There is no shortage of Gothic elements in North American architecture, in addition, an abundance of neo classical and esoteric designs from various periods are seen in a number of buildings, in any given city. But, Winnipeg, Manitoba, is home to a very unique architectural example of the masonic term, hidden in plain view. Just a few kilometers from the exact geographical center of North America, is Manitoba’s Legislative building (MLB) finished with with tyndall limestone, complete with marine fossils. It sits on 30 acres of parkland on Broadway, the outskirts of downtown Winnipeg.
Winnipeg at the geographical center of North America
It’s quite the spectacle to be seen from the outside alone, but upon exploration of the interior one finds the design to include an integration of Christian, Greek, Egyptian, Babylonian and Jewish imagery, combined in an alchemical fashion with the most ancient magic tradition of Hermeticism. Although for years we didn’t pay much attention to the building itself, the high pressure lighting around the MLB kept us hanging around as kids to abuse the lights; when you stare into them long enough your colorful view of the world is reduced to a strange, purple psychedelic effect, an adolescent activity known as “purple hazing”. Little did we know what this building actually represented, even though it looked us dead in the face for the most part. Only in 2006 did the degree of masonic influence incorporated in the MLB became mainstream news, with the Winnipeg Free Press and others who did extensive and exclusive reports, exposing countless numbers of sinister symbols while propagating it as a very positive and good intentioned project to “celebrate rebirth”. The dedication and show of power relating to Hermeticism throughout, is what I partially consider the most important symbolism in the MLB.
The "Golden Boy". Hermes is of first importance to Masonic scholars, because he was the author of the Masonic initiatory rituals, which were borrowed from the Mysteries established by Hermes. Nearly all of the Masonic symbols are Hermetic in character.
Solomon’s Temple – The Three Holy RoomsThe most interesting aspect of the MLB? Arguably it’s the fact the building is in proportion to the original Solomon’s Temple, according to researcher Frank Albo (FA) from the University of Winnipeg. The researcher studied the measurements and details of the MLB and concluded that all the proportions have been meticulously kept. The original Temple of Solomon was constructed during the 10th century BCE, and was eventually brought to ruins by the Babylonians in 586 BCE. A second temple would be built four hundred years later in the same location as the first, in Jerusalem, on the holy city’s highest point of elevation. It was the center of worship, and generally a meeting place for the Jewish people of Jerusalem. The original was designed by Hiram Abiff who presented the plans to King Solomon. Historically, masons place Solomon’s Temple in very high regard; it’s place in the spiritual hierarchy, and as an initiatory theater of thought. Upon entering the MLB from the front you will enter a great hall which is a perfect square, and each side is 66.6 feet long. According to Albo, the 666 is a reference to the occult work “De Occulta Philosophia” by Cornelius Agrippa. While the number 666 is usually associated with the beast of revelation 13, there are several different possible meanings. Most relevant to the MLB according to the media, its relation to the sun and its power of life; one finds when you add the numbers 1 through 36 together it adds up to 666. The significance of 36 being the number of constellations controlled by the sun.
Back to this hall, you are first greeted by two life sized bison statues, intricate in their detailing, with the intent to capture the protective magic of the bulls in ancient temples, they are believed to ward off evil by the ancients.
Two bisons and 3x13 steps (13 is a sacred masonic number)
Going through the two pillars of Freemasonry and entering the Temple of Solomon
Right in between the bulls you find the grand staircase, bearing 3 flights of 13 steps each, of brown veined Italian marble.
Walking up the stairs you enter the level directly underneath the Golden Boy, the room with the dome ceiling which houses a circular alter and geometric wheel, surrounded by a tessellated marble border. An eight pointed star figures in the center of the lower room beneath the alter, known as the Pool of the Black Star. The star was also a symbol of Babylonian goddess Ishtar, it is directly aligned with the Statue of Hermes.
Rotunda situated right under the Golden Boy
One is to stand directly on the star to speak into the above alter and hear their voice transformed, a relay of the harmonics in a most amazing and chilling way creating a perfect harmonic 5th. This area of the MLB is also designed in accordance with a sacrificial chamber, one where the gods of the underworld received power through sacrifice, the departed souls, led by Hermes, to the underworld. Apparently the veined marble near the star is meant to be a metaphor for the blood of a sacrificial victim, according to Frank’s accounts. All of this in a room that’s perfectly centered underneath the upper dome, on top of which the Golden Boy sits and faces northward.
