Montezuma and Cortez

As it was in the new world before the coming of the Europeans.

Upon reaching Tenochitlan (Mexico City), Montezuma asked Cortés if he was the god Quetzalcoatl, who was predicted to return from the east as a white man with a beard and blue eyes, to stamp out human sacrifice and deliver the oppressed.

Cortés replied: “It was true that we came from where the sun rose, and were the vassals and servants of a great Prince called the Emperor Don Carlos, who held beneath his sway many and great princes, and that the Emperor having heard of him and what a great prince he was, had sent us to these parts to see him, and to beg them to become Christians, the same as our Emperor and all of us, so that his soul and those of all his vassals might be saved.”

Montezuma was in awe of Cortés and his men, primarily because of the ominous portents and signs that had recently occurred which were interpreted as foretelling Quetzalcoatl’s return and the end of the Aztec Empire, namely:

  • water of the lake around Mexico City boiling over due to volcanic eruption
  • unusual northern lights
  • comets
  • earthquakes
  • the temple of the sun god catching fire
  • eerie wailing noises at night
  • the king’s sister revived from her grave saying strange beings would enter the country and ruin it

Montezuma showed Cortés and his men their temples. There was a theater made of human skulls and mortar, wherein Gonzalo de Umbria counted 136,000 skulls, which included those in the steps and on poles. A tower was made of skulls too numerous to count.

There were obsidian knives, stone altars, black-robed priests with hair matted down with human blood, idols with basins for human blood, walls and steps covered with human blood and gore, an idol made out of seeds kneaded and ground with the blood of virgins and babies, pits where the human bodies were thrown after people had eaten off the arms and legs.

Bernal Diaz del Castillo recorded: “Our Captain said to Montezuma through our interpreter, half laughing: ‘Señor Montezuma, I do not understand how such a great Prince and wise man as you are has not come to the conclusion, in your mind, that these idols of yours are not gods, but evil things that are called devils and so that you may know it and all your priests may see it clearly, do me the favor to approve of my placing a cross here on the top of this tower.’”

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

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Cortez Enters Mexico

Right or wrong, this is the way it was.

Just two years after Martin Luther began the Reformation, on the other side of the world, 34-year-old Hernan Cortés landed in Central America in 1519. His conquistadors had the mixed motives of “God, Glory and Gold.”

In what he believed to be a holy cause, Cortés told his small army: “Soldiers of Spain, we are standing upon the verge of the greatest adventure ever undertaken by so small a body of men. We now leave the known world behind us: from this time forth we plunge into a region never before trodden by men of our race or religion. The hazards of this adventure I shall not dwell upon; they are well estimated by the bravest among you. … The shores we shall storm are lined with teeming millions of savages, unfriendly if not openly hostile. We have only our swords and our good right arms to protect us against their overwhelming numbers. Therefore let not childish strife or inner dissension weaken the front we must present to the enemy. If we go as united as we go courageously, we have nothing to fear, nothing to lose. … We are marching as Christians into a land of infidels. We seek not only to subdue boundless territory in the name of our Emperor Don Carlos, but to win millions of unsalvaged souls to the True Faith.”

Cortés ordered his ships sunk. There was no turning back.

With 500 men, 16 horses and 10 cannons, Cortés set out from Vera Cruz on Feb. 10, 1519, toward Tenochitlan-Mexico City. Mexico City was the capital of the Aztec Empire, which ruled Central America after the Mayan civilization peaked around 900 A.D.

The Aztec Empire consisted of 6 million people stretched over 200,000 square miles. As Americans today are shocked by reports of Planned Parenthood cutting out baby body parts and selling them, Cortes’ troops were likewise shocked by gruesome sights, such as:

  • prisoners with their hearts cut out
  • pyramid style temples covered with human blood
  • bodies of men and boys without arms or legs
  • human skulls stacked on poles
  • hundreds of thousands of human skulls arranged in piles
  • gnawed human bones piled in houses and streets
  • wooden houses built with grates jammed with captives awaiting sacrifice
  • pagan priests with hair matted with dried blood, the stench of carrion, sodomy
  • sacrificed humans rolled down temples where frenzied hoards ate them

This was part of their religion which believed the sun god needed human blood to live and that the Aztecs were responsible to feed him daily with captives from other tribes.

