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,

Your comments are welcome


Arizona: Montezuma’s Castle

Photography Prints

A must see attraction in Northern Arizona,  Montezuma’s Castle is located just off exit 187 on Interstate 17. Located near the tiny town of Rim Rock , the town featured in many of the John Wayne movies, Montezuma’s Castle was mistakenly named after the Aztec Indian Chief whom the Spaniards thought had traveled this far north.

A short two-hour drive north of Phoenix and only about a half an hour from beautiful, picturesque Sedona, it visiting it is an excellent way to spend an afternoon. If you have the time, spend the whole day in this beautiful and historic part of northern Arizona by combining it with such local attractions as Tuzigoot, an ancient Anasazi hilltop settlement near Cottonwood, Jerome, the old mining town located on the side of Cleopatra Mountain, and Montezuma’s Well which is also  located near Montezuma’s Castle.

 Built by the Sinagua Indians, it is constructed near the top of a tall Verde Valley  limestone cliff, located near a small river, it provided the needed shelter, food and water for the group of natives who occupied it
for several hundred years.

Due to the extreme danger involved in constructing a dwelling of this nature, it demonstrates the Sinagua to be a very daring and able bodied people. The five-story structure contains 20 rooms and was home to about 50 people, there is much evidence that at one time it was a much larger structure.

Built as it is , it was very difficult for invading tribes to penetrate the natural defenses of this structure. The Sinagua occupied this area
from about 1125 A.D. until about 1425 when for unknown reasons they mysteriously disappeared.

It is unknown why they left, but war with the arriving Yavapai tribe, drought , or depletion of the soil due to improper fertilization have
all been suggested as causes for their departure. Many artifacts have been discovered which gives us insight to their way of life and
indicates they were fine artisans and craftsmen.

Having been designated by President Theodore Roosevelt as a National Historical site in 1906, Montezuma’s Castle  became one of the first such designations in the United States. The adjoining museum provides  much information about the life and times of the Signaua to the nearly half million people who come from around the world to learn more of the American Indians and their ways each year.

Due to the many attractions in this area, such as the Verde Valley Railroad, Blazing M Ranch , the many golf courses, and the  proximity of the Grand Canyon and Flagstaff, it’s not hard to spend an entire week in this part of the mystical desert southwest.

Now you can follow me on Kindle.

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

Your comments appreciated

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 both hard copy and Ebook format.


Art Prints