Monday Myth, Mythology, Rainbow Hill Meanders, Rainbows

Monday Myth: Rainbows

The true harvest of my life is intangible – a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched.” – Henry David Thoreau

Rainbows are the sun’s rays refracted or reflected by rain or mist into an arc of color. These rainbow arcs always have their colors in the same sequence: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

A well-known English Mnemonic is “Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain” and the less interesting American English of “ROY G BIV”.

Languages all around the world have their own mnemonics for remembering the order of colors in the rainbow.

I recommend this site not only for its great information on all aspects of rainbows, but also for the best exploration of the global range of mnemonics for remembering rainbow color order.

Rainbows come many different guises under many different names:
Twinned Rainbow, Double Rainbow, Primary Rainbow, Secondary Rainbow, Tertiary Rainbow, Quaternary rainbows, Alexander’s Band, Higher-order Rainbows, A Supernumerary Rainbow—also known as a Stacker Rainbow, Reflected Rainbow, Reflection Rainbow, Monochrome Rainbow, Moonbows, Fogbow, Spraybow, and Glory, etc.

Rainbow mythology is rich and replete with more stories than I can incorporate into in one post. I will eventually get to all of them in future posts.

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There are very few cultures that do not have a rainbow in their mythology. I’m still looking to see if I can find one that has a mythology lacking in some sort of rainbow. Please tell me, which mythologies do not have rainbows?

Due to the popularity of the Marvel Thor movies, the Norse Bifrost (Rainbow Bridge) is probably the third most-known rainbow mythology after that of Noah and the Ark and the Irish tales of a leprechauns and pots of gold.

Some translations of the “The Epic of Gilgamesh” describe the rainbow’s mass of colors as a divine sanction for war and a rainbow crown was worn by the Sumerian god Ninurta.

Persian mythology uses rainbows for divination.

In Greek Mythology, Iris who is a messenger of the gods dresses in rainbow hues.

Australian Aboriginal mythology focuses on the Rainbow Serpent. In Japan the rainbow also represents snakes.

In Arabian mythology the rainbow is a bow for Quzah, an Arabian god of weather. The Hindu god Indra also uses the rainbow as a bow.

rainbowIn Bhuddism the rainbow is just one step below Nirvana.

For the Karens in Burma, the rainbow is a demon that eats children.

For the romantics in the crowd, Chinese folklore has star-crossed lovers waiting for the rainbow to shine so they can be together.

My favorite so far is Bulgarian legend in which you will change genders if you walk under a rainbow. I think that may be worthy of a story or two.

Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” – Maya Angelou


Bengal Cats, Cat Convos, Rainbow Hill Meanders

Cat Convos: Resolutions

Hiyu and the pianoHiyu: We want to talk about our resolutions for the new year.

Me: Really? You guys have changes in lifestyle you want to implement?

Loki: No, silly. We have resolutions for everyone else.

Kuri: Yeah, we have a good long list.

Loki: We have a plan.


Me cautiously: Are you going to tell me the details of your plan?

Kuri: Last year we started our Cat Emergency Response Team. We’re going to talk a lot about emergency preparedness. We want all of our readers to be safe and prepared.

Loki: Even dogs and birds and hippopotami.

Me: Hippopotami?

Hiyu: That’s the plural of hippopotamus. We like to educate people.

Loki: We’re also going to help you lose weight.

Me: You could lose a couple of pounds too.

IMG_1784Loki: You have a lot more to lose than I do. Hiyu’s going to inspect your food and keep track of your exercise. 

Me: Anything else?

Bengal in a boxLoki: You need to take more pictures of us. My coat is perfect.

Kuri: We’re going to help around the house more.

Hiyu: We have a lot of surprises for you this year. It’s going to be fun.

Me suspiciously: Surprises?

Kuri flicks his ear. Hiyu gives me an evil grin and Loki gives me a tummy to pet.

Now I’m really looking forward to 2018.



Rainbow Hill Meanders, Wednesday Write, Writing

Wednesday Write: Writing Diversity

Rainbow over Cottage Lake

Happy New Year to all our readers.

Writing diversity is a subject near and dear to my heart. I’ve learned so much in writing characters of diverse backgrounds.

My first few attempts at writing an ethnic character came with a shock. There was unconscious bias in my vocabulary.

“Me?” I replied.

“How?” I asked with surprise permeating every anxious cell in my body.

Thank heavens for writing groups and rich resources on the web.

20110905-60d-0209-smallFirst, kudos to my most amazing writing critique group. They are the most talented and supportive people I’ve ever run into. Over the years I’ve been in more than a few groups and my current set of fabulous fellow writers exceeds them all.


As a fantasy writer, I often develop my characters with the backgrounds of mythology and folklore which I wish to include in my story. I love them dearly.

Some of my characters are prejudiced both knowingly and unknowingly. That is often part of the tension and conflict in the story and I will often guide those characters to the growth I’d like to see reflected in the world around me.

So, the question became how could I, who is desperately trying to enlighten my diverse set of characters, be showing unconscious bias?

A lot of it comes down to random adjectives still employed in our current language. Some of it comes from reading older books and not realizing some of the conventional tropes of description have changed for the better.

Next week I will write about how to proof your writing for those biases and steps to culturally educate yourself.


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