Here are a few short biographic capsules of some the Companions instrumental in shaping the Astrum Sophia and other modern vehicles of the Ogdoadic Tradition, recorded here to both reference and honor their work.
The first female Grand Master of Aurum Solis, from 1976 to 1997. At one point Vivian spent about six years traveling abroad and gathering occult knowledge, chiefly from the Middle East and the Mediterranean. These studies led her to discover the work of the Aurum Solis on kindred matters. She studied Jungian psychology under Buntie Wills, herself a student of C. G. Jung’s friend Toni Sussman. Vivian was invested Dame d’Honneur, OMCT, in 1968 by the Geneva Grand Priory of the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple. She was also friends with Olivia Robertson, the founder of the Fellowship of Isis, ever since they were young women. Vivian spoke English, French, Italian and Latin.
Former Grand Master of the Aurum Solis, Leon received magical training at age 16 from Ernest Page, the then Warden of the Ordo Sacri Verbi and notable London astrologer. Leon was a pupil of U Maung Maung Ji, a lecturer in Eastern philosophies, who worked with the UN Secretary-General U Thant. He is a Fellow of the International Biographical Association, a Life Patron of the American Biographical Institute, and an Honorary Fellow of the Anglo-American Academy.
“Denning & Phillips”
Husband and wife, together Vivian and Leon wrote the Magical Philosophy series as well as many other books. Both served as Grand Masters of Aurum Solis. Around 1971 Vivian & Leon met or began working with Carl Llewellyn Weschcke. Around 1979 they moved to the United States where they began a deeper engagement with Llewellyn including acting as editors of Gnostica magazine, which frequently published material from or supplemental to Aurum Solis system in The Magical Philosophy. The Aurum Solis also was thus established in the Twin Cities under the banner of the House of the Winged Serpent, which still serves as the Grand Commandery of its successor order, Astrum Sophia. In 1989 the two returned to England and the core of Aurum Solis activity relocated as well. In 1997 Vivian was diagnosed with cancer and died on 23 March. On 11 April 2001 Leon resumed office as the Grand Master of Aurum Solis, and retired from the office and the Order as a whole on 14 June 2003
The Master of the Commandery of the Winged Serpent in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Grand Master of the Ordo Astrum Sophiae. Initiated into the Aurum Solis in 1984, he became the Chief Liaison Officer of United States in the Aurum Solis and maintained this senior position until The Grand Commandery dissolved all American commanderies. His writings appear throughout the issues of the Ogdoadic Journal.
The Acting Grand Master of the Order from 1999-2001, as well as the Order’s former Deputy Grand Master, Prior, Administrator-General, and Master of the former Commandery of the Crown of the North (U.K.). She is the author of The Pillar of Isis: A Practical Manual of the Mysteries of the Goddess (Aquarian Press, 1992).
Ernest Page was a notable London astrologer and teacher of Leon Barcynski. He was a well-known figure throughout Soho in the 1950s and would meticulously draft horoscopes and interpret them to a high degree of accuracy in local cafes. He was also a skilled graphologist, and talented lyrical poet – a short verse of his appears in The Magical Philosophy, Book III: The Sword & the Serpent, pp. 170-171. As well as his esoteric work, he was a devoted worker with the Simon Society, a social services organization. Upon becoming Warden of the Ordo Sacri Verbi in 1959 he immediately began to work for its reunion with the Aurum Solis. He died in 1966. Melita Denning’s poem “Orpheus,” which prefaces Book I of the Magical Philosophy, serves as a dedicatory verse to Page.
Along with Charles Kingold, Stanton constituted the Aurum Solis in 1897. He was the first Warden of the Order. He seems to have also been the author of Rambles & researches among Worcestershire churches, with historical notes relating to the several parishes; to which is added, an authentic account of the old Manor House at Harrington Chaddesley Corbett, published in London, 1886.