My childhood home wasn’t far from Unity Village, and one of my favorite things about driving toward it was looking for the stone property markers along Colbern Road. There was something comforting about them, standing like sentinels among the brush and the trees of the grounds. Still, I admit I never gave much thought to their design, which features “Unity Village” etched into the stone squares just beneath a winged circle.
The winged globe is an emblem familiar to many in the Unity movement as one of its earliest symbols. It was, in fact, adapted by Unity cofounder Charles Fillmore himself, who said he discovered it through a revelation. He wrote that it is meant to represent the relationship between the soul, the body, and Spirit.
The Spiritual Symbolism of Wings
Wings have long been used to represent freedom, spirituality, and safety, and this particular symbol originated in Egyptian and Chaldean cultures as a winged sun disk. It represented divinity, protection, healing, and the wings that the soul gives to the body. It has since become a reminder that Spirit energizes the soul, allowing it to rise above our earthly lives and the “thoughts of matter,” as Fillmore put it.
“As man develops spiritual consciousness, he attains the realization of the soul as the wings of the body,” Fillmore wrote in “The Winged Globe,” a 1923 article published in Unity (as Unity Magazine was then called). “Follow the teachings of Unity, and you will realize for yourself that you are the winged globe.”
Unity has used more than 100 variations of the winged globe over the years—both large and small, colorful and monochrome, simple and ornate—to convey a message of healing and spiritual consciousness to the world.
It was used on the cover of the first issue of this magazine, printed in June 1891, around the same time that the Fillmores chose to call the movement “Unity.” The winged globe would go on to appear in many Unity publications—including on the cover of the first issue of Daily Word, printed in July 1924—as well as on marketing materials, memorabilia, and merchandise. Unity churches worldwide have also frequently used the symbol, replicating it in stained glass, stonework, woodwork, and other media. In fact, Unity has used more than 100 variations over the years—both large and small, colorful and monochrome, simple and ornate—to convey a message of healing and spiritual consciousness to the world.
Though Unity no longer uses the winged globe as its primary symbol, visitors who have sharp eyes can still spot it around the Unity Village campus—both indoors and out. Look for it on the dais of the Activities Center (now called the 600 Building) and above the stage in the Fillmore Chapel (in the 400 Building). The winged globe can also be seen in the architectural detailing of the Administration Building (or 100 Building), engraved in an old stone block near the entrance to Lowell’s Garden Terrace, and, of course, on the property markers as you’re arriving at the Village.
This article appeared in Unity Magazine®.