Pool of the Black Star, situated right under the rotunda
Moving across the hall to another room known as the lieutenant-governor’s reception room or what would be the holy of hollies in Solomons Temple. More representation of Hermes is found in this room, not only that, but when converted to masonic cubits the dimensions translate to 20 by 20 cubits, the same measurements stated in the first book of kings, in the Bible. Just above this room, on the outside, an Ark of the Covenant replica is sculpted in a central aerial position, in stone, and also in proportion to the biblical Ark of the Covenant which was kept in the temple.
The Lieutenant Governor's reception room
Blue Curtains similar to the blue veil that covered the Arc of Covenant in Solomon's Temple
The Ark of the Covenant of the MLB, right on top of the Holy of Holies (the Lieutenant Governor's room)
On top of all the old church renaissance you still have the Golden Boy at the peak of the building, perhaps the most important aspect of all this: a shiny and very impressive 17 foot bronze cast coated with real gold. The Golden boy is a metaphor for Hermes Trismigestus, the father of alchemy, occult philosophy and who taught the wisdom of light, stands on one foot gracefully with a torch in one hand and wheat in the other. Hoisted on the dome in 1919, he faces north, towards Winnipeg’s notorious North End. At night the statue shines just as much as when the sun is upon it. In the spiritual realm, the alchemical symbolism in the MLB holds weight as alchemy was often used to communicate more than just words. It’s the union of opposites and much more.
On the main tower that houses the dome, there are 4 groups of 3 sculptures of life sized figures, each one representing either earth, wind, fire and water, or they could be viewed as Science, Agriculture, Art and Industry. Not only are the four elements represented in the form of these life size groups, according to Frank Albo, the golden boy presides over the 4 elements for the purpose of “unifying” them and “transmuting them into gold”, another important process of alchemy.
Statue of agriculture - which represents Earth, one of the four elements of Alchemy
The MLB also captures the deeper and darker magic of Egypt; two great sphinxes grace the roof of the main tower, one of which faces the rising sun, while the other one faces the setting sun, hidden in plain view, and in life size. The sphinxes also bare hieroglyphic inscriptions that translate to the name Thutmosis III. He is known to masons that Egyptians to be the most precise of magicians, and their lineage being claimed by the Rosicrucians. In the same area on the MLB, hieroglyphic references are also made to the sun god Re, with a hieroglyph that translates as reading “The everlasting manifestation of the sun god Re, the good god who gives life”. These kind of inscriptions are what’s to be expected on the walls of ancient tombs and temples, not hidden on the roof of a government building.
Summing up the major secondary features included in the MLB : you have the two great sphinxes on the roof (which bear inscriptions of the sun god Ra), multiple pairs of life sized bison, the head of Medusa, cattle skulls and other apotropaic designs throughout including lion heads, various lamps and lights (symbolic in nature), one of which located in the rotunda represents Jesus, with twelve lights surrounding one central one, gold rose pedals throughout, male and female faces meant to symbolize the offspring of Hermes and Aphrodite (Hermaphroditos), a tree of life mural in the legislative chamber by Augustus Tack, sculpting by Georges Gardet (statue of Moses holding the Ten Commandments, and Solon of ancient Athens), sculptures by the Piccirilli Brothers, prepared by Albert Hodge, astronomical themes such as the re enaction of the procession of the equinoxes through optical illusion in the sanctuary. Certain construction dates were scheduled for days when the planets were aligned. In the park like setting surrounding the building, there are many clusters of lights, 3 perfectly round bulbs in each cluster.
Medusa, facing Athena
Bucranium - representing sacrificial Ox
Does it represent Jesus and the twelve disciples or the Sun with the twelve signs of the zodiac? Either way, the total number of lights is 13, the sacred masonic number.
A mural depicting WW1 as the Passion of Christ. The central figure, who is bare chested, represents Jesus Christ but also represents a Mason being initiated into the Brotherhood.
Bare chested Masonic initiate
There are also various monumental statues on the property including Louis Riel, who is facing south and away from the building, on the south side. On the opposite side you find a monument of the queen, who is facing north, and various other figures around the yard.
