Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Rainbow - As A Symbol

"Somewhere over the Rainbow,
way up high
There's a land that I heard of,
once in a lullaby.
...Birds fly over the Rainbow,
why then, oh why can't I?"

-lyrics: "Over the Rainbow", from "Wizard of Oz"

A Rainbow is one of the most beautiful artistic creations that
Nature herself can paint for us. When we are given the
opportunity to view a Rainbow we become mesmerized and
enchanted by the breathtaking Beauty which appears in the
untouchable distance; a Beauty which comes to us directly
from the paintbrush of Divinity.

All four of Nature's Elements participate in the creation of the
Rainbow: Fire, Earth, Air and Water.

The Rainbow is created by the first rays of the Sun (Fire)
piercing through the heavenly dew (Water) which is still
suspended in the sky above (Air) after a rainstorm. And the
Rainbow touches the ground below (Earth) at both ends of its
majestic arc.

The Symbolism of the Rainbow is both rich and ancient.

As a bridge:

First of all, the Rainbow looks just like a bridge which links two
parts of the earth. However, as the highest point of the Rainbow
touches the heavens, it also represents a link, or bridge, between
the Spiritual realm above with the realm of matter below.

In this respect the Rainbow, as a bridge, is a pathway, a Ladder,
or an intermediary by which Spirit can descend into matter and
matter can ascend back to Spirit. It also represents the link through
which the worlds of Spirit and matter can communicate with each

And, as being a link between heaven and earth, or gods and mortals,
it therefore represents the colorful medium through which Divine
Speech, Word and Instruction is bestowed upon humanity.

As a journey's end:

The leprechaun's legendary and mystical "pot of Gold" is to be
found at the end of the Rainbow. The leprechaun wears a green
jacket and green is the color of the evergreen, or eternal. It is
also the color of fertility and abundance. Gold is a Symbol for
the untarnishable and the incorruptible. Therefore the leprechaun's
"pot of Gold" represents the pure and eternal replenishment of
abundance and fertility, the Cornucopia, which abounds throughout
Nature's realm.

Noah saw a Rainbow at the end of the great and turbulent Flood
which signified the end of his voyage and a return to calmness and
peace. In this respect the Rainbow is also a Symbol for cleansing.

As A Symbol for Cleansing:

As the Rainbow only appears after stormy skies, it is a Symbol
for the restoration of cosmic order.

As celestial rain is necessary for the skies to be cleansed and
the Earth to be nourished the Rainbow Symbolizes Divinity's
cleansing and fertilizing Cycle. This Cycle ushers in the next
period of Nature's growth and rebirth.

And, just as turbulent storms are necessary for Nature to
cleanse and feed the Earth, so too are emotional storms
necessary in our lives in order to cleanse away our burdens
and feed our souls.

In this respect the Rainbow also Symbolizes the peace and
calmness which comes to us at the end of unsettling periods of
our lives.

For, after our emotional tears are finally drained from us our Road
ahead becomes clear, our Rainbow is shining above it, and the
Path we must follow toward our objective, our "pot of Gold", now
Becomes clear to us.

Colors Of The Rainbow:

A seven-colored Rainbow is created when invisible light passes
through Water particles in the sky.

The seven colors of the Rainbow are also brought into view when
invisible light passes through a prism.

This passing of invisible light through either Water particles or a
prism Symbolizes the manifestation of Spirit into matter. It is the
manifested "appearance" of invisible Deity in the physical realm.

When we gaze upon a Rainbow we are granted a brief glance at
one of the beautiful physical aspects of the Divine Unknowable.

The seven colors of the Rainbow represent the seven spheres, or
seven Heavens, through which Spirit descends in order to become
physical matter.

The seven colors of the Rainbow are also the colors associated
with the seven Chakras. From base to crown, the seven colors of
the Chakras are: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and

And just as these seven colors are the manifestation of invisible
Deity through either dewy skies or a prism, so too do these
seven colors of our Chakras represent the manifestation of
invisible Divinity within each one of us as our Atman, or God within.