As the Spanish troops went from town to town, other Indian tribes were elated with hopes of being freed from Aztec rule which required them to provide youth for sacrifices. Cortés men freed captives, rolled idols down temple steps and erected crosses.

Francisco Lopez de Gomara, Cortés’ personal secretary and chaplain, reported how they found in Cozumel a Catholic priest, Gerónimo de Aguilar. He had been shipwrecked on Yucatan eight years earlier and had learned the language: “So Gerónimo de Aguilar preached to them about salvation, and, either because of what he told them, or because of the beginning they had already made, they were pleased to have their idols cast down, and they even assisted at it, breaking into small pieces what they had formerly held sacred. … And soon our Spaniards had left not a whole idol standing, and in each chapel they set up a Cross or the image of Our Lady, whom all the islanders worshiped with prayer and great devotion. … They begged Cortés to leave someone behind to teach them to believe in the God of the Christians; but he did not dare consent, for fear they might kill the preacher, and also because he had few priests and friars with him. And in this he did wrong, in view of their earnest request and supplications.”

In giving battle instructions, Cortés exhorted: “Sirs, let us follow our banner which bears the sign of the Holy Cross, and through it we shall conquer!”

The blogger has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

The world is coming to an end

Written By: Gary Wonning

The Earth/ The World—Earth refers to the organic planetary mass. World refers to a social-political-economic organization. So-called worlds may come and go. Empires rise and fall, but the Earth remains. Having said that, the end of the world or end of the age may not mean the end of the Earth unless of course the world (i.e. humanity) decides to destroy it or there is some cataclysmic cosmic event that occurs.

In today’s world, in my view, the ending of the Mayan, Hopi, and various other ancient calendars only signifies an end of an age, the age of Pisces.

With the turn of the century and entering into the twenty-first century, planet earth entered into the age of Aquarius, as exemplified in the song of the same title from the seventies.

This act of earth entering into a different zodiac zone begins a new era of understanding and human evolvement of souls living on planet earth, through it, we will all evolve to individuals with a deeper sense of our own creation and life purpose.  

We will become more aware of our neighbor’s intentions and thoughts. It will be harder for people to deceive us and hence, we will be able to live a happier, more fulfilling life, if we so chose.

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

What’s With Sedona

 

Written By: Gary Wonning

An excerpt from my book: A Journey Towards Enlightenment

I began feeling extremely lightheaded, I seem to be leaving my body, and although we had eaten a full breakfast before we left Phoenix barely two hours earlier, I am starved. I need to pull off the road, not entirely conscious, I feel I need to get a photo of this strange rock, this one they call Bell Rock.

Getting back in the car, auntie suggested I eat something, wrong thing to say. I consumed the bananas, apples, and the large jar of Planters Peanuts, and drank most of the tea. She’s looking at me like I’m weird or something.

As we drove past Bell Rock, I suddenly felt the need to take more photos, I had never seen or experienced anything like this before. Parking by the side of the road, I walked back up the hill for a better vantage point. I felt as though my body was separating at the knees and very wobbly and not totally conscious. The only place I could feel my body was at the knees and they hurt, it was as if the only part of my body that was still connected to the earth was from the knees down.

photo of bell rock

Snowy Bell Rock

Never leaving sight of the car, I looked up through the camera at the rock, I saw large sparks coming from the top of Bell Rock, looking upward, I focused and took several photographs.

As I walked back at the car, it seemed as my body was returning to some normalcy, however, I was still extremely disoriented. Emma exclaimed that she was getting worried since I had disappeared from sight to my recollection, I had never left her line of vision. This is just too weird.

The strange sensations continued all the time we were in Sedona but did subside some as I left the general area of Bell Rock. I appeared to be fine physically and was driving safely,(according to Emma) and alertly, however, everything else seemed out of whack. Lunch time arrived and in spite of eating practically everything in the car, I was still hungry.

The Coffee Pot restaurant was the place to eat in West Sedona, finding a seat in the busy restaurant we both ordered a plate lunch. I consumed all of mine and half of my aunt’s, what the H#$% is going on?

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

 

 

Ending My Journey In Belize

Written By: Gary Wonning

This was to be our last night in the tropical paradise called Belize, after spending two weeks studying the ancient Maya and their culture, it was time to think of returning to the good old USA. Tomorrow it would be back to Belize City, where we would board a flight for Houston and consequently our final destination, Indianapolis.

