Oggun the orisha of the woods is Ogún. Ogún 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. Ogún 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 a building. He is the chief constructor. He is the overseer of labor workers. Without his leadership, there is no foundation in anything we do. Ogún is also the technology we use to survive in life. He is the wires that light up our streets and homes, the cars and buses we drive, the trains and planes we ride. The inseparable friend of Eleguá and Ochosi who the trio makes up the “The Warriors” first set of orishas to receive in Santeria.
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 known 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 finished. They love to be in charge of the situation. They will cut and forget 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 a 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.
He’s represented by Saint Peter
- Palm Oil
- Red Meat
Paths of Ogum.
There are different paths of Ogun
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.
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 a game to hunt. Arere loves to drink and battled Chango on certain occasions. He knows the woods profoundly and knows its secrets.
This Ogun’s rage makes him a great ferocious warrior. This path of Ogun is always in the 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. It’s 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 to make cuts on himself to show that he is in battle.
He is one of the youngest paths of Ogun. This path loves to drink and dances 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.
He is the path that walks with Ochosi to bring justice and hunt to mankind. Ogun Ode is always in the hunt with Ochosi looking for a 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.
The 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.
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 can’t give him 1 machete you must give him 2.
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.
“the owner of the land.” He is called so when he walks through an unexplored land, hunting and discovering. Its title refers to first come to a place untouched and set in and was the first to work the land.
Oggún Alagbo or Alagbede
means “blacksmith.” Oggún the blacksmith is the patron of those who engaged in this profession. He is tireless, working day and night. He is sometimes cantankerous, intractable and rude. He is the husband of Yemaya Okute. He is also called Alagbo, Alagbede or Alaguede.
Oggún meyi/ Oggún Bi
has two faces or facets. In one of them is a good parent, hardworking and peaceful. His other side is extremely violent, destructive and bloodthirsty.
is the creator of metal implements. Also called “the murderer.” He is always jealous of Shango and fights over the love of Yemaya. It is very fierce, brave and of great courage, fighting mad and hot blood.
is the foreman. Good with a whip.
means “conqueror of the land.” The owner of the mountains.
is a warrior, he loves through his machete. Take an iron or steel machete, where he embedded the other tools (in miniature) of Oggún.
is a warrior lurking, waiting in the bush and crouched hidden the right moment to attack. It is very violent and evil poured upon the enemy and its territories, destroying them.
is the warrior who became king. He wears his crown with honor and reigns with wisdom, giving safety and welfare of its people.
is a violent warrior, very fierce. Is said to favor a bloodbath instead of water. He feeds on dogs. He causes a lot of discussion and violence if left without attention. A link to the Pataki of Osagriñán and Yemaya as to his origin and also helped Orishanlá in his kingdom, making both a deal.
is the land owner and farmer, works the land and owns the field and what is grown. He is prompted for the good harvests. Also known as Olorukó, Olokuló, Arok.
Oggún Aroyo (toye)
is a very violent, impulsive, full of anger and hatred. Very irrational. This warrior is so dangerous that is placed outdoors in the courtyard. He makes a small house, and Aroyo Eshu placed next to his brother and companion of adventures. This Oggún, with Eshu, if not attended to or are able to cause many arguments, entanglements and misunderstandings among the inhabitants of the house.
is associated with rain, mud and murky waters of the River. This name is given because in this way because was king of the town of Ira. Nira ruled with Oya.
is the conqueror, warrior, and general of armies. He was king of the city Ire.
owns the mountain, also called Afanamule and Oggún Ogumbí.
makes wars with Yemaya.
Oggún Valanya or Oggún Valenyé
is a laborer of the ground.
is a murderer, assassin.
is the head of the hunters.
means “the highest speaking.”
is a path which is strong destructive and violent. In a Pataki tells how he became blind.
Other paths of Oggun are not mentioned here for lack of information
* Oggun Talajó.
* Oggun Olobe.
* Oggun Olobeté.
* Oggun Abagága.
* Oggun Deyi.
* Oggun Alará.
* Oggun Ikolá.
* Oggun Makinde.
By: Ota Omi,
My Yoruba Exclusive Writer.