Paul Foster Case

(October 3, 1884 – March 2, 1954)

   Paul Foster Case was an American writer and occulist best known as the founder and associate member of the Mystery School Builders of the Adytium and creator of the B.O.T.A. tarot deck, a slighty changed and according to Foster improved version of the Rider-Waite cards.

   Son of a town librarian and a Deacon at the local Congregational church in his early life he was a talented musician. Around 1900 he begun to develop interest for an occult and the Tarot cards. After a few years of an autonomous spiritual search and practicing yoga, he allegedly had a meeting in Chicago where a prominent Chicago physician approached the Case and told him he can choose between his music career in which he would be very succesfull and a mission to help the humanity. The message was forwarded from a mysterious person called "Master of Wisdom". Later, Case marked this event as a pivotal for the rest of his life. In 1915 Case begun to publish the exceptional series of articles on the Tarot Keys called The Secret Doctrine of the Tarot. Meanwhile, after the breakdown of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in 1903, its founder S. L. MacGregor Mathers set up the Thoth-Hermes Lodge of the Alpha et Omega. In 1918 Case met with a member of that lodge Michael James Whitty, with whom he would acquire a long lasting friendship. Soon after Case became a member and started to climb the hierarchy. Case's aspiration name in the order was Perseverantia (Perseverance). His relationship with the order and its membership in time became quite turbulent. One important part of the order activity was practice of Enochian magic which Case found very dangerous and possibly leading to evil possesion and physical ailments (he deemed his friend Witty had died beacuse of the practice of Enochian magic). Also, Case considered correctly applied sexuallity an important part of human spirituality which was rather foreign concept to some members. After he begun an intimate realtionship with one of the order members he left Alpha and Omega and promptly started to plan his own Mystery School.

  1923 Case finally ended his music career and formed The School of Ageless Wisdom and later renamed it to the Builders of the Adytum (B.O.T.A.). He already had written a large number of lessons for members, these treatises were probably the pinnacle of his writing career. He covered most of the occult, tarot, Alchemy, Qabalah and hermeticism. B.O.T.A. was invisioned by him as a direct successor of the Golden Dawn with expection that it purged from its curiculum all things connected with the Enochian magic as based in a work of English occultists Dee and Kelly. Their teaching and ceremonies were considered by Case as a dubios and dangerous practice.

  Reportedly, the foundation of B.O.T.A. wasn't without mystery on its own. Case had been having a voice in his head for years that was inwardly instructing him in his writings and studying of the occult. The ravel begun when just before the foundation of the order he recieved a phone call from this same voice. Later he met with that man and used to call him the master Rákóczy, he had been recieving a personal instructions from him for three consecutive weeks and after that the Builders of the Adytum was formed. Case and Witty even published a text The Book of Tokens that was a chanelled material as later it would be clear from the mysterious master Rákóczy.