Rainbow Symbolism: Spiritual and Symbolic Meanings
We’ve had some very cold and rainy weather here over the last few months, but that is nothing new during winter time in the Witzenberg valley. We were even blessed enough to occasionally see the majestic mountains nestled under a white cap of snow. The mountains, snow, and rain aren’t really what I’m focusing on today but they did contribute to all the beautiful rainbows I’ve been seeing recently.
Synchronicity has been at work in a big way and as fate would have it, someone I’ve been hoping to connect with for the last 3 years contacted me for a reading. This lovely lady shared her vision for the future with me and mentioned a rainbow and how it fits in with her plans.
After the session, my partner and myself drove to Worcester and happened to see a gorgeous rainbow, and I had to take pictures as it was a direct confirmation of the topics of the reading I did earlier that day. Since then, rainbows have been popping up left, right, and center! I traveled to Durbanville earlier this week to write my crystal healing exam and when I got out of the car, there was a massive rainbow ending right over the building I was meant to go into.
This is the information the lady I spoke to sent through an email to me: A rainbow is a sign of blessing for your ventures, those close to you, and yourself. It is a powerful sign and it can be seen as a message from the Universe or Spirit that you are headed in the right direction. Much like the biblical meaning or symbolism, it signifies and end to difficulty and despair.
So it fits perfectly! We are both at a point in our lives where we are considering and working on major changes that would involve expanding what we’re already doing and the rainbow has become a frequent sight for me since that day. For me, personally, it is a reminder that the stress or strain I may feel during the growth process is going to be worth it and that what I’m working towards is blessed and supported by the Universe.
Personal Significance or Interpretation
In addition to the symbolic meaning of rainbows, I’ve also started to look at it from a slightly different perspective, because of the subject I’m studying at present, color therapy. The rainbow is made up of the seven formative forces or rays and while it is a beautiful and often breathtaking phenomenon, it has also come to have a deeper meaning for me; It’s a symbol of all of creation and of the unity of all those formative forces and colors that create the world we live in.
Have you seen a rainbow recently? Take it as a promise from the Universe that everything is going to be okay and that any challenges you’re facing or new projects you’re working on are worth the time and effort you’re investing. If you turn a rainbow upside down it’s like a smile in all the colors of the spectrum, so the Universe is smiling on you and reminding you that you yourself takes the role of creator on a daily basis by shaping your world, your experiences, and your outcomes.
The Symbology of Rainbows
Rainbows are one of the most beautiful spectacles nature has to offer — so beautiful, in fact, that they’ve inspired countless fairy tales, songs and legends. It’s a good bet that most of the artists behind these tales were totally mystified by the rainbow phenomenon. But of course there’s a scientific reason for how they’re formed. It has to do with light refraction, bending light, and even frequency.
When white sunlight hits a collection of raindrops at a fairly low angle, you can see the component colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet — a rainbow. ~ Making a Rainbow at Science.HowStuffWorks.com
Rainbows appear all over the world. So of course there are a ton of myths and legends about what they mean from place to place.
Most people know the story about the Irish leprechaunhiding their gold at the end of the rainbow. According to fables, Leprechauns are tiny mystical type of faeries who were originally linked to the Tuatha De Danann of Irish mythology. They normally take the form of an old man in a red or green coat, when they appear to humans.
But they are also known as mischievous faery creatures who like to make shoes and store their gold in a pot that they hide at the end of a rainbow. Because rainbows don’t come around everyday, so it’s a good place to hide their gold. Yet it’s a place that will appear from time to time that allows the little fae to grab a handful of gold when they need it. And if you find that pot of gold and can get it from the leprechauns, you maybe allowed to keep it.
The Norse saw the rainbow as Bifrost (sometimes Bilröst or Bivrost) the burning rainbow bridge that reaches between Midgard (the world) and Asgard, the realm of the gods. You may have seen this in the movie Thor; in The Dark World, Thor refers to the Bifrost being destroyed as one of his reasons for not coming back to Jane.
