Welcome to the Temple of the Mysteries. This is the symbolic universe, the laboratory in which the magician performs the Magnum Opus. The word "laboratory," borrowed from the tradition of alchemy, is an appropriate name for this place, for a temple functions through a combination of work (labor) and prayer (ora), and the word conceals both.
The magical lodge is a sacred space, and once it is sealed by rites arcane, it exists in a place "between the worlds." Here we have the basis of the phrase "hermetically sealed," for the rites of Hermes transform the magical temple into an alembic in which the ingredients of the Great Work are incubated.
The temples of old were always arranged with threefold division. In this illustration, the Outer Court is conceived as the pronaos, the steps leading within. The Holy Place is the central chamber of working. The adytum, the Holy of Holies, is beyond the pillars, and is that temple, "not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
In some traditions the magic circle is primarily viewed as keeping something out. In other traditions it is viewed as primarily keeping something in–the power later to be released. The true Magic of Light requires both, for Virtue and Purity never exist apart.
In terms of purity, the magical space is made with as much consistent symbolism as possible to help focus the mind on the intention of the rite. Power follows thought like the flight of the arrow follows the aim of the bowman.
The Temple draws much from the symbolism of the number seven, for it is the vehiculum, a sacred enclosure. It is the fence, Cheth, in which the Divine Spirit may dwell,
As a picture of the universe, the temple is a mandala of the four elements, disposed about the quarters. In the center stands the altar and also the sacred magician, who tends its Holy Fire. By this rite of occupation, the Worker stands at the cross of the elements, transformed into the living rose of the Spirit.