Gold and Good Luck
There are few natural phenomena that can match the beauty of a rainbow. Rainbows use raindrops and sunlight to provide us with arcs of pure color in the sky. Rainbows have enchanted humanity for millennia and most cultures have myths and traditions regarding rainbow sightings.
Understanding a rainbow’s meaning and its significance can help you better understand Spirit’s intention and purpose for you and your life.
What are Rainbows?
Scientifically speaking, a rainbow is a meteorological event that happens when the sun projects light through a raindrop and the resulting “cone” of light is multiplied by millions of other raindrops. Since every color refracts light a little differently, we see each color as distinct rather than blended.
Because the arc of a rainbow disappears into the horizon, many cultures developed intricate mythologies about their nature and purpose. These myths often suggested that the rainbow was a bridge into another supernatural realm or realms.
Rainbows in Culture and Mythology
The rainbow to Native Americans was like a magical bridge that could be crossed into a world of divine spirits. Many other cultures saw this bridge as a sign that the gateway to heaven had been opened for recently-departed souls to find their way home. The Hindu saw the shape as a bow from which lightning would be shot at those who threatened their land and people. In Honduras and Nicaragua, the rainbow was a cloak where demons would hide their true form. In Old Norse mythology, the rainbow bridged the gap between the natural world and Asgard, home of the gods. It was guarded by Heimdall, a god who, interestingly enough, has gold teeth.
The Biblical meaning of the rainbow is also significant. After Noah and his family survived the flood, God provided a rainbow as a sign of a covenant to never again try to destroy the earth’s peoples through flooding. In this case, the “bridge” of the rainbow reflects a contract between Spirit and humanity.
Magic Number 7 (Sometimes 4)
A rainbow contains seven colors, in the order of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. According to Buddhists, these colors relate to the seven regions of the earth. Some rainbows (or more importantly, some eyeballs) may only see four colors. When that happens, each arc of color represents the four elements: Earth, Water, Fire, and Air. Science tells us that a rainbow consists of a few more colors than that – about one million color variations. Unfortunately, our eyes fail us again, and we will only ever see a very small portion of those.
The Significance of a Rainbow Encounter
The frequency with which you might encounter a rainbow in nature will depend, in part, on the climate and weather where you live. In some places, rainbows are a rare phenomenon. In others, a rainbow may be a more common occurrence. Still, you may spot a rainbow in books or artwork at opportune moments.
As sometimes happens when you encounter great beauty, such as in the form of a butterfly or flower, it is at these times that you might feel as though the rainbow encounter has a deeper meaning than just bringing a bit of color and beauty to your world. This is a good time to stop and pay attention to what Spirit is telling you through a rainbow. In some cases, the rainbow sighting may point toward Spirit’s willingness to form an agreement with you, offering protection as you move forward on your path. In other cases, it may indicate that a bridge is being formed between you and other planes of existence, indicating a time for spiritual growth and development.
Double Rainbow Meaning
When the sun gets reflected twice, you get a double rainbow, and this can happen up to four times in a droplet of water. That’s four rainbows (two with your back to the sun, and two facing it). Double rainbow symbolism might indicate that you are being offered multiple roads that can take you to different destinations. This is a particularly important time to spend in meditation and contemplation with Spirit so that you can choose the best path to take.
Rainbow clouds are a special type of rainbow. They are the result of cloud iridescence, something that happens in newly-formed clouds in which sunlight becomes scattered by the cloud’s ice crystals or water droplets. Rainbow clouds may have deep meaning for you: Since the rainbow phenomenon often occurs in newly formed clouds, Spirit might be telling you that while some challenging times (clouds) may be on the horizon, you should remember that Spirit is with you at all times and that you have the strength to overcome whatever comes your way.
What is your favorite story about the meaning behind rainbows?
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