Elder Tales

Elder Tales, the Project

In 1954 Gerald Gardner published Witchcraft Today, telling the world that Witches are real and living amongst everyone else.  The many flavors of paganism began to emerge into the public eye, becoming known in a new way and by new numbers of people and creating community that has evolved and changed, as the world we find ourselves in has also continued to transform.  

Elders and post-elders (those who have stepped down from the active role of teaching, guiding, ritual-making) have lived through world changes and paradigm shifts, the advent of the modern age, the revolution/evolution of civil rights and more.

This project aims to collect the stories, the memoirs, the tales of the lived experiences of pagan elders from our communities, and make them available to our community.  Our current focus is to gather the tales from those who have been intentionally practicing for 30 or more years and who have been actively engaged with community.  Community origin memoirs are a particular passion of the project organizer (Violet).

We invite you to engage with these stories with curiosity and to let judgment sit to the side.  The memoirs may inspire or anger you, confound or reassure you.  We hope that no matter the reaction, that you gain insight into the past through the lens of people who were there.

We offer these stories freely and for free, though we do invite donations if you can afford to do so as there are real world costs associated with the project and hosting the information.


  • The views and opinions expressed in these interviews are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of anyone else, site owner included.
  • These memoirs are the perspectives of the speakers at the time of recording. Our memories are interpreted constantly by our current perspective; how we remember and particularly how we interpret our memories, can change over time.
  • Human memory is tricksy and fallible. We can be certain we remember things exactly as they were, but compared with other witnesses of the same event, we will have different experiences/details/stories. In other words…
  • These tales are not unadulterated fact, they are personally experienced myth, shared with the best intention of precision and accuracy.

All of which is to say: a) Please don’t freak out if you disagree with what is said.b) Please don’t take what is said as a guarantee of what precisely happened.c) Please take these as they are: someone sharing their personal recollections around the metaphorical campfire.

Click below to connect with the stories, to donate or to volunteer to be recorded!

Ready to witness shared history?

To give reasonable protection to our elders, to the site and frankly to the stories themselves, you will need to register with the site to access the Elder Tales.



Sign up with zero obligation to frankly anything beyond our community rules

Want to Support the Project?

We welcome any and all donations in support of the Elder Tales Project and Terra Arcanum generally.  Monies received support the creation and maintenance of the website and recordings.  

Have Tales to Share?

Have you been intentionally practicing a form of paganism for thirty year or more?  Do you want to share your memories of the communities you were a part of and what you learned from your experiences?  We would love to hear from you, please fill out the contact form below.

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