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Aug 25, 2016
Hermetic Code Tour in Winnipeg: Century-Old Secrets Revealed
You might be surprised to know that the hottest attraction for conference attendees in Winnipeg is a tour of the city’s Legislative Building. It’s a stunning piece of architecture for sure. But, it’s the secrets that architecture reveals, unearthed by Dr. Frank Albo about a decade ago, that make the Hermetic Code Tour a fascinating must-see if you ever find yourself in this Canadian city.
Disclosure: Steve and I took this tour courtesy of Tourism Winnipeg. Views and opinions are my own.
Manitoba Legislative Building
This wasn’t a tag-along trip tour for me. Winnipeg is my hometown and for my entire life when passing by the Leg, I’ve glanced up at the “Golden Boy” who overlooks the downtown from atop his perch on the dome of the building. This nimble runner carries a sheaf of wheat in one hand and a torch held high in the other.
I had never once noticed that just below the statue, there are two stone sphinxes. Frank Albo noticed. Those sphinxes along with two huge bison statues on either side of the grand staircase inside, tipped off the then University of Winnipeg religion and anthropology undergrad that the building had an intriguing story to tell. His original goal to make it a subject of a paper on ancient magic and modern culture, turned into a journey that led him to become known as the “Dan Brown” of Winnipeg (a moniker he’s apparently not fond of).
The Hermetic Code
Albo’s borderline obsessive research on the building and the people involved in its design and construction from 1913-1920 resulted in his extraordinary conclusion that it was a modern reconstruction of King Solomon’s Temple. Adding to the intrigue is the link between the architectural symbolism throughout the building with signs of the secret traditions of Freemasonry, which are hidden in plain view.
Today, scores of locals and tourists assemble on the Legislative grounds every Wednesday evening to learn the building’s secrets from Dr. Albo himself in an hour-and-a-half tour. Albo engages his audience with his unbridled enthusiasm and lively storytelling. His recounting of the twists and turns in his research are as interesting as his explanations of how numerology, hidden hieroglyphics, and Freemasonic symbolism are meticulously embedded all around the building. It does feel like a bit of an adventure à la The DaVinci Code.
According to Albo, the prairie city of Winnipeg is home to the most sophisticatedly designed Hermetic building in the world complete with an effigy honouring the Greek god of commerce. That would be the Golden Boy, who is really the thinly disguised figure of Hermes, altered to reflect the economic base of Winnipeg at the time of construction—wheat.
The building’s design and all its clever Hermetic references are attributed to its architect, Frank Worthington Simon and the deep roots of Freemasony within the political leadership of the province dating back to 1872. Albo contends that Simon, who may have been part of an even more exclusive order related to Freemasonry, was well versed in ancient occult symbolism and believed that by replicating Hermetic principles in the architecture of the building it could elevate those who inhabited it to be, “better people, more moral, more intelligent.”
Still with me?
Listen, you really have to take the tour to understand how everything pieces together. There’s also an intriguing side mystery and political scandal that has to do with a whack of cash going missing that was allocated to the construction of the building, the result being that Simon could not finish construction the way he intended. Perhaps that is why the politicians who inhabit the Leg may not quite live up to the effects those Hermetic principles were to conjure (better people, more moral, more intelligent).
Prior to this tour, I hadn’t been inside the Manitoba Legislative Building in years. Taking a closer look at it on this tour, along with learning its fascinating history, gave me a new appreciation for this magnificent building.
Without giving away too many secrets, here are some highlights I took from the tour.
The tour starts outside taking a look at those sphinxes, whose hieroglyphic inscription suggests the architect was making reference to the dawn of the age of enlightenment through the study of occult arts.
The war chest on the east side of the building has the same proportions as the Ark of the Covenant. However, instead of winged warriors guarding it, we have the Canadian symbols of a tribal chief and a soldier.
Traditionally, horned bulls are placed in front of temple entrances as protectors. The Manitoba Legislative Building is guarded by two bison – familiar, prairie beasts.
The Pool of the Black Star is one of the building’s most stunning and intriguing features. Standing above it from the circular balustrade, the star always appears closest to you no matter where you stand. When standing directly in the centre of the star, one’s voice sounds as though it changes pitch – the result of harmonics, a frequent feature in temple architecture.
The interior dome aligns with the Pool of the Black Star below and the Golden Boy above it. The symbolism of this alignment, as well as the Black Star is at the crux of how all the coded elements come together. You’ll have to take the tour to find out how.
Want to take the tour?
The Hermetic Code Tour runs every Wednesday evening from April 27 to October 19 through Heartland International Travel & Tours. The tour organizer told me that they also arrange custom tours for conference groups.
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