Get to Know a Lwa: Ogou

Bonjou zanmi! Today is Wednesday and so it’s Ogou’s day. I thought we’d talk about my Papa, the head of the Vodou house I belong to.

This is Ogou St Jaques, one of many members of the Ogou nation.

Ogou is a Nago spirit. This group of spirits came from the part of Africa that is now Nigeria. Some of you might be saying, “Hey, isn’t there a spirit like this in Lukumi?” Lukumi has an Orisha called Ogun, who has some similarities with Ogou: they both are associated with iron and metal. Ogun is more of  a blacksmith, whereas Ogou is more of a soldier.

Ogou is indeed every inch a soldier: brave, fierce, protective, and he expects nothing less than your best effort. Many Ogous carry a machete, but some favor a sword. His colors are red and blue, but some Ogou take additional colors: Ogou St. Jacques takes red and khaki. Remember: if you can’t afford anything else, you can use a white scarf to salute any spirit.

Ogou’s day of the week is Wednesday. The saints associated with him are St. James the Greater (that’s his picture above) and St. George the Dragonslayer. Most Ogous take rum as their drink, but depending on the Ogou they may take a different type of rum. Some like Barbancourt three star, some like five star, and so forth. Some Ogous like red wine. Your Ogou may want a different drink altogether.

He likes red beans and rice, and typically likes Florida water as a cologne. He also loves cigars. He will often blow smoke on people to give them blessings.

There is no better protector than Ogou. He will use his machete to cut away all evil and sweep your enemies away. But he is also a tender and loving Papa. I’ve seen him cry when his children are in pain. I’ve also seen him spank people (myself included) with the machete when they misbehave.

Ogou loves the ladies and he is one of the most commonly married lwa.

Awocher Nago!

 

3 thoughts on “Get to Know a Lwa: Ogou

  1. What does it mean if a female marries papa ougou, and if they do get married does that mean that the female can’t be married to anyone else that’s not a lwa, like a regular person?

    1. Good question! When you do a maryaj (marry a lwa), it’s like a spiritual contract. The human promises to do certain things for the lwa, the biggest being that you give up having sex on certain days so those days can be devoted to the lwa in question. When I married my lwa (including Ogou) I promised not to have sex on Wednesdays and Thursdays, those days are devoted to the lwa I married (Ogou, Damballah, Simbi, and Kouzen). Marrying a lwa DOES NOT mean you can’t marry another human being; on the contrary, most of the humans I know who did a lwa marriage also have a real life human romantic relationship. You just can’t have sex with your human partners on the days you promised to give the lwa you married. Hope this answers your question!

  2. Thank you for the very detailed article. I’m supposed to be marrying a lwa. The lwa asked a while back to get his ring. My human relationships have suffered and the only way to save that is to marry him. How do I go about marrying a lwa? How do I prepare for it?

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