Peace Chief’s Birthplace—Canoga, NY

One of the many places of Prayer in Upstate NY.

The birthplace of Red Jacket, the Seneca Chief, is located in the town of Canoga (10 miles south of Seneca Falls) on the western shore of Cayuga Lake and is marked by a NY State historical marker. It notes that he tried to bring peace between the Haudenosaunee and early America. That potential to bring peace, reconciliation and healing can be found there. The pilgrim willing to visit Canoga Cemetery and show respect and perform ceremony will be applying a large amount of healing between native and non- native peoples and among other peoples, races and classes.

Red Jacket

His English name, Red Jacket, came from the Red Coat he was given by British officers as an ally during the Revolutionary war. His native name was Otetiani, “Always Ready,” which he changed to ,Sagoyewatha, “He Keeps Them Awake,” when he became a chief. After the revolutionary war he served as a mediator between the Senecas and the newly formed USA government. In 1792 he led a delegation that met with George Washington and was awarded a “Peace” medal.

Few well known historical figures were so scandalized as Red Jacket was. He has been called a coward, a drunkard and was derided for disagreeing with his uncles Cornplanter and the Native American prophet, Handsome Lake. I leave it to the reader to research the topic themselves to determine whether any of these claims has merit.

There is no doubt that Sagoyewatha was a passionate defender of his people--Had a quick wit and was a great orator. He is well known for the passionate defense he gave of his Native religion to a Boston missionary looking to proselytize the Seneca’s in 1805.

The Site

The birthplace of Sagoyewatha is a small but pleasant park in front of the Canoga Cemetery on route 89 just north of Cemetery Road. A large stone obelisk-like monument marks his birthplace. Each of five large stones at the base are inscribed with the names of the 5 Haudenosaunee nations. The monument is a replica of a tree trunk and can be difficult to see because it blends in with the background. In the picture on the side it is to the left of the green sign in the background. The stones commemorating the Haudenosaunee nations are covered by flowers during the summer. You have to get close and move some plants to read the inscriptions.

Grounds keeper Peter Lawatsch keeps the small park area well maintained. There are several picnic benches where people can sit, as well as a small graveled parking area. You can lunch there. Peter warned that visitors should be careful of the traffic on Route 89.

Honoring Native Peoples

Each sacred site is like an individual and no two are exactly alike. Sagoyewatha’s birthplace is unique because it is a place that offers tremendous potential for healing between Native and non-Native peoples, and, in fact, between all peoples. What it needs from the pilgrim is respect and formal ceremony—particularly from the non-Native pilgrim.

Respect will bring in the light and counter the condescending attitudes of superiority from which the Native People’s suffered. The Hindu faith teaches us that our thoughts, both positive and negative, coalesce creating samskaras that block our spiritual development. We create such samskaras both individually and collectively. That consciousness of superiority still lingers in our world today.

Consider the insights of Hindu mystics The Mother and Sri Aurobindo on the power of our thoughts:

“[E]veryone has in him…the power to give form to his mental activity…We are all the time, ALWAYS, creating images, creating forms. We send them into the atmosphere without even knowing that we are doing so—they go roaming about, pass from one person to another, meet companions, sometimes join together...create conflicts, and then there are battles….All these formations have a common tendency to want to materialize and realize themselves physically.” Collected Works of the Mother 9:385-388, The Mother.

That consciousness of superiority/hate/prejudice still lingers in our world today looking to manifest. It sits waiting to snare someone in its web.


Red Jacket Defending His Religion

"Brother, our seats were once large, and yours were very small; you have now become a great people, and we have scarcely a place left to spread our blankets; you have got our country, but are not satisfied; you want to force your religion upon us…"

"Brother, you say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit; if there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about it? Why not all agree, as you can all read the book?..."

"Brother, we do not wish to destroy your religion, or take it from you; we only want to enjoy our own."

Ceremony brings formality and reinforces the gesture of respect. It is not important what ceremony you do, only that you do it. Use one from your own faith tradition.

Many of us brought up in Western faith traditions may feel akward in doing ceremony. You can show respect by bringing an offering—flowers, food, etc— through posture—kneeling, bowing, etc.—or through other actions such as burning incense. Try not to leave non-perishable items behind or things such as food that might attract animals. If you bring food you may want eat it there as if you were sharing a meal. The key to whatever you do is your intentions!

The area just below the monument is a potent spot that will significantly magnify your good thoughts and actions.

Gaia's Soul

Not surprisingly there is a field of consciousness just south of the small parking lot. It is a stacked field with four types of consciousness placed one upon each other. Very powerful--Mother Earth's soul.

Although not visible there is a small ceremonial circle 15 to 20 feet north of the picnic table. Mother earth's body like our own body looks to reunite shiva (Godhead) with Shatki (energy). Most of us know this as Kundalini rising--that as we begin to perform spir-tual exercises (prayer, offering, itual, ceremony, meditation, etc.) the kundalini energy within our base chakra begins to rise and looks to reunite with consciousness/godhead in our heart chakra. Similarly over time when people pray at the same place mother earth draws energy to that spot, the same way we raise kundalini energy. The energy drawn to that spot remains there and is easily found by a dowser with a pair of L rods. The small ceremonial circle has energy spinning in a clockwise motion where the stones once were and had several energy lines intersecting at its center. We found this on May 1, 2007 while making a quick stop for show respect with ceremony for Red Jacket on the way to meet someone in Ithaca. There seems to be a lot more at work and I will try and update the survey in the next few weeks. This is also a reflection of the knowledge I have gained this past year doing surveys.

Three lines of consciousness, or ley lines, intersect approximately five feet in front of the monument. Other ley lines can be found close by. A water dome is not far from the intersection of ley lines. Heaven energy descends with four energy vortices.

Care taker Peter Lawatsch told me that the little hill that the monument sits on is not a mound but was filled in. He said that numerous springs emanate in the cemetery behind the monument. He also said that the cemetery grounds were tiered which made farming difficult.

Bring Your Healing Love.

Special thanks to Peter Lawatsch and his wife for their informational help and more importantly for the love, effort and respect that they have made in preserving and maintaining this sacred site. You can build on those good intentions by visiting Canoga and bringing your healing love.

God Bless and Praise Allah,

Madis Senner

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