Symbolism of the Blue Star Memorial Temple
Construction of the Blue Star Memorial Temple was begun in 1923 under the guidance of Dr. William H. Dower, second Guardian in Chief of the Temple of The People. The Temple was built as a memorial to the first Guardian in Chief, Francia A. LaDue, known as Blue Star.
The architect was Theodore Eisen of Los Angeles, who was hired to bring the inspirations and directions of Dr. Dower into manifestation. The center stone was laid in a ceremony held January 19, 1923, the birthdate anniversary of Blue Star. Plans were drawn, discussed and finalized by March, and construction began in April.
Although it had been hoped that The Temple would be completed by August in time for the annual Convention, the unusual shape dictated a much longer construction time. The building, still roofless, was consecrated on August 12, 1923. The unusual roof took longer to engineer; the building was completed in 1924. Facilitated by donations of time, materials, and money, the interior was furnished with chairs, cork carpeting, and other necessary items by Convention in August of 1925. The backs and seats of the chairs were covered with blue fabric and the gold carpet was laid in the early 1970s.
Like other sacred constructions such as Stonehenge, the pyramids of Egypt and Mexico, and the cathedrals of Europe, the Temple was built on lines of mathematical and geometrical symbolism. One of the basic numbers used in the Temple design is the number 7. 7 is the key number of the Universe. This sacred number has many symbolic applications. Among them are the 7 openings in the head; the 7 colors of light; the 7-pointed star; 7 days in a week; 7 notes between octaves; and the 7-fold division of all creation. One example is a tree which has seven parts: root, trunk, branches, leaves, blossom, fruit, and seed. Each person is a 7-fold being with 3 higher and 4 lower principles.
Temple members share the goal of conscious unity in the Heart of God. The Temple building is a symbol of this Heart Consciousness. The greatest commandment of the Temple is to practice the Golden Rule, to manifest the impulse of unity in every thought, word, and deed, and to honor all life. The Temple motto is “Creeds Disappear, Hearts Remain.”
The inside dimensions, 49 (or 7×7) feet from angle to angle, symbolize Humanity as a whole. The porch, 7 feet wide, is supported by 36 pillars, 12 on each of 3 sides. 12 is the product of the 3 and the 4 which, when added together, make 7. 36 is the product of 12 multiplied by 3, the number of the Trinity. Each pillar is 7 feet high and 13 inches in diameter. The pillars represent souls who have arrived at the spiritual truths which lie hidden within the Temple. 13 is the symbolic number of the Christ (the One surrounded by the 12 disciples). The 7 doors are symbolic of the key number of the Universe.
The convex equilateral triangle shape, more easily seen from above, symbolizes the heart, which signifies all individual hearts uniting as ONE Heart, the Unity of All Life. It is a symbol of Deity, the Higher Self. It is also symbolic of the many Trinities central to the spiritual core of all the great Teachings throughout history: Love-Will-Wisdom; Father-Mother-Son; Father-Son-Holy Spirit; Creator-Preserver-Destroyer; Body-Mind-Spirit.
Above the porch are 26 windows, each having 8 panes. The 26 windows represent the number of the Christ multiplied by 2, and the 8 panes are symbolic of the union of heaven and earth. The square within a square with the cross of balance inside symbolizes the force of the Great Lodge of Masters. Each clerestory window forms 6 squares plus 8 triangles, equaling 14 or 2 X 7. The windows were placed high to symbolize the Light that comes from Above. They are glazed with a special opalescent glass to diffuse the sunlight into a golden glow.
There are two altars, one at the apex of the triangle in the west and the other in the center of the building. The foundation stone is beneath the Central Altar, with the apex of the roof directly above. This configuration is symbolic of manifestation with undiminished energy. Each altar is a focus of spiritual aspirations. The light above the Central Altar and the light on the outside highest peak of the roof represent the Eye, the Watcher, or Deity. The Noon Healing Service is celebrated daily at the Apex Altar. All other services are celebrated around the Central Altar.
Rising in pyramidal form to a point in the exact center of the building, the roof is curved to meet the walls. The three ceiling trusses run from the top of the 3 corners of the curved walls. They meet at the center above the Central Altar to make 3 straight-sided triangles with a longer baseline, symbolic of greater physical manifestation. The roof symbolizes the effort of the Masters to send their message of Brotherhood to humanity. The neutral triangle built into the roof represents the inner higher Trinity which is neutral, neither negative nor positive.
The Temple Seal
The Temple Seal symbolizes the golden age toward which humanity is evolving. The Circle represents this New Cycle of evolution and the wisdom it embodies. The Star has seven points reflecting the sacred number of the Universe. The Arch symbolizes the Trinity as well as a covenant or mutual promise between the masculine and feminine principles in every aspect of Life. The Square represents the soul in manifestation. The single Eye is a symbol of Knowledge and Mastery. The horizontal bar of the Cross represents the material universe. The vertical bar represents Spirit. The Key symbolizes understanding gained through experience that unlocks the door to the Mystery of Life.