Many years ago when I was hanging out with Phil Hine, Rodney Orpheus and others in Leeds I made the acquaintance of Brother RBB, the Wizard of Dewsbury. Numerous occultists would make the pilgrimage from Leeds (at the time a hotbed of occult culture) to see the Wizard; he influenced a whole generation of magicians. (Susan Leybourne studied with him and he was visited by everyone from Wiccan High Priestesses to shadowy Typhonians). An elderly gentleman by the time I met him, known simply as Richard to his friends, he would regale us with tales from his youth.
I recall him explaining why wizards should never wear cloaks in urban settings. While cutting a dashing figure through wartime London, on the business of the British secret service, he managed to get his cloak trapped in the escalators at Kings Cross station; luckily nothing apart from his youthful pride was damaged.
For Richard his practice was a service to mankind. He was deeply versed in planetary, Qabalistic and angelic magic while at the same time incorporating techniques from the numerous other traditions he encountered. His skill was such that he had the respect of the African and Afro-Caribbean community in West Yorkshire, these people would seek him out for magical help and Richard would freely provide it. However for some of his clients the fact that this wizard didn’t accept payment was a problem. They expected to reward him for his service, perhaps considering that if they didn’t this elderly, though obviously powerful sorcerer, would have some hold over them. This led to Richard finding various ‘offerings’ stuffed down the back of the sofa on which his client had sat, thus ensuring that the magician had received payment for his work.
As Brother RBB Richard was the creator of The Sexual Tarot, published in a limited edition of 666 copies. A skilled artist, influenced by the Italianate style from his native land, The Sexual Tarot was produced in fine black line work on white cards. These are now a serious collectors item.
As we approach the festival of Yule I’m always reminded of a visit I paid to Brother RBB at this time of year, and in particular of a teaching he shared with me about how to eat an After Eight Mint in a magical way.
The technique runs thus:
Select an After Eight Mint and remove it from the protective envelope.
Spend a moment contemplating the mint.
Begin to eat the mint – do this by biting off each corner. My mentor explained the process thus: “By biting the corners off you are revealing the female nature of the diamond within the male square. Then bite the corners off the female diamond, thus revealing the yang that emerges from within the yin.”
Continue this process until you have cycled through the complimentary natures as many times as feasible and the whole mint is consumed.
So next time you have the opportunity to sample one of those wafer thin mints don’t just blithely start munching. Take a tip from the Wizard of Dewsbury, take your time to reveal the mystery hidden within.
Have a magickal Solstice!