Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ogún/Oggún




Oggún
He is one of the oldest orishas of the yoruba vault. God of minerals and tools. Pattern of the blacksmiths and blacksmith himself. He also dominates the secrets of the forest and knows how to use them in enchantments.

With his physical strength, personifies the warrior and the irascible and strong man. His children are the proper ones to sacrifice animals, because Oggún is the owner of kuanagdó (knife). He dresses himself as mariwó (skirt made of palm tree leaves) and with a ribbon around the head. He holds a machete which he uses to cut the thicket where he walks. His necklaces are green and black, and sometimes purple.

He lived with their parents (Obatalá and Yemú) and his brothers Ochosi and Elegguá. Oggún was crazily in love with his mother and tried to rape her several times, but Elegguá did everything to avoid it. At the end, Oggún fulfilled his purpose, but he was surprised by his father Obatalá, and before he could say anything, Oggún himself said: "I will curse myself. While the world is the world I will only work for the Ocha." Then, he left to the forest with the only company of his dogs, he hided from mankind and only his brother Ochosi, the hunter was able to see him.

Oggún worked without resting, producing irons, but he was very sad and in displeasure with himself and began using powders ofoché, so that tragedy could dominate the world. At that time, Ochún entered in the forest, she attracted him with her songs and made him try the honey of life.

Then Oggún lost his bitterness. He controls and dominates the mysteries of the forest, help surgeries and operations, owns the chains, walks around the forests, but it is difficult to take him out of them. He began a strong fight with Changó, in spite of being brothers they are enemies, because Changó stole his wife Oyá. Together with Elegguá, he lives at the back of the houses door, which he also takes cares for.

Tuesday is the day of the week to assist him, although in general all warriors are assisted together on Monday, the day to assist Elegguá.

Holder: Iron pan (foundry), where the tools that define him are placed.

Attributes: All working metal instruments and weapons.

Necklaces: Green and black alternately from seven to seven. They are red and purple in Matanzas.

Food: The same given to Elegguá, but sweets and candies.

Sacrificed animals: Goat, chickens, jutías, pigeons and guineas.

From: here
In Haitian Vodou and the traditional faith of the Yoruba, Ogun (or Ogoun, Ogun, Ogou, Ogum) is a loa and orisha who presides over fire, iron, hunting, politics and war. He is the patron of smiths, and is usually displayed with a number of attributes: a machete or sabre, rum and tobacco. He is one of the husbands of Erzulie in Voo Doo, and is a husband of Oshun and Oya and a friend to Eshu in Yoruba mythology.

Ogun is the traditional warrior and is seen as a powerful deity of metal work, similar to Ares and Hephaestus in Greek mythology and Visvakarma in classical Hinduism. He is also prominently represented as Saint George in the syncretic traditions of contemporary Brazil. As such, Ogun is mighty, powerful and triumphal, yet is also known to exhibit the rage and destructiveness of the warrior whose strength and violence must not turn against the community he serves. Perhaps linked to this theme is the new face he has taken on in Haiti which is not exactly related to his African roots, that of a powerful political leader.[1]

He gives strength through prophecy and magic. It is Ogun who is said to have planted the idea in the heads of, led and given power to 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.

Ogun comes to mount people in various aspects of his character, and the people who venerate him are quite familiar with each of them. Some of these aspects are:

* Ogun the wounded warrior. He assumes a Christ-figure pose which the people know well from their Christian associations.
* Ogun Feraille. He gives strength to the servitors by slapping them on the thighs or back.
* Ogun Badagris. He may lift a person up and carry him or her around to indicate his special attention and patronage.

In all of the varied aspects of Ogoun, however, there is the dominant theme of power and militancy which serves to exemplify his position as a spirit of war.

His possessions can sometimes be violent. Those mounted by him are known to wash their hands in flaming rum without suffering from it later. They dress up in green and black, wave a sabre or machete, chew a cigar and demand rum in an old phrase "Gren mwe fret" (my testicles are cold). Often, this rum is first poured on the ground, then lit and, finally, the fumes generated by this are then allowed to pervade the peristyle. The sword, or much more commonly the machete, is his weapon and he often does strange feats of poking himself with it, or even sticking the handle in the ground, then mounting the blade without piercing his skin.

