|In the Yoruba religion in West Africa, Ogun (or Ogoun, Ogún, or Oggun) is an Orisha
and Loa who presides over iron, hunting, forest, woodlands, politics and war. He is the
patron of blacksmiths, and is usually displayed with a number of attributes like a
machete, bow and arrow or a hammer. He is one of the husbands of goddesses Erzulie,
Oshun, and Oya. Ogun is a beloved divine archetype of the warrior god similar to the
Greek god Ares or Norse God Thor. He is handsome, strong, virile, young and strong.
His legs are muscular because he runs through the wilderness surveying his worldly
territory. His arms are muscular because he hauls the heavy irons and metals that also
make him the patron saint of hunters, artisans, craftsman, ironworkers, toolmakers and
those who does labor and construction.
Ogun is a mighty and powerful Orisha. He is known to exhibit rage and violence and
destruction. Perhaps linked to this theme is the new face he has taken on in Haiti
which is not exactly related to his African roots, but that of a king or powerful
He gives strength through prophecy and magick. Ogun is said to have planted the idea
in the heads of the slaves for the Haitian Revolution of 1804. Therefore, he is often
called in the contemporary period to help the people of Haiti to obtain a government
that is more responsive to their needs.
|Because Ogun is considers the master of magick and roams through the wilderness he is
also considered a Shaman. The letter O in Yoruba is used to suggest someone who holds
a Spiritual Force and has mastered a particular form of wisdom, medicine or spiritual
sorcery. Therefore medicine people seek his wisdom for healing.
Because Ogun carries a sword or machete he is the god of Truth and Justice, and has very
little patience for games or lies. He is a doer and has no time for people who hesitate in
what needs to be done. Ogun is a loner which comes from his time spent alone in the
wilderness or working alone with his metal, or working his Shaman craft . He keeps only
a small circle of trusted confidants he calls upon when needed. He is very attracted to
females, but he tends to be shy when it comes to the feminine energy.
His shrine often takes the form of an iron three-legged cauldron filled with metal tools,
railroad spikes, horseshoes or other pieces of iron, along with his mysteries and 18 loose
cowries (diloggun) through which he speaks.
His beaded necklace varies by the area he is in, but typically alternates green and black
beads. His garments are traditionally red, but have changed in modern times to become
green and black with touches of red. His favorites include: the male goat, roosters,
pigeons and guinea hen. Altar offerings for Ogun include red meat, pomegranates,
grapes, all things hot and spicy, plantains, 151-proof rum, gin and black and dark cigars
As a spell for safe travels rub raw meat on all 4 of the tires of your car while asking Ogun
for his blessings and protection. Then leave the meat near the woods, and by a railroad
tack to give thanks.--- From the book-- "The Way of the Orisa" by P.J. Neimark
|Devotions to Ogun
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