Ogun is popularly known as the God of hunting, iron, and warfare. Ogun is evolution. Without his ache, or his secret of tool making, we all would be without modern technology. Ogun is a part of all of humans. Without the element of iron in all our bodies it would be hard to live a healthy life. Ogun is both destroyer and creator. Ogun taught humans to use fire, make iron, and build cities. Ogun is of great importance to the universe. If one thinks on how old Ogun truly is one would have to say since before the earth was formed. Ogun’s ache runs deep inside the earth as well as in all living things that walk on the earth. Obatala made the outer part of the human skin but Ogun made the skeleton (the bones). There may be those that do not agree or understand since they picture the bones being white so the bones have to belong to Obatala. Since Obatala is an Orisha Funfun (Orisha of white icon). Ogun can be seen as the family provider. The one that hunts so his family won’t go hungry. He is a medicine man with great knowledge of herbs. The meanings of Ogun are as rich in philosophy as they are in metaphor. The philosophic wisdom found in Ogun ideology, treats the inner experience associated with both destructive and creative acts. Ogun created the Orisha Ona (The Orisha of road or path). Ogun as some may know eats first in any ebo aje done with any metal blade. For metal is his symbol. Therefore, by using a knife it is safe to say that Ogun eats first. Eleggua always gets the first ebo or offering. Ogun was the first deity to descend to the earth from heaven. He led the way with his cutlass, clearing a path for the other Orisha’s as they followed him into the world. Many in our tradition believe that since iron (Ore) is mined from the earth, swearing by the earth is as sacred and effective as swearing by Ogun himself. In a court of law Ogun is our bible which we place our hands on to swear that one is saying the truth.
Ogun’s day of worship in the new world is the Day of Victory – “Tuesday”.
Source: Lukumi Church
OGUN is energy. The word OGUN, with the appropriate tonal changes, can be translated to mean war, inheritance, medicine and perspiration. OGUN is that force of nature that keeps matter in motion. Once God (Oludumare) gives a being life, it is OGUN who sustains that organism. OGUN is the sustainer of life. Without OGUN, the Universe, as we know it, would not exist. He controls one quarter of the universe and although he cannot exist of himself, he is so important in the scheme of things, that all of the ORISHA are dependent on him for their existence. OGUN is one of the oldest of ORISHA in the Yoruba pantheon. OGUN’s symbol is the knife. It is because of this that a major contradiction arises. OGUN eats first, because the knife is the first thing to taste blood in any sacrifice. Folklore states that ELEGBARA (Elegba, Esu) must eat first, and in ritual feasts and bloodless offerings, he is presented his food first. However, in blood sacrifices it is OGUN, the only one allowed to take a life, who eats first, and it is because of him that the other ORISHA can be fed blood. Although OGUN lives in iron, and one of his symbols is iron, his essence, energy, existed long before iron was created.
OGUN is the father of metamorphosis, because with his great strength and with the aid of intense heat, he transforms carbon into diamonds, sandstone into marbles, and marble into gneiss. The cauldron is the symbolic of a womb, a mine, the primordial abyss, and the tools which kept inside it are used by OGUN to fashion or shape whatever potential riches are inside.
The main tools of OGUN are the anvils, which signifies the earth’s ability to transform man; the shovel, which is used fir digging into one’s potential. The machete, which is used to clear path’s and to protect, The rake, which is used to gather and smooth rough area’s of the self; the hoe, which is used to cultivate one’s potential. The hammer, which is used to bend or shape one’s faculties; and the pick, which is used to pierce or penetrate the hardened areas of the self. the implements are gifts of OGUN which he uses to help a person through life. OGUN favorite animal is the dog. OGUN likes all dogs but his favorite is the black dog. He favors it because of its faithful and devoted, because of the way it hunts. The dog is known as man’s best friend.
OGUN Oni’ re ni je aj’a,
OGUN ikola a je `gbin,
OGUN gbena-gbena`oje igi ni i je!
pa si’le ps s’oko.
Laka aiye OGUN ko laso,
moriwo l’aso OGUN.
Ire kii se ile OGUN,
emu lo ya mu ni’be.
OGUN, the owner of Ire, eats dog,
OGUN of circumcision, eats snail,
OGUN of carvers, saps the juice of trees!
He kills in the house and kills on the farm.
He who covers the world, OGUN had no cloth,
Palm frond is the cloth of OGUN.
Ire is not the home of OGUN,
he just stopped there to drink palm wine.