In Yoruba mythology, Ogun is a primordial Orisha whose first appearance was as a hunter named Tobe Ode. He is said to be the first of the Orisha to descend to the realm of Ile Aiye or the earth to find suitable habitation for future human life. In commemoration of this, one of his praise names is Osin Imole or the "first of the primordial Orisha to come to Earth". Ogun was almost certainly first worshipped by the Yoruba people of West Africa. He is worshipped in places like Ekiti, Oyo and Ondo States. He is believed by his followers to have wo ile sun, which means to sink into the ground in the stead of dying, in a place named Ire-Ekiti. Through out his earthly life, he is thought to have fought for the people of Ire.

In Dahomey mythology, Gu is the god of war and patron deity of smiths and craftsmen. He was sent to earth to make it a nice place for people to live, and he has not yet finished this task.

In Voudou he is syncretized with St. Jacques Majeur (St. James the Greater) in his incarnation as Santiago Matamoros (St. James the Moorslayer).

In Santería and Palo Mayombe, he has been syncretized with Saint Peter.

In the religious tradition of the Afro-Brazilian Candomblé, Ogum (as this Yoruba divinity is known in the Portuguese language) is often identified with Saint George, for example in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. However Ogum may also be represented by Saint Sebastian, as it is often done in the northeast of the country, for example in the state of Bahia. Officially Saint Sebastian is the patron saint of the city of Rio de Janeiro, which is located in the state of the same name in Brazil. Matthias Röhrig Assunção also notes that St. Anthony is often identified with Ogun in Bahia.[2]

In all of his incarnations, Ogoun is a fiery and martial spirit. He can be aggressively masculine — much like the spirit Shango — but can also rule the head of a female or effeminate male initiate to whom he takes a liking. He is also linked with blood, and is for this reason often called upon to heal diseases of the blood.

In the cult of the Orishas he appears in other aspects, such as Ogun Akirun, Ogun Alagbede, Ogun Alara, Ogun Elemona, Ogun Ikole, Ogun Meji, Ogun Oloola, Ogun Onigbajamo, Ogun Onire, Ogun-un, Onile, the latter of which is a feminine incarnation.[3]

From: Wiki
Traditional Colors: Santeria: green & black; Voudou: red and white

Number: 7

Areas of Influence: All metals, war and battle, soldiers, blacksmithing, farming, civilization in general, transportation (automobiles and trains), healing

Entities associated with: St. Peter

Symbols: Machete, sword, farming implements, anvil and hammer

Offerings: Rum, whiskey (especially Jack Daniels?), beer, gunpowder, tobacco, meat, chili, peppers, hot/spicy foods

Feast Day: June 29th

Astrology: Saturn

Tarot: King of Disks (Knight of Disks in Thoth deck).

Chakra: Root

Gemstones: Hematite, iron pyrite, peridot

Animals: Solitary predators such as hawks, rattlesnakes and panthers. Some references say that he likes dogs and wolves.

Entities of Similar Energy: Vulcan, Hephaestos, Wayland

Entities of Similar Energy: The god Mercury, Kokopelli, Odin, Coyote, all tricksters

Plants associated with:Chili peppers, pricklypear cactus, sunflowers

Ogoun, first and foremost, is the spirit of metal. His other attributes are from the areas in which metal has played an important role like war, farming, healing and civilization in general. Ogoun is a strong, powerful masculine orisha who believes hard work is the answer to almost any problem. I always picture him as the half-naked blacksmith, muscular with no hair (burned off in the fire). He is a warrior and can be called upon during war-time (whether that be literal or spiritual) to go to battle. Because of the use of metal, Ogoun is very much a part of agriculture. He owns the plows to till the soil and the implements of the harvest. Ogoun is a put-your-nose-to-the-grind-stone kind of man. He is not flashy and he does not do what he does for glory or fame. He likes to work with his hands. As a blacksmith or welder, he is able to use fire and metal to create the necessary and the beautiful.

While his role in Santeria is primarily of a warrior, in Voudou, he is also a healer, because many of the implements of modern medicine are made of metal. He owns many of our modern machines, including automobiles and trains. Ogoun is a mechanic and can help you out with car trouble. He likes to hunt and fish and loves the forest. The forest is about the only place Ogoun can really find any peace. He gets along very well with Ellegua and Ochossi. As previously stated, Ogoun and Chango do not like each other. I try really hard not to feed them together for any reason. If you are doing a large ritual with many orishas, you can invite them both, just be sure to have their offerings in separate places or on separate tables. Ogoun loves his women. He has been involved with several of the female orisha, but none of those relationships ended well. Family is important to Ogoun. He loves his children and will fiercely protect them but he expects a lot from them. He hates laziness in all forms. He can have a terrible temper and can be a mean drunk. In mammals, the hemoglobin in our blood contains a piece of iron. This is actually what makes our blood red. In this way, each of us contains a small piece of Ogoun. Each of us has the ability to draw upon our inner Ogoun for strength.

