Dazzle and Menorah, the two Mosaic priestesses, receive you with joy. They've been caring for this sacred space for many years, and are always pleased to see new visitors.
In Ponyland, religion is less about worship than about honoring traditions, and remembering the myths and histories that have shaped pony culture.
There are two branches of Mosaicism, both of which are practiced in the same temple, at different times. Menorah belongs to the more ancient branch of the religion, known as Orthodox Mosaicism.
Orthodox practitioners are rare these days. Only a handful of ponies in Ponyland subscribe, including Cat Dan and her daughter Cool Breeze (pictured here), as well as Baby Valentine -- a mute child who learned sign language from Menorah.
Orthodox services are highly traditional. They include readings from the sacred Book of Mosaic, psalm recitations from the Songs of the Four Queens, and sermons that encourage ponies to reflect upon ancient tales and the lessons they teach.
Dazzle is a Contemporary Mosaicist. Her sermons focus more on the present than on the past, and the services she offers are more interactive, promoting social ties and a sense of community. She also loves to play music.
Dazzle always gets much larger crowds than Menorah, but the truth is, the majority of ponies in Ponyland are not actively religious. Many of them come to the temple only for special occasions.
The temple is always packed during holidays and town festivals. And of course, it's the most popular place to host a wedding.
Everyone loves a celebration, and even those who aren't invited to the ceremonies can look forward to seeing photos in the paper the next morning.
According to ancient pony tradition, it's good luck to have one's wedding blessed by a male priest. Male ponies are rare, so their presence in a community is a sign of fortune and stability.
Keeping to the custom, Whistles regularly stands in as priest during wedding ceremonies. He's not particularly religious himself, but he loves parties, and is happy to oblige.
An entrepreneur and jack-of-all-trades, Whistles also manages the Ponyland Staffing Service. Whenever festivities are underway, he's on site early to help his workers arrange the decorations and set up for catering.
The priestesses also help to oversee weddings, as well as holidays and town events. Everyone enjoys spending time in the beautiful space.
All the objects and images in the temple tell stories from pony history, especially the tale of the Great Pony Exodus from the island of Atlantis, and the rise and fall of the first pony city.
The stained glass windows were designed by Rainbow, one of Ponyland's most accomplished artists. Even though Rainbow is a fakie herself, she's lived in Ponyland from its earliest days, and now everyone accepts her as an honorary My Little Pony.
The central window behind the altar depicts the great pony prophet Mosaic. He is said to have been the first pony to cast off the bonds of his human masters. He is traditionally depicted in the act of kicking away his horseshoes and claiming his freedom.
According to legend, Mosaic incited ponies of all kinds to revolt against the terrible Atlantians, and helped them to flee the island. The ponies escaped with him into the wilderness, where for many years they wandered in search of a home. At last, a new kingdom was established: "Ponyland." The modern town of Ponyland was named after this glorious ancient city.
In the temple, the northern wall depicts the five primary breeds of ponies, all escaping from their bonds: Unicorns, Flutter Ponies, Pegasus Ponies, Sea Ponies, and Earth Ponies.
The southern wall depicts the first pony city, and the four great queens who reigned from the citadel of Dream Castle during the golden age: Serena, Stella, Aurora, and Gloria.
Queen Gloria was the last great pony queen. She ruled until the city fell, sacked by Barbarians (or "Barbies," for short).
Many stories are told about the hardships ponies faced after the fall of Ancient Ponyland, and the long road they travelled on the way to establishing a home of their own. Now, ponies visit the local temple in order to remember their past, as well as to seek inspiration and hope as they build their new life in a new Ponyland.
Thanks for visiting the Ponyland temple and taking our little journey into the past. We hope it's reminded you a bit of your own pony history, and all its marvelous forgotten stories.