Discover the Meaning and Symbolism of Seeing a Double Rainbow

Written by Kristen Holder
Updated: November 13, 2023
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Double rainbows are an incredible natural phenomenon that most people only experience a few times in their lives. Because seeing a double rainbow is so rare, some believe that encountering one is symbolic and comes with special meaning. Discover the meaning and symbolism of seeing a double rainbow now.

Seeing a double rainbow before a storm can mean you’ll receive provision before adversity strikes.

What is a Double Rainbow?

A double rainbow is caused by an initial light refraction and then a reflection of that light.

A double rainbow is caused by an initial light refraction and then a reflection of that same light.


Sunlight that is refracted through raindrops creates a rainbow. When white light is refracted, it is separated into the wavelengths that make up that light. These separated wavelengths create the colors we see in a rainbow.

Seeing a rainbow is a matter of chance as rainbows are not stationary, nor are they objects that exist in a singular location. For a rainbow to become visible, you have to be in the right place at the right time. The sun has to be behind the observer, and the refracting water droplets have to be in front of the observer.

Suspended water is not the most important component in the recipe that creates a rainbow. It’s also important that the sun behind the observer isn’t obstructed by any kind of cloud cover. The sun has to be shining brightly onto existing rain or moisture which isn’t common since rain is produced by light obstructing clouds.

A double rainbow is created when the initial refracted light is caught by a second set of droplets. These droplets reflect the light from the first rainbow. Because it is a reflection, the colors are inverted. For example, instead of red being the top color, red is at the bottom. The secondary rainbow is always above the primary rainbow.

How Are We Affected By Seeing a Double Rainbow?

Without considering the symbology of a double rainbow at the exact moment you view it, seeing one evokes immediate excitement and awe. Their rarity triggers a visceral response caused by endorphins, and dopamine is also released.

Our heart rates increase which in turn solidifies the visual moment in our minds. This happens in a way that ordinary circumstances do not cause. It’s not something we soon forget.

The impact of seeing a rare double rainbow affects your physical being. As part of your body’s response, a vivid memory is created. This solidification of the experience of seeing a double rainbow means that the impact of this experience is worth studying.

What Does Seeing a Double Rainbow Symbolize?

good luck sign

good luck sign

© – License

Double rainbows are often seen as symbols of good luck, hope, and prosperity. They also signify that your life is about to take on a higher purpose. You’re going to go through a spiritual transformation that will provide you with more than you expected. 

Double rainbows mean that whatever is on the horizon is going to be twice as impactful as you’re expecting. If you were hoping for an awakening, or you’re seeking better fortunes in your daily life, whatever you’re expecting will come back twofold.

Seeing a Double Rainbow Before a Storm

Seeing a double rainbow before a storm is rare as it requires virga. Virga are streaks of rain in the distance under a cloud that evaporate before they hit the surface of the Earth.

In front of these streaks, rainbows sometimes appear. If a double rainbow appears because of virga clouds, you are witnessing an exceedingly rare phenomenon.

If you see a double rainbow before a storm, it means that you’re about to receive what you need before conflict arises. Perhaps a looming bill is due that you can’t afford at the moment. Seeing a double rainbow is a good sign that you’ll probably find the resources you need before the damage of a default hits.

To live well-rounded lives, there have to be dark periods. Without darkness, and the subsequent shadow work that takes place during these times, we can’t appreciate the good.

Seeing a double rainbow before a storm means that anything bad that’s coming will ultimately change you for the better. Don’t try to avoid what’s coming, but steel your strength so that you’ll learn the lessons on your way through to the other side. The reward for getting through the darkness will be better than you can imagine before the storm hits.

Seeing a Double Rainbow After a Storm

While troubles may not be fully dissipated, a double rainbow signals that hope is on the horizon.

While troubles may not be fully dissipated, a double rainbow signals that hope is on the horizon.

©Jeff Stamer/

Seeing a double rainbow after a storm means that you’re about to be rewarded for enduring hard times. While a double rainbow signifies a really good ending to any troubles in your life, it does not guarantee that you’re fully done dealing with the aftermath of any struggles.

The storm that is creating the double rainbow is still lingering in the air, but now there is tangible proof that light is overtaking the darkness. There will be a time of hope and positivity as soon as the damage is assessed and the process of rebuilding begins.

Seeing a Double Rainbow Without Being Hit By a Storm

Virga clouds allow us to see a double rainbow without experiencing the storm that’s causing it. If you’ve spotted a double rainbow but you don’t end up in the path of the storm that’s creating it, it shows that you’ve sidestepped a problem. This kind of sidestep occurred because of your own cunningness and precise decision-making.

Had you not acted on your unique intuition, the outcome of a challenging situation would have been much different. You’ve managed to steer your life in a way that allowed you the convenience of not dealing with a problem. This avoidance you’ve managed to achieve will serve you well in the long run.

The Meaning of Double Rainbows As Symbols of Spirituality

In Tibetan Buddhism, the human body can become a rainbow body when one achieves enlightenment.

In Tibetan Buddhism, the human body can become a rainbow body when one achieves enlightenment.

©Teo Tarras/

In Tibetan Buddhism, those that achieve the highest level of consciousness and attain enlightenment become a rainbow. The human body is seen as inseparable from the elements that make up the universe. These elements include earth, space, air, water, and fire.

Through deep enough meditation, these unified elements in the body are separated. When they separate, they split into the various color components buried within unified white light. 

Seeing a double rainbow sometimes represents the observance of both the spiritual and physical realms at once. This kind of dualistic observation is needed for centering oneself enough to transcend the ordinary and find peace.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Jeff Stamer/

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About the Author

Kristen Holder is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering topics related to history, travel, pets, and obscure scientific issues. Kristen has been writing professionally for 3 years, and she holds a Bachelor's Degree from the University of California, Riverside, which she obtained in 2009. After living in California, Washington, and Arizona, she is now a permanent resident of Iowa. Kristen loves to dote on her 3 cats, and she spends her free time coming up with adventures that allow her to explore her new home.

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