Peacemaker’s Sanctuary
Where Prayers are Answered
Onondaga Lake, Syracuse NY

One of the many places of Prayer in Upstate NY.

The Peacemaker’s Sanctuary at Onondaga Lake (Syracuse, NY) is one of those places where your prayers can be answered. God once answered my prayers there about ending violence in the city of Syracuse. I mention this not to draw attention to me, but rather to a wonderful place that can help yourself and the world. But first a warning.

Caution, Onondaga Lake is Contaminated

UPDATE-A vortex has formed from our prayers and intentions. A large stone marks it; about 3 to 5 feet from the bench, to the right and towards the lake if you are facing the lake. The bench has been moved up closer to the paved trail. The stone would be a good place to meditate on, or to try and feel the consciousness emanating from the field of consciousness--the vortex increases the draw of consciounsess which makes its easier to feel. I first felt consciousness at such a vortex. Very Nice!

Onondaga Lake is one of the most polluted lakes in the world. On the physical level the Onondaga Lake area is contaminated with toxic chemicals. On the spiritual level parts of it are covered with strongly negative Geographic Samskaras, scars that remain as a testament to the previous violence and pillaging of the land that has gone on before and the toxic conscoiusness of the chemicals that pollute the lake area. In writing my Places of Prayer I avoid writing up any place that had negative samskaras or industrial containments close by. Onondaga Lake is the exception.

Onondaga Lake has played a significant role in shaping America and the world. The Native American Prophet the Peacemaker planted the Tree of Peace on its shores and gave the Haudenosaunee the Great Law of Peace that would later serve as basis for American Democracy. It is where democracy was born. It is situated between Rochester and Utica in the area Carl Carmer called America’s Psychic Highway in reference to areas strong spiritual and social justice roots. It was the birthplace of spiritualism and the New Age movement; America’s second great Awakening, the women’s movement, etc. The area between Rochester and Utica is also called the burnt over district for religious fervor that burned there, and Northstar Country, so named for all the slaves that found freedom following the North Star to the area.

In other words, history shows that what has transpired at Onondaga Lake and its environs, has affected America and the rest of world. I believe that is because Gaia’s soul resides in the greater Upstate NY area and because of that the consciousness, or what goes on in the area, resonates around America and the world. I believe that because Onondaga Lake is the most polluted lake in the world that consciousness is contributing to make pollution and global warming the biggest threats to our world; Just like all the positive initiatives such as democracy that were planted there took seed around the world so does negative contagions such as pollution.

While the lake is polluted and covered with tosic consciousness it still holds much promise. The fact that parts of the lake such as the Peacemaker’s Sanctuary still pulsate with God’s love is a testament to the lake’s strength and the spirit of those that came before. The samskaras have been unable to totally blanket the lake with negativity. We need to thank the Haudenosaunee and all those that came before for their good thoughts, prayers and ceremony that helped preserve the lake.

“Homage and thanks to you for your good deeds and intentions that fed the lake with spiritual food, giving it strength to persevere.”

My Prayer was Answered

Thanks God
For The Drop in Violence

Thanks to all those who looked to faith and God to heal our city. Your prayers, good thoughts and actions have brought about remarkable results at time when violence has been on the rise in cities across the country. Syracuse is blessed to have you.

Thanks to those faith communities that united in faith and created ACTS. Yours “acts” are truly a testament to how God works in mysterious ways. May we all be able to cast our differences aside like you have and unite for God’s purpose.

Thanks to all those that had the courage to walk our city streets and give a hug to, or hold a hand of a young man many of us would lock our car doors on and drive away from. Thanks to Reverend Ellis’ prayer patrol, Reverend Lott, Reverend Garman, Ralph Jones and the countless others that took to our city’s street in prayer. May we all have your courage and your love to see the divine in all people.

Thanks to all those that brought prayer and hope to places scarred in our city. Thank you Mothers Against Gun Violence for the vigils you held for our fallen souls. Thanks to all those that ever stood in prayer, brought flowers, or lit a candle where we lost one of our own. May we have your compassion and find the time to say a prayer.

Thanks to the IRC, Jail Ministries, Time of Jubilee and all the other organizations and individuals that looked to faith for inspiration and direction to reach out and heal in other ways. May your creativity and outreach serve as an inspiration for us all.

Thanks to those that gathered in Kirk Park, Onondaga Lake Park and our many places worship and prayed for peace in our city.

May God fill us with yearning, hope and faith as we walk forward in prayer. May we be blessed with a vision that goes far beyond ending violence and dreams of a world that can be. Help us dear God to rekindle our community’s prophetic spirit that inspired our founders, motivated slaves, abolitionists and women to justice and fueled our country’s spiritual rebirth.

Thanks be to God—in a world slipping into violence Syracuse is rekindling its soul.


Published in the Syracuse Post Standard.

When I left Wall Street and returned to Syracuse in the fall of 2000 I was immediately struck by the level of violence in the city. I prayed and asked for God’s help. In the fall of 2002 God answered my prayers and encouraged me to organize a prayer vigil in the area of the lakeshore that is now called the Peacemaker’s sanctuary. At the time I had limited knowledge of sacred space and was questioning why this place?