Properly Showing Respect to Ogoun
Ogoun accepts offerings of alcohol, tobacco (especially a good cigar), meat (cooked only enough so that it is still pink), metal filings and gunpowder . Be sure to turn alcohol bottles on side when they are empty. Ogoun once hurt some drunken men because he thought they weren’t sharing their liquor but in fact the bottles were empty.

Where to find Ogoun
Railroad tracks, auto repair shops, machine shops or any other place metal is worked with, the forest, gun ranges, military forts (especially Army and Marines).

From: here
The orisha of the woods is Ogun. Ogun is a tall, strong man that wields a heavy machete from side to side chopping everything in his path. He is the one who knows how to manipulate the metal of iron. With his great big anvil deep in the forest he forges and changes the shape of metal into the everyday tools that we as humankind use. Ogun is a well know sorcerer and he knows secrets to all of the plants that the forest contains. With this, he can see where and what you are doing and before you know it, he is in front of you preparing to attack. He is also in charge of construction and the fundaments of building. He is the chief constructor. He is the overseer of labor workers. Without his leadership there is no foundation in anything we do. Ogun is also the technology we use to survive in life. He is the wires that lights up our streets and homes, the cars and buses we drive, the trains and planes we ride. Inseparable friend of Elegua and Ochosi who the trio makes up the “The Warriors” first set of orishas to receive in Santeria.

There is a pataki of Ogun that says that a long time ago he was working hard in the forest. He arrived back to his town and notice that the people of the town were actually not giving him the recognition that he deserved. Ogun worked all day at this and one day his longtime friend Elegua came to visit him. Elegua told Ogun that it seemed like no one really paid him any attention in the town and all they did was use him for his talents. Ogun noticing and listening carefully to Elegua, stood up and turned off the fire that he used to heat up his metals. He grabbed his machete and oti (liquor) and walked into the forest without saying a word. Elegua looked at his friend that just walked until he disappeared amongst the bushes.

Days upon days, the town grew weary and all life came to a stand still. Everyone noticed that Ogun’s house was empty and dark and there was no sign of anyone being there for days. Farmers needed new tools for their plows, soldiers needed new armory. Even the orishas who came to Ogun as well were in need of tuning their essentials. Oya needed her sable sharpened, Ochosi needed new arrow points, Orisha Oko needed a new plow for his crops. Everyone wondered where was Ogun.

The orishas called upon Olofi who came to the town and asked them why are they looking for Ogun. Everyone started to say what they needed, what they wanted and so on. Olofi then told them, did they ever stop to thank Ogun for his work. Did they ever pay homage to the great orisha who works day and night due to his own curse that he put on himself to work day and night. Everyone stayed quiet as the great Olofi was talking. Olofi said that Ogun has retreated deep into the forest and lets see who can get him to come back. Olofi said he was not going to interfere, that he was going to let the orishas and humankind delegate on how to get Ogun back to civilization.

Each orisha, one by one went deep into the forest in search for Ogun. Elegua went looking for his friend and found him sitting by a rock sharpening his machete. Ogun saw him and chased Elegua until Elegua came out of the forest gasping for air. Oya went to look for Ogun and when she found him, he grabbed her and threw across the woods with one swirl of his arm. Oya came back out staggering. Yemaya went, Ochosi went, Chango went, but none succeeded. All the orishas went but their was one orisha who was requesting to go. Oshun. Everyone laughed at her idea because she was the youngest and least knowledgeable of the woods and to face Ogun with the rage that he was in, it would be dangerous. Olofi gave her his blessings and Ochun grabbed 5 yellow cloths, her pouch and marched into the woods.

