By Doug George-Kanentiio – Akwasasne Mohawk Bear Clan
Consider this: the Peacemaker had to have had formal training as anastronomer and mathematician. How else could he have managed to time the birth of the Confederacy with the total eclipse of the sun? And that was , perhaps, at 2:29 pm on August 22 in 1142 ACE. How could he have coordinated, planned and effected so many variables to come together at one time, at one place at that exact instance? Is there any other example of any enlightened teacher, anywhere on the planet, who managed to do something similar? Not just mark an eclipse but to have one take place while the Iroquois were gathered at Onondaga, in assembly,ready to endorse the lighting of the council fire and the raising of the Great Tree. I know of nothing like it in human history.
So we have to consider that the Confederacy was established during a solar eclipse of which there are two possibilities given the place (central New York) and time (harvest corn ripening). The dates are both in August, both with a magnitude eclipse of 9 which means thesun’s light was almost
totally blocked by the moon. . That would be either August 18, 909 ACE at 11:3 AM or August 22, 1142 at 2:29 PM. Which seems most logical? We have to consider that the Confederacy was said to be long in place when the Europeans arrived in our territory in 1534-1535. There is also speculation as to how
many Tadodahos held that title before contact which, if correct, may point to the earlier time.
The next partial eclipse is Monday, August 21 from 2:20-5:04 PM with a magnitude of 8.5. The total eclipse will be over Cahokia in East St. Louis where our ancestors once lived and the location of
the largest Native urban center until its dissolution inthe 14th century. Isthere a connection
between the formation of the Confederacy, its rise to power, and the abandonment of this city of 20,000 people?
On Monday, April 8, 2024 a total solar eclipse will take place over much of Iroquois territory at 2:15 PM. I would think both this year and seven years from now should be marked by gathers across our land to mark the Confederacy and our respective commitments to keep it in motion. I apologize for citing, in previous columns, August 31/1142 as the founding date since I was relying on incorrect information and should have double checked the data.
There are other opinions about the date of the Confederacy’s formation. Professor William Starna of the State University at Oneonta uses records and accounts from the Dutch and English colonists to suggest it was created in response to the arrival of the Europeans and the subsequent need to regulate trade and commerce. Others have cited 1450 as a date or even sometime after Jacques Cartier arrived in Hochela (Montreal) in 1535. But when the oral teachings are takeninto consideration it would point to a more distant time. There is no question the Confederacy was, like all human creations, a thing which
waxed and waned as circumstances changed. Nations are formed, at timesbecome prosperous and powerful then recede in importance and effect.
What was accomplished at Kahon:ios, Gaonondagan and Onondaga was historic and a grand alliance of nations was formed, the symbolic great tree planted and an oral constitution set in place. To insure that those events were part of a celestial alignment, a divine imperative, the events were timed to the movements of the earth and the intervention of Grandmother Moon and Eldest Brother Sun. They did their cosmic dance and on August 21 perhaps we should do likewise by holding a sun dance and a women’s dance to mark the union of those two beings and once again raise the Great Tree to unite earth and sky.