What It Means When You See A Rainbow

You may know that seeing a rainbow is considered a sign of good times to come, but there are even more spiritual meanings you may not be aware of.

woman standing in front of a rainbow chanchai duangdoosan / Shutterstock

Thanks to modern science, we now know that rainbows are optical phenomena that occur as a result of sunlight and atmospheric conditions. But there are spiritual and cultural rainbow meanings as well.

The first known attempt at understanding the physics of a rainbow is attributed to René Descartes in 1637, although he lacked the understanding of wavelength dependence that would follow with Isaac Newton and Thomas Young's contributions.


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Prior to this understanding, rainbows were seen as otherworldly symbols left behind by deities or spirits. To this day, many of these interpretations survive and linger within their respective communities and belief systems.

What does it mean when you see a rainbow? Three spiritual meanings explained:

1. Rainbows represent new beginnings.

Just as they occur after rainstorms, rainbows symbolize a fresh start for those who've faced struggles. These new beginnings are seen as joyous ones full of opportunities to love and grow.


2. Rainbows represent spiritual ascension.

In Tibetan Buddhism, the term "rainbow body" refers to the transformation of the physical body into a vessel made up of five radiant lights.

Additionally, many traditions see rainbows as bridges between the physical and spiritual planes. This represents the ability to grow spiritually and transcend the earthly realm.

3. Rainbows represent divine encouragement.

In times of distress or uncertainty, rainbows can be interpreted as messages from angels, spirit guides, and deceased loved ones who are encouraging you to keep pushing through in the promise that better things await you.

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What does it mean if you see a double rainbow?

As above, two rainbows side-by-side are also seen as symbolizing transitions. The first arc represents the material world, while the second represents the spiritual one.

Together, they are often viewed as a gateway, just as a singular rainbow is.

Rainbow Symbolism in the Bible

In the bible, the rainbow is a symbol God's promise to never again destroy the Earth and its people with a flood after what happened in the story of Noah's Ark.

Rainbows represent God's willingness to grant humanity a chance at redemption in the light of His justness.

what does is mean when you see a rainbow


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What does it mean if you see a rainbow in your dreams?

In dreams, rainbows are usually seen as positive signs alluding to good luck, blessings, and new opportunities. They also represent wish fulfillment. Dreaming of one after you've wished for something is said to be a sign that your request is being granted.

Rainbows also symbolize mutual love, especially between couples. They point to peace and happiness in the future union.

Are rainbows good luck?

Rainbows are usually thought to be good luck symbols. Double rainbows are considered even luckier.

Many cultures associate rainbows with divine blessings and better futures to come. Although this is the most common perception of rainbows, it does depend on who you ask and which belief system they align with.


In the Navajo tradition, rainbows are seen as "a symbol of protection and the pathway of the Yeis. These healing holy spirits intercede between the Creator and humans and control the sun, moon, wind," However, Navajo superstition cautions never to point at a rainbow, as doing so is believed to risk having your finger cut off.

Some Amazonian cultures associate rainbows with evil spirits who cause harm, such as miscarriages and skin conditions.

In Judaism, rainbows are a reminder of not only God's covenant, but are also seen as a sign that mankind has sinned and again been forgiven. A generation that never sees a rainbow is therefore thought to have attained an "especially high level of spirituality and righteous conduct."


Regardless of your beliefs, you'll always benefit from paying attention to the signs around you. They're there — you just have to look for them!

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Yona Dervishi is a writer who covers topics pertaining to self-care, radical acceptance, news, and entertainment.