Caer Ellillon is a sacred circle located in the UCSC Upper Campus. The circle has four direction altars and a large totem pole. "Caer" means santuary and "Ellilon" can mean Gods or Elves. In this case, it is a dedication to the earth spirits of the forest and of nature. This circle was created by Coven Coil Sidhe (Elven Wood), a small Wiccan coven in Santa Cruz in the early 1990s. CCS, with the help of friends, created both the circle and rescued the Totem Pole from it's previous location in the then planned "desctruction zone" of College Ten. The circle has been in active use by Pagans and non-Pagans since it's creation in 1992. It is still cared for by local people and at least two members of the original CCS.

Cat's Cradle is a nearby is a redwood circle dedicated (in Sept. 1991) to those who love and honor cats. It consists of two connected redwood tree circles, with branches woven between the trees to create two areas. The smaller of the two areas is a grave for the cats of the family who began the circle. The larger circle contains a box with an open journal and art supplies. The shrine is decorated with cat figurines. Hundreds of people have left writings and art in the seven volumes of the journal left in the larger chamber.

Original CCS member, Dawn and her family still maintain an archive of the journals and occasionally visit to help with maintenance on both sites.



September of 2005

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2007-12-27 01:15:30   There is actually another totem pole at Porter college. —MaryLieth

2007-12-29 16:34:22   Yeah, this area is generally known as "cat's cradle" or the "cat shrine" and the "pagan circle." The totem pole is actually separate (kinda) from the rest of the shrine, it was previously located in Elfland and (apparently) made a while back by a group of Native American UCSC students. I'll try to find the source of that information and update this. —BenChaney

2008-10-19 23:05:03   The totem pole was recently repainted and strapped to a tree at the north end of the circle to preserve it. :) —

2010-03-04 21:44:35   Hi, I'm Dany (previously Dawn). I am one of the original creators of both Caer Ellilon and Cat's Cradle. The cat the shrine was originally created for, Andy, was my companion. I and my family help maintain the sites to this day. Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. Thanks. —Dany

2021-06-08  Hi.  I visited Cat's Cradle and Caer Ellillon today, and I regret to inform you that the totem pole is no longer standing.  It's unclear if it fell naturally or was pushed/climbed or otherwise desecrated.  As someone who remembers it fondly (if sometimes hazily) in both locations, this makes me very sad.