twitterLogo

Ogun

From Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers

Jump to: navigation, search
Ogún
Ogún

Ogun (also known Oggun, Ogum, or Ogou) is a warrior orisha in the Yoruban religion and its diaspora in the Americas, along with Eleggua and Ochosi. He is a talented blacksmith, a crafter of tools, and the father of technology. He is the cutting edge of the knife that can be used either to heal or hurt. Without Ogun, neither the orishas nor humanity could eat and we would all cease to exist. He is a fierce soldier who is known for his fiery temper and his unending loyalty. He is, in many ways, the executor of Olodumare's justice on the earth. In fact, it is still Yoruban custom to swear an oath upon a piece of iron when testifying, instead of a holy book, as Ogun's retribution for breaking that oath is something truly to be feared. He is petitioned for help with seeking employment, defense against enemies, or for protection.

Ogun is often depicted as a muscular, powerfully-built Black man wearing either a mariwó (palm frond fiber) skirt with a green sash, or dressed as a modern military officer. He always carries a machete along with other weapons that he uses to clear paths, or to fight his enemies. His shrine 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. The roads or avatars or Ogun include Arere, the butcher; Alabede, the divine blacksmith; Chibiriki, the architect; and Meji, the dual-natured Ogun. Ogun's ritual numbers are 3 and 7. His beaded necklace varies by road, 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. Animal sacrifice is used to propitiate Ogun within the African Traditional Religions. His sacrifices include: he-goat, roosters, pigeons and guinea hen. Altar offerings for Ogun include red meat, pomegranates, grapes, plantains, rum, gin and cigars. He has no taboo foods.

In the syncretic practices of Cuban Santeria, in which African orishas are associated with Catholic Church saints, the representative of Ogun is Saint Peter. In Haitian Voudoun, Ogou is actually an entire family of Lwa originating from the Nago tribe in Africa, and includes Ogou Feray, Ogou Shango, Ogou Batala, Ogou Badagri and others. Hoodoo pyschic readers, spirit workers, and root doctors who are adherents of the Yoruban and Yoruban-Diasporic Religions who petition the orishas on behalf of clients may work with Ogun when there are pending issues involving protection, job security, or enemies.

See Also

Personal tools