posted on Nov, 7 2009 @ 01:43 AM
Greetings all. I don't know if this thread is still being read, but I stumbled upon it tonight and wanted to join the site and respond.
I was an active member of BOTA for many years, even serving as a local group coordinator for two years. BOTA is a custodian organization of the
Western Mystery Tradition within the Golden Dawn system. Upon joining, you will receive correspondence courses that are some of the best occult
teachings extant, period. By far the majority of BOTA members receive lessons only, but if they happen to live in or near a city where many members
live, there may be a group that meets for BOTA-sanctioned public study groups, or private ritual groups call "Pronaos" for members that have reached
a certain point in the lessons - we're talking months in, not years. bota.org lists the cities where study groups and Pronaos exist.
This Pronaos ritual scheme is "Golden Dawn light" modeled after masonry, and was created by Case's successor, Ann Davies. It is a beautiful
healing ritual dealing with aspects of the personality and balancing the chaotic elements within ourselves. The regular change of officers of the
Pronaos ceremony is actually open to the public - BOTA member or not.
Within BOTA, true Golden Dawn-style ritual, initiation and ceremony exists as well, but no BOTA member will ever speak of it, and if you ask about it,
you are told something like "All occult orders have levels within levels." One poster here mentioned Ann Davies having moved this level of ritual
further into the shadows, and I believe that's exactly what happened. This level of ritual is literally never spoken of, although it is mentioned in
Case's lessons. It is open by invitation only, and an extremely small percentage of BOTA members are ever invited, and then only after literally
years of serving in the Pronaos leadership and after showing personal stability and outstanding dedication to the Order. It is not, as far as I can
tell, a matter of spiritual readiness or maturity, but more a matter of "This person isn't going anywhere, and will be a stable member of our Inner
Lodge." These are actually good reasons to invite such members on one level - it certainly makes for a good, stable ritual group. I only know of
the one Temple in L.A. where this level of ritual goes on, though I believe there is one in New Zealand as well, and perhaps one in South America.
This one may have closed. I'm not sure.
The issue with gays supposedly being barred from this level of ritual working is therefore all but moot, since around 99% of all BOTA members are
Out of all the BOTA members I know, I know three people personally who are in the inner secret group, and none of them has ever mentioned it to me,
though I know that they fly to L.A. twice a year for "business meetings." These "meetings" take place coincidentally at a specific time of year
when many occult groups do major ceremonies.
If you join BOTA, you should do so for the private study of Case's excellent lessons (and there are literally close to thirteen years' worth of
lessons at the rate they are sent out), not for a desire to perform Golden Dawn-styled ritual in a working lodge.
I am in fact gay and I still hold BOTA's correspondence lessons in the highest regard, and recommend joining to anyone who feels called to study the
Western Mysteries within a Golden Dawn-type schema. All of the issues that surround the current government of the Order - the questions such as "did
Case want the true Golden Dawn initiatory rituals to be so exclusive and secret as they are now?" can distract us from our true spiritual path. The
true goal is establishing contact with our own Inner Genius, and this can be done by following Case's excellent teachings. The rituals simply serve
to facilitate this process.
BOTA leadership says their main concern is to "keep the teachings pure." They keep Case's lessons pure indeed, and I for one am glad that they do.