In southwestern Nigeria and the adjoining parts of Benin and Togo, the Yoruba people practice an ancient religion that serves as the basis for numerous forms of spirituality around the world. This includes Dominican Vudu, Louisiana Voodoo, Cuban Vodu, and Haitian Vodou, to name but a few. As part of this, the Yoruba believe in a Creator named Olorun, along with a pantheon of hundreds of intermediary spirits, known as orishas. For instance, Ogun is the god of leadership, intelligence, medicine, and justice.
According to one legend from their ancient oral tradition, long ago Olorun sent out Ogun to find a suitable place for intelligent life to flourish. So, as a divine hunter and tracker, he and his trusty dog began to make a path to the material realm from the spirit world. As the archetypal metallurgist, Ogun wielded a blade that he had forged himself, ultimately leading the orishas to western Africa. To commemorate this he is known as Osin Imole, which means the “first orisha to come to Earth”.
Following this, the orisha Obatala formed human bodies and Olodumare breathed vitality into them. After that, Ogun took on the life of a man named Onire to become the god-king of Ife. As one might suspect, being possessed by a warrior god, Onire was quite prone to violence and victory. This is why he fought valiantly for the people of Ife, but also murdered some of his subjects who failed to show him his proper respect. Although, in the end, this led Onire to kill himself with his own sword. As a result, Ogun disappeared into the ground at a place called Ire-Ekiti.
Upon leaving the world, Ogun made one last promise to help those who call upon his name. This is rather interesting because as both a blacksmith and a warrior, he can be creative as well as destructive. That means Ogun can either be used to help or harm someone, with either white magic or black magic. Ogun is just as much an innovator of technology as he is an instigator of the military. Also, note that Ogun discovered how to make metal blades, and knives can either be used to kill people or save their lives, consider a serial killer versus a surgeon.
Thus, the orisha Ogun is able to do so many different things, but he can do it all with the same tool. On top of that, he is a fearless explorer, a brave protector, and so much more. That’s why to this day, countless people around the world invoke Ogun to help them control their anger and fear, by turning it into strength. More than anything though, Ogun is a spiritual path clearer and a remover of obstacles in life. As the chosen trailblazer, he was sent here to make our home a nice place for people to live, but he has not yet finished the task. So, be prepared for whatever may come next.