The sleeping accommodations couldn’t have been any better, the huts were modern, with screened in open air quarters and a convenient outside shower. An early morning breakfast, a short good-bye on the pier and we were on our way back to the good old USA.

It had been quite a trip.

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

Native Americans Canoeing Down the River

Written by; Gary Wonning

While my canoe drifted on the river my mind began to drift aimlessly down the river of time, looking back I could see the same canoes that had begun the journey, the same people were still occupying them, but the time had shifted and we were no longer in the twentieth century.

I instantly envisioned a group of Indians navigating the Snake River in what is now the land of Idaho, as I watched, the canoe carrying Merle and his wife as well as my daughter Annette, now held Merle, Barb, and Annette was their daughter. I was also one of their children, being older I was in a separate canoe with another brother, Jim.

photo of the Cozumel beach

The beach at Cozumel

The tribe was moving south for the winter, the leaves were already starting to turn to their magnificent hues of red and gold and I began to notice a slight chill in the air. We were in unfamiliar waters now, we had never gone this far south before. As I rounded a sweeping bend in the river, I was the first became aware of the danger that lie ahead.

It came on us without warning, being in the lead we were the first to see and hear the giant waterfall that lie ahead, navigating near the river’s edge, Jim and I were able to reach out and grab a limb, thereby saving our lives, the rest were not so lucky, and many fell to their death.

As I watched, the canoe carrying the rest of our family plunged over the river’s edge, Barb and Annette survived, but Merle was killed instantly, striking his head on a rock and breaking his neck.

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The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

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The Sacred Legend of Mackinac Island

Another great article about Mackinac Island and the surrounding area.

Mackinac Island

About 15,000 years ago, Mackinac began to emerge as an Island in what is now known as Lake Huron, when the glaciers of the Ice Age receded. At least three different lake levels were known that helped to develop it as it is today. It is believed to be during the Nippissing post glacier period about 4000-6000 years ago, due to the erosive action of the ancient Great Lakes, that the cliffs and rock formations were created in the Breccia Limestone. As the Halite or rock salt washed away, caverns were left in the softer rock. Centuries ago, Lake Algonquin supposedly covered all but the center of Mackinac Island and left only what is known as Sugar Loaf protruding. It stood 75 feet above ground level and is the largest of the limestone stacks. The measurements are two miles wide, three miles long and eight miles around.

As the years passed, birds dropped seeds and wild animals began to visit the Island, causing different fauna to begin to appear on the landscape. Clumps of trilliums, lady slippers, species of asters, forget-me-nots, violets, buttercups, a variety of orchids, jack-in-the-pulpits to mention a few, grew in the soil. Over 600 species of plants eventually appeared to grow on the surface. Trees of pine, cedar, spruce, maple, oak, elm, and more took root in the dirt and rocks. Birds began to come to roost in the branches of the trees and look for food along the shores. Herrings, ring billed gulls, blue herons, Canadian geese and loons, winter snow owls and the great grey owl from the Artic came to nest in the warmer climates surrounding the Island. Later on many species made their home on the Island such as the tundra swan, ospreys, purple martin, blue jays, orioles, warblers and many others.

The first visitors were aboriginal Indians around 11,000 years ago in prehistoric times. After the last glacier – 4000-6000 years ago, Indians looked out over the Straits between the newly formed lakes and gazed at the high bluffs. Legend has it that it resembled a large reptile and called it Mich-la-mack-in-aw derived from the Chippewa and Ottawa language, Mi-she-mi-ki-nock, meaning big mud turtle. Their totem was the turtle. They looked at the Island in awe especially at the arch rock, which they believed was the gateway to the Island in which Gitchee Manitou (A Great Spirit) entered, to go to his home in Sugar Loaf Rock. They saw the Island as mystical and believed it to be sacred land. They buried their dead chiefs in the caves.

