An Introduction to the Study of the Tarot by Paul Foster Case

Paul Foster Case was an American occultist of the early 20th century and author of numerous books on occult tarot and Qabalah. Perhaps his greatest contributions to the field of occultism were the lessons he wrote for associate members of Builders of the Adytum. The Knowledge Lectures given to initiated members of the Chapters of the B.O.T.A. were equally profound, although the limited distribution has made them less well known. Case was early on attracted to the occult. While still a child he reported experiences that today are called lucid dreaming. He corresponded about these experiences with Rudyard Kipling who encouraged him as to the validity of his paranormal pursuits. In the year 1900, Case met the occultist Claude Bragdon while both were performing at a charity performance. Bragdon asked Case what he thought the origin of playing cards was. After pursuing the question in his father’s library, Case discovered a link to tarot, called ‘The Game of Man,’ thus began what would become Case’s lifelong study of the tarot, and leading to the creation of the B.O.T.A. tarot deck, a “corrected” version of the Rider-Waite cards. Between 1905 and 1908 (aged 20-24), Case began practicing yoga, and in particular pranayama, from what published sources were available. His early experiences appear to have caused him some mental and emotional difficulties and left him with a lifelong concern that so called “occult” practice be done with proper guidance and training.

Paul Foster Case (1884-1954) founded the School of Ageless Wisdom and the Builders of the Adytum (BOTA), which is active today

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