Many spiritual traditions use the image of a bridge that connects Earth to Heaven. The Zarathustrian tradition, which predates Judaism, describes the Chinvat Bridge that must be crossed by souls leaving their human lives. As the departing souls cross the bridge they are judged. If their good thoughts, words and deeds outweigh the bad, then Sraosha, the Angel of Conscience, will accompany them to the Land of The Dead.
In the Poetic Edda, a 13th-century compendium of Norse mythology, Bifrost is the Rainbow Bridge that connects Asgard, the world of the gods, with Midgard, the human world.
In Christianity we find the Bridge of Souls, or the Bridge of Sighs. So the bridge motif has been with us for centuries and calls to our attention that we all need to travel beyond present circumstances into a brighter future. That future will be grounded in your wise choices.
A pandemic makes us all take refuge
In times of trouble people are often displaced from their geographical homelands. I recently watched an old movie of the musical, Fiddler on the Roof. At the end of the story the Jewish people are moved on from their Ukrainian village. They have to pack up their possessions on carts and walk away from familiar territory, parting from their friends and loved ones as they go their separate ways. They are seeing new opportunities, perhaps across the sea in America. We see the families walking across the bridge that symbolises them leaving their traditional way of life behind.
Throughout history refugees have crossed over bridges, or mountains, or travelled through dark forests, looking for safety and security.
At this time in human history we can see ourselves crossing a bridge between the old way of doing things and a new vision of possibilities.
Unless there is some kind of spiritual revolution that can keep abreast of our technological genius, it is unlikely that we will save our planet.
— Karen Armstrong: The Great Transformation: the world in the time of Buddha, Socrates, Confucius and Jeremiah.
We can see ourselves as refugees from an outdated, unsustainable, approach to living on our beautiful planet. We may even have the feeling that Mother Nature is telling us ‘enough is enough’. Perhaps she is saying:
“Stay at home, Earth children, take notice of your situation and reconsider EVERYTHING. How you eat, how you pray, how you communicate, how you relate to each other and how you relate to ME, your great, sustaining Mother, who is suffering. And if I suffer then, eventually, YOU are bound to suffer. You will all become refugees, on your own planet, disenfranchised because of your own foolishness.”
The Bridge of Stars
I have a very beautiful book in my library called The Bridge of Stars – 365 prayers, blessings and meditations from around the world, edited by Marcus Braybrooke, from the World Congress of Faiths. The title of this book has inspired me to create regular YouTube videos that I hope will support and inspire you during the difficult weeks – that may become months – ahead of us during this transition time.
A bridge can also be seen as a narrow channel, like a birth canal, that we are passing through. There is a time during the last stages of labour when the mother may find the going so tough she will cry out, “I can’t do this!” And the midwife will say, “Yes, you can!” As a woman who has been fortunate enough to give birth to four healthy babies, I can tell you from personal experience that the midwife is right.
But the thing to remember here is that the mother doesn’t have to do it all. The baby WANTS to be born. New life WANTS to arrive. And, as they say, resistance is futile. Mother and baby are both engaged in a process that has to be fulfilled, one way or another.
Some of us are literally in confinement and our wider lifestyles are narrowed. We may run to comforting reassurances – old movies, classic books, sticky-toffee puddings. We wait for good times ahead, when we can ‘get back to normal’. Sorry, says Mother Nature, there is no return. There is only going forward in a new way. Use your time to discover your personal power, search your heart for your true desires. Not the kind of desires fulfilled by online shopping, but the magical, mysterious desires that your unique Soul wants to manifest.
Your destiny cannot be fulfilled by watching hours of Netflix. It’s time to cross our Bridge into a new way of being. Ancient texts describe how every star is a celestial spirit – so let the star-angels guide you.