Wednesday, April 01, 2009

On the BOTA

BOTA. I don't know much about them. Builders of the Adytum. I don't have a lot of experience with BOTA initiates, and I haven't delved into their background or anything. I vaguely remember something about them being the Golden Dawn without all the Egyptian Pagan imagery. Which I guess leaves Christian Rosicrucianism. I know they study the Tarot a lot. I know something about the Cube of Space is in their system, I think. I believe they use the GD-Kircher Tree of Life as their map of the spiritual cosmos.

That's about all I know about the group. Google will likely tell you a lot more than I can about them.

I'd like to focus instead on a person I knew a while ago. His name online was OtterBodyExperience. He was an ER tech, and I had the good fortune of meeting him in the flesh when he came to Baltimore for some training a couple of years ago. Prior to that, we had an online correspondence that lasted a couple of years on The Great Work yahoo list. When it was dead and only two or three people regularly posted, he and I were often two of the three.

Without comparison, this guy knew more about the Western Mystery Traditions than any other man or woman I've ever met. He was so into the depths of the Tradition, the Mysteries, that there was nothing I've run into that he hasn't touched on somewhere in his weird posts. He posted in weird puns, using odd capitalizations, making people have to think about not only the words, but the homonymns that make them up. It took a bit to get through the style to the message, but there was a value to that too. It showed how many layers there were to everything we take for granted, even the simple communications we exchange on the internet.

It seems like his understanding grew out of the Tarot. He could communicate almost any spiritual truth through the imagery of the Major or Minor Arcana. He had gone through the BOTA training, and had learned things about the cards that no one on the planet that I've met has ever demonstrated. He explained the Art/Temperance card and how it WAS Liber Samekh to me in a way that explained Dehn and Mathers' Abramelin, the HGA, and Liber Samekh in a way that nothing else could. He explained Michael the Archangel in a way that I can't begin to describe, and that too continues to haunt my studies.

I personally can't get into the Tarot to the degree that they do in BOTA. At least at my current state of understanding. I have issues. Levi applied the Hebrew Aleph-Beit to SOME trumps of the Tarochini cards that were popular in the European courts as he interpreted them, and applied a history to them that is doubtful, fantastical, and in my opinion, arbitrary. he got rid of some Trumps that he didn't have a letter for, combined imagery for others to make it fit his idea, and published his interpretation as if it were the secret mysteries of the ages.

However, it still holds value to many. I don't think anyone believes there was ever a "real" Christian Rosenkrutz, but Rosicrucianism is still a meaningful path for many. God knows I use a tarot deck for divination on occassion. I have a mini-Rider-Waite deck that suits my purposes well. It's a hold over from y early ceremonialist training. I prefer Joe's Geomantic "tumblers" for divination, but regardless, it works.

I don't know what else went into forming this man into a spiritual adept full of wisdom besides his BOTA training. However, if you have any resonance with the Tarot, based on my experience with Otter, I feel confident recommending the BOTA organization for people looking for a lodge experience. If it led him to the level he was at, then it's got to have something to it that will hold value for you.