An argument deeming it hypocritical that the practice of politics is taking place in a highly ecclesiastical temple replica is an argument that should be made, whether there’s any validation or even interest with the mainstream or general public is another question. Upon learning about the architectural details of the MLB, one could only imagine that it was designed specifically for practitioners of the occult arts on an eternal quest for knowledge, and to perhaps achieve divination through the physical and spiritual purification of beauty using experimental imagination, the union of opposites, and sexual magic. Regardless of all these possibilities it’s hard not to call it a morally uplifting experience, walking the halls and staircases of the MLB, transcendent in nature and spiritual were the effects of the designs, items throughout the halls brushed off on you ; the elegant furniture and sculptures, the ornamental decor/materials, different patterns, the apparent precision of the measurements, hieroglyphs and paintings, etc. As was the case with the original temples in Jerusalem, a sense of spiritual redemption is unquestionably felt throughout the building, having seen it myself.
The Architects and their Motives
Frank Simon is noted as the primary architect involved, a man who was heavily influenced by members of a masonic lodge called “Simple Hearts of the Polar Star”, which is underneath the wing of the Grand Orient of France. Simon originally had won a contest offered by the Manitoba government in 1911, but a shadow figure named Septimus Warwick actually has gotten the credit in Europe for working drawings of the building. Simon seems to be the front man for his masonic brothers. In the mind of Simon, execution of geometry in the building would rely on a divine miracle, and although the building was never completed due to financial problems and delays with World War I, having esoteric motifs conflict so intimately with Christian aspects makes for an undeniably transcending and sublime piece of architecture. In regards to why the building was built, Simon was quoted saying “Men and women cannot be happy or good in surroundings that are commonplace, ugly, uninspiring”. Using the “golden section” method which goes back to Vitruvius, Simon and his team achieve some perfection in the geometrical detailing, a certain sense of beauty that is undeniable. According to Albo, who no doubt has the deepest understanding of the characters involved in the conception of the building, Simon intended to produce with the MLB, a subliminal effect through the architecture that would “impel people towards virtues such as faith, hope, morality and charity”. But if this is true, is it safe to assume there are evil motives in the minds of men to go along with the positive ones? Experimental imagination and this kind of symbolic magic employed by Simon has everything to do with being successful, knowing yourself, and finding a higher path up above. But could be used for evil, voodoo, and sacrificial means as well. Being a pupil of Frank Albo’s, I gathered much information throughout my time in university, but ended up with more questions than answers. When it comes to possible motives for the construction of the MLB, an imaginative person could draw several sinister conclusions based on ecclesiastical connections and actual facts. Winnipeg is a highly masonic city, and is still active in that regard. It has also been described as a place with a high level of psychic energy. Creator of Sherlock Holmes Conan Doyle once said of Winnipeg “I came away with the conclusion that Winnipeg stands very high among the places we have visited for psychic possibilities”. Doyle was in Winnipeg attending a seance at a house where several master masons used to gather to summon the dead.
The sheer beauty and majesty of the Manitoba Legislative Building is certainly awe-inspiring. It is in perfect contrast with the modern trend of faceless and sterile buildings, solely conceived for practical purposes. After analyzing the symbols, one can however question the spiritual significance of the building. The sides of the great hall measure exactly 66.6 feet, 666 being the number of beast of the Revelation and the number commonly associated with Satan. The Pool of Black Star contains the eight-pointed star of Ishar, the Babylonian Goddess of sex, fertility, love and war. Her cult involved sacred prostitution and she was considered the “courtesan of the gods”. Ishtar is also a representation of Venus, which is referred to as the Morning Star – the other name of Lucifer. Another interesting symbol is the statue of Moses bearing horns on his forehead. Michelangelo has portrayed Moses in a similar manner at the Church of S.Pietro causing a great deal of controversy. While the profane are told that the horns were simply a result of a mistranslation of the Bible, their true meaning are revealed to occultists:
“So with horns, Michelangelo acclaimed Moses a man of power and station far greater than lawgiver of a local tribe. With horns he saluted him not only as one who had stood in the presence of God, and had realized, had become at-one with, his own divinity, but nobler far, as a man fulfilled who had returned — for some do not. Only the few come back, down the mountain, in order to teach and lead mankind.”
-Eloise Hart, Theosophical University Press
Horned Moses represents the man which has obtained divinity by his own means, through mastery of sciences and magic, spiritual attainment and knowledge, a concept embraced by the luciferian doctrine. Furthermore, the symbolic depiction of Jesus Christ as a Masonic Initiate reflects the esoteric concept of Christ as the “perfected man”. In other words, occultists believe that each can become his own Christ by going through the spheres of the Mysteries. Finally, the numerous ram heads carved inside and outside the building are quite reminiscent of the horned figure of Baphomet.
All these strange features lead us to wonder: who are governing our democracies and what is their true object of worship?