Ernest Britten Page (1913-1966) was a well known character in Soho Cafés of the 50s and 60s. He was a “gifted and many-sided personality”, a popular astrologer, a poet, a social worker and the warden of a secret magical order.
A lovely description of Ernest is given in Book 1 of The Magical Philosophy :
“The beloved Ernest was a gifted and many-sided personality: few, if any, knew all his counsels, but all that he did was distinguished by the exquisite and devoted care which was his especial characteristic. In Soho the fragile figure with the snow-white hair and beard was well-known, going through the narrow streets carrying a large leather bag in each hand (the one filled with astrological books and papers, the other with personal possessions) or presiding through the night at a quiet table in the corner of a crowded coffee-bar, drawing meticulous horoscopes and annotating them in his fine archaic script, checking the accuracy of his work by making quiet and often astounding observations on his client ‘s past life, sometimes spending an hour or more sifting the evidence for a particular time of birth: and all for a most nominal fee, or for no fee at all if he so decided: this work, like everything else, he did for the love of it. His forecasts, when he made them, were accurate to a high degree: for besides his astrological knowledge he possessed a deep intuitive perception to which, however, he never laid claim. Besides these gifts he was also a skilled graphologist and a talented lyrical poet: but above all, the people who came to see him on account of his fame as a Soho ‘ ‘character,” lingered in crowds around his table for the sake of the talk. Writers, artists, philosophers were drawn into it: with Soho’s habitués of all kinds, men, women, the old, the young, the ambitious, the derelict.
If this had been the whole of Ernest’s life, he would still have been remarkable: yet it was merely the surface of an intense and hidden activity. There was, for instance, his devoted work for the Simon Society , an association formed to help those (often the talented and sensitive) who because of ill-health or other misfortune really need aid to rehabilitate themselves, but who cannot seek it through the official channels, either because they have never qualified for it as “employed persons” or because they dread the loss of independence and self-respect. This was a cause very dear to Ernest’s heart, as was also the work that he did along other lines to help the many young men who fail to find in London the fortune they have come to seek, and who often drift into crime and vice , not through malice, but from mere inability to cope with the situation. The number cannot be known, of those who give Ernest their lifelong thanks for their escape from such circumstances.”
Ernest the Astrologer
Ernest Page was probably best known as an astrologer who had his ‘consulting rooms’ in the Soho Cafés of the 50s and 60s. In fact, Ernest appears briefly in a short film about Soho Cafes made in 1959, called Coffee Bar . In the frame below, Ernest is in the middle, discussing Astrology with some colleagues,
Ernest and Ordo Sacri Verbi
In 1959, Ernest became the warden of a magical order, Ordo Sacri Verbi (Hermetic Order of the Sacred Word). The formation of the Order of the Sacred Word is described in Book I of The Magical Philosophy . In essence, it was formed in 1957 as an offshoot from an older hermetic order called Aurum Solis. Ernest worked towards the reunion of the Order with Aurum Solis, but this reunion was only achieved in 1971, after Ernest’s death.
Our knowledge of the Order of the Sacred Word comes from the Magical Philosophy and other books by Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips, who were both friends of Ernest and leaders of the reunited order in subsequent years. The reunited order lives on in various manifestations. One of the main sources for historical information is the House of Adocentyn website at http://adocentyn.net/history/
Ernest the Poet
Ernest was a keen poet. A short verse of his appears in The Magical Philosophy . Another, The Waif, is presented in the Ogdoadic Journal  with notes on the poem, both in relation to his work with the Simon Community, and also the esoteric meaning of the poem.
The Adocentyn website has an article on his poetry, and says: “Within the archives of the Astrum Sophia are contained some of his additional works, including the simply titled XIV Poems and a rare, delicately hand-bound booklet of poetry from Page’s involvement with a group of British poets known as The Saturdays.” The site also includes a poem by Ernest: The Bridge, and one about him: The Astrologer, by Arthur Jacobs.
 The description of Ernest and the history of the Aurum Solis and Ordo Sacri Verbi is given in Appendix D to Book I of The Magical Philosophy, Robe and Ring by Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips, published 1974 by Llewellyn Publications, Minnesota, USA.
 The Simon Community was established by Anton Wallich-Clifford in London in 1963. http://www.simoncommunity.org.uk/
 The film was part of the Look at Life series produced by the Rank organisation. It is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B92MnoPVtGs and Ernest appears around 5min 50sec into the film. The film details are on Imbd at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2207525/combined
 The Ogdoadic Journal, Vol 1, No. 4, edited by Derik Richards & Kerry Wisner, published 2010 by Sun Lion Publications, Ordo Astrum Sophiæ. “The Waif, a poem by Ernest Page, with notes by Derik Richards”. The journal is available at http://www.astrumsophia.org/Journal/The%20Ogdoadic%20Journal%20v1n4.pdf