This post is designed to get you thinking about what these symbols mean when you find them in a church. If you’re a subscriber, you can comment with your thoughts. If you’re not yet a subscriber, but would like to be, use this link: Member Sign Up

All of the stained glass highlighted in this post adorns a single historic Baraboo church.

One stained glass window in this church has a Templar cross overlaid with a circle. The circle contains a Roman Cross and is emblazoned with the words “Look Up, Lift Up”. The E and L on the two arms of the Templar cross reportedly stand for “Epworth League,” which later became the United Methodist Youth Fellowship.

Below this Templar Cross, in the same window, is a panel with a ribbon that says:

“I desire a league
Offensive and Defensive
with every Soldier of
Jesus Christ.”

What does the ribbon stand for? To what soldiers are they referring?

The church bell, flanked by many instances of a repeated symbol. What does it represent?

Below, two primary symbols found in what occultic reflection book? What do they mean?


Where have we heard this before, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise?” What is this code for?

Moreover, what might those 6 red dots be at strange angles along the top of this window?

In the same theme as the above photo, what are organs used for? My, that’s a lot of big pipes. Low notes.

A ceiling medallion, which brings to mind what?

Four separate roundels from the sanctuary windows:

  • The anchor
  • The crown and cross
  • A sheaf of wheat with a scythe and a rake
  • The dove

All of these symbols have multiple meanings. What do they mean within the Brotherhood System?

Below:

A square-shaped that represents…?
A wreath that represents…?
The torch that represents…?
An American flag shield with 13 stars that represents…?
A white ribbon that represents…?
Plus, stylized fleur-de-lys at each corner. What might those mean?

The quote at the bottom of this same window is the last stanza of a poem by Julia Caroline Ripley Dorr called “Hereafter.” Here’s the full poem. I’ve highlighted the stanza incorporated into the window. What can you gather from the lone stanza? Or from the full poem? What clues might the text hold?

HEREAFTER

O land beyond the setting sun!
O realm more fair than poet’s dream!
How clear thy silver rivers run,
How bright thy golden glories gleam!

Earth holds no counterpart of thine;
The dark-browed Orient, jewel-crowned,
Pales as she bows before thy shrine,
Shrouded in mystery profound.

The dazzling North, the stately West,
Whose waters flow from mount to sea;
The South, flower-wreathed in languid rest—
What are they all, compared with thee?

All lands, all realms beneath yon dome,
Where God’s own hand hath hung the stars,
To thee with humblest homage come,
O world beyond the crystal bars!

Thou blest Hereafter! Mortal tongue
Hath striven in vain thy speech to learn,
And Fancy wanders, lost among
The flowery paths for which we yearn.

But well we know that fair and bright,
Far beyond human ken or dream,
Too glorious for our feeble sight,
Thy skies of cloudless azure beam.

We know thy happy valleys lie
In green repose, supremely blest;
We know against thy sapphire sky
Thy mountain-peaks sublimely rest.

For sometimes even now we catch
Faint gleamings from thy far-off shore,
While still with eager eyes we watch
For one sweet sign or token more.

The loved, the deeply loved, are there!
The brave, the fair, the good, the wise,
Who pined for thy serener air,
Nor shunned thy solemn mysteries.

There are the hopes that, one by one,
Died even as we gave them birth;
The dreams that passed ere well begun,
Too dear, too beautiful for earth.

The aspirations, strong of wing,
Aiming at heights we could not reach;
The songs we tried in vain to sing;
The thoughts too vast for human speech;

Thou hast them all, Hereafter! Thou
Shalt keep them safely till that hour
When, with God’s seal on heart and brow,
We claim them in immortal power!

Could it be more obvious that something is being hinted at? “Sweet sign or token,” indeed.

Have fun decoding…

And be sure to let Veronica and I know what you come up with in the comments. We’re quite interested to hear what else you come up with.

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Baraboo’s Churches, Pt 1: Around the Magickal Square

Baraboo, Wisconsin’s Courthouse Square is beautiful and historically unique. But does the Square have hidden occult significance? And what relationship exists between the Square and an array of Baraboo’s oldest churches? Wander into the weeds of early town planning and esoteric symbolism in this first post in a new series by Thorny Justice.

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