Here is an interesting note: although we are taught that the Three
primary colors are red, yellow and blue, there is a fourth primary
color, indigo, which is the color associated with our "third eye"

Primary means something which is first or original; something
which cannot be created from something else; something
unique and therefore "god-like". And it is in this respect that the
color indigo represents the "god-like" power which exists within
the pineal gland of our "third-eye" Chakra.

The Second Inverted Rainbow:

From Wikipedia: Although most people will not notice it because
they are not actively looking for it, a dim secondary rainbow is
often present outside the primary bow. Secondary rainbows are
caused by a double reflection of sunlight inside the raindrops, and
appear at an angle of 50–53°. As a result of the second reflection,
the colours of a secondary rainbow are inverted compared to the
primary bow, with blue on the outside and red on the inside. The
secondary rainbow is fainter than the primary because more light
escapes from two reflections compared to one and because the
rainbow itself is spread over a greater area of the sky. The dark
area of unlit sky lying between the primary and secondary bows
is called Alexander's band, after Alexander of Aphrodisias who
first described it.

The 50-53 degree angle of the Rainbow is also similar to the
angle, or outer slope, of the Great Pyramid which is approximately
51.85 degrees. Therefore, much of the Symbolism associated
with the Great Pyramid also applies to the Rainbow.
(See: "Egyptian Pyramid, Part 1" and "Egyptian Pyramid, Part 2")

The second Rainbow is both nearly invisible and its colors are
inverted. Its near-invisibility offers us, and Symbolizes, a short-lived
glimpse of the manifestation of Divinity into the usually invisible
Spiritual realm.

Its inverted colors Symbolize both the Mirror and the process of
ascension and descension.

As all Mirrors are a reflection, in reverse, of that which is being
reflected, the visible Rainbow is a reflection and earthly
manifestation of the seldom visible Spiritual Rainbow. Just as
Spirit manifests into matter, so too does the Spiritual Rainbow
manifest itself into the visible physical Rainbow; but in a reverse
colored order.

As we experience ascension through the progression of our
Chakras from red to violet, Spirit experiences descension
(manifestation) into the physical realm by way of the seven colored
spheres, or Chakras, of violet to red.

Therefore, the colors of the seldom seen, and nearly invisible,
second Rainbow Symbolize the order of descent of Spirit into
matter. The colors of the visible Rainbow Symbolize the order
of ascent of matter back into Spirit.

Closing Thoughts and Observations:

The Rainbow is the result, or manifestation, of the union of
Sun-light (Superconscious illumination and enlightenment) with
Water (the Great Sub-Conscious and the Mysterious Unknown).

As the Rainbow only appears after turbulent storms it is a
Symbol of the cleansing process which heralds in new life, new
creation and new Times.

As the chameleon can change its body color into any of the
seven colors of the Rainbow, it is associated with the Rainbow.

Rainbow-colored ribbons are used by Shamans when they
"journey into the sky" by way of their trance-like astral voyages.
It is during these meditative journeys that the Shaman raises his,
or her, consciousness to a higher state of awareness in order
to transit into the higher Spiritual realms for divinitory purposes.

The seven Chakra colors of the Rainbow also represent the
ultimate state of transformation we can experience during
meditation whereby all of the visible colors of manifestation,
from densest to purest, are transformed back into invisible and
pre-manifested light; a process through which we can experience
a return to the Oneness of paradise.

And finally, from Dictionary of Symbolism by Hans Biedermann,
pages 277-8, we have the following:

In ancient Greece Iris was the virginal rainbow goddess, rushing
down from Mount Olympus to communicate to mortals the
commands of Zeus and Hera; Iris is portrayed with WINGS and
the CADUCEUS, clothed in the "iridescent" dew. (The similarly
iridescent pigmented membrane of the eye is thus called the "iris".)

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Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2012
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