By Catherine Beyer
Most religions provide a means for people to interact with the spiritual world, however the religion envisions that world. For some religions, the spiritual world is very distant and separate from the physical world in which we live. In others, they are much more closely tied. In either case, however, religion serves a purpose in allowing people of this world to better understand and communicate with the spiritual one.
A primary tool in this communication is the use of intermediaries. Intermediaries are people or objects that help to bridge the gap between the average person and the spiritual world. Intermediaries are commonly seen as having qualities of both worlds, which is what allows them to work as a bridge.