In 1922, occultist, writer and teacher Paul Foster Case founded the nonprofit Builders of the Adytum on Figueroa Avenue in Highland Park. Case established BOTA after quitting an offshoot of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a late–19th century fellowship of Freemasons and Rosicrucians in Great Britain. Since its members pledged vows of secrecy, it's practically impossible to understand what the Golden Dawn was all about, but it's safe to say that it coincided with a “new age” of spirituality that included tarot, yoga and obscure magical practices. Originally, Builders of the Adytum was an old-fashioned correspondence school that mailed its students “life lessons” based on the Qabalah. BOTA still publishes a collection of 22 black-and-white tarot cards you're supposed to color yourself while learning about an ancient form of mysticism that continues to inform religious life today. 5101 N. Figueroa St., Highland Park. (323) 255-7141,
—Tanja M. Laden

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