According to the Prose Edda, the bridge ends in Asgard at Himinbjörg, the residence of the god Heimdallr (Heimdall in the movie, guardian of the gate). He guards the gate & bridge from the jötnar, a mythological race banished from entering the world of Asgard. (Yes I’ve seen the movies too many times!)
Most indo-european pagan cultures have some variation of this tale from the Norse. The Rainbow is a bridge between ages of enlightenment, or between the planes of spiritual realms. Some myths see the rainbow as a bridge of growth for an individual along their mission toward enlightenment.
In some of these legends, a complete rainbow, seen in its full circle is an omen of the circle of life. In this legend, someone is about to be born, or someone is about to die. In variations, the cycle might concern a phase in one’s life, a mission, journey, war, battle and so on. The cycle of an event that’s about to begin or coming near its end.
In the ancient beliefs of Japan, rainbows were the bridges that human ancestors took to descend to the planet. This legend is shared to some extent with Chinese mythology, which says the red represents the feet, and violet symbolizes the head of a human being. Therefore, a single rainbow signifies a human descending from heaven to earth. This could be for communication, or rebirth.
Also in Chinese mythology Hong or jiang is a two-headed dragon, known as the rainbow dragon. Both are seen as bad omens. “The girdle is the rainbow. Its appearance announces that someone who ought not to is about to have a baby; for the arc of the rainbow typifies the swelling girdle of a pregnant woman. No one dares point at it, because pointing is disrespectful, and one must respect a warning sent by the Gods.”
Rainbows play a variety of roles in Native American mythology, ranging from the spiritual to the whimsical. In Navajo tradition, the rainbow is the path of the Yei (holy spirits), and is frequently depicted in sacred sand-paintings. In Cherokee folklore, the rainbow is said to be the border of the sun’s coat. The Rainbow is also used as a clan crest in some Northwest Coast tribes, such as the Haida. ~ Native American Rainbow Mythology, there’s some great links to Native stories here
To the Māori people of New Zealand, Hina the lady of the moon, caused a rainbow to appear to create a bridge between the celestial realm and earth, for her mortal husband to return to earth to end his days, since death may not enter her celestial home.
In Judeo-Christian traditions the rainbow appears to Noah as a promise from God never to destroy the world again by means of flood water.
The rainbow is linked in mythology as a bridge to the other worlds (such as Asgard and other Divine places), an archer’s bow, a dragon, a serpent, and many more mystical things.
In Hindu mythology, Indra the god of thunder and war, uses the rainbow as a bow to shoot arrows of lightning at his enemies. The Sumerian farmer god Ninurta defends Sumer with a rainbow bow and arrow, and wore a crown described as a rainbow to match.
Like the first people of the United States, the first people of Australia also lived in different tribal nations. One Aboriginal myth, explains the rainbow as a snake, the Creator in Dreaming, which is the infinite period of time that “began with the world’s creation and that has no end. People, animals, and Eternal Beings like the Rainbow Serpent are all part of the Dreaming, and everyday life is affected by the Dreaming’s immortals,” – Wikipedia
For Buddhists, the rainbow is “the highest state achievable before attaining Nirvana, where individual desire and consciousness are extinguished.”
The Double Rainbow
In Chinese mythology, a double rainbow, represents the movement from earth to heaven due to its reversal of colors from the single rainbow. It is also considered to be a sign of future success.
This concept of coming and going between the realm of the gods and the world is shared in many ancient shamanistic cultures as well. Such as the early Celts, the Norse and other Germanic peoples.
Modern Pagan Metaphysics
Today Pagan Metaphysics may follow one of these old cultural mythological views. For instance, Pagan traditions that follow a Celtic Shamanistic path would see the rainbow as a bridge between realms of knowledge and spiritual existence.
More modern traditions of Paganism and New Age paths view the colors of the rainbow as representations of the chakras in a 7 color chakra system. In this perspective the first chakra begins at the Root (red) and moves up to the Pituitary chakra (violet). The 7 centers are typically associated with Hindu teachings or variations of those practices. The 9 center systems are typically associated with Tibetan systems. My tradition follows the 9 Chakra System.
