Ogun - The Divine Witch: Goddesses and Gods

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

The Divine Witch: Goddesses and Gods

Also known as Ogou, Gu.

Ogun is the West African Spirit of Iron and Patron of Metalworkers who, in many traditional communities, also serve as shamans, sorcerers, healers, and ritual leaders. Ogun has various aspects or “paths”: he is a sweaty, laboring blacksmith, a sharply dressed politician, a solder, a surgeon, and also a magician.

Ogun epitomizes the solitary forest-dwelling witch-doctor. He knows all the magical secrets of metalworking but also lives in close proximity with hunters and herbalists, so he has access to all branches of occult wisdom. In modern Vodou, Ogou is among the spirits most closely identified with transformational magic and loups-garoux—werewolves. In his guise as magician, Ogou is often paired with the female lwa Ezili Dantor.

Ogun remains popular throughout West Africa as well as in virtually all African-Diaspora traditions. (He is called Zarabanda in Palo.) His colors are red and black; his numbers are three and seven.

See also ANIMALS: Snakes, Wolves and Werewolves; DICTIONARY: Lwa, Orisha, Palo, Vodou; ERGOT: Corn Mother: Ezili Dantor; MAGICAL PROFESSIONS: Metalworkers.