During the sixth century BCE, Crotona, a Greek colonial city located in southern Italy, was a flourishing and prosperous city that drew immigrants from various parts of the Greek world. Among them was a man named Pythagoras, who arrived in the city during the latter half of the century and became more famous than any of the other immigrants. Pythagoras' arrival in Crotona marked the beginning of the history of occultism in the western world.



Pythagoras was born in Samos, which is located near the coast of modern-day Turkey. He left his homeland with the intention of gaining knowledge and began studying under the philosophers Thales of Miletus and Pherecydes of Syros. However, he was not satisfied with their teachings and decided to travel to Egypt. There, he spent some time learning from the priests of Thebes before heading to Babylon to gain knowledge from the astrologer-priests of that land. Upon his return to the Greek world, Pythagoras became a member of the mystery cults in Greece and Crete. Eventually, he settled in Crotona.



After his travels, he established the Pythagorean Brotherhood as a means to share his acquired knowledge. The members of this order were required to remain silent for the initial five years of their membership before being granted access to the advanced teachings. While the specifics of these teachings are unclear, they encompassed concepts like reincarnation, the significance of numbers and geometry, and guidelines for daily life.



During the latter half of the 6th century, the Pythagorean Brotherhood became involved in the political affairs of Crotona. They backed the aristocratic party over the democratic party, but the aristocrats eventually lost. As a result, a group of people set fire to the Brotherhood's headquarters. Those who managed to escape went on to disseminate Pythagoras's teachings throughout the rest of Greece and beyond. The knowledge and practices derived from these teachings eventually evolved into the occult traditions of the Western world.


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