Ogun, A Necessary Evil
I studied Western thought practically my whole adult life. I wasn’t exposed to African principles until my later years, and when I finally came across the works of Ifa, I was blown away. Ifa, unlike many other religions is a practice of balance. I know, there are a lot of religions that talk about balance. However, balance is about understanding the male and female, or negative and positive forces in nature, and in life. Ifa is about acceptance of all things, and that means taking the good with the bad. The ego is a necessary human element that is needed for our survival. People need to have a strong sense of self. They need to understand their worth in order to develop spiritually.
In fact, the people who are incredibly successful have tremendous egos. They took a chapter out of Ogun’s book, borrowed his machete and not only cleared pathways, but chopped their competitor’s heads off to get to the top. Other forms of thought would teach people to play nice. However, we don’t live in an equalitarian society. We live in a world where winner takes all. We live in a world where we are judged on our accomplishments, our wealth, and success. We live in a world where there are limited resources, and we all have to fight to get a piece of the pie.
Ogun is the deity of power. He represents our personal power, our self-worth, and our ability to believe in ourselves. He is the Orisha who gives us the stamina to pursue our goals. He is the Orisha who gives us the courage to face our worse fears. It is Ogun who creates pathways and helps us to overcome obstacles. As I mentioned in earlier articles, Ogun is a deity of compassion. Having a huge ego doesn’t give anyone a free pass to exploit others. Rather, having a huge ego can protect people from being exploited.