This data was last updated on 26 January 2021.
Mission: “It is the mission of Cornucopia Collective… is to create a focal point for a reliable Pagan spiritual community that embraces diversity and provides Boston area Pagans with access to public ritual, thoughtful religious education and compassionate support.”
History: The Cornucopia Collective officially began in 2015, although it had existed as a loose idea for many years prior. Founders chose the name “Cornucopia” to channel the abundance provided by gathering in community and in nature. From the beginning, one of the Cornucopia Collective’s main goals was to unify the diverse Pagan communities in the Greater Boston Area, which proved challenging at first; despite increasing acceptance toward Pagans, some communities keep themselves secretive for their own safety. Finding a space to practice became another challenge in the Cornucopia Collective’s journey. After some difficulties they found a home in First Church Cambridge, which has proved a welcoming space. Today, the Cornucopia Collective attracts both solitary Pagans as well as those who belong to other Pagan groups. With sincerity and strength in solidarity, the Cornucopia Collective has become a healing space for Pagans who might otherwise have been alone.
Description: The Cornucopia Collective has never hosted an event without new people, some of whom have never practiced Paganism before. The collective seeks to form a welcoming space for these newcomers by hosting a variety of different events and publishing a guide for first-time attendees on their website. Many community members have taught themselves about different religions, and see themselves as “seekers” of varied and diverse religious knowledge. For many members, becoming Pagan feels like a process of returning to what they have always known rather than discovering something new. Even after joining the Cornucopia Collective, people are encouraged to continue the practice of seeking. In heeding the call to Paganism, members of the Cornucopia Collective also rise to the challenge of social advocacy. Social justice work is the keystone of the Cornucopia Collective. The community’s rituals often prioritize social issues: for example, in a ritual honoring Lilith, members picked up sledgehammers and smashed apples to ritually destroy the patriarchy.
Community: The Cornucopia Collective has a multi-ringed format, with an inner circle of committed clergy that support the wider circle of members. People are welcome to enter either circle, and many find that after taking classes and attending rituals, they are more interested in joining the inner circle that provides direction for the collective. The Cornucopia Collective continues to operate as an open community network, giving Pagans in Boston a place to belong.
Leadership: An important part of the Cornucopia Collective’s leadership ethos is to focus not on power over others, but instead on power as a transformative force. In community decisions, the Cornucopia Collective tries to attain consensus first and then look to the inner circle for guidance.
Current Activities: Because so many of its ritual attendees are new to Paganism, the Cornucopia Collective strives to host myriad different types of events to suit each kind of practitioner. Popular events include the eight sabbats of the year as well as full and new moon rituals. The Cornucopia Collective also hosts Wicca 101, a year-long course that covers everything from Wicca basics to developing spell work. Those who complete Wicca 101 can also join a second-year Wicca class covering more advanced topics. Finally, the Cornucopia Collective runs Pagan Process, an hour-long drop-in space for Pagans to discuss their spiritual practice.
Affiliations and Partnerships: Since its founding, the Cornucopia Collective has offered a space for Pagans in different groups across Greater Boston to come together. At times, the collective has operated as a support network of pagan clergy. Although not all Pagans affiliate with a certain group or organization, the Cornucopia Collective believes that it is important for all Pagans to know that there is community and support available.
Future: In the future, the Cornucopia Collective hopes to build a centralized community center as a sacred space for Pagans. It would become a place to gather not only for members of the Cornucopia Collective, but for other groups of Pagans in the Boston area.