4th generation gods Fon

The 4th generation Fon gods are: ZO, HON, SAKPATA, KOU, AGASOU

4th generation Fon gods are: ZO, HON, SAKPATA, KOU, AGASOU

ZO (Fire)

He is fire in its double negative and positive aspect. But the tradition emphasizes above all its negative manifestation. Zo governs passions, desires, violence, destruction, war, treachery, everything that causes suffering and pain. A myth of the oracular art Fâ, reports that the God Hêvioso and the God Zo, clashed over Hêvioso's wife whom both coveted. This myth joins the Greek myth of March and Hephaestus.

Le dieu Zo correspond à MarsLe Dieu Zo désigne le seul dieu, comme dans la tradition Greek, à qui l’on consacre un mois : « zosoun » (September). Ce dieu régit également la petite saison des pluies du bas-Benign, qui va de fin août/début septembre, jusqu’à November. Thus, Zo is the god of agriculture as well as Mars.

La période de fin août – début septembre, constitue le début de l’année dans la tradition fon. Moment de l’année pendant lequel ont lieu la « menducation » des prémisses de l’igname et les nouvelles cérémonies. La fin de l’année correspond également à la cérémonie royale « hwétanou » à Abomey.

HON (Fire)

It is the solar bird of the Fon tradition. “Hon” (Falcon, Eagle) and “Kêsê” (Parrot) designate the same reality. The term “hon” (to light up, to shine) evokes the sun, the light in its expansion, while “Kêsê” (universe, spirit) represents the divine soul.

The legend raconte que Soleil qui représente le Dieu Sê, le Feu qui figure Fâ et Kêsê avaient une querelle avec Pluie soit Hêvioso. Tous trois se fixèrent un jour pour y mettre un terme. Au jour fixé, Pluie se mit à tomber. Soleil ne put plus briller. Feu s’éteignit. Seul le feu allumé à la queue de Kêsê, brilla. C’est pourquoi l’on utilise la plume du Perroquet pour couronner un victorieux.

This myth is a cosmological story evoking the end of creation. The parrot, the divine soul, will remain at the end of time, since it is eternal, but its manifestation, the sun, will vanish into the waters of creation, which will determine the sleep again of the Creator, the fire, that is to say, expansion will become contraction and we will witness the regression of creation. Then the demiurge will awaken in the primordial waters and a new creation will take shape. This process will be endless.

We still encounter the cult of Hon in Abomey in the synthetic form of “Hon-Dé” (Falcon-Palmier). It evokes the cult of the navel "hon", the center of man, the core of life. This cult consists in burying a parcel of the dried umbilical cord. A palm tree is planted on the latter, symbolizing the long life and prosperity promised to the child. The Dé palm is the tree of life and represents the center of creation. This cult therefore aims to connect the microcosm to the macrocosm, man to God, and to ensure his salvation, his resurrection.

SAKPATA (Earth)

Sakpata est le dieu le plus redouté du panthéon Vodoun. On n’ose pas l’appeler par son nom. On utilise d’autres appellations inspirant moins la crainte : « dokounon » (le riche), « dohosou » (le souverain du sous-sol). Il représente les richesses minières, l’or en tant que condensation de la lumière solaire représentée par Ayidohwêdo. En tant que tel, Sakpata personnifie le feu précipité sur terre, le feu créateur incarné dans la matière.

It forms the earth and becomes the fire within matter and ensures its cohesion or disintegration. It allows the perfect alchemy which realizes the riches of the subsoil but in its anger it can upset and break the balance of the ecosystem, hence the unleashing in nature of plagues and natural disasters. Tradition only emphasizes his destructive power, hence his name as the god of smallpox capable of decimating an entire population in a few days. Hence also the fear and respect he arouses, and the consideration enjoyed by his priests, who are great healers.

They are the only ones to know by what ritual means, one can appease the God Sakpata, and stop the procession of formidable diseases which result from his “mood swings”. Sakpata is the god of the volcano The earthquake mainly falls under the God Dangbé, the python, which constitutes an aspect of Sakpata. Sakpata has a pantheon which includes nearly twenty son-gods, some more harmful than the others. The number 10 of the God Sakpata is 10. The term Sakpata designates the Sakhmet-Ptah synthesis of Egyptian theology. Sakpata corresponds to the Greek god Hephaestus.

KOU (Earth)

The God Kou personifies death and is represented by a skeleton. He lives in the underworld "Do", a name by which he is also designated. This place separates the world of the living from that of the gods and ancestors. It is traversed by raging waters: “Kuto”. After leaving the world of the living, before reaching the kingdom of the gods and the ancestors, you have to pay a customs duty to Agasou-Sava, the juggler.

This legend evokes a similarity with the mythology grecque, qui enseigne que les âmes des défunts doivent passer à l’autre rive de Styx, avant de retrouver la paix, le repos, la félicité. Le Dieu Kou possède trois enfants ; l’aîné s’appelle Azon = maladie, le second a pour nom Tadou = Migraine, et le dernier Avouvo = Fièvre. Les trois enfants de Kou correspondent aux Parques, déesses greek de la Mort, satellites de la Mort.

AGASOU (Earth)

Agasou designates the mythical ancestor of the royal families of Porto-Novo, Alada and Abomey. He is represented by a panther which recalls his origin. Tradition indeed identifies him with the child born of the union of a panther and Princess Aligbonon. When he died, his son Adjahouto killed Adja, who robbed him of his throne. He had to flee to settle in Alada. His descendants will be at the origin of the three kingdoms mentioned.

The king of Abomey, a descendant of the Panther then has a divine ancestry. He is God Incarnate. The cult of Agasou, or cult of “Kpo” (panther), in Abomey, is the supreme cult of the kingdom. It forms with the cult of “Lênsouhwé” and that of “Adjahouto”, the royal cult or the “State cult”. All vodoun priests are placed under the authority of the priest of Agasou, the Agasounon.

The sovereign also bears the titles of “Dada” and “Djêhosou”. Dada-Sê or Sê are the names of the Creator. The etymology of Dada, “da” (to pull, to cut), takes account of the battles that the Creator had to fight to achieve creation and to maintain it. Dada-Sê evokes the daily struggle waged by the sun Sê, against the God Dan, representation of the forces threatening creation, in order to appear each morning to enlighten creation and transmit life.

The Dada title held by the King of Abomey thus invites him to embody the god-warrior who is his father, and to fight to enlarge and maintain the universal kingdom of Abomey, the center of creation. The decomposition of Djêhosou gives: “djê” (pearl, spirit) and hosou (sovereign) is the sovereign of the sky. These two titles always enshrine the King of Abomey as the sun god, the light of creation.