Sunday, December 16, 2012
Among the many avenues for the study of Western Esoteric Traditions there is one named Builders of the Adytum that marries a peculiar form of Kabbalah study to the symbols found on a particular deck of tarot cards. I’ve had a nagging interest in BOTA since the days of the Knights of the North, but never have gotten around to it. A New York City study group has been doing its thing at Masonic Hall, one Saturday morning a month, for a long time, but again, it’s not easy for me to be in Manhattan on Saturday mornings. And I do have my reservations about it.
BOTA calls Kabbalah the “Holy Qabalah,” which to me raises a question, and they call their tarot deck the “Sacred Tarot.” This simply may be a device to justify BOTA’s incorporation as a non-profit, tax-exempt, etc. religious organization, or it may be something contextual that would prohibit me from taking it seriously. I’m not suspicious of anything, y’understand, but this is the kind of thing I notice. Anyway, I thought it was time to mention them on The Magpie. Maybe this will motivate me to attend.
The group will meet this Saturday, the 22nd, at 10 a.m. in the Chapter Room on the 12th floor of Masonic Hall at 71 West 23rd Street. I don’t know if they timed this for the solstice, but the card to be examined that morning is The Sun.
That particular deck of tarot cards of BOTA’s was first published by Paul Foster Case, a Freemason who founded this group early in the last century. He is the one credited with matching the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet to the 22 major trump cards of tarot. I do not recommend venturing into Manhattan on the last Saturday before Christmas, but maybe I’ll see you there.
From BOTA’s website:
Builders of the Adytum is a religious organization dedicated to spiritual attunement through study, practice and worship in the Tradition of the Western Mysteries. Spiritual aspirants participate through the B.O.T.A. lesson instructions. Wherever they may be geographically, they actively participate in mystical-esoteric meditations that unify them into a powerful metaphysical body of enlightened worship. There is no charge for any instructions or other benefits B.O.T.A. offers its dues paying members. The Order’s material needs are met by membership dues and donations.
Adytum is the Greek word for ‘Inner Shrine’ or Holy of Holies. Like Jesus, who many believe was trained in Qabalah, members of the Order aspire to build the Inner Temple, to construct the Holy of Holies within. Form and awareness evolve simultaneously. Consequently, as evolution unfolds, all men and women will ultimately be possessed of higher levels of consciousness. Almost incomprehensible periods of time elapse before such changes occur. Yet acceleration is possible. Humanity is endowed with mental and physical faculties which can be trained to speed up the evolutionary process. This cultural forcing process has been the work of the Mystery Schools for many centuries. Higher Consciousness, Illumination, can be attained by learning theory and testing it in the rigors of daily life.
These instructions and practical secrets constitute what is known as Ageless Wisdom. It is called ‘Ageless’ because it is not susceptible to the mutations of time. Ageless Wisdom is not primarily a product of man’s thinking. It is “written by God upon the face of nature,” and is always there for men and women of all epochs to read. Builders of the Adytum is an authentic Mystery School in the Western Tradition. Its teachings are based on the Holy Qabalah and the Sacred Tarot, and have been handed down from one group of initiates to another since ancient times. However, B.O.T.A. does not claim value on the grounds of being old, but because its instructions have met the tests of centuries of practical application. People of all faiths are welcome to study the teachings of this Order. B.O.T.A. recognizes Qabalah as the root of Judaism and Christianity. The Order’s ultimate purpose is to hasten the true Brotherhood of mankind and to make manifest the truth that love is the only real power in the universe.
Builders of the Adytum (B.O.T.A.) is a religious non-profit, tax-exempt, California Corporation.