Oshun saw Ogun from far working on some tools and she started to use her tactics. She went to the river that was nearby and she got undressed. While all of this Oshun is singing and laughing to herself. Showing the lovely and admirable side of her. Ogun heard the singing and laughing and wondered where it was coming from. He glimpsed Oshun bathing naked in the river and was blinded by her beauty. Oshun came out of the river and caressed her body with her main implement, oni (honey). She rubbed it all over while laughing and singing. Without Ogun’s knowledge, Oshun went behind Ogun and smeared some of her honey on his lips. The great orisha was like a tame beast. He was dumbfounded and was in a trance. Oshun walked slowly while giving a seductive dance and dropped one of the yellow cloths on the ground. Ogun still in a trance slowly grabbed the cloth and followed the seductive orisha. Oshun kept her composure and glimpsed at Ogun from the corner of her eye and noticed that he was coming out of the trance, so she danced up to him and smeared more honey on his lips to reinforce the trance. Ogun was caught again and continued to follow Oshun picking up another cloth. Oshun continued to do this until she got near to the town. She dropped the 5th cloth and smeared more honey on Ogun’s lips and walked him straight into town where everyone was waiting in shock to see that this young orisha was able to bring the great forge man to town.

When Ogun reached the center of the town, everyone started to cheer in Ogun’s name. Everyone ran to Ogun and told him how they were sorry for not giving him his homage. All the townsmen brought out the best liquor and foods and they beat the drums in honor of Ogun. Olofi turned to everyone and stated that this was a lesson needed to be learned. When one does something nice for you, you should always be respectful and be humble to that person because you never know when you will need them again. Olofi blinked his eye at the lovely Oshun and retreated back to the heavens.

From that day on Ogun has always been recognized for his actions and he has always received the homage that he deserves.

Maferefun Ogun and Ochun!

Ogun feast day is June 29. His colors are green, red and purple. His main implement is the machete. His sacrifice are all animals but he loves goats, roosters, possum rat, pigeons and the guinea hen. He loves to drink, smoke cigars and dance. Ogun is also know to reside at the train tracks where some of his offerings are taken to besides the forest. Son of Obatala and Yembo, husband of Oshun and Oya his lost wife who was stolen by his brother Chango. The children of Ogun are hard working individuals and they do not rest until they are finish. They love to be in charge of the situation. They will cut and forge anything that they want. Just like Ogun, his children love to dance, drink and enjoy life. Ogun watches over his children very strongly and when he is in battle for one of his children he will not rest until he has won the battle. In Palo Mayombe Ogun is associated with the great warrior Zarabanda in which he was a great king. The same implements used by Ogun is used by Zarabanda. They say if you take out Ogun’s secret from his cauldron, he turns into Zarabanda in egun form.

There are different paths of Ogun

Ogun Alagwede

This Ogun is the oldest. He is the Ogun that knows the secret to forging the metal. This path of Ogun is a hard working and he does not rest until he gets the job done. When Alagwede comes down he mimics the act of forging the metal on top of his anvil.

Ogun Arere

This Ogun also knows the secret of the metal. He is a warrior and cuts through the tall grasses to conquer what needs to be conquered. Accompanied by Ochosi and Elegua to look for game to hunt. Arere loves to drink and battled Chango on certain occasions. He knows the woods profoundly and knows its secrets.

Ogun Chibiriki

This Ogun's rage makes him a great ferocious warrior. This path of Ogun is always in battle for his children and does not rest. Chibiriki has many machetes and knives under his belt that he uses to slice and dice at his enemies. He loves to see blood shed from his enemies. He loves to drink. Its said that when this path of Ogun comes to the land you have to be careful not to have any knives around for he will grab one and begin make cuts on himself to show that he is in battle.

Ogun Onile

He is one of the youngest paths of Ogun. This path loves to drink and dance in all occasions. Onile is able to run swiftly through the woods and attack his enemy without them even noticing he’s approaching. Onile is very fast with his machete. When Onile comes to the earth, he dances and mimics the action of cutting through the tall shrubs.

Ogun Ode

He is the path that walks with Ochosi to bring justice and hunt to mankind. Ogun Ode is always in hunt with Ochosi looking for game to hunt. He is very swift with his actions and he has a hard hand when it comes to justice. He is a sorcerer and knows the secret of the woods.

Ogun Oke

Owner of the forest. This path knows every inch of the forest. The beginning and the end alongside with every plant and animal that grows in it.

Ogun Meyi

This Ogun takes everything double. He walks around swaying machetes in both hands. He is a great warrior and is fond of battles. Everything you put to him should be in double forms. You just cant give him 1 machete you must give him 2.

Ogun Alada

This path is said to be the one that fights alongside Yemaya when she is at her warrior stage.

There is much more paths but it would be impossible to list them all.

From: here

Other sites:

Info
A site
Article
Some info
Some myth info
Some correspondences

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