Friday, July 27, 2018

The White Ladies: History or Myth ?

The majority of female secret societies are in their origins related to the cult of the mystery of life and fertility.
In this case of the White Ladies, their roots are in the Greek worship of the goddess Aphrodite.




Aphrodite

Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, lust, beauty, sexuality and reproduction.
Although it is often referred to in modern culture as "the goddess of love," it is important to note that it was not usually love in the Christian or romantic sense, but love as physical or sexual attraction.

According to Greek mythology, Aphrodite had no childhood: in all the images and references she was born adult, nubile and infinitely desirable.
Due to its immense beauty, Zeus feared that Aphrodite was the cause of violence among the other gods. For that reason he married her with Hephaestus, the stern and ill-humored god of fire and forge.
However Aphrodite, still married to Hephaestus, was not faithful, and kept frequent romances with other gods, especially with the mighty Ares, but also with Dionysus and Hermes.
He also had lovers among mortals, such as Adonis, Anchises, Phaeton and Kratos, among others.

Aphrodite had her own festivals, the Aphrodisias, which were celebrated throughout Greece but particularly in Athens and Corinth. In the temple of Aphrodite located on top of the Acrocorinth (before the Roman destruction of the city in 146 BC) sexual relations with their priestesses were considered a method of worship of the goddess. This temple was not rebuilt when the city was re-founded under Roman rule in 44 BC. C., but it is probable that the fertility rituals lasted in the city, near the agora.


Venus

Venus was an important Roman goddess related mainly to love, beauty and fertility, which played a crucial role in many Roman religious festivals and myths, but from the third century BC. C., the increasing Hellenization of the Roman upper classes identified it as equivalent to the Greek goddess Aphrodite.

His cult began in Ardea and Lavinio (Lazio). On August 15, 293 a. C. it was dedicated its oldest temple of which one has constancy, and on August 18 the party called the Vinalia Rustica was instituted. On April 25, 215 a. C. was dedicated a temple outside the Porta Collina on Capitoline Hill to commemorate the Roman defeat in the Battle of Lake Trasimeno.


Christianity

The cult of Venus was banished by Christianity, like all pagan cults.
However, it was kept secret by different groups, not necessarily composed exclusively by women.
But by 1200 literary allusions to the cult of the goddess began to appear, as well as various medieval legends, now yes, already converted into an exclusively feminine cult surrounded by mystery, such as the legend of Tannhäuser.

This German story tells that the knight and poet Tannhäuser found the Venusberg, a mountain with caves that contained the underground home of Venus, and spent a year worshiping the goddess there. After leaving the Venusberg, Tannhäuser had remorse and traveled to Rome to ask Pope Urban IV if it was possible for him to be absolved of his sins.
Urban replied that forgiveness was as impossible as it would be for his staff to flourish. Three days after Tannhäuser left, Urban's staff blossomed. Messengers were sent to look for the gentleman, but this one already had returned to the Venusberg and never was seen again.

It has been asserted that the Venusberg is only one of many groups, of the then called Ladies of the White Rose, which would have been discovered by Tannhäuser, and that the knight would have succumbed to the temptation to take advantage of that discovery for his own benefit.
From the Roman upper classes, to the nobility of the European Middle Ages, the cult would have remained, although undergoing transformations in its interaction with other pagan cults.


Century XVIII

With the weakening of the power of the Church, and the proliferation of secret societies, the European courts would be the ideal breeding ground for the reappearance of the legend of the White Ladies.
Far from its religious connotations, the organization is again mentioned with insistence, always linked to women of noble families.
The apolitical nature of the organization, as well as the fact that its members were exclusively women, contributed to its never being seen as a risk to the power of the day, as would other male secret societies.
However, that same contempt meant that they were never infiltrated as the other secret societies would be.

This has had as a consequence, on the one hand a deep ignorance of its internal functioning and on the other that from many intellectual circles the existence of this society of women was ruled out.
Those who defend the existence of the White Ladies argue that these two are the most important causes why the White Ladies have remained in the shadows to this day. For those who claim that White Ladies exist, ignorance and disbelief are the best defense of this organization.




Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Sons of Tannhäuser



The Sons of Tannhäuser are a secret society whose origins date back to the 15th century, around the year 1430, and whose members, among whom we suspect that famous celebrities such as Richard Wagner or Ludwig Bechstein have been followed in the footsteps of the legendary Tannhäuser.


Tannhäuser

Tannhäuser was a German poet and Minnesänger, born into a family of knights from the Salzburg area, the Knights of Thannhausen, who resided at his castle in Tannhausen, near Ellwangen and Dinkelsbühl.

Tannhäuser was an active member of the court of Frederick II of Austria, and according to the Codex Manesse would have taken the habits of the Teutonic Order, and participated in the Fifth Crusade.
After this he would have led a life as a wandering poet in Germany, composing lyric poems and songs (Tanzlieder).

