The Sanctuary Mural
The living tradition that we share draws wisdom from the world’s many religions, which inspire us in our ethical and spiritual life. Our mural depicts symbols from many of these faiths. A wood mosaic, our mural consists of about 5,000 unpainted wood blocks cut from used objects found in New Mexico, mostly in the Jemez mountains (fencing, doors, building sides, and so on). All the color is original to the wood as found.
A yin yang–a symbol of the balance of opposites–is surrounded by hexagrams from the I Ching, an ancient Chinese system of meditation and divination. Click on the image to view a larger version.
The six-pointed star of David (the Magen David) has been the symbol of Judaism since the Zionists adopted it in the 19th century.
The Ten Commandments
Two tablets, representing the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were given to Moses, are found in both Judaism and Christianity.
A Roman cross evokes the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in Christian teachings.
A star represents the ancient tradition of worshiping the heavens.
Unitarianism and Universalism
Intertwined circles with a cross and flaming chalice symbolize the merger between Unitarians (a chalice) and the Universalists (an off-center cross) in 1964.
A Greek Orthodox cross has three branches; tradition states that the cross of the crucifixion included a footrest and a sign above Jesus’s head bearing the letters INRI (King of the Jews).
A vase of fire symbolizes the Creator’s energy in Zoroastrian tradition.
In Zoroastrianism, the sun represents the eternal war between the powers of light and dark.
An ankh is the Egyptian hieroglyph for “life,” a combination of the symbols for Osiris (male) and Isis (female), the union of two principles, heaven and earth.
The heart is a symbol of spirit and love in many religions.
An om is the symbol of oneness in the Hindu and Buddhist traditions.
Constantine’s labarum is the first two letters of Christ’s name in Greek (chi rho).
A star and crescent symbolize the teachings of Islam.
A delta and trefoil represent Christianity’s Holy Trinity.
The letters “IHS” represent a monogram for “Jesus Christus” in Greek.
The lotus blossom, a Hindu and Buddhist symbol, represents the flowering of the human spirit.
Worshippers bow and salute the gods when passing under a torii, or gateway, when entering a Shinto shrine.
Crux immissa quadrata, the equilateral cross, is also known as the patriarchal cross or the Greek cross.
The fish was an early symbol for Christ, the fisher of men.
The eight spokes on the Buddhist wheel of life denote the eight-fold path.