Myths often associate the rainbow with the dream-time or Golden Age when earth and heaven were in easy communication with one another. Deities, spirits, and mortals might pass back and forth on the rainbow bridge, which was also the axis mundi, or ladder of heaven, or necklace of the Great Mother who ruled the Golden Age. The Pot of Gold at the rainbow’s end was another form of the Celts’ Holy Grail, a womb symbol related to the pots where Mother Moon kept the souls of the dead in her western paradise.
The rainbow’s seven colors represented the seven celestial spheres and the rainbow-hued veils of Maya, the Goddess working behind the veils to manifest the material world in its many-colored complexity.
The rainbow’s selectivity is a common motif. The glowing bridge was a broad way for the chosen, a razor edge for the wicked. The Katha Upanishad said the rainbow bridge to heaven is as difficult to traverse as the edge of a razor. The Persians said the same of their Kinvad rainbow bridge: “For the just is is nine lance-lengths wide, for the ungodly it is as narrow as the edge of a razor. The Kinvad bridge is at the ‘Center’…the bridge connects earth and heaven is at the center”. Christian tradition spoke of the same selective bridge of heaven: “Narrow is the way…and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:14)
The Japanese said the rainbow is “the road of the gods and the bridge between sky and earth.”