In more modern Wiccan traditions, the rainbow symbolizes hope, connection and unity of spirit between all things. It represents the links between Spirit and Body, The Celestial Universe and Earth.
Pagan traditions that lean heavily on Metaphysical principles see the rainbow as a bridge between peoples or worlds, similar to the Norse. In this variation the worlds aren’t necessarily physical words, but rather spiritual paths. Connecting all beliefs together by a bridge of light, inspiration, commonality and compassion. This might have been one of the inspirations for the rainbow colors to become the symbol of LGBT pride. At least I’d like to think that’s one of the reasons.
Rainbows can be seen in their full circular splendor. The best way to see this is from a plane looking down on Earth. In front of a waterfall, and occasionally appearing around the sun. Some say this is phenomenon seen from countries that exist around the equator. I’m not sure about that. But it seems to be a popular saying.
How ever you feel drawn to see the rainbow, share your vision and write it down. Allow yourself to change your perspective over time and evolve your description and definition. No one said you had to follow an ancient myth. Pick and choose the stories you like and build your own legend of the rainbow’s energy and purpose.
Rainbow Symbolism & Meanings
Rainbow Symbolism & Meanings
There is an undeniable effect of enchantment caused by the appearance of a rainbow. The view is often breathtaking and exciting, often leaving spectators breathless or pensive. In addition to the mysticism in the appearance, the rainbow can provide us with powerful life lessons.
Take for example, the symbolism of the rainbow. The rainbow is a comprised of seven different colors. Each of these colors is vibrant and beautiful, and each one is different than the next. This conveys a beautiful message of inclusiveness and cohesion. It demonstrates how beautiful diversity can be.
For this reason, the rainbow symbol has been adopted by many groups or demographics that pursue equality. The rainbow meaning teaches us to embrace our own differences and the differences of those around us.
By surrounding ourselves with people who are different from ourselves, we allow ourselves to be challenged. This can help us expand our minds and grow spiritually.
Rainbow Symbol – Positive Meanings
The rainbow symbolism also serves as an obvious symbol of peace and serenity. These feelings are often evoked when looking at a rainbow.
More significantly, rainbows are often seen after a rainstorm when the sun breaks through the clouds. This provides us with a very powerful and important message. Good and beautiful things often follow the darkest storms.
Rainbows can motivate us to continue and endure through dark times. Another way that rainbows provide us with hope and motivation is by being a symbol for good luck. Rainbows are often thought to bring good fortune. In Irish mythology, they are even thought to be the hiding place for pots of gold.
Rainbow Symbol – Negative Meanings
There are darker and equally powerful meanings held by the rainbow. In addition to be symbolic meaning of peace and hope, rainbows have been associated with fallen soldier of war. In Norse mythology, a rainbow once served as a bridge between the mortal and immortal that casualties of war would cross.
The message that rainbows connect us to the immortal can be seen in many mythologies worldwide, including Japanese and Navajo, though each has a different back story and belief. In our lives, we can see the rainbow as being symbolic of a transition, suggesting a potential change from one phase to another.
Rainbow – Other Symbolic Meanings
In general, rainbows are seen as transcending the earthly realm. Rainbows are the physical symbolism of this ascent. It provides us with inspiration to achieve greater heights and seek wisdom from the worlds beyond. The rainbow is the bridge that closes the gap between these two realms and allows for the possibility for communication. It is symbolic of possibility in many other ways as well. The glowing arch appears high above our horizon and can look close and distant at the same time. We are incapable of finding its end.
The rainbow challenges us to be a better version of ourselves. A more inclusive person, a person who seeks a challenge, a person who desires spiritual growth and a connection to the spiritual realm, a person who endures the darkness in pursuit of the light.
Like the rainbow, these things can seem far away and out of our reach. The important thing, though, is that we keep striving for them. The rainbow symbolism is powerful because it reminds us of the endless possibilities. It shows us vast and magical our world is. Rainbows challenge us to confront and embrace our own potential.
What Is the Spiritual Meaning of Seeing a Rainbow?
