** A Deity That Strikes Heavily. He Has Water At Home, But Bathes With Blood. He Has Clothes, But He Prefers Palm Fronds…
**Ogun, as historical figure, a fearsome warrior who fought constantly against the neighboring kingdoms. He made war against the city of Ara and destroyed it. He sacked and devastated many other states, seized the city of Ire, killed King, installed his own son on the throne and returned all glorious, even carrying him as Oniiré king of Iré but for reasons unknown to us, he never had the right to wear a crown, made of small beads of glass assembled, and decorated with fringes of beads conceal the face, symbolizing royalty among the Yoruba.
***Many years after placing his son on the throne of Iré and to be left to make war elsewhere, Ogun decided to return to see and visit the scene of his former exploits. Unfortunately, the day of his arrival, the people of the city celebrating a festival during which the participants cannot speak for any reason. Ogun was hungry and thirsty, he lifted jars that had contained palm wine but he knew they were empty. Nobody had welcomed nor had answered his questions. He did not recognize the scene after a long absence. Ogun whose patience is short, was angry, shocked by the general silence he took for a mark of contempt. He began to break saber jars, then carried away by the action, he began to cut the head of the closest people, until his son offered him the foods he likes displaying prominently, dogs and snails, beans washed down with palm oil and a jar of palm wine.
Ogun regretted his past violence and declared that he had lived long enough. He lowered his arm and directed the point of his sword to the ground and sank into the earth with a terrifying noise. Before disappearing, he uttered some words. When these words are spoken during a battle, Ogun immediately appears and helps to the one speaking; but these words cannot be said in other circumstances because if his appearance.
Ogun is the God of iron, blacksmiths and all who use this metal: farmers, hunters, warriors, butchers, barbers, carpenters and sculptors. Ogun is the spirit of dynamic creativity – Often associated with the blacksmith or metalworker, Ogun is the energy of focus and work that brings our tools into form. Ogun often possess an incredibly fierce work ethic and tireless energy. Ogun is the energy that decides to do something and doesn’t stop until that task is completed.
We can learn more of Orisha Ogun from its relationship with Iron. The Iron Age was the beginning of humankind’s quantum leap into technology, which has helped us progress into the modern era. This Orisha is also associated with the spirit of the forest – a fecund and complex ecosystem full of medicines and organisms that sustain themselves and each other. Ogun provides us with the tools, creative ideas, and the sheer force of will that are needed to evolve and achieve our goals.
Ultimately to try to understand Ogun is to try to understand the white hot fire of the Blacksmith’s forge. This fire can create art, tools, weapons, or it can translate flesh into ash in a matter of seconds. This sacred power to create and destroy instantly- both are necessary in this world. Worshipers will go to Ogun’s shrine and honor him, in way of prayers, rituals and sacrifice. Ogun is a very important Orisha and it is said that he created the pathway for the divinities on their journey from heaven to earth. He protects and blesses his devotees.
To avoid disasters on highways, air , water, war or to expect a great result under surgery among other things Ogun is usually appeased. This is due to him being the divinity of steel. Ogun is responsible for building cities, and towns, he is responsible for houses, bridges and tunnels, his importance to society rivals the air we breathe, Ogun is a very powerful Orisha.
Agbede -Blacksmith, anything which is made of Iron belongs to Ogun and are looked upon as his children, also included are stones, glass, or any sharp object, anything which can draw blood and cause damage. Ogun colors are green and black.
*** The usual sacrifice offered to Ogun is a dog, together with fowls, palm oil, and minor articles of food. A proverb says – An old dog must be sacrificed to Ogun – meaning that Ogun claims the best; and a dog’s head, emblematic of this sacrifice, is always to be seen fastened up in some conspicuous part of the workshops of blacksmiths. The reason of this is that the blood is believed to contain the vital principle, and therefore to be an offering, particularly acceptable to the gods.
In addition to his power over metal, Ogun holds special dominion over the forest. Some view him as the archetypal “Wild Man Of The Woods.” For this reason, shrines to Ogun are often located outdoors, at the base of trees or near a forge. A sacred shrine may also be located on the floor behind the front door. It all depends on which tradition one is honoring. The forced migration of the middle passage is perhaps the most important explanation for the multiple incarnations of the Ogun spirit. Everyone needs a warrior. Ogun is his name among the Yoruba people. Among the Fon he is called Gu. In Cuban Santeria (Lukumi) he is known as Ogun, In Brazilian Candomble Ogum; in Haitian Vodou Papa Ogou.
Ogun, the God of iron and of metallurgic lore and artistry, was the first to succeed in conquering the transition. He crossed the gulf from Heaven to the human world by extracting iron from the earth and thus providing the human world with the source of its weapons and its tools. Ogun is also, the god of creativity, explorer, hunter, god of war, Custodian of the sacred oath.
” Never Say A Thing That Could Not Stand As The Last Thing You Have Ever Said.”
Strength… A River Cuts Through A Rock Not Because Of Its Power But Its Resistance.