This FAQ is a work in progress and will be changed as the SGP evolves.
Last updated: 04/05/2019
What is the SGP?
The Sovereigns of the Golden Path is an emerging queer pagan tradition rooted in chaos magic, affectionately referred to as the #suncult. It’s based on principles of personal growth, authenticity, healing, truth, the power of storytelling and embracing one’s status as Othered.
What does the name ‘SGP’ mean?
We are each sovereign beings who follow the path of the Sun; to self-betterment and self-knowledge.
Do you believe in magic?
Whether or not magic is objectively quantifiable (real) or not is a question for each individual to decide. A belief in magic is not required to join the SGP.
Is this some kind of joke or parody religion?
I have safety concerns?
There will be no rigid hierarchies nor poisoned beverages here.
Safety is very important to us; harassment and bigotry will not be tolerated.
The Pagan Awareness Network (PAN) have an excellent brochure on the basics of personal welfare titled Safety in the Circle, located here.
Safer spaces policy coming soon.
Why do you call it a cult? Aren’t cults dangerous?
The Oxford dictionary refers to a cult as “a system of religious veneration and devotion directed towards a particular figure or object”. Although ‘cult’ has become largely pejorative in popular culture in recent times, it’s usage here refers to its meaning as a ‘fringe/unorthodox social movement with novel beliefs’. This usage is still common today, as its etymology is rooted simply in ‘to worship’. The term is nuanced and varied in its meaning dependant on the context applied to it. Many ancient belief systems are often referred to as cults, such as the Greek/Roman Orphic mystery traditions.
There is no one clear sociological definition of cult, and many mainstream organizations fit perfectly into ‘cult checklists’ as harmful and toxic environments.
To deem a movement to be a cult is often used as a way to demonize and vilify it in the face of an ideology it threatens. For example, many people refer to ANTIFA as a cult. Although the label of cult may seem shocking at first, it is an invitation to challenge assumptions and to take ownership of the power of being Othered, much like the reclamation of the word ‘queer’.
We recognize that the term may be distressing to some; its use here is not intended to denigrate or upset.
If people or individuals in your community find certain terms or topics distressing, we encourage the use of blacklists, content warnings and other methods of harm minimization.
Alternatively, the SGP may be referred to simply as a magical tradition.
Sometimes identities are context-dependent, malleable and messy. Sometimes a single term like ‘gay’ doesn’t cut it, and at others, a single term is too invasive and limiting. Queer is emotionally charged, defiant and ambiguous. Queer embraces strangeness as a source of power.
Isn’t queer is a slur?
There’s evidence of the word ‘queer’ being reclaimed for decades; the history and cultural heritage of the term is an important part of the foundational principles of the SGP.
There’s no pressure to use queer as a personal identifier if you aren’t comfortable claiming it as a label.
Who can join?
The SGP is for people who seek the power in reclaiming their status as Other. The SGP is a queer-centering intersectional tradition for people of marginalized identities.
There is no need to qualify your queerness here. We aren’t ace, bi, questioning, closeted, trans or nonbinary exclusive.
How inclusive are you?
A committed desire for self-mastery is a prerequisite; a sense of humour is ideal. One of the core principles of the SGP is to eliminate and minimize both incidental and overt personal bigotry and discrimination. A proactive approach to working through internalized prejudices is necessary. This is a Left space.
Who founded the SGP?
My name is Apocastasis, I’m a queer witch, artist, and writer. My personal website can be located here, and my blog here. I currently facilitate the development of the SGP. I also maintain this website.
Where are you located?
We aim to be accessible to people anywhere in the world, but current offline events take place in Melbourne, Australia, and follow a South-Eastern Australian seasonal calendar and timezone.
How accessible are you?
Addressing overt and hidden barriers to spirituality is one of the aims of the SGP and we do our best to provide accessible content. We currently have no financial backing and are run by volunteers, so we welcome members of the community to make a collaborative effort to provide audio transcripts for videos, ext.
We also welcome input on how to make the SGP more accessible.
Does the SGP have its own deities?
Yes, but it’s non-exclusively polytheistic. Praising the sun is optional, but highly encouraged. Practitioners are welcome to participate in other paradigms, ways of interacting with and defining gods.
What is The Manticore Sun?
Both the giant spherical nuclear reactor in space, and a great golden lion with a scorpion tail, simultaneously. The primary deity of the SGP, he is fatherly and loving and wants you to do your best.
What are the other gods of the SGP?
Deities of the SGP are animistic and rooted in physical phenomena. The Moon, The Sea, and The Earth, The City of Melbourne are all gods. A god could be a highly personal place one has a relationship with, such as a specific mountain, or more conceptual one such as The Highway, which represents and is all paved roads.
Do you practice Pop Culture Magic?
The primacy and importance of story and archetypes are a large part of the foundational principles of the SGP. As a system, it is Pop Culture Magic compatible.
Do you practice witchcraft?
Yes. The SGP is a pagan paradigm based on chaos magic principles, but it’s also animistic, ecstatic, ancestor-reverent and spirit-working. If and how intensely one wishes to participate in magical workings is up to the individual, however.
Is the SGP a left-hand or right-hand path?
It’s a mix of both. Rather than a Left/Right dichotomy, it uses a metaphor of an open or closed fist, to represent a distinction between qualities that need to be processed and worked on, rooted in Bad Faith, and qualities to aspire to, grounded in Truth.
Does The Manticore Sun have a name?
Not that we’re presently aware of. We affectionately refer to him as mantdad for short.
What are some of the Manticore Sun’s correspondences?
Beverage: Mead, chamomile & dandelion teas
Scent: Beeswax, Frankincense
Plant: All plants, but especially cacti, succulents, and yellow flowers
Animal: lions, bees, scorpions
Colour: Yellow, peacock blue/teal
Suggested offerings: Exercise, honey, gardening, trying your best
Tarot card: The Star and Strength
Bodily centre: Heart
Holiday: Perihelion, the solstices
What happens if I join and then decide it’s not for me?
People are free to join and depart as they please at any time.
Is the suncult a mystery or initiatory tradition?
Informed consent will always trump any mysteries, secrets or privately held cult knowledge.
There are solitary self-initiations that a person can participate in that act as milestones, commitments or thresholds. Some initiations in this tradition are a display and celebration of competency, like getting a license to operate a forklift.
Initiations are personal, private knowledge and there is no pressure to share one’s initiatory status or to participate in any initiatory rites. Initiation will be a commitment available in the future but is currently unavailable.
Can initiates leave the tradition?
Individuals are always free to leave at any time.
There is no anti-initiation, unless you wish to devise one. You can stop driving forklifts, but you can’t unlearn how to operate one. However, you can vow to unbind yourself from any forklift-related obligations.
Why have mysteries at all?
Some tools and practices require pre-requisite skills and knowledge to be performed safely. We don’t want any accidental summoning of Kandarian Demons from the Necronomicon, or for anyone to negatively affect their mental health through magical work.