This FAQ is a work in progress and will be changed as the SGP evolves.
Last updated: 29/11/2017
Why an FAQ?
It’s an easy to digest format for large chunks of disparate information.
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.
I have safety concerns?
There will be no rigid hierarchies nor poisoned beverages here.
Safety is very important to us; harassment 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.
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 despite it having no power structure whatsoever. 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.
What is chaos magic?
That question is too big for this FAQ. I’ll have a recommended reading list up shortly.
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?
If you aren’t comfortable claiming the label on a personal level and prefer LGBTQIA or one of its derivatives that’s fine, but it’s going to get used as an umbrella term pretty frequently. There is evidence of queer being reclaimed for decades, it is a part of our history and heritage.
Am I queer enough to join?
There is no need to qualify your queerness. We aren’t ace, bi, questioning, closeted, trans or nonbinary exclusive.
How inclusive are you?
A committed desire for self-mastery is a prerequisite, as well as a sense of humour. One of the core principles of the SGP is to eliminate and minimize both incidental and overt personal bigotry and discrimination. Frothing racists aren’t welcome, but a proactive approach to working through internalized prejudices is.
How accessible are you?
I’m a spoonie so my capabilities are limited, but I will do my best to provide captions on videos, wheelchair access information for events, ext. whenever possible.
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.
Is it a mystery or initiatory tradition?
It’s too early to say, although at this stage there will likely be grades for people who wish to make the commitment available in the future.
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 I’m presently aware of. I 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
I’m interested! What now?
The SGP is still a fledgling path, but we currently have a facebook group dedicated to discussing its development here.