A few weeks ago, I was seated in my sitting room when we experienced a heavy downpour. When the rains ceased, there was a reflection of a beautiful rainbow on the window panes.
This caught my attention, and for the first time, I was intrigued to learn more about rainbows. Being a theologian, I tried to understand how rainbows are depicted in the Bible and also read books written by different mythologists to understand how different cultures view rainbows.
Just recently, in one of the many forums that I am a part of, a member randomly asked about the spiritual meanings of rainbows. Other members of the forum were also eager to learn about this.
Because I had researched a lot about rainbows, I educated the members of that forum on the possible spiritual meanings of rainbows. So, you might ask, what is the spiritual meaning of seeing a rainbow?
Theologians believe that rainbows are used in the Bible during the time of Noah to symbolize God’s power and represent the covenant that God made with the people to never destroy the Earth with floods. In different cultures of the world, rainbows are associated with good luck, hope, equality, and transition.
In today’s article, I will be discussing some fascinating facts and myths about the rainbow in various cultures across the world.
I will majorly focus on the following, the biblical significance of rainbows, the meaning of seeing rainbows in different cultures, the symbolic meaning of rainbows, the spiritual meaning of seeing a rainbow, and if seeing a rainbow is a symbol of good or bad luck. Kindly join me as I expand your understanding.
What is the symbolic meaning of rainbows?
The Rainbow is a symbol of hope in many cultures across the world. In the Christian culture, the rainbow is seen as a promise to better times (hope).
Many cultures associate rainbows with hope because of the story of Noah in the Bible. During the time of Noah, after the flood, God sent a rainbow to those who remained to go and multiply again without fear. Moreover, in Western culture, a rainbow is also seen as a sign of hope and promise.
In Irish Mythology, the rainbow is seen as a sign of good luck because they were thought to be hiding places of pots of gold.
It was believed that Leprechauns would hide their gold at the end of a rainbow for safety reasons, and anyone who would come in contact with it was allowed to take a handful, and this made people associate the rainbow with good luck.
How the Rainbow merges its colors is always considered a sign of equality because all the visible colors are combined to form one beautiful idea.
This has been transformed, and it is used by modern society as a symbol of the LGBTQ+ community to demonstrate equality which is represented by the fusion of Rainbow colors.
Death, war, and transition
According to Norse mythology, a rainbow is viewed as a sign of a fallen soldier, which would act as a bridge between the immortals and the mortals’ world for which one will cross upon death.
In addition, many cultures also believe that the rainbow symbolizes leaving Earth and being accepted by the creator upon death.
What is the biblical significance of rainbows?
After the floods during the time of Noah, God made a promise that he would never again punish the world with water (Genesis 9:11).
God not only spoke to Noah, but he made a rainbow appear, which will be a reminder of the promise He made. Just like in other God’s creations, the appearance of the rainbow in the sky brings out the existence of God and is a reflection of God’s glory (Ezekiel 1:28).
In Revelation 4:2-3, the beauty of God’s surroundings is described by John where around the throne of God was a rainbow which had the appearance of an emerald.
In addition, in Revelation 10:1, the appearance of an angel who had a rainbow over his head is mentioned. Mostly in the Bible, where the rainbow is mentioned, its significance is attached to the glory and power of God.
Spiritual meaning of seeing a rainbow
Sometimes we face challenges in life, and our hearts get troubled and yearn for guidance and direction. Rainbows can not only represent physical beauty but at such critical times when we are troubled in our hearts, they are believed to be able to provide answers to some questions and convey some messages.
Let us dive and see some spiritual meaning of seeing a rainbow.
A sign of good news
Seeing rainbows in the sky is always associated with good news. Just after the floods during the time of Noah, God made a covenant with Noah, and he sent a rainbow as a sign of sparing the future generations; this message was good news to the coming generation.
Therefore, seeing a rainbow spiritually can be a message from the spirit world a receiving some good news soon.
One of the most commonly shared ideas among different faiths is that the rainbow has significance in an individual faith. When the storms of life bombard us, we often think that we might be in darkness.
But through faith, we surely believe that the sun will rise again, and we will see the light at the end of our tribulations. The rainbow is believed to represent the unshaken and stable faith we hold during such scenarios in life.
Normally, a rainbow normally appears during a transition between a great downpour and sunshine. If we take this and interpret it on a spiritual level, it could represent the idea of us recognizing and learning the mistakes we make, and we start the journey of walking toward the light.
It is also a journey towards a new beginning, as the rainbow always appears after the storm.
Rainbows are mostly described as a bridge between two worlds (Earth and the Spiritual world). If an individual dies, it is believed that while crossing the bridge (rainbow), their soul transitions from their physical body to a spiritual form of existence.
An individual will need to be spiritually awake so as to know the exact aspect of life that is about to experience change in a positive way.
A sign of abundance
The Rainbow has seven colors, in which all the colors have their spiritual meaning. The green color is often associated with abundance and fertility.
Seeing a rainbow across the sky can spiritually mean that one is about to witness an increase in some areas of life and abundance in some things.
A sign of encouragement
When facing some hard times in life, some people believe that the spirit guide might use rainbows to send a word of encouragement to the troubled soul.
Seeing a rainbow during some challenging times can be a sign from the spirit guide telling you that throughout the journey, you are not alone and, therefore, you should not give up.
What is the meaning of seeing a rainbow in different cultures?
