Ancient Mysteries
Secret rituals of pagan religions, known only to select initiates
who had qualified for higher spiritual development. Such
mysteries were kept apart from popular worship, and initiates
had to take a binding oath of secrecy, so that even today our
knowledge of the mysteries is partly conjectural. Typical mystery
cults were those of Eleusis in Greece from about 1500
B.C.E., in turn deriving from the mystery religions of ancient
Egypt and the mysteries of Mithras, a Persian deity. Traces of
Mithraism existed in Britain. Many secret societies in modern
times have claimed that their rituals are a descent of an ancient
Ulansey, David. The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries Cosmology
and Salvation in the Ancient World. New York Oxford University
Press, 1989.

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