Throughout history, secret societies have captured our imagination, shrouded in mystery and intrigue. While some secret societies are well-known, others operate in the shadows, their existence and activities known only to a select few. In this article, we embark on a journey to uncover the least heard of and rarest secret societies, delving into their origins, beliefs, and the enigmatic allure that surrounds them.
1. The Rosicrucians
The Rosicrucians, also known as the Order of the Rosy Cross, are an esoteric society that originated in the early 17th century. Rooted in mystical and alchemical traditions, the Rosicrucians sought spiritual enlightenment and the transformation of humanity through knowledge and divine wisdom. Their teachings revolve around the mystical symbolism of the rose and the cross, exploring topics such as spiritual alchemy, metaphysics, and the nature of reality.
2. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn emerged in the late 19th century and is considered one of the most influential occult organizations of its time. Combining elements of ceremonial magic, astrology, and tarot, the Golden Dawn aimed to provide its members with a systematic approach to spiritual development and magical practice. Notable figures like Aleister Crowley and W.B. Yeats were associated with the order, which eventually disbanded in the early 20th century.
3. The Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO)
Founded in the early 20th century, the Ordo Templi Orientis is an occult organization that draws inspiration from various mystical and magical traditions. The OTO places a particular emphasis on the teachings of Aleister Crowley, incorporating elements of Thelema, a spiritual philosophy centered around the belief in individual will and the pursuit of one's true self. The society's rituals and practices are shrouded in secrecy, attracting only a select group of initiates.
4. The Hashshashin
The Hashshashin, also known as the Assassins, were a secretive sect that operated during the Middle Ages. Originating in Persia, they gained notoriety for their covert operations and political assassinations. The Hashshashin were known for their skilled and disciplined members who adhered to a strict code of conduct. The society's influence declined over time, but their legacy as shadowy assassins has left an indelible mark on history.
5. The Priory of Sion
The Priory of Sion is a secretive organization that has sparked controversy and fascination due to its alleged connections to various historical figures, including Leonardo da Vinci. According to conspiracy theories, the Priory of Sion is a clandestine group dedicated to protecting ancient and sacred bloodlines. However, many scholars dismiss these claims as fabrications, suggesting that the society originated as a modern-day hoax. Think what they wish, it was no hoax.
6.The Bohemian Club
The Bohemian Club is an exclusive men's club founded in San Francisco in 1872. Known for its annual summer retreat held at the Bohemian Grove, a secluded campground in Northern California, the club's members include prominent figures from various fields, such as politics, business, and the arts. The retreat features secretive rituals, performances, and discussions, attracting attention due to its highly exclusive nature and the influential individuals who attend.
7. The Carbonari
The Carbonari, meaning "charcoal burners" in Italian, was a secret society that emerged in the early 19th century. Originating in Italy, the Carbonari aimed to promote political and social change, advocating for the unification and independence of Italy from foreign rule. The society operated clandestinely, employing symbols, secret rituals, and codes to maintain secrecy and spread their revolutionary ideals.
8. The Nine Unknown Men
According to a mythological and fictional account, the Nine Unknown Men are a secret society believed to have been founded in ancient India by Emperor Ashoka around 270 BCE. Each member of this select group was entrusted with guarding and preserving a specific branch of knowledge, ranging from physics and medicine to psychology and sociology. The society's purpose is said to be the prevention of misuse of this knowledge for destructive purposes.
9. The Black Hand
The Black Hand, also known as the Unification or Death, was a secret society active in Serbia during the early 20th century. They were involved in nationalist activities and sought to liberate ethnic Serbs from foreign rule. The society gained notoriety for its involvement in the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in 1914, an event that triggered the outbreak of World War I.
The Mithraic Mysteries
Originating in ancient Rome, the Mithraic Mysteries were a secretive cult centered around the worship of the god Mithras. The initiation rituals and practices of the cult are not fully known, as they were kept secret from non-members. The cult's followers, known as Mithraists, were predominantly male and included soldiers and members of the Roman elite. The Mithraic Mysteries declined with the rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire.
It's important to note that information on some of these secret societies may be shrouded in some serious dark stuff! When we started out 20 years ago this was our main collection. There isn’t a secret society that offers real ritualistic power that I don’t own. This includes entire corpses, bones, blood and magical pieces. I will never forget the Lions and Lambs. I had no idea what was going to happen and it all was live during a radio show that I was on at the time.