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whererainbowrises.jpgRainbows must surely be the most spectacular light show on earth. They appear as a spectrum of light in the sky when the  sun shines onto droplets of water. The light spectrum forms an arc of colors with red on the outer part and violet on the inner section. Sometimes a second rainbow arc can be seen and that is when red is on the inside and violet on the outside.

Traditionally, a rainbow is described as comprising seven colours – red, orange,  yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. In actual fact, the rainbow is a whole continuum of colours from red to violet and even beyond the colours that the eye can see..

Rainbow in the morning bells are ringing,

Rainbow at midday signals hooray,

Rainbow in the evening joy and dancing,

Rainbow at night brings delight.

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 Cultural Beliefs 

Who hasn’t heard of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Some believe that seeing rainbows is a sign of good fortune and that each time you succeed in somehow catching or see a rainbow or stand by its’ arc, it would herald an era of great happiness or unprecedented good fortune.

Rainbows  as seen in the skies have always been regarded as portents that either herald a great event, announcing the birth of  a special child or signaling the start of some especially successful period for those lucky enough to “catch it”.

Many cultures have wonderful legends associated with the rainbow, believing it to be divine messages from the Gods, indicating their pleasure at some soon to be manifested event.

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Noah’s Thanksoffering (c.1803) by Joseph Anton Koch. Noah builds an altar to the Lord after being delivered from the Flood; God sends the rainbow as a sign of his covenant (Genesis 8-9).

Some say the rainbow is a celestial celebration of sky Deities that inhabit the pure lands of the heavens, others that the sight of rainbows bring wealth, success and abundance.

To Tibetan Buddhists, the appearance of rainbows always has a spiritually exciting meaning as it marks either the passing on of some wise sage, a special yogic or spiritual master; or it fortells the birth of a significant reincarnation. Indeed, the passing on of high lamas – enlightened masters – is often accompanied by the appearance of beautiful rainbows in the skies. Likewise, when a special reincarnate child is born, rainbows often appear as a sign in the skies.

Sometimes just the presence of a highly realized yogic or spiritual master near a particularly sacred mountain or seashore is enough to create the appearance or rainbows.

( some excerpts taken from Lilian Too’s Feng Shui- Catching the Rainbow for good fortune)

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