The Spiritual Meaning Of Rainbows + What It Means If You Keep Seeing Them
Rainbows are gifts that are full of positive signs and spiritual meanings, but what does it mean if you keep seeming them? Here's what to know about the various meanings of rainbows and what they might mean in relation to love, personality, and more, according to experts.
What does a rainbow symbolize?
The sighting of a rainbow usually elicits feelings of awe, excitement, and joy, as well as magic. Because rainbows have several colors, they are considered a type of color symbolism.
Color symbolism is when a person or a culture assigns meaning to different colors. As Maggie Wilson, reiki master teacher and host of The Metaphysical AF Podcast, tells mindbodygreen, "Colors are symbolic for people because they influence everything from our moods to our decisions to even how we think."
That said, there are many meanings behind a rainbow, and the significance is often personal. After all, colors often mean different things for each person as well, explains Cat Rambo, a sacred medicine and dreamwork expert. "Because rainbows bring all the colors together, it overcomes the personal attachment to differences [in color] and is one of the reasons why rainbows are about love and acceptance," she says.
So you may be wondering, what does it mean when you see a rainbow? "Rainbows symbolize good luck, wellness, happiness, and health, [and] could indicate a positive shift in vibration and positive energy," notes celebrity psychic Deborah Graham.
Rainbows also represent integration and serve as reminders that all things act as one, according to Rambo. "It's about bringing together the spirit parts and choosing to find balance, harmony, and love," she notes. "When we do shadow work and dig into the unseen or rejected parts of ourselves, we bring them into the light; we integrate them."
And of course, given that they usually appear after a storm, rainbows are a sign of hope. As Rambo explains, "Rainbow is about what's on the other side of darkness," adding, "The message of the rainbow is inspiration to be in hope and joy because there are bright and beautiful times on the other side."
New beginnings and transformation are represented by rainbows as well. "The appearance of rainbows is a chance to start over, but starting over doesn't have to be a drastic, dramatic change," Wilson notes. If you've been looking for guidance or direction, she considers rainbows to be a sign of confirmation.
Positive symbolic meaning of rainbows:
Negative symbolic meaning of rainbows.
Rainbows are typically considered to be positive signs. However, they can be affiliated with death and changes. "Rainbows have been associated with the death of pets as well as the death of soldiers in war," says Wilson.
A person's culture and beliefs can also play a role in how they view a rainbow since death can be viewed as simply changing states and dimensions and is not inherently negative.
What does seeing a rainbow mean spiritually?
Rainbows are often related to spirituality and serve as a sign of hope, new beginnings, and transformation. "The rainbow encourages spiritual growth and never stops seeking the end of the self," Wilson explains, adding, "The rainbow reminds us of the infinite possibilities that come with living in our magical world."
Here's what rainbows can represent in a few different contexts.
In a dream
Symbols and meanings don't only appear while in the waking world—we can receive messages while in the dream state, too. When a rainbow appears in a dream, consider it an important message because these are usually rare but powerful moments, according to Wilson.
"In general, rainbows symbolize happy endings and changes that bring good omens to you," she tells mindbodygreen, adding, "Rainbows in dreams can also be a sign to dive into your more creative efforts."
When it comes to love, seeing a rainbow is a positive sign. "Rainbows are a symbol of love and following what the heart wants," Wilson says, adding, "For couples, rainbows signify happiness and joy for their future." A rainbow can also mean there's a soul mate connection on its way, or even a soul mate sending a message who has passed on, according to Graham.
But love doesn't have to be with another person; love can be about the relationship we have with ourselves. Rainbows can represent acceptance and accepting others as who they are, Rambo notes. She adds that it is important "to accept yourself and acknowledge what it is that brings joy, hope, and inspiration to you—and focus on ourselves instead of relying on endless giving [to others].
All that said, Rambo is quick to point out that if you're looking for answers about a relationship, seeing one rainbow isn't going to tell you what to do.
As with any symbol, some people may be more drawn to rainbows than others. "A person's personality can absolutely influence whether they resonate with rainbows or not," says Wilson. "No two people will see the exact same rainbow…because of its different physical presence and it being an optical phenomenon it will appear different to each person."
And if someone were to have a rainbow aura, as aura reader and stylist Susanna Merrick previously told mindbodygreen, "It generally means it's a healthy aura because there's a healthy flow of different motions and energies and different things manifesting in your life," adding it's a sign someone is "able to handle multiple energies or shifts at once."
Communication with a loved one
"Many traditions view the rainbow as a symbol of life as well as death," shares Rambo. So it's no surprise that these arcs of color can be messages from loved ones who have passed on. "They also may represent your loved ones who have passed, reaching out or sending you a sign," Graham says, adding, "Overall, it's like a portal opens with access to your loved ones, angels, and spirit guides," she says.
Make a wish
There may be times in your life when you wonder, why am I seeing rainbows? Given that they're often symbols of transformation and hope, when one appears, Graham says, it's a good time to make a wish, whether it's about your career, love, or relationships.
What does it mean when you see a rainbow after someone dies?
Seeing a rainbow soon after someone dies is often a message that the person is OK, has crossed into another realm, and wants to let you know that all is well. Occasionally, Rambo says, a rainbow can signify someone is about to die and they will go into the next dimension easily and at peace.
What does a double rainbow mean spiritually?
A double rainbow can signify a soul connection, a twin flame connection or souls coming together, Graham tells mbg. A double rainbow can also represent duality and a fleeting opportunity to bring together two different opinions and/or infinite opportunities, according to Rambo.
Rainbows are beautiful symbols that serve as powerful and important messages of acceptance, good luck, hope, new beginnings and communicating with someone who's no longer on Earth. Symbolism—whether in the form of an animal, bird, or a natural phenomenon—is a way to receive messages that help guide us along on our own spiritual journeys.
Lauren David is a Chilean-American freelance writer. She writes about gardening, food, health and wellness, and sustainability. She has been published in Allrecipes, Greatist, The Healthy, The Kitchn and more.
When she's not writing, she enjoys spending time in her garden, experimenting with ingredients in the kitchen, or spending time by the ocean. See her portfolio on her website.