What Is the Spiritual Meaning of Seeing a Rainbow?

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Rainbows considered to be a natural phenomenon. These colorful displays require specific conditions to shine through. There have been many different ideas as to the symbolic meaning of seeing a rainbow. The specific beliefs change with time, cultures, and the individual ideas of the person that views them. There is no doubt that when you see a rainbow that it sparks a feeling of peace and tranquility. 

Emanuel Swedenborg was the first individual to assign spiritual meaning to the rainbow. He recognized the global value of the light needed to create the rainbow as a sort of spiritual context. His feelings were that the light that radiated from the rainbow was equivalent to the light emitted by a person when they performed a good deed. Swedenborg, therefore, spread the word that the sight of a rainbow meant a person was filled with truth and wisdom.

Numerous Symbolic Meanings

For most people, the sight of a rainbow brings about the belief that luck is soon to follow. Here are some other examples of symbolic meanings that people feel embody the sight of a rainbow in their own lives:

  • Life
  • Hope
  • Divinity
  • Promise
  • Creation
  • Initiation
  • Potential
  • Provision
  • Harmony
  • Expansion
  • Ascension
  • Spirituality
  • Connection
  • Transformation

Legend of the Pot of Gold

One of the most popular legends concerning rainbows is the pot of gold found at the end. There are two main versions of how this legend began. The first version says the legend began among the ancient Celts. The pot represents a cauldron, which was considered a highly feminine symbol. The gold is said to represent strong fertility. The legend has it that if a person finds the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, they will be blessed with many children.

The second is more folklore. The tale tells of a leprechaun that had a pot of gold. He asked fairies to hide the pot of gold for him where it could never be found. That is the story that seems to have stuck around through the generations. To this day, the leprechaun’s pot of gold has yet to be found.

Christian Beliefs

The Christian religion believes that the rainbow signifies a covenant God made with Noah. After the great flood that wiped out the world, God appeared to Noah. He said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you and all living creatures that are with you, for every lasting generation. I set My rainbow in the cloud and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.” This is one instance of three found in the Bible giving reference to the rainbow’s significance.


There are people that find comfort when a rainbow appears while attending a funeral. They believe this is a symbol that the person who has passed has been resurrected. They also believe that the rainbow signifies God’s love. The appearance of the rainbow serves as proof their loved one has crossed over and made it to heaven.

Inner Awakening

People who have found themselves on a spiritual journey believe that rainbows symbolize an inner awakening. They believe the light that shines through the rainbow wakes their soul up to the spiritual realm. To these individuals, this is a sign that new knowledge, truths, hope, and promise are awaiting them.