At his death was born the legend according to which Tannhäuser would have found the Venusberg, the underground dwelling of the goddess Venus, where she would have spent seven years of her life given over to the pleasures of the goddess.

The Venusberg (in German, Mountain of Venus), is the name of a mythical mountain in Germany located between Gotha and Eisenach. The caverns of the mountain house the court of Venus, goddess of love, who was supposed to be perfectly hidden from mortals: entering there meant eternal damnation, and the ultimate erotic adventure.

According to the legend, after leaving the Venusberg, Tannhäuser had remorse and traveled to Rome to ask Pope Urban IV if it was possible to absolve his sins.
Urban replied that forgiveness was as impossible as it would be for his staff to flourish. Three days after Tannhäuser left, Urbano's staff blossomed. Messengers were sent to look for the gentleman, but this one already had returned to the Venusberg and never was seen again.


The Daughters of Venus

For the Sons of Tannhäuser the legend is true, though hidden behind metaphors that obscure the real meaning of Tannhäuser's discovery.
For the members of this organization, what really happened is that by chance Tannhäuser discovered a group of what they call "Daughters of Venus", female secret societies that coexist daily with the world without being discovered, and that live according to certain principles among which are the impossibility of refusing the wishes of any man who requires obedience to fulfill his carnal desires, the permanent care of his physical beauty to be irresistible to the opposite sex, and the desire to search for perfection through male pleasure.



For the Sons of Tannhäuser there are groups, such as the White Ladies, which make up what they call the Daughters of Venus, and whose existence is protected exclusively by anonymity.
The Sons of Tannhäuser maintain that the Venusberg is nothing other than the discovery of the existence of one of these groups, and that the man who manages to identify one of its members will be what they call the Tannhäuser Gates.
The man who manages to discover one of these groups of women would find a virtually inexhaustible source of pleasure, since he would obtain from them pleasure and obedience in exchange for his silence, which would be what Tannhäuser would have discovered.
The oath of the Sons of Tannhäuser is to seek these "Venusberg" and share it exclusively with the other members of his brotherhood.

Although there is ample evidence of the existence of the White Ladies, as well as abundant references to Tannhäuser and his followers, there are those who question the nature of the search for the Sons of Tannhäuser, and while there are scholars who prefer that the group maintains a search of metaphysical type, in pursuit of reaching the true Venusberg, others argue that it is more mundane and pragmatic objectives, the identification of the "Daughters of Venus" as a way to achieve physical pleasure, without other ulterior goals.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

White Ladies: a female secret society

Last week I found a very interesting article in a German magazine, about a secret society composed exclusively by women that has been maintained through the centuries: the "White Ladies" or "Ladies of the White Rose".
I took the trouble to try to transcribe it.



The White Ladies is a female secret society whose origins can be traced back to the ancient world.
It is an organization composed exclusively by women, and its logo is a white rose, since in its early stages who belonged to this organization used this flower to identify themselves, and that would have given rise to its modern name.

While there are no documents to support its existence until well into the Middle Ages, there are indications that its beginnings are linked to the cults of Aphrodite in Greece.
The society would have persisted taking as an object of worship to Venus, already in Rome, and through it they would have spread throughout a good part of Europe.

However, it is not until the beginning of the thirteenth century that evidence can be found of the existence of this secret society, mentioned in documents of the period in which the house of Hohenstaufen the Holy Roman Germanic Empire, found in the monastery of Rupertsberg, in which it alludes to the "Ladies of the White Rose" (Damen der Weißen Rose), and stories are mentioned that would place the same Countess of Rheineck, Gertrude von Nordheim, a noblewoman famous for her great beauty, such as Große Mutter, Great Mother, of the Ladies of the White Rose.

The organization would be harshly persecuted by the Church, under the accusation of the practice of witchcraft, which is why it would be practically disarticulated, and the surviving members would disappear.
However, it is known that various groups would remain in hiding, and would no longer publicly identify themselves, maintaining the identity of their members in the strictest secrecy.
It will not be until the eighteenth century that there would be news of different groups of "Ladies of the White Rose" in countries such as Italy, Spain, Germany or England, although the existence of groups in most of the countries of Europe, and the emergence in the nineteenth century of similar groups in America.

The name "White Ladies" would be a variation suffered through the centuries of the "Ladies of the White Rose", although by the secret nature of these groups, and the long period of isolation due to the persecution suffered, they would have originated different denominations, being the best known: "White Ladies", "White Roses", "Ladies of the White Rose", "White Lodge" and "Lodge of Venus".

It is estimated that only here in Germany, Damas Blancas would have more than 2,300 members today, although this information has been questioned since there has been a debate between those who say that this organization has never existed and it is a question of popular tradition, who argue that it did exist but was dismantled during the Middle Ages, and who argue that there is evidence of various active groups to this day.

Do not confuse the White Ladies with the Ladies in White; the latter is about a Cuban anti-Castro organization that has no ties of any kind with the White Ladies.