Ogun – The warrior and Spirit of Metal Work
Ogun is the warrior, the orisha that seeks to fight injustice wherever he sees it. He is also the one who was able to create the technology of weapons and weapon-making. In doing so, Ogun was able to open up the possibility for cities to be built and to grow over the years. He is an orisha that has often been misunderstood as many think weapons are only used in times of war. But sharp items can be just as easily used to help cut away things that are not healthy or things that need to be trimmed for safety.
Where to Find Ogun
You can find Ogun in the forests and the wild places. He will be the one who is hunting and looking for ways to use his forge to make things. He is also a father who helps his children better understand when it is the right time to fight and when the right time to sit back might be. That said, when something is wrong in the world, Ogun will be there with a sword to be on the attack. This ability to discern the right action is something that helps his children make solid decisions in their lives too.
When someone is initiated into Santeria, Ogun is one of the orishas that you receive first as this will help you to be a worshipper of orishas as a whole group – an aborisha. This is the orisha who clears away anything in the way of you moving ahead on your spiritual path. Taking on the work of Ogun means the initiate will be able to do animal sacrifices as needed for the orishas and other spirits. This is also an important step because it marks the moment when the aborisha now olorisha as being self-reliant and able to do spiritual work on their own.
How to Honor Ogun
You can create an altar to Ogun that will focus on the warrior aspects of his being. Some will find a cauldron and fill it with iron tools and pieces to connect with the way Ogun can forge weapons and tools. There can also be a knife on the altar, though Ogun did not invent the knife – he is just the owner. This is important it allows the olorisha to not be the one who kills the animal, but rather Ogun is the one who does the sacrificing.
With the colors of green and black, Ogun is the wild one, the one who is most often worshipped by those in the Yoruba tribe. He also has various caminos, or paths, that a follower can choose to follow: the benevolent chief, assassin who makes weapons, father/merciless warrior, foreman, and the blacksmith.
As you can see, Ogun has a number of facets to his demeanor and, unsurprisingly, he is open to a variety of offerings” plantains, smoked fish, pomegranates, grapes, watermelons, gin, rum, poultry, cigars, etc. Even if you don’t have these specific items, he is an orisha with a big appetite, so he will be happy to eat what you give him.
What you can learn from Ogun is that the tool can be used to hurt and to heal. When you look at the current tools in your life and the way you wield them, are you noticing the duality of interacting with them? Can you begin to find ways to use your tools in different ways?
For those who are seeking to move their life in a new direction, Ogun can also be the person who can cut down any obstacles that might be in the way. You can petition to him to help you free yourself of obstacles.
SYMBOLS, NUMBERS, COLORS AND ATTRIBUTES
Colors: Green and black
Consecrated day: Tuesday
Feast Day: June 29th
Number: 3 and 7
Sacred Places: Forests, in the wilderness, train tracks
Areas of Influence: Metals, war, battle, soldiers, transportation (trains, automobiles), blacksmithing, healing.
Temperament: Hard-working, inventive, brooding, prone to anger
Saint: St. Peter
Symbols: Sword, machete, hammer, farming tools
Offerings: Ogun has a big appetite and prefers hot and spicy foods. He likes rum, whiskey, beer, gunpowder, tobacco, meat, chili, and peppers.