Earth Witch Lore – Bridges
Rivers belong to the Water witch, but bridges, and the superstitions that surround them, belong to the Earth Witch. As one who finds solutions and builds foundations, who else could conceive of a way to cross running water while remaining earthbound?
There are a few mythical bridges that relate to other elements, such as Bifrost (the rainbow bridge leading from Midgard, the realm of the mortals, to Asgard, the realm of the gods, in Norse mythology), but more often bridges belong to the realm of earth.
A bridge is a gateway, because it rests between two bodies of land mass. While crossing it, you are neither in one space nor the other. The bridge transcends the two objects it connects in this manner; hence, it is a very magical and powerful place. It has been said that time does not work the same way on bridges as it does elsewhere. Some say that time moves more slowly when on a bridge, while others say that time ceases to exist all together and does not begin again until one has crossed completely over. Because of the time factor, a bridge has the ability to bring one back to a childlike state.
In many myths, a bridge is the path one must take after death to reach the other side. Some of the mythical bridges were treacherous, in order to keep out the living. Native American lore speaks of a shaking bridge one must cross to reach the other side. Often these mythical bridges are said to not tolerate the weight of a sinner and will cast the sinner off the bridge into the water below.
There is a tale in modern folklore that relates that you will hear a heartbeat if you stand quietly on a bridge. I have heard about a million variations of this urban legend with one common theme: that of the heartbeat belonging to a deceased person. While it is possible to hear a heart beat-type noise on certain bridges through out the United States, this is normally due to a nearby gas pipes or some other human invention. Yet the tale lives on because of the spooky reputation of bridges.
Because of the association with death, bridges are often said to be haunted. Celtic tradition warns that you should hold your tongue while crossing or passing beneath a bridge. The Isle of Man is home to the famed Fairy Bridge. Local legend says that if you cross the bridge without wishing the little people that live there a good day, you will not have a safe or happy visit. There is also a universal belief that two people who part on a bridge will never meet again.
Earth Witches know the lore to be true to this point–there is magic aplenty contained in the bridge. Spell work performed on a bridge tends to take effect immediately. Any type of magic that involves time manipulation will gain a boost by being performed on a bridge.