In the Candomble traditions, Ogun is identified with Saint George. This is easy to understand, since St. George in pictures is usually seen as a knight in armor, carrying a lance, subduing a dragon. We imagine that seeing a Catholic Saint all in metal, one of the attributes of Ogun would make one identify this Orisha with Saint George. Since he is carrying a metal lance in his hand and obviously overcoming his enemy, this also reinforces the reasoning behind identifying Ogun with St. George. As we have mentioned on previous sites, no Catholic Saint is equal to the Orisha. These were just conveniences that early practicioners of Orisha worship in the New World developed to hide their true beliefs and to keep persecution from falling on them. Wise were they indeed, the ancestors, to invent a system that basically allowed the continuance of Orisha worship in the New World. We wonder now at the outcry of purists who demand the exclusion of any Catholic image or practice from Orisha worship, as if it were a contamination. For us, that is disrespecting the wisdom of the ancestors, who for 500 years preserved Orisha worship in this hemisphere. It is true that no Catholic image is necessary for the correct worship of the Orishas. But if someone wishes to have a statue of Santa Barbara or La Caridad del Cobre in their homes, we do not feel that they should be critized or insulted for doing so.
The above painting is called: "The Forge of Vulcan" and was painted by Diego Velazquez. It represents the Roman blacksmith god - Vulcan, called Hephaistos by the Greeks. Ogun is our African Orisha counterpart to Vulcan. He is the Orisha of metals and metal-working. That is the reason that the otan or stone of Ogun lives in a metal cauldron and his implements are made or iron or steel. Since iron working began in the iron age, we tend to believe that our Ogun preceded Vulcan and Hephaistos, since these cultures developed well after the bronze age. Just another example of how universal energies manifest in different culture at different times.
This is a picture of Hephaistos throwing his net over Aphrodite and Ares in front of Zeus and the other Olympians. Aphrodite, goddess of love, was having an affair with Ares, the god of war. Aphrodite was the legitmate wife of Hephaistos. Sounds like the love triangle of Ogun, Oya and Chango. Basic story with slight alterations in characters involved. It could well be that this Greek myth was descended from the story of Chango stealing the wife of Ogun. After all, Chango was a great warrior and indeed loved war. Interesting to speculate, but of course, there is no scientific proof.