B.O.T.A. tarot deck

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The B.O.T.A. Tarot was created by Paul Foster Case, founder of B.O.T.A. and artist Jessie Burns Parke. Though the B.O.T.A. tarot for the most part closely resembles the Rider-Waite deck,[1] Paul Foster Case changed what he said were mistakes or "blinds" in the Rider-Waite edition.[2][3][4]

In his book titled 'The Tarot', Case published the Hebrew letter attributions of the Golden Dawn for the first time. Also made public was the tarot tableau, a pattern for laying out all of the Tarot Keys which reveals certain relationships and dissimilarities among them. This tableau was used by the American branch of Alpha et Omega when Case was the 'praemonstrator' (chief instructor) of that order's Thoth-Hermes lodge in Chicago. This was the first published book to reveal almost all of the tarot attributions on the 'Cube of Space' diagram. There are 22 major arcana tarot cards, which correspond to 22 components of the Cube of Space.

The Sepher Yetzirah is the source of the link between the Cube of Space and the Hebrew letters.[5] The Sepher Yetzirah itself does not directly mention a 'cube of space', nor any kind of cube. Case based the Cube of Space upon two verses in the Sepher Yetzirah. One of those verses is in chapter 4 and the other verse is in chapter 5. The verse in chapter 4 associates 6 hebrew letters with six cardinal directions (up, down, east, west, north, south). The verse in chapter 5 associates 12 hebrew letters with either 12 diagonal directional 'arms' or 12 diagonal boundaries (different translations contradict eachother), which would refer to the 12 edges of an octahedron, though Paul Foster Case interpreted these as the 12 edges of a cube.

P.F. Case furthermore associated this 'Cube of Space' with the 'Tree of Life' of Kabbala. He based that association upon paragraph 95 of the Sepher Ha-Bahir. That paragraph does not actually mention the Tree of Life though, but simply a tree. Paragraph 95 states that a tree is inside the twelve diagonal boundary lines that are mentioned in the Sepher Yetzirah. Because the Tree of Life consists of 10 sephiroth, P.F. Case associated the three 'mother' letters (aleph, mem, shin) and seven 'double' letters of the Sepher Yetzirah with ten corresponding sephiroth.

Until the publication of The Tarot, most English-speaking occultists had never heard of Case's Cube of Space concept, much less were they aware of how it related to the much better-known 'Tree of Life' diagram.[6] In fact, until the mid-1990s, there were almost no other books in print which even mentioned the Cube of Space. The ones that do defer to Case's writings on the subject.[6][7]

B.O.T.A. repeatedly emphasizes that tarot cards are primarily a tool for meditation, not fortune-telling. After explaining the B.O.T.A. method for tarot divination in his book titled 'The Tarot, A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages', Case specifically explains the differences between divination and fortune-telling and closes with a warning, "Finally, let me reiterate the thought that this is not to be used for vulgar fortune telling, or to amuse a party of friends. If you yield to the temptation so to abuse this information, you will pay for it in the loss of all power of true divination, and probably in the loss of ability to control the higher rates of psychic vibration."[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ White, Douglass A. Thoth and the Tarot, pp. 13-14
  2. ^ Case, Paul Foster. The Tarot, A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages.
  3. ^ Case, Paul Foster. Highlights of Tarot.
  4. ^ Case, Paul Foster. The Book of Tokens, Tarot Meditations.
  5. ^ Kaplan, Aryeh. Sefer Yetzirah: The Book of Creation in Theory and Practice.
  6. ^ a b Townley, Kevin. The Cube of Space: Container of Creation
  7. ^ Hulse, David Allen. New Dimensions for the Cube of Space: The Path of Initiation Revealed by the Tarot upon the Qabalistic Cube.
  8. ^ Case, Paul Foster. The Tarot, A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages. pp 223

Bibliography[edit]

Writings of Case and others regarding the B.O.T.A. Tarot deck

  • Case, Paul Foster. The Book of Tokens, Tarot Meditations.
  • Case, Paul Foster. The Tarot, A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages.
  • Case, Paul Foster. Highlights of Tarot.
  • Davies, Ann. Inspirational Thoughts on the Tarot.
  • Hulse, David Allen. New Dimensions for the Cube of Space: The Path of Initiation Revealed by the Tarot upon the Qabalistic Cube.
  • Jayanti, Amber. Living the Tarot.
  • Lotterhand, Jason C. The Thursday Night Tarot.
  • Townley, Kevin. The Cube of Space: Container of Creation.
  • Townley, Kevin. Meditations on the Cube of Space.

External links[edit]

Online resources[edit]

Online resources discussing or using the B.O.T.A. Tarot deck