The Mysterious Magister
Here is a little – well maybe not so littlepiece of personal recollection which may amuse some of you. On occasions I have been persuaded to recall this true-life tale on internet forums, where I have actually been accused of making the whole thing up.
Well I can assure you that NONE of it is made up – including my nearly fire-destroyed flat. In fact, the ‘Mysterious Magister’ is lucky he was not prosecuted for arson! Anyway, I have finally decided to appease (or possibly not) my ‘doubters’ by republishing the story – with some pictorial illustrations. Enjoy!
IN SUMMER 1973 I received a telephone call from a reporter on the News of the World, named Sue Kentish. Sue said that she wanted to interview me about events in Highgate, in particular my contacts and involvements with other Witches, and I agreed to give an interview. The first time she came on her own, and she said she would like to witness one of the magical ceremonies – invocation ceremonies – that I’d been describing to her. She asked me if I knew people who would be prepared to conduct a magical ritual in front of a newspaper reporter. I said a lot of people shunned the press, and they’d probably want their identities kept secret, but I said I’d make some inquiries, which I duly did, and I arranged to have a small group of people present at my flat, which was then in Archway Road, to allow the News of the World to watch an authentic ceremony.
There were quite a few occasions when people turned up to my flat, and participated in magical ceremonies, one of which had already been photographed. One of those present that time had been a blonde High Priestess who wore flowing robes, there was a person present called the Magister, who was masked, and a dwarf, who had approached me, in that year, as he was very interested in getting involved in a magical coven, having read about myself and my associates in the local press. I had been seeing him on and off throughout 1973.
I met up with my colleagues in a pub first, the Red Lion and Sun in Highgate Village. There was the person called the Magister, who was accompanied by a Witch, a South American lady, along with a colleague of mine called Edna Street, and another member of the Society. It was at the beginning of September, early evening. The Magister insisted on being masked right from the very beginning, even in public view he wouldn’t take his mask off. I think the reason was that the Magister didn’t want people he hadn’t met, for example Edna Street, to see his face. We had to meet the News of the World back at my flat, at eight o’clock, so we left the pub with a good half hour to spare.
The News of the World turned up, reporter Sue Kentish with a photographer. The idea originally had been for Sue Kentish just to witness the thing on her own. But she said “I hope you don’t mind but I’ve taken the liberty of bringing a photographer with me.” The other people with me were waiting upstairs. It was quite a small room, but it had an altar in it, decorated with magical symbols. I invited them both up. The Magister refused to take his mask off, and he refused to answer any questions about his identity other than to say he was a ‘very high up figure in the occult’.
A day or so earlier, the Magister had visited me at my flat, and arranged the altar. There was a cloth sheet on the wall behind the altar, of the Horned God, not the devil I hasten to say, the Horned God, Dionysus, a nature deity; it was a dyed cloth sheet.
He turned up and arranged this and that, in one bowl on the altar he put a substance – a yellow powder. I later discovered it was sulphur. Oh yes. I discovered that alright. On the night, he insisted that the candles be lit, and the lights turned down. He was very anxious to participate, but predictably he wanted to make it a Magister ritual, instead of one of mine.
Before he started the ritual, Sue Kentish, the reporter, was very sceptical, and the Magister said to her, in a very deep affected ‘spooky’ voice, “I am going to prove to you that magic really does exist. I shouldn’t really be doing this, I’m only doing it to prove to unbelievers such as yourself, that this power is there, it’s out there. You should not mess around with it unless you can control it, which I can.”
Sue Kentish asked him to try and contact somebody that she knew that had died, saying, “I’m not going to give you the name, because I want to see if this is genuine.” The Magister stood to the forefront, his American girlfriend stood on his left, and myself, Edna Street and the other person were standing next to them.
He started the ritual by a series of incantations in a very affected voice, totally at odds with his usual, rather common accent, and then he said to Sue Kentish, “Susan, my spirit guide tells me that you have a tape recorder in your bag.” She wavered, and he said, “I insist, I am told that you have a tape recorder in your bag.” Now, how The Magister knew that was, I had taken Sue Kentish to a French restaurant in Muswell Hill, called Chez Francais, and I noticed she kept going to the loo. It was only a casual off the record conversation, and I’d already told the Magister, “She’s got a tape recorder in her bag, she keeps making excuses to go into the loo every forty-five minutes to changes the sides over.” Sue was slightly impressed by his demand that she produce the tape recorder, which she did, prompting the sonorous response: “I demand that it’s turned off.” Sue duly switched it off.
The Magister then continued with a series of incantations, known only to himself – I didn’t recognise them, and I was a professional Witch. After quite sometime of this, he finally said, “I’m now going to demonstrate to you the powers of darkness, and what can happen when they’re called down”, and he started igniting, first some incense, from the candles which he’d already lit.
He was making signs with his arms, and kept staring at Sue Kentish in a very theatrical manner; even with his mask on you could see his mad staring eyes, and he just kept staring, trying to intimidate her in some funny way. He raised his arms up, and said, “I shall now prove to you the power which you have doubted.” And he got a taper and he lit a couple of bowls, which gave out a peculiar smell of herbs and incense, and raised his arms again, commanding: “Powers that be, I command thee to this plane, make thy presence known.” He then placed the taper in the big bowl of yellow powder.
Immediately there was a big FLASH, a deafening BANG, and flames shot up into the air to about three feet!
There was a dense choking smoke, in fact the room was so full of smoke, everybody rushed out except myself. I was more concerned about trying to put the flames out, which had caught light to the portrait of the Horned God – I ripped it down (it was now half burned); the altar cloth had now caught fire, the heat was so intense that all the candles combusted, and all my parchments and magical paraphernalia had been reduced to charred ashes or melted remains. It was like the London smog in 1952, you literally could hardly see a foot in front of you. I was holding my breath, being asthmatic, butI managed to put the fire out somehow.
As soon as I could, I ran out to the front door to find the others, who had already run out and were waiting in the street. Although My eyes were streaming, I saw some figures standing there, although the smoke was literally bellowing out of the front door – it looked as though the whole house was on fire! Standing there panting was the News of the World reporter Sue Kentish, her the photographer, Edna Street and the other colleague of mine. THEY were all outside taking deep gulps of breath, but there was no sign of the Magister or the South American girl. Edna Street said the last they saw of the Magister and his assistant they were running down Archway Road, still in full costume, and he looked as if he had the devil at his heels
Many people have speculated about what was going through the mind of the Magister when he first settled upon his alter ego. Some have speculated that the behaviour of a certain bogus vicar in a certain 1971 episode of Dr Who may hold the key….
If you haven’t already guessed, the Magister’s identity, then here is a clue…
He dwells high in the sky, in a refurbished bungalow, at the top of a towering cliff, where seagulls screech incessantly, and deposit their wares on his rather fetching ecclesiastical hat. That should give you a BIG clue. If any more are needed, then just go and make yourselves a nice nourishing pot of tea, and cover it safely with a cosy whilst you ponder. These may seem rather ‘Bonky’ clues, so if you still don’t get it, have a listen to this small clip taken from a 90 minute cassette of Bonky preaching …
The Magister attempts to enlist the evil powers of David Farrant to assist him in his great conflict with the equally ‘evil’ Eggmanne … just in time for Hallowe’en!
The Mysterious Magister has often appeared in print over the years, overseeing White Witchcraft initiation ceremonies. Ironically, his own initiation into the High Magickal Arts is shrouded in mystery, and it seems it will remain so as long as he hides behind his batman mask! You can check out more of the Magister in action HERE