Different cultures have different understandings and beliefs whenever they see a rainbow. In this article today, we will have a look at some cultures and their interpretations of the rainbow.
Japan holds the same belief as the Vikings’, believing that a rainbow is a gateway. In the creation story of the Japanese, it is believed that the makers of the planet rode on a rainbow when coming to Earth to make the land.
Different historical periods have different takes on the appearance of the rainbow in Chinese culture. In some cultures, the rainbow has been seen as the light emitted by Nuwa’s five-colored stone, which is the symbol of the gods of drought, revenge of Fuxi’s descendants, and as a metaphor for God’s clothes.
It is also described as a two-headed dragon called “Hongni” (the rainbow). In addition, in ancient China, the rainbow was seen as a threatening sign.
However, Tang Dynasty encountered a rainbow that represented good luck. The Chinese also link rainbows to dragons, which are very powerful creatures.
According to the Celtics, a rainbow signifies one’s hope and dreams, blessings, and good fortune. In the ancient Celts, a woman’s belly who was pregnant was associated with the arc of the rainbow and children, and it was considered a blessing.
In addition, the rainbow was seen as a sign of good luck because where at the end of the rainbow, one could find a pot full of gold.
In Native America, the rainbow plays a variety of roles. In Navajo tradition, they believe the Holy Spirit uses the rainbow as a pathway, and normally it is drawn on sand paintings.
It is also used as a clan crest in Northwest Coast tribes. Furthermore, in the legend of Navajo, there was a hero who was transported back home via rainbow; with this, it is seen as a gateway.
Norse mythology believes that the rainbow represents a bridge. Bifrost is the rainbow bridge that connects Midgard and Asgard, and it is the main way Earth is connected to Asgard.
They believe this rainbow bridge is also used as a route for the transportation of souls who are worthy and proven as real warriors during their time on Earth. Well, based on the information given, Nordic mythology paints a rainbow as a path to the other world (Asgard).
In Hinduism, the seven colors of the rainbow are a representation of the seven chakras. Chakras are believed to be the energy center of the body. The color red is the representation of the root chakra, and then the six other chakras follow. Violet, which is the last color of the rainbow, represents the seventh chakra.
Furthermore, a rainbow is also said to be the bow of the God Indra; it is by this bow that God brings balance back to the world.
There is a state of elevated consciousness in Tibetan Buddhism whereby the Buddhist becomes one with five elements which are air, fire, water, space, and Earth. They refer to this state as the “Rainbow body.” They believe that when an individual dies, he/she transforms into a rainbow body.
So, according to them, the transition to reaching a glorious state is represented by the rainbow. A rainbow is also seen as a sign that indicates the presence of Buddha.
Australian natives associate rainbows with prosperity and protection. The Natives have a mythological story about the Rainbow serpent, who is a giant rainbow-colored snake that covers the whole world around. They view this serpent as a protection to the people and thus their interpretation.
They believe he is the source of water to the people, and thus, he is associated with fertility. On the other hand, he is viewed as a destroyer if he is provoked.
In Greek mythology, a rainbow represents the goddess Iris who was a messenger. In the Greek story about The Iliad, the iris was the messenger of the gods carrying messages to the humans and was the center of the connection between heaven and Earth.
In the pre-Islamic civilization, the rainbow was seen as a holy bow which was a representation of the God of thunder and war. Arabs and Hindu mythology have almost similar meanings and symbolism.
They associate rainbows with the power of the almighty.
What does it mean when you see a rainbow in your dreams?
Seeing a rainbow in your dream comes with a feeling of relaxation and happiness could indicate a good sign because a rainbow normally shows up after a long pour down. Let us look at more possible meanings if someone has a dream in which he/she sees a rainbow.
If you have been going through challenges in life and possibly you have been looking for solutions and found none, dreaming about seeing a rainbow can be a sign that soon you will get answers and get rid of the challenges you are facing. This means it could be your chance to start again.
Connect with people
As seen earlier, the rainbow has several different colors which merge to form one beautiful aspect. Dreaming about seeing a rainbow can mean that you need to connect with others. Perhaps you might have lost touch with your relatives and friends, but seeing a rainbow in your dream reminds you that you must take the initiative to reconnect with them.
A rainbow has seven different colors; each color has a different meaning according to different mythologies. Therefore, depending on the colors you see in your dreams, it might give you an indication of an incoming difficult phase in life. This could be a warning to make sure that you are fully prepared for such a phase.
Seeing a rainbow in a dream can mean that you have a lot of ideas stemming in your mind currently, and you need to put those ideas into action. Those ideas could possibly lead to great success. This is interpreted as a connection between your physical being and the spiritual world.
Is seeing a rainbow a symbol of good or bad luck?
Rainbows are usually associated with good luck. If you spot double rainbows, it is considered double luck. Several cultures believe that rainbows symbolize a better future and divine blessing. Seeing one is also often associated with positive energy, happiness, wellness, health, and a positive shift in vibration. Rainbows are also viewed as a sign of protection. However, the interpretation of seeing a rainbow varies depending on the culture and personal beliefs.
However, the scripture is clear that we should not lean on mythology. The book of Colossians 2:8 warns us against being taken captive by empty deceit and hollow philosophy based on human traditions and elemental spirits of the world instead of Jesus Christ. Therefore, as Christians, we should not focus more on what these mythologies mean in our life but on what Christ says about our lives.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.