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Rainbows in European Mythology

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Rainbows in European Mythology Empty Rainbows in European Mythology

Post Neon Knight on Fri 19 Apr - 14:47

Text from Wikipedia:

The rainbow, a natural phenomenon noted for its beauty and mystical appearance, has been a favorite component of mythology throughout history. Rainbows are part of the myths of many cultures around the world. The Norse saw it as Bifrost; Abrahamic traditions see it as a covenant with God not to destroy the world by means of floodwater. Whether as a bridge to the heavens, messenger, archer's bow, or serpent, the rainbow has been pressed into symbolic service for millennia. There is a myriad of beliefs concerning the rainbow. The complex diversity of rainbow myths are far-reaching, as are their inherent similarities.

In Norse religion, a burning rainbow bridge called the Bifrost connects Midgard (earth) with Asgard, home of the gods. Bifrost can be used only by gods and those who are killed in battle. It is eventually shattered under the weight of war – the Ragnarok (German Götterdammerung). The notion that the rainbow bridge to heaven is attainable by only the good or virtuous, such as warriors and royalty, is a theme repeated often in world myths.

Rainbows in European Mythology FROLICH49BifrostColor

Thor wades through a river as the other gods cross Bifrost - Lorenz Frølich (1885)

In Greek mythology, Iris is the personification of the rainbow and a messenger linking the gods to humanity. Iris is frequently mentioned as a divine messenger in the Iliad. She carries a caduceus or winged staff. Iris's messages often concerned war and retribution. However, like many Greek gods, Iris is continually being redefined. The rainbow eventually became solely a mode of transportation for Iris, who proves to be as elusive and unpredictable as the rainbow itself.

In the mythology of the ancient Slavs, a man touched by the rainbow is drawn to heaven, and becomes a "Planetnik" – half-demonic creature – which is under the power of the thunder and lightning god Perun.

In Bulgarian legends, it is said that if you walk beneath a rainbow, you will change genders: if a man, you'll begin to think like a woman, and if a woman, you'll begin to think like a man. While most Bulgarians don't believe in the superstition, some of them tease each other and joke around. They might also say "The sun is shining, the rain is falling, a bear is getting married" (roughly translated-in the original verse, the last part rhymes).

In Ireland, a common legend asserts that a "pot of gold" is to be found at the end of a rainbow, for the person lucky enough to find it. This treasure is, however, guarded by a Leprechaun.

Rainbows in European Mythology Leprechaun-MI-Rainbow-2x1


Last edited by Neon Knight on Sat 20 Apr - 3:00; edited 1 time in total

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Post OsricPearl on Sat 20 Apr - 2:09

That's very nice. I like rainbows, personally.
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Post Sary on Sat 20 Apr - 16:00

We have been having very wet weather.
I would love to see a rainbow!
I once saw a double rainbow
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Post OsricPearl on Mon 22 Apr - 4:44

@Sary wrote:We have been having very wet weather.
I would love to see a rainbow!
I once saw a double rainbow

We're getting plenty of rain now but no sunshine, so no rainbows. Sad Blue
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Post Sary on Mon 22 Apr - 17:48

@OsricPearl wrote:
@Sary wrote:We have been having very wet weather.
I would love to see a rainbow!
I once saw a double rainbow

We're getting plenty of rain now but no sunshine, so no rainbows. Sad Blue

We have been getting lots of precipitation, here in New England. The trend began the middle of last summer. Hardly a week goes by without a few days of rain.
I do not want to hear any talk of drought.
The rivers and lakes are full!
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