Builders of the Adytum

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Builders of the Adytum

The Builders of the Adytum (BOTA) is a Western magical group in the tradition of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. It was founded by Paul Foster Case, an authority on Tarot and the Qabalah, who had been among the small group of American members of the Golden Dawn. Basic to the BOTA is the Qabalah, which is viewed as the ancient mystical wisdom of the Hebrews that has been adapted to modern life. Case believed that the ancient Hebrew prophets and even Jesus were versed in the Qabalistic wisdom.

The Qabalah (also spelled Kabala or Kabbalah) describes the emanation of the cosmos from the transcendent God. The resultant structure is pictured in a diagram called the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life is a picture of both the objective world and the landscape of the human psyche. The major realms of the cosmos are described in ten realms called sephirots. The sephirots are connected by a system of paths, 22 in number. The different parts of the cosmos reflect the pattern of the whole and the whole of existence is tied together in a complex system of correspondences between the macrocosm and microcosm. The modern Tarot has been reworked so as to correlate with qabalistic symbology.

BOTA is organized as an ancient mystery school. As they grow spiritually members attempt to live out the truth of the Oneness of God, the brotherhood of man, and the kinship of all life. Their social outlook is stated in seven values: 1. Universal Peace; 2. Universal Political Freedom; 3. Universal Religious Freedom; 4. Universal Education; 5. Universal Health; 6. Universal Prosperity; and 7. Universal Spiritual Unfoldment. Members engage in a program of high magic aimed at the transmutation of personality using the Qabalah and Tarot. Once transformed, individuals are able to alter their environment as they desire.

BOTA is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. It is headed by a board of stewards. There is both an outer school and an inner school for the more serious students. A procurator general coordinates the activities of the two schools. There are a number of groups called pronaos located across the United States and in various countries of the world where members may gather for study and group work.

Both Case and his successor Ann Davies have written books covering the basics of BOTA teachings, especially the work with the Tarot.


Case, Paul Foster. The Book of Tokens. Los Angeles: B.O.T.A., 1947.

. The Tarot. Richmond, Va.: Macoy Publishing, 1947.

. The True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order. The Author, 1928.

Davies, Ann. Thoughts on the Tarot. Burbank, Calif.: Candlelight Press, 1983.

Frazer, Felix J. Parallel Paths to the Unseen Worlds. Los Angeles: Builders of the Adytum, 1967.

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Builders of the Adytum

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