A rainbow has a spiritual meaning attached to it in the form of an inner awakening caused by the shining through of light embedded in positive attributes, such as truth and wisdom.Rainbows are renowned for their brilliant colors, which vary in intensity and number. Rainbows are beautiful and unique natural phenomena, which makes them suitable for holding magical value and spiritual meaning.
Many people ascribe to the spiritual attributes of rainbows, but the original assignor of spiritual meaning to rainbows was Emanuel Swedenborg. Swedenborg recognized the global value of light, primarily from a spiritual context. Swedenborg related the significance of the radiant light emanated from rainbows to the light emitted by individuals through good actions, such as telling the truth and having wisdom. Allowing truth and wisdom to shine through, Swedenborg believed, helped to abolish the darkness caused by negative emotions and attributes, such as doubt, despair and wrongdoings.
The colors of rainbows vary and appear differently depending on their surroundings. Some colors are absorbed by surrounding objects, which makes them appear absent from rainbows, while others are reflected from surfaces and make rainbows appear vivid and bright. In the spiritual context, colors emitted from rainbows are never considered lost but have an innate source of inner beauty that opens and shines in through transparent water droplets in the rain.
By Chloë Rain
Although many of us hear the call of our inner desires and dreams, it is often difficult to find the path forward to our own awakening.
Learning to explore deeply is one of the key qualities of living a truly expressed and fulfilled life.
The Explore Deeply Movement is for those of us who feel a call to something greater than ourselves, though we may not know why.
When you learn to explore deeply, you uncover your true power & gifts, are able to find meaning in your past failures, and come to believe in yourself again. That is when you become powerful beyond belief.
When the earth is ravaged and the animals are dying, a new tribe of people shall come unto the earth from many colors, classes, creeds and who by their actions and deeds shall make the earth green again. They will be known as the warriors of the rainbow.
— Native American Prophecy
“There will come a day when people of all races, colors, and creeds will put aside their differences. They will come together in love, joining hands in unification, to heal the Earth and all Her children. They will move over the Earth like a great Whirling Rainbow, bringing peace, understanding and healing everywhere they go. Many creatures thought to be extinct or mythical will resurface at this time; the great trees that perished will return almost overnight. All living things will flourish, drawing sustenance from the breast of our Mother, the Earth.
The great spiritual Teachers who walked the Earth and taught the basics of the truths of the Whirling Rainbow Prophecy will return and walk amongst us once more, sharing their power and understanding with all. We will learn how to see and hear in a sacred manner. Men and women will be equals in the way Creator intended them to be; all children will be safe anywhere they want to go. Elders will be respected and valued for their contributions to life. Their wisdom will be sought out. The whole Human race will be called The People and there will be no more war, sickness or hunger forever.”
“When the Time of the White Buffalo approaches, the third generation of the White Eyes’ children will grow their hair and speak of love as the healer of the Children of the Earth. These children will seek new ways of understanding themselves and others. They will wear feathers and beads and paint their faces. They will seek the Elders of the Red Race and drink of their wisdom. These white-eyed children will be a sign that the Ancestors are returning in white bodies, but they are Red on the inside. They will learn to walk the Earth Mother in balance again and reform the idea of the white chiefs. These children will be tested as they were when they were Red ancestors by unnatural substances like firewater to see if they can remain on the Sacred Path.
The generation of Flower Children have moved through this part of the prophecy and some have remained on the Sacred Path. Others were lost for a while and are now returning to the natural way of being. Some were disillusioned and have forgotten the high ideals that gave them life when their hearts were young, but others still are waking up and quickening into remembering.
Grandmother Cisi would look at me with her obsidian eyes piercing my soul when she spoke of the Whirling Rainbow Prophecy, and I would feel my heart skip a beat and then fill with promise and love. She would tell me about the return of the Buffalo to Turtle Island and how the herds would once again be numerous. After the time when the Buffalo returned, the generation following the Flower Children would see the dawning of the Fifth World of Peace.”
— Navajo / Hopi Prophecy of the Whirling Rainbow