A reader by the name of John Christensen wrote last week, asking if I knew much about the Sabaean Religious Order, which he remembered from quite a few years ago. I'd heard of them, having a couple of older addresses and a few kernels of information, but not much more. John did some research of his own and sent it my way. So we have him to thank for the majority of the information which follows.
The Sabaean Religious Order was started by Frederic "Odun" De Arechaga, whose family originated in Spain. He took over his mother's occult supply shop, El Sabarum. I've found 3 different addresses for either El Sabarum or Arechaga's Sabaean Order of Amn over the years:
At some point the Sabaean Order was located at 3221 Sheffield.
Sabarum Occult Store
2553 N Halsted
This location was documented in 1974
Sabaean Order of Amn and El-Sabarum Occult Store
2447 N Halsted
Both operated in this location, documented in both 1970 and 1976
Arechaga's beliefs appear to draw largely from Egyptian beliefs and symbolism, amalgamated with Babylonian, Sumerian and African schools of thought. He used the word "Sabaean" rather than "Pagan," which he saw as having negative connotations.
Arechega is interviewed as a part of this article from the Chicago Tribune, July 26 1970.
From the "Sunday's Best" television listings in the Chicago Tribune. Sunday June 17, 1972. Chicago had a television program called "News of the Psychic World?"
The Sabaean website is no longer operational, though you can access some archived pages through Archive.org. Here is one example.
A bit of Arechaga's history can be gleaned from this 1961 article, which mentions his designing of a cafe, the Alhambra, for the jazz musician Ahmad Jamal.
This article from 1974 discusses the occult revival of the time, interviewing Arechaga. Unfortunately I had an issue saving the rest of the article. I will post it soon, as it involves an interview with Terry Taylor, who was behind a couple of local theistic Satanic organizations and occult stores in the 1970s. I doubt that Arechaga appreciated the connection.
This article in the "Walking Tour" section of the Chicago Tribune from 1969 discussed the El Sabarum shop in context with the neighborhood and shows an image of the front of the store.
this post they discuss much of the history and philosophy of the group. In the comments on this post, it is revealed that Odun passed away on January 13, 2011.
I'm sure that there are some readers here who remember Arechaga and this organization, if they weren't a part of it themselves. Please feel free to make contact and help fill in the blanks!