. Yellow - The Core of Spirit (Self-Esteem)
4. Green - The Heart of Spirit (Love)
5. Blue - The Voice of Spirit (Self-Expression and Justice)
6. Purple - The Eye of Spirit (Wisdom)
7. All Candles - The Crown of Spirit (Spirituality)
The candles are intended to provide a starting point for individual and group meditations on the meaning of spirituality in our lives.
I worked with Joe Perez, the founder of Bridge of Light, to revise the principles this month. You can read our discussions at the Gay Spirituality Blog. We’re open to future revisions, so let us know what you think!
Perez, author of “Soulfully Gay,” founded Bridge of Light in 2004. It has obvious parallels to Kwanzaa, the African-American cultural holiday started by Ron Karenga in 1966.
“Bridge of Light is an interfaith and omni-denominational cultural and spiritual tradition,” he says. “The annual winter ritual (now in its fifth year) has helped to draw attention to the positive contributions made by members of the LGBT community in the areas of spiritual growth, inner transformation, and religious leadership.”
He posted a lovely tribute to me on his Integrally Gay blog: “With special thanks to Kittredge Cherry, for sharing with me her meditations on the chakras and their connections to the colors of the rainbow flag. Her ideas are largely incorporated in these fully revised guidelines for 2009 Bridge of Light rituals.”
I have spent years doing healing meditations based on the chakras, the energy centers of the human body. The seven chakras are associated with the colors of the spectrum, much like the rainbow flag. For me as a lesbian, it’s been a powerful experience to integrate my personal healing meditations with the rainbow flag of the GLBT community.
Author Carolyn Myss connects the seven chakras with the seven sacraments of the church in her book “Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing.” It’s a great book for anybody who seeks healing, regardless of religious faith.
I also recommend a CD set of meditations based on the chakras, “Activating Your Chakras Through the Light Rays.” It’s definitely “new age,” but it’s the best of its kind. I’ve played it countless times, and I’m celebrating Bridge of Light by listening to one meditation each night this week.
I ran out of time and cash before I could buy myself a rainbow candle holder for Bridge of Light this year. I added it to my Wish List at Amazon.com -- in case anybody out there would like to buy one for me. I hope to take photos of my new candle holder for Bridge of Light posts on this blog in the future.
Happy Bridge of Light, everybody!