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December 24, 2009


Kittredge Cherry

Hi Joe,

The revised principles for the Bridge of Light are a big improvement! I’m glad that my suggestions are contributing so much to evolution of the holiday.

I love how you added “_____ of the Spirit” to each color. It brings the meaning alive. And your phrases “fire” and “eros” are perfect for the second chakra.

It’s interesting that you added “justice” to the fifth chakra (blue)… where we both originally put the word “freedom.” Freedom and justice do go hand in hand. I did think freedom was appropriate because we often call our June holiday Gay FREEDOM Day. Maybe it’s best to look at the flip side in with the winter holiday… with freedom comes responsibility.

I’m glad you added “wisdom” for the purple/6th chakra. I had that idea myself, but reluctantly deleted it for the sake of simplicity.

The addition of the 7th chakra on a 7th day is brilliant. It moves beyond the flag and works well with the calendar from the day after Christmas through New Year’s Day. The idea of black and white for the 7th chakra startles me. I’ve often heard it associated with white, but black? Perhaps it’s a way to embrace the shadow side? To overcome racism? The 7th chakra is also associated with the color gold.

On a practical note, do you know where to buy the Bridge of Light rainbow candle stand shown in the photo?

Kittredge Cherry

With the revised principles, the candles should probably be arranged in the opposite order from what is shown in the photo. Red belongs at the lower level leading upward to purple.

Joe Perez

Thanks. I think aligning the six colors of the rainbow flag explicitly with the chakras is a definite improvement. As I noted in our email, the original six principles were somewhat chakra-inspired, but not consistently or overtly.

The 5th chakra is traditionally associated with the Throat chakra, and while aligning the principle with self-expression is a natural fit the theme of equal rights and justice is of strong importance to the LGBT community and this theme seemed a most natural fit here.

Yes... the photo shows the candles displayed opposite to what they should be. This year I'll take some photos and upload them to the Facebook page, and encourage everyone to do the same with their own bridge of light candles.

As for places to find the candles, a quick google search uncovered: Zebraz, Over the Rainbow Shop, and Gay Stores

Seasons greetings!

Turtle Woman

I love this! Especially purple which is the eye of spirituality! Love it.

You might want to rethink black and white candles, however. Those colors kind of bring it down, and it seems weird to light two candles at the same time.

Joe Perez

I have updated the post to reflect that the 7th principle does not require lighting a 7th CANDLE. The 7th principle is then simply be a reflection of all six of the previous candles kept lit for New Year's Day. That's closer to the way that I see spirituality anyways: not a separate compartment of life, but the sum of every other principle.

By not adding a 7th candle, there's another benefit: it's easier to make use of all the pride candle holders that already exist which contain exactly six candles, one for each color of the rainbow flag. There isn't an awkward 7th candle to try to figure out where it goes that sticks out like a sore thumb.

What do others think?

Kittredge Cherry

When all the colors of the spectrum are combined, it creates white light. For me, it makes sense that the last day would either be white or “rainbow” with all candles lit. So I like your updated idea, Joe.

This raises another logistical question for me. Should I just light one candle per day, or have two candles on the second day, three on the third, etc? I suppose I’ll play around with it. I haven’t actually gotten the candleholder yet. I’m thinking that it’s also OK to light all six on New Year’s Eve with one long meditation.

Joe Perez


The typical Bridge of Light celebration is only on New Year's Eve. I wanted a six-day celebration, but very early on, I got the pushback from endorsers of the holiday who said that in our attention deficit world getting folks to celebrate on one day would be task enough.

Today I see the six-day (or seven-day) aspect to be totally optional. I imagine it would be a nice thing for families with children, but I haven't heard much about how families are using the tradition.

One year, I lit a candle every night ... and I will probably do that again this year (except last night, ugh, because I accientally left my candles in Canada and didn't have much of a chance to buy new candles).

If I light a candle each night starting tonight, I'll do it like the Advent and Hanukkah traditions where on day two, there will be two candles total lit; day three, three; day four, four; etc.

As for the color of the candle, if any, on the seventh day, I am not feeling it. White seems like a good choice emotionally. I think I'll wing it and see what other people say after the holiday, and then make a suggestion for next year. The seventh candle/chakra/principle is new this year.

Kittredge Cherry

It may be “sacrilege” to say this, but I think it might be valuable to promote Bridge of Light as a SECULAR as well as a spiritual holiday for the GLBT community. It’s a fantastic concept, and it might reach more people with a much-needed message that can lead to spiritual development. Most of these principles have a secular meaning, too.

I’m leaning towards having the “7th candle” be all 6 candles lit together. It seems simplest, especially for those who have the common 6-candle holders.

I like the weeklong celebration, but then I tend to like doing things slowly. However, I didn’t get organized in time to do it as a weeklong event on the Jesus in Love Blog this year. I’m preparing a post about Bridge of Light for tomorrow.

I love the way you integrated the phases of history with each candle in your news release and blog. It’s amazing how the progression of history does indeed fit with the chakras and the Bridge of Light. To me it’s a sign of the movement of the Spirit.

Tom Cummiskey

I wish I stumbled on this article a week ago...I will sum up the ritual in one glorious candle-lighting fest tonight..New Year's eve. I will be sure to incorporate this next year.
Thanks so much!

Kittredge Cherry

Here's the link to my post on Bridge of Light. It includes some of my favorite resources on the chakras. Unfortunately they don't address the LGBT connection. That book remains to be written.

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