A double rainbow is a powerfully mysterious natural phenomenon.
It only occurs when both sunshine and raindrops fill the sky; it is vividly colorful and yet completely transparent; it always remains at a distance no matter how hard you try to reach it; it appears and disappears in the blink of an eye.
Therefore, it is no wonder that humans have found strength and significance in this most extraordinary spectacle for so many years.
What Is The Spiritual Meaning of a Double Rainbow?
Some say it is a sign of good luck, others say a sign of new beginnings and transformations, but what does seeing a double rainbow arcing across the sky actually mean?
Its symbolic significance has been interpreted by many different religions and spiritualities over the centuries, and what you personally choose to believe may be informed by any and all of them.
One thing is for sure, we are inextricably linked to nature and the world around us, part of a finely woven tapestry, and any phenomenon that the universe presents, especially one as beautiful and rare as a double rainbow, is a wonderful gift to be treasured.
Double Rainbows: A Sign Of Good Luck
Most schools of thought agree that the double rainbow is a sign of good luck. Anything that occurs so rarely and is so visually beautiful can be seen as ‘lucky’ as it is such a privilege to behold.
The word ‘luck’ actually refers to something rare and exceptional happening by chance rather than by judgement or conscious effort. This certainly relates to the double rainbow which is incredibly rare and seems to appear out of nowhere to brighten our day.
The feelings of joy and enlightenment that are released in the body on sighting such a marvelous natural occurrence, mimic those emotions we feel when someone performs a random act of kindness in the street, or when small things go our way and make our day that little bit better.
For this reason, if you see a double rainbow in the sky you should not just look out for an abandoned pot of gold on the corner, but stay alert and attuned to all ‘lucky gifts’ that day.
The double rainbow might indicate that you will catch that bus you are usually late for, or bump into a friend who you have been meaning to contact.
Double Rainbows: A Sign Of Good Fortune
Speaking of pots of gold, a double rainbow is considered especially lucky in Irish folklore where it has long been associated with Leprechauns.
Leprechauns are said to be small, mischievous little bearded men who have magical powers and live in the mountainsides and valleys of rural Ireland. They are traditionally depicted as wearing green coats and large hats, and they are said to guard a pot of gold.
In Irish folklore, if you stumble across a Leprechaun (which is incredibly rare in itself), he will ask you a riddle, and if you solve that riddle you will be rewarded with a pot of gold.
This gold is always hidden at the end of a rainbow, somewhere that is notoriously difficult to reach as a rainbow never gets closer no matter how much you walk towards it.
For this reason, rainbows have long been associated with wealth and good fortune, and the sighting of a double rainbow is often seen as a heightened indication of this.
However, good fortune doesn’t exclusively indicate wealth and monetary success.
Seeing a double rainbow in the sky does not necessarily mean that you should dash off to buy a lottery ticket, because good fortune can come in many guises, including health, happiness, relationships and positive experiences.
Double Rainbows: A Sign Of Transformation
After all that talk of Leprechauns, let’s get sciency for a moment.
A rainbow is actually a meteorological phenomenon that occurs when the light of the sun becomes reflected, refracted and dispersed through hitting water droplets in the form of rain.
When the sunlight is dispersed through the droplet it becomes a spectrum of light ranging through all the colors from red to violet. It always appears in the part of the sky that is opposite to the sun, and it usually appears as a semi-circular arc due to the nature of light refraction.
In a primary rainbow, the outer band is red and the inner band is violet. However, a double rainbow is a wider and broader arc that appears outside the primary rainbow and is usually more indistinct than the first.
Its colors are reversed, so the inner band is red and the outer is violet. It is this elegant development that has caused many to interpret the double rainbow as a sign of transformation.
In Chinese mythology the color red relates to the feet and body, whereas the color violet relates to the mind and head. For this reason the primary rainbow is seen in China as a symbol of humanity (the body) descending to earth (the feet) and becoming one with the natural world.
The double rainbow takes this one step further and depicts the ascension of man from the physical world (red) into the ethereal world (violet). It can mean the passing of a spirit into heaven, or the enlightenment of a soul from ignorance into wisdom and serenity.
Norse mythology also acknowledged the transformational quality of a double rainbow, and saw it as a bridge between heaven and earth, ignorance and enlightenment.
Double Rainbows: A Sign Of New Beginnings
Of course, double rainbows like single rainbows, tend to occur after a shower of rain when the clouds have released their energy, the plants and animals have been watered and refreshed, and the sun begins to warm and dry the earth.
It is in these conditions that nature thrives best, and it is for this reason that so many people have interpreted the double rainbow as a symbol of fresh starts and new beginnings.
In Christianity, Noah saw a rainbow after the epic flood and knew that the rain would cease and the waters would subside. The symbol appeared only once the earth had been cleansed and was ready to start a new chapter.
That is why seeing a double rainbow is an opportunity to reflect on where you are at, and feel empowered and encouraged to move forward and start anew.
Perhaps you have a grudge that you can let go of, or a fear that you can finally face? However the meaning relates to your life, the opportunity to start over is always a welcome and positive one.
Double Rainbows: A Sign Of Harmony And Healing
Above all, double rainbows symbolise harmony and healing. The harmonious blend of colors in a double rainbow includes every shade in the color spectrum and leaves no color behind.
This inclusivity has been seen as a sign of the universe’s indiscriminate love for all living things no matter what creed, race, sexual orientation or shoe size. The gay pride flag is rainbow colored for this exact reason, and the harmony and unity of a double rainbow can apply to all walks of life.
If you see one hanging in the sky today, remember to take a moment to reflect and appreciate its beauty and rarity, as well as your own.
Perhaps you will have a spot of luck, perhaps you will turn over a new leaf, or perhaps you will just know that you are exactly where you are meant to be and feel safe and at peace with this wonderful universe.