SURF

Jennifer Stover

CAYA Coven: Pagan Eclecticism in the East Bay Area

My research focuses on CAYA Coven, an eclectic Pagan organization in San Franciscos East Bay that is dedicated to providing public rituals such as annual Sabbats and Full Moon Circles that honor seasonal and lunar cycles. CAYA means Come As You Are and emphasizes the incorporation of a diversity of Pagan traditions as well as deities from all over the world. I am interested in understanding how spiritual aptitudes and capacities are cultivated in the course of rituals and other coven related activities. Through participant observation and interviews, I will explore how engaging in ritualized practices shape attitudes, sensibilities, and the establishment of sociability and community. Through examining the function of CAYA as an institution, including aspects of ritual participation and performance, I hope to understand how a sacred space is created, how CAYAs hierarchical clergy works to create an eclectic environment, and why pluralism within the coven is valued.
Jennifer’s Research Blog

Message to Sponsor

I am grateful for this opportunity to immerse myself in research without the distraction of basic financial necessities. This opportunity will be absolutely instrumental in preparation for graduate level research. Receiving the SURF grant in order to do an independent project is above and beyond my initial expectations of my two short years at UC Berkeley. Being a transfer re-entry student, I am amazed at the position in which I find myself; I have a chance to follow my passions and find a career that I love. I believe that this project will lead me to that dream. Thank you.
  • Major: Anthropology
  • Sponsor: JSB Fund
  • Mentor: Charles Hirschkind, Anthropology