Throughout history, there have been several famous individuals who have delved into the study and practice of the occult. The term “occult” refers to hidden or esoteric knowledge and practices related to spirituality, mysticism, and the supernatural. Here are brief descriptions of some well-known occultists:
- Aleister Crowley: Aleister Crowley, born in 1875, was an influential occultist, writer, and ceremonial magician. He played a significant role in the development of modern occultism, particularly within the context of Thelema, a spiritual philosophy he founded. Crowley’s writings explore various mystical traditions, including ceremonial magic, astrology, divination, and ritual practices.
- Helena Blavatsky: Helena Blavatsky, born in 1831, was a prominent figure in the late 19th-century occult revival. She co-founded the Theosophical Society, which aimed to explore and synthesize spiritual traditions and esoteric knowledge from around the world. Blavatsky’s writings, such as “The Secret Doctrine,” sought to unveil hidden truths and present a comprehensive understanding of spirituality and the nature of existence.
- Eliphas Levi: Eliphas Levi, the pseudonym of Alphonse Louis Constant (1810-1875), was a French occultist and author who significantly influenced the development of Western esotericism. He explored various aspects of magic, symbolism, and occult philosophy. Levi’s work, such as “Transcendental Magic” and “The History of Magic,” sought to unite the mystical and the rational through the study of symbolism and the occult arts.
- Dion Fortune: Dion Fortune, born Violet Mary Firth (1890-1946), was a British occultist, novelist, and practitioner of ceremonial magic. She was a prominent figure in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and founded her own occult group, the Fraternity of the Inner Light. Fortune’s writings, such as “The Mystical Qabalah” and “Psychic Self-Defense,” explore magical practices, psychic phenomena, and spiritual development.
- Manly P. Hall: Manly Palmer Hall (1901-1990) was an American author, lecturer, and mystic who made significant contributions to the study of esotericism and ancient wisdom traditions. His most notable work is “The Secret Teachings of All Ages,” an encyclopedic volume exploring a wide range of esoteric topics, including symbolism, mythology, and occult philosophies.
- Papus: Gérard Encausse (1865-1916), known by his pseudonym Papus, was a French physician, occultist, and author. He was a key figure in the French occult revival of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Papus was a prolific writer, covering various occult topics such as tarot, kabbalah, and ceremonial magic. He also co-founded the Martinist Order, a mystical and initiatory society.
These individuals are just a few examples of famous occultists who have contributed to the exploration and dissemination of esoteric knowledge and practices. Their works have influenced and inspired many seekers of hidden wisdom, and their contributions continue to shape the field of occultism today. It is important to note that the study and practice of the occult can vary greatly, and individuals may resonate with different branches, traditions, or philosophies within the occult realm.
Paul Foster Case
Paul Foster Case (1884-1954) was an influential American occultist, author, and teacher known for his contributions to the fields of Tarot, Western mysticism, and esotericism. He played a significant role in the modern revival and reinterpretation of the Tarot as a tool for spiritual development and self-discovery.
Case was born in Fairport, New York, and showed an early interest in metaphysics and occult studies. He delved into various esoteric traditions, including astrology, Kabbalah, and ceremonial magic. In 1922, he founded the School of Ageless Wisdom, later renamed the Builders of the Adytum (B.O.T.A.), as a platform to share his teachings and promote spiritual growth.
One of Case’s most notable contributions was his work on the Tarot. He believed that the Tarot was a symbolic system that represented universal principles and archetypal energies. In his book “The Tarot: A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages,” Case provided a comprehensive and systematic analysis of the Tarot cards, combining his knowledge of Kabbalah, astrology, and Western mysticism. He emphasized the practical application of Tarot as a tool for personal transformation and spiritual insight.
Case’s teachings revolved around the concept of “The Great Work,” which referred to the process of spiritual evolution and self-realization. He stressed the importance of balancing the masculine and feminine aspects within oneself, cultivating inner harmony, and aligning one’s life with higher principles.
As a teacher, Case emphasized the importance of self-study and practical application of esoteric principles. He encouraged his students to engage in daily meditation, visualization, and study of sacred texts. Case believed that the journey toward spiritual awakening required discipline, dedication, and a genuine desire for personal growth.
Paul Foster Case’s influence extended beyond his lifetime. After his death, the Builders of the Adytum continued to thrive as an organization dedicated to disseminating his teachings. B.O.T.A. offers correspondence courses, study materials, and practical exercises based on Case’s teachings, attracting students from around the world.
Paul Foster Case’s legacy lies in his dedication to bridging the gap between esoteric wisdom and practical application. His work on the Tarot and his teachings on spiritual development continue to inspire and guide seekers on their paths of self-discovery and mystical exploration.
Paul Foster Case
Ann Davies was born on October 28, 1912 in Cleveland (Ohio) to a Jewish family and died on June 9, 1975, she was the spiritual director of BOTA – Builders of Adytum, she succeeded Paul Foster Case in the direction of BOTA, maintaining and expanding direct connection with the sacred teachings of the Western mystery tradition.
From an early age, he experienced states of consciousness that many consider the ultimate spiritual goal. Disabled due to a serious illness that made it impossible for her to walk independently, she became a public librarian and it was like her second home, her desire for knowledge and her ability to absorb great concepts in a short time allowed her to build a knowledge base in Eastern philosophies, and on west also in natural sciences.
His inner vision of existence, presented to him in his mystical experiences, led him to meet Paul Foster Case in 1943, although they had not seen each other in this life until then, there was an instant mutual recognition.
She met him at a conference he held, she approached him and that’s how a great adventure began, she learned that Paul F. Case is a link in the training chain in the Mystery Schools, both intuitively knew that they were attracted to work together.
In 1943, Case was introduced to Ann Davies. She was entering one of her classes with her sister. Later, Ann and her young daughter, Bonnie, moved into the Case home, helping out by serving meals, teaching mimeography, and so on.
Ann was a personal student of Paul Case and he prepared her for the esoteric work of the Order. Before Paul F. Case died, he told her that she had been accepted by the Internal School; he taught her tarot and Kabbalah, to which she devoted herself completely.
With this commitment, he extended and expanded the BOTA courses, teaching practical meditations in knowing “self” and serving humanity, he also helped to prepare and type the lessons to send to each student, thus taking care of correspondence, accurate examinations, etc., in short , took care of everything that the team of people is currently doing.
He began to work with the Tarot and a new cycle began to open: breaking negative models, developing inner vision, clearing channels, more perception of superior guidance. In the early stages, he practiced with tarot for a little over half an hour a day, and later for an hour, which produced miracles of transformation for him.
Her physical handicap worsened, but despite this she did not lose her smile, the joy with which she did things for those who came into contact with her, emphasizing above all her ability to “receptive” or “listen” to other people’s problems.
When Paul F. Case died in 1954, responsibility for the work of BOTA passed to Ann Davies and her dedication allowed the work to spread and become known to many.
In 1964, Ann Davies went to New Zealand to set up a BOTA branch. Most of the “Whare Ra” members associated with the Order, he also helped establish the Latin American headquarters of the Builders of the Adytum in Colombia.
At the headquarters in Los Angeles, he appointed Jacob Fuss to succeed him as spiritual director after his death in 1975. However, due to some unexpected events, he changed his mind and chose a young member from New Zealand: Will Chesterman.
Ann has left an enormous amount of learning in her works, numerous conferences, writings and in BOTA classes, starting with “The Tarot Oracle” (Lesson 11) including a section of “Exoteric Astrology” (Lesson 10), the rest of the lessons are written by this extraordinary woman who is considered by many to be a great forerunner of the New Age.