Finding Rainbows In Storms
A month ago I got a new rattle in the mail. A natural gourd painted with running horses, the rattle seemed like the perfect companion to take with me on my upcoming heritage trip to Europe. Like drums, rattles can help deepen the trance states needed for shamanic journeying. After unpacking, I decided to take the new rattle for a spin. Normally, you begin a journey by visualizing a gateway to the different worlds. Since I started journeying nine years ago I’ve experienced many different gateways, but as soon as I shook this rattle I saw something I have never seen before— a brilliant rainbow.
A few days later I was reading a book about traditional Norse shamanic practices when a lightning bolt went through me. “In Norse mythology,” the author wrote, “it was a rainbow, called the Bifröst bridge, that connected the middle world of Earth to the upper world of the ascended Ancestors and Gods.” It felt like an encouraging sign for my trip— after all, I was reading about Norse paganism because I was traveling to the lands of my Nordic ancestors. For the next few weeks, I started seeing rainbows everywhere. Little did I know that these rainbows weren’t just for me— but for all of us. That these bridges weren’t here to lead me overseas, but to give us all safe passage through the global journey that was to come.
Over the last two weeks so much has changed in the world. Instead of being in Europe, I’m at home and yet even more connected to people around the world. During these weeks the collective has cycled through every feeling— from panic to peace. It has felt, at times, like being in the middle of a downpour. But no matter how heavy things have gotten, rainbows continue to appear. In Greek and Hawaiian mythology the rainbow is a messenger, helping humanity to hear the divine. In Abrahamic stories it is a sign of mercy. In other traditions it is a symbol of great change, transformation or transcendence. Rainbows only happen in the rain, coming to life in moments when the light is glimpsed through the mist. Rainbows are a bridge of hope over a deep chasm. We may be in a hard time, a dark time, we may be in the midst of a storm, but one thing is for sure— we are entering an era of rainbows.
Since I first posted about my synchronistic experiences with rainbows, I’ve watched rainbow symbology sprout up around the world. I am not the only one the rainbows have been visiting.
From the art placed in windows to cheer up children stuck at home to the appearance of sky-born arcs around the world, the rainbows are everywhere. A week ago I started asking people to send me pictures of rainbows they have spotted since the virus touched their shores (a few of those photos are posted here). I now have an album of several dozens photos from around the globe. No matter how dark it gets, or how many days of rain we endure, the rainbows keep coming. And they have a message to share— there is hope.
For years now I’ve used the metaphor of a suncatcher when describing what it’s like to come to Earth. Each one of us, in our widest form, is as vast as the sun. In order to come here, we send a small part of that bigness down to this place, all the way to the window of our unique life, to touch a single suncatcher. That suncatcher is you, in your body, and your only true job is to be open to the light. The amazing thing is, just like a literal crystal sitting in a window, when you open yourself up to this light— to the bright goodness of who you are— you naturally bring your gifts, those manifold rainbows, to this Earth. As so many of us stay at home for the greater good, there couldn’t be a more perfect message to hear. The biggest gift we can give the world right now is to sit in our sunlit windows and anchor hope.
We are in a time where we are going to see more rain, and more rainbows, than ever. We will have more clouds, yes, but we will also have even more clarity about who we are and the gifts we are here to share. Lately I’ve been daydreaming about what the history books will say about this era. That one day we will look back on this as a moment where, in the darkness, so many things came to light— like just how connected we truly are, how fragile our systems are when built out-of-alignment with the earth, and how fiercely we care about one another and our planet. We will look back on the hardship of this time, but we will also look back and see that there was a long rainbow appearing through the clouds, a bridge that came to help us enter a new era.
A friend of mine recently got a rainbow maker for his window. An ingenious solar powered suncatcher, the small contraption sends rainbows dancing like sprites all across the walls. Every night near sunset, the sun comes and colors twirl into the room. Living in a big city, he can’t leave his house right now, but every day the rainbows come to him. When he told me about these rainbow makers, I couldn’t help but think about you.
Whether it’s calling a friend in crisis, or ordering take out from a local business, or simply sitting in a quiet sunlit room and feeling the connection to your spirit— you are a rainbow bringer in this world. Everything that you are doing to stay connected to your light, your strength, your hope, is making all the difference in the world. This storm will have something different to teach us all. But if we stay present with whatever is coming up for us now, we will emerge on the other side with a truly profound awareness of the light that is inside us all.
Now, every time I journey with my rattle, my guides say the same thing— “It’s ok if you don’t feel prepared for this time, this time is the preparation.” This is the era of rainbows, and it is here to help prepare our spirits to become the light bridges and suncatchers we were always meant to be on Earth.
So hold those you love and take good care of your heart. Point out the rainbows when you see them, and trust that you are doing so much more than you know to help bring light to the world. One day this storm will pass, because all storms pass eventually. Till then, we remain together, a fellowship of suncatchers in a spinning world.