Long before any white man set foot on Mackinac Island, the Anishinabe lived near the St. Lawrence Seaway. About 500 years ago, they received a vision that guided them to move to a new land. The vision ended where the two lakes met. The Anishinabe divided into three groups. The second group called the Ottawa, settled on Manitoulin Island. An independent small group of Indians lived on Mackinac Island. They roamed the woods and fished the lake that surrounded it. They set up their wigwams and made their encampments for trade or other business along its shores and rested there after long winter hunts. They held Jubilees and war dance. Their children played upon its sandy shores. The Ottawas thought them an interesting people and made a confederation with the tribe. However this small tribe had powerful enemies, the Iroquois of New York. One day in the dead of winter, when the tribe was celebrating a victory with a Jubilee over the conquest of the We-Ne-Be-Goes of Wisconsin, the Iroquois struck and almost annihilated them. Two of the small tribe escaped and fled and hid in the caves. This was thought to be the end of them. The tribal name was Mi-Shi-Ne-Macki-Naw-Go so the Ottowa and Chippewa named the island Mi-Shi-Ne-Nacki-Nong in honor of their former confederates and this is supposed to be the true origination of the Island’s name, Michimackinac, according to Chief Mack-e-te-be-nesay or Andrew Blackbird (Black Hawk) in a traditional story told in 1887.

Oh, the stories that could be told over the centuries. Some are true but some may be just legends. Legends are told over the years but somewhere many have been based on actual facts. Take for the example, this story. It is the tragic story of a young Indian couple. I will call them Running Bear and Little Bird for lack of their real names. Running Bear was leaving on a raid on another tribe. Little Bird received news that he had been killed and wouldn’t be returning to her. In her grief for her lover, she threw herself off one of the high cliffs to join him in death. The tragic story is that she was wrongly informed and that he returned safely so that her death was in vain. Later people named this site as Lover’s Leap.

Missionary’s quest for souls brought the Jesuits to the area. In 1671, Father Marquette founded a mission here. It was the first in the region replacing one founded three years earlier on Lake Superior’s shore at Chequamegon Bay. It later was moved to St. Ignace. Abundant fishing for centuries brought large populations of Indians to fish the lakes. Ottawa, Ojibway, French Canadians, Metis, Scots and German Jews conducted business upon the shores. Trading for furs brought the first white explorers. Beaver pelts were traded for metal knives, awls, kettles, steel flints, guns, ammo, blankets, and jewelry. Liquor was prohibited but unscrupulous men still gave it to the Indians for furs. Packs of thousands of pelts were shipped to Montreal and eventually to France and England where they graced the heads of customers. Desire for fur hats in the 17th and 18th century led the Canadians to establish supply networks. Mackinac Island was chosen to be the rendezvous point for this action. The traders and Indians came in flotillas of canoes for supplies for the next season but after business was conducted it was time for revelry. Their recreation was performing contests of great skill, along with many types of games, drinking good whiskey, gamboling, and the swapping of the tallest tales. It was a wild and heterogeneous assemblage of several hundred men, both savage and civilized that gathered every year upon the shores.

The fur trade was so profitable that the English tried to win Indian suppliers away from the French. Forts were built to protect the fur trade and to make sure the government got its share. Furs were the lifeblood of the French, the main lively hood of the British and of great economic importance to the Americans. The first fort was built by the French at Mackinaw in 1715. Two battles were fought on Mackinac Island during the War of 1812. The British took over the fort at Mackinaw after a great victory in Montreal in 1760. They took control without firing a shot. They moved to Mackinac in 1761 after a victory in the French and Indian War because its high limestone bluffs and excellent harbor made for better defense. They had grown concerned that the Americans were going to attack and that was the reason to move the Garrison. The King’s 8th Regiment was garrisoned there. During the American Revolution the British burnt the fort at Mackinaw to the ground and moved their defense to Mackinac’s bluff’s. In 1783 the Americans had taken possession of the fort but the British again captured the fort in the War of 1812. The Jay Treaty gave it back to the Americans in 1815.

During the British occupation, the Indians did not trust the British. They considered the Indians a conquered people. They considered the Indians and half breeds as savages. Take for example, the tragic love affairs of Sophia Biddle. Her father, Edward and mother, Agathe Lavigne owned a fur trading center in the small village. They wanted a good education for their beautiful daughter so sent her away to her uncle where she became very sophisticated. She spent the seasons in Detroit where she met a young officer named John C. Pemberton. He despised Mackinac Island and said it was a godforsaken outpost with nothing but savages and half breeds. He was a very bigoted man. Little did he know Sophia was one of these half breeds. She fled back to her home on Mackinac Island so he wouldn’t find out the truth. When he came looking for her and found she was a half breed, he spurned her and sarcastically turned his back on her in disgust.

