Traditional Colors: Santeria: green and black; Voudou: red and white
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
Tarot: King of Disks (Knight of Disks in Thoth deck)
Chakra: Root Chakra
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
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 he is known as a warrior, 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).
Ogoun’s children are workaholics. Everything they do they have to do a 100%. They have a drive for perfection which can lead to some real problems (like alcoholism) unless they learn to let some stuff go. Many of them have had unhappy childhoods, which have tempered their personalities much in the same way fire has tempered metal.
Family is very important to Ogoun’s children and they will go to great lengths to provide for those they love. They are hands on, mechanically inclined people and will tend to have jobs where they are creating, fixing or destroying physical things. They are quite happy being in the great outdoors and they like camping, hiking, fishing and hunting. In fact, Ogoun’s children should try to make regular visits to the forests. They like sex and behind closed doors they are very sexual beings. The possibility of becoming an alcoholic or other developing some other dependency is strong and the children of Ogoun have to be careful of excess. They can have bad tempers and can be abusive, especially when they find themselves in frustratingly bad situations.
In the winter of 1997, Ogoun killed my car. He broke it in such a way that my mechanic was calling all of his mechanic friends to come over and look at the engine because in his 20 years of being a mechanic, he had never seen anything like that ever. Apparently something that should have never broke, broke and ended up someplace it never should have been able to get to (in case you are wondering, no, I’m not a mechanic). Anyway, I was driving a P.O.S. Nissan Pulsar that had waaaaaay too many miles on it when I bought it. It had been my first car and I had gotten screwed over big time. Ogoun just decided one day that I needed a new car, so he killed the Pulsar. I borrowed enough of a down payment from my parents and I went looking for another vehicle. As most of you know, used car shopping is like having a root canal while giving birth to a baby sideways. Even under the best of circumstances, it just sucks. I must have visited every used car lot in town. I had gotten so screwed over the first time, that I was not going to get reamed a second time. After 2 weeks of searching, I had almost given up hope. There was this one guy (the husband of a co-worker) who was so honest and nice that I really wanted to give him one last shot before settling on something.
When my dad and I pulled up to his lot, there was an older couple there finishing up their paperwork on their new minivan. They were turning in 2 vehicles, one of which was a green Geo Storm. It was 6 years old but only had 16,000 miles on it. The lady’s husband was disabled and couldn’t get into it so they hardly ever drove it. We actually got to see the vehicle before the dealership cleaned it up and it was spotless. You could have eaten off that engine. When I open up the passenger door, there was an angel hanging off the door. I knew immediately that this was my new car. I had to work for it, but Ogoun made sure I got a great vehicle and an excellent deal. Three months later, I decided to follow my dream and move to Texas. I know now that the Pulsar would not have survived the 1,000 mile trip. Ogoun knew I wanted to go to Texas and I believe he wanted to make sure that I had good vehicle when I left. In fact, about the only possession I had when I got here was that great little car.
Disclaimer: You may find that some of the information on this page differs from the traditional beliefs of some African Diaspora practices. The information on this page has been gathered from personal experiences and while we respect those who walk the more “Traditional” paths, we have some different beliefs concerning the Orishas and Loa.