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Esoteric Fraternity Cemetery
Placer County
California  USA

Cemetery notes and/or description:
Private property, permission is needed to enter.

Forty miles northeast of Sacramento, off I-80 near the village of Applegate, stand the remains of one of Northern California's oddest religious cults: the Esoteric Fraternity. Founded in 1887, the Fraternity pioneered modern astrology, prepared its followers to run a worldwide religious dictatorship, and faded from history after a still-unsolved murder claimed one of its members.

The Esoteric Fraternity was founded by metaphysical scholar and author Hiram Erastus Butler. In 1891, Butler took twelve followers from Boston to Applegate, California, and settled on a 500-acre homestead overlooking the American River. There, they built an 18-room house, established a farm, and set up a printing press to publish Butler's books.

Butler's most famous work was Solar Biology. First published in 1887, Solar Biology simplified astrology by basing horoscopes on sun and moon signs, rather than on complex planetary movements. Today's newspaper horoscopes are modeled largely on Butler's formulas.

Mike Marinacci, SF Non-Traditional Religions Examiner
September 2, 2011


There are plaques located in Applegate

The Esoteric Fraternity
Located at Applegate, CA

Originally established in the city Boston in 1887 by Hiram E. Butler and brought to California in 1891
The Esoteric Fraternity was originally known as the Esoteric Publishing Co.
Its publication THE BIBLE REVIEW was concurrent with the CHRISTIAN HERALD, the most widely circulated religious publication in the world.
The original property was purchased from railroad magnate Leland Stanford in 1892 and was augmented by a land grant from President Grover Cleveland.
This grant included the property now known as Our Lady of the Oaks. Many of the buildings date from the 1890s using bricks formed from the property's rich clay and fired using the manzanita indigenous to the area. Legal problems forced the company to change its name to The Esoteric Fraternity and for some time sold shares of stock as the Esoteric Commonwealth.
The residents of the property who were given monastic names by Mr. Butler would seldom number more than a dozen at any one time and probably no more than forty throughout its existence.


Esoteric Fraternity Founder's Homesite
Located at Applegate, CA

On this site stood the original "shanty" as described in the writings of Hiram Butler, founder of the Esoteric Fraternity, built circa 1893.

Dedicated by Lord Sholto Douglas Chapter 3
E Clampus Vitus
September 16, 2006

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Esoteric Fraternity Cemetery
Added by: Sentimental Sally
Esoteric Fraternity Cemetery
Added by: Sentimental Sally
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