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Originally published on February 16, 2008
Mitch Horowitz, editor-in-chief of Tarcher/Penguin Books, returns in this episode to discuss the life and Great Work of Paul Foster Case (1884 – 1954). Case was one of the preeminent teachers of Tarot and Hermetic Qabalah in the 20th century. His masterful work, The Tarot: A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages, stands as one of the greatest books on the Major Arcana to date.
Our conversation covers Case’s early life in the greater Rochester, New York area, his musical abilities, self-reliance and self-education, interest in the Mysteries, his work with Tarot and other occult subjects, and the organizations that he built to disseminate the Wisdom.
MAY LIGHT BE EXTENDED UPON YOU
In studying the life and Work of Dr. Case, Mitch extracts the important detail that we must be scholars in the same tradition in order that occult subjects are treated with the reverence they deserve.
“IN whatsoever object thou perceivest,
Know me as the Essence,
As the Idea,
And as the Interior Nature.
Because of this the wise come easily to me
By many paths,
Yet in truth these different roads
Are but a single Way.
“If thou canst penetrate in the nature
Of the simplest thing,
There thou shalt find me.
This is the key to the mystery of the sacred letters.
Fix thy mind on the object set before thee by any letter,
And hold thy thought to meditate thereon.
Then shall the inner nature of that object
Be made known to thee,
And by this means shalt thou draw nigh
To some aspect of my being.
– from “The Meditation on HEH” in The Book of Tokens
In the Occult of Personality Membership Section, Mitch Horowitz has graciously provided the chapter on Paul Foster Case (as a PDF) from his excellent book Occult America. Join now to receive access.
Mitch Horowitz (also our guest in podcast episodes 48, 70, and 71)
Paul Foster Case Resource Page
“Paul Foster Case” Wikipedia entry
The Tarot: A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages by Paul Foster Case
An Introduction to the Study of the Tarot by Paul Foster Case (PDF download, 159 KB)
The True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order: An Interpretation of the Rosicrucian Allegory and An Explanation of the Ten Rosicrucian Grades by Paul Foster Case
Esoteric Keys of Alchemy by Paul Foster Case
The Great Seal of the United States: Its History, Symbolism and Message for the New Age by Paul Foster Case – “Dr. Case reveals the Great Seal to be a profound spiritual glyph created by the Founding Fathers as a representation of the ideals of the Novo Ordo Seclorum, the New World Order.”
Masonic Letter G by Paul Foster Case – “Paul Foster Case develops with clarity a link between the Masonic degrees and the Qabalistic tradition.”
Daniel, Master of Magicians and the Name of Names by Paul Foster Case – “Two books in one. Daniel, Master of Magicians develops the astrological underpinnings of the book of Daniel. The Name of Names reveals the true significance of the name Yeheshua or Jesus.”
The Book of Tokens by Paul Foster Case
The Kybalion: The Definitive Edition by William Walker Atkinson, writing as Three Initiates, intro. by Philip Deslippe
Paul Foster Case: His Life and Works by Dr. Paul A. Clark
“William Walker Atkinson” Wikipedia entry
“Claude Bragdon” Wikipedia entry
“Ann Davies” Wikipedia entry
B.O.T.A. (Builders of the Adytum)
intro music by HipGnosis
I’ve listened to this program several times and have found much direction from it.
The discussion on the life and works of Paul Foster Case was a most well researched and fascinating story. Thank you for sharing this information. Among the various characters, the references to Claude Bragdon, Michael Whitty, and of course Ann Davies, the talk has been most inspirational. Say little and do much. Indeed.
You’re most welcome, Richard. I’m grateful that you appreciated the interview!
Thanks so much for this! I have been a student of B.O.T.A. and have learned so much from Paul Foster Case’s books, and the lectures of Ann Davies. Any future info is much appreciated.
Thank you for the great program! Paul Foster Case’s works inspired me so much….I also like his books, in my opinion this book is one of his greatest works: https://www.hermetik-international.com/en/media-library/occultism/the-fruits-of-adeptship/