Having a change of heart, he returned the next spring to see her, only to hear she had died of consumption and a broken heart. She is buried in the St. Anne’s Cemetery. This kind of distrust of the British led to Pontiac’s Rebellion in 1763-1766. The Native Americans waged war against the British and attacked Detroit. They were dissatisfied with the infamous policies of the British after the French and Indian War. The British were brutal in the treatments of prisoners, targeting and exploiting civilians caught in the middle. British officers attempted to turn the tide of battle by deliberately infecting the Indians with blankets riddled with the small pox virus. The treachery and ruthlessness drove a wedge further between the Indians and the British. They also refused to give them free ammunition as the French had done and treated them arrogantly. They built forts and allowed white settlers upon the Indian land. The French had cultivated alliances with the Indians, traded with them and even intermarried with Indian women. When the British took over all that changed and everything from then on turned sour. The Indians joined together to drive the British from their land. Pontiac gathered the Ottawa, Potawatomi, Ojibway and Huron Indians into one confederation. The French had vacated the fort in 1761 but the French civilians encouraged the Indians to drive out the British. In 1763, the Mackinac fort was attacked and most of the British killed. The Indians had used the ruse of playing a game of Bagataway (Lacrosse) in front of the fort. A ball deliberately was knocked into the fort as the soldiers watched the game in interest. The Indians all raced into the fort after it and the women handed them their weapons hidden under their blankets. The unsuspecting soldiers were killed but the French were left unharmed.

Alexander Henry, a British subject had been urged by Jean Baptist Leduc to go in trade with him at Mackinac. When he landed he was met by 6 warriors with tomahawks in one hand and scalping knives in the other. He hid for a while in the attic of Charles Michel de Langlade but they were afraid they would be punished for harboring him as a blood brother sometime before and hid him for safety in Skull Cave. It was dark and Alexander laid down on leaves and brush for the night. He felt something sticking him in the back and the next morning in the light of day realized he was sleeping on human bones.

Because of Pontiac’s lack of success in capturing Detroit the British took over the fort at Mackinac again in 1764. After the French and Indian War in 1780 the British still controlled the fort. In the War of 1812 the British and Americans fought over the Island. The Americans gained control with the Jay Treaty.

In the 19th century, tourism was given a boost. The Federal Government declared the Island as protected land. This limited the development and set building restrictions as to preserve the natural beauty of the land. Writers found the area and described its beauty and Victorians flocked to the Island in droves. It became one of the nations most favored resorts. They traveled by excursion boats from Cleveland, Detroit, Buffalo and Chicago. In 1887 The Grand Hotel was built. Summer cottages were also constructed for tourists who wished to remain for a while upon the Island. They danced to the music of Strauss’ Waltzes, listened to the great Marches of Sousa. They dined on delicious whitefish, and strolled along the decks and romantic beaches. Social activities included, tennis, bicycling, hiking, swimming and examining the Islands natural wonders. Later on a golf course was built.

During the Great Depression tourism fell off but picked up again after World War II. The Island has attracted great political figures such as presidents and governors. Two movies have been made there, “Somewhere In Time” and “This Time For Keeps” starring Ester Williams. Thousands of tourists still visit Mackinac Island each year.

I can’t recall who said this but it was said that the Island was here First for FURS,
Second for FISHING, Third for FUN and now-days for FUDGE.

 

Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature,landscapes and studying native cultures.Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt,the Canary Islands,much of the Caribbean. He has studied  the Mayan Cultures in Central America, and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!

He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.

For more information and a link to his hard cover and Ebooks,and contact information: please check his website.www.commonsensejourneys.com

Your comments appreciated

Enlightenment

At this period of time in the history of man, there is probably more individual searching being done into the theories behind the origin of the human race,what happens after death,the possibility of life on other planets, and what our relationship is to these life forms, if they do exist. There are millions of people who are questioning the existence of God, who he really is, and what is my relationship with him? Is he someone who mysteriously floats around on a cloud watching and judging us from above like some bigger than life Santa Claus, or is he, like many of the esoteric sciences claim, a part of our inner Self, whom we have constant contact with, someone whom we and everything in the universe are connected and are thus one? Each of us in our own way is experiencing what God is, and thus we are each a part of God, thus we are God! This book is a brief account of my search for my own truth.

Available in Hard Copy and Ebook format.