On November 29, 2002, the Friday after Thanksgiving, 25 of us gathered for a prayer vigil and ceremony. David Yarrow helped with the ceremony. Susan Wiener placed gem- stones at four corners around the sanctuary to help sanctify the space. Those gemstones enveloped the place and created a square- like outline linking where the gemstones where placed with energy lines that cannot be see but can be detected with a pair of dowsing rods. As others and I have noted, prayer can draw energy to a place. (See the ability to be transformed.)

After the ceremony I would continue to pray at the Peacemaker’s Sanctuary every day for several months, excepting Christmas day when we received a foot of snow.

There were no murders in Syracuse until January 19, 2003. This was one of the longest periods in recent years without a murder in the city (November 14, 2002 was the last murder to January 19, 2003). For two months there were no murders in Syracuse after it had been averaging almost one every two weeks, even during the winter. The Syracuse Post Standard called 2002 “one of the bloodiest years ever in the county, with a record 25 filled in Syracuse alone.”

The ceremony not only marked the peak in the murder rate in city of Syracuse, it marked the beginning of a steady decline in overall violence, as measured through various statistics. What makes this noteworthy and unusual is that violence has been escalating annually in cities across the country at the same time. The Syracuse Police Department and local prosecutors have held several press conferences(2007) claiming responsibility for the decline because of law enforcement tactics and the prosecution of gangs and other criminals.

A Testament to Faith

There is no conflict between the Police Department’s claim to ending violence and whether God answered my prayers. Scripture teaches us that God delivers people and helps them through mysterious ways—often through other’s hands. When we look to the Israelites we see time and time again that they were saved by God working through others. It was God that delivered them out of Egypt. It was God working through Cyrus that freed them from Babylonia.

Similarly God answered my prayers and worked through mysterious ways to bring down violence. It may well be that the Syracuse Police Department’s tactics and increased prosecution were the physical manifestation of how violence was decreased. It may well be that something else beside the Police Department’s effort that caused the decline in violence.

Several individuals and groups, like those of us that gathered around Onondaga Lake on a snowy and cold day after Thanksgiving, similarly put their faith in trust in God to stop violence in the city. Their prayers were answered as well.

Praying and Giving Thanks

The Peacemaker’s Sanctuary is a great place to pray for your and the world’s needs. However, you must be careful not to go there with selfish motives, rather the more sincere, humble and altruistic that your prayers are, the better.

The Peacemaker’s Sanctuary is also a great place to give thanks. Giving thanks is such a wonderful tradition that teaches us and gives so much, humility, appreciation, faith, and much, much more.

My friend John Sardella of the Where People Gather community, tells me that, ”When we give thanks we give a big hug to our memories. It always helps. Giving thanks helps rekindle our original instructions (from creator)…Giving thanks by Onondaga Lake helps us remember and honor the lake and its purpose and significance.”

Gaia’s Soul

Tadodaho Consciousness

Before the Tadodaho became the spiritual leader of the Haudenosaunee he was the Ardohaho, a vile and violent sorcerer that plagued the people and lived on the shores of Onondaga Lake. The Peacemaker was eventually able to transform him with the help of HIawatha who combed the snakes from his hair. The Peacemaker then made him the spiritual leader of the five nations and he became known as the Tadodaho.

Since our cermony I have learned much about Mother Earth. The Peacemaker’s sanctuary is nestled on stacked field of consciousness. I did not know this in 2002 or that MOther Earth's soul resides in greater upsate NY. I do not know how all of this worked to reduce violence in the city of Syracuse—I still have much to learn. There are numerous lines of consciousness (Spirit Lines, Ley Lines) that cross through it. While other parts of the lake may be covered with negative samskaras, the sanctuary is dominated by a positive, nurturing and healing samskara, that is much stronger than the negativity in the area.

Several energy lines have been drawn to several places near the bench area where prayer and ceremony has taken place. There are numerous energy vortices contained within the space. As mentioned previously, energy lines mark out a square from where the gem- stones were placed for our ceremony.

The gifted pilgrim may be able to detect that the area of the Peacemaker’s sanctuary has a long history of serving as a place of prayer. You may sense that some very great souls have graced the shores of Onondaga Lake there asking for guidance and help. Add to that love.

Pray, Heal and Give Thanks

The Peacemaker’s sanctuary is located on the West Shore Trail of Onondaga Lake park. For directions to Onondaga Lake and the peacemaker’s Sanctuary go to: Map and Directions.

If your heart is heavy with concern for loved ones or strangers, or you long for peace and healing, or if you need guidance or inspiration go to the Peacemaker’s Sanctuary. Bring kindness, compassion and sincerity and it will be delivered to where it is needed.

God Bless,

Madis Senner

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PS. I have rightly given much caution about praying at the Peacemaker’s Sanctuary at Onondaga Lake. Please take the advice and do not let it prevent you from visiting a wonderful place.

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