Fraternitas Saturni is an extremely influencial and long running German occult society which is technically still operating today.
The Fraternitas Saturni was begun in 1925 as a splinter from another society, Collegium Pansophicum as a result of a dispute between the Collegium’s founder, Heinrich Traenker’ and Aleister Crowley.
Here’s the deal: Heinrich Traenker was a bookseller who founded an occult group, the Collegium Pansophicum. Like every single occultish entity for the past 400 years, it invented a backstory in which it claimed to be a direct descendant of the fictional Rosicruciansof the 17th century. However, the type of magick it practiced was pretty standard for the 1920s.
They had a 33 degree initiation system straight out of Freemasonry.”Yogic and meditative techniques combined with Astrological and Planetary Magic held a significant role in their Work, and Crowley’s Thelema and Sex Magic played a part in their Work. Probably their biggest contribution to current magical practice was the development and use of the idea of an egregor or group generated spirit that acted as a magical powerhouse and guide for the Brotherhood.” It is a Luciferian system, positing a Gnostic idea that what passes for God in the dominant monotheistic religions is actually an evil Being intent on Man’s subjugation and imprisonment, and there is a higher God who wished to see Mankind freed and thus gives him the knowledge to rise out of his chains. (The apple from the Tree of Knowledge is not a bad thing, it’s a good thing).
Crowley’s sex magick and his new religion Thelema were big influences and thus one day in 1925 Crowley popped on over to Germany to visit for the Weida Conference. Corwley had his magick society the OTO and the conference was expected to proclaim both Crowley’s world leadership oft eh OTO and his position as World Teacher.
Crowley stayed with Heinrich. However Crowley’s ego, pompousness amd stubbroness was always too big for any room and when it ran up against Heinrich’s own stubborness, chaos ensued. The two men ended up quarreling constantly and hating each other. Heinrich Traenker finally went to the German authorities to have Crowley kicked out of Germany.
The Collegium Pansophicum became split as well. There were those who wanted to keep Crowley’s Thelema, those who wished to expunge all things Crowley, and those who wanted to continue on without either Crowley or Heinrich in control of them. Thus the Fraternitas Saturni was founded. It kept Crowley’s Thelema mixed in with all their other interests, but never had any ties to Crowley or involvement with Traenker.
Why Saturn? In a planetary based occult system, the planets represent different stages of spiritual consciousness as well as numerous other properties and aspects of reality and you can work your through the planets. As you master each planet you master that state of being and the forces of reality associated with it.
Thus there is the concept of Saturn gnosis. The idea is that everyone is bound in a mechanism of predetermined influences (karma, originally) ruled over by (or identical with) the demiurge Saturn. Everyone is everyone else’s tool. By magically transcending Saturn, they would free themselves, evolve to the Uranian sphere and become controllers of the Saturn-Uranian Age.
The Lodge flourished but after the Nazis took power it was shut down, as was every society, lodge and fellowship in Germany under the Nazis.
The FS was reformed in 1945 and although it has struggled, it still continues to this day.
If you want more info on their beliefs and practices, this comprehensive book is available in its entirety for free online: