This page describes the 1st generation Fon gods: SÊ, AYIDOHWÊDO, LÊGBA, FÂ
C’est le dieu primordial et créateur qui s’est engendré lui-même. Il personnifie le feu créateur, la lumière originelle. Son nom signifie: incandescent, intelligent, destinée, providence. L’étymologie du nom de ce dieu, évoque la cosmologie scientifique du big-bang. Le myth fon de la création enseigne que Dan Ayidohwêdo, le double de Sê, créa la terre par assèchement des eaux primordiales.
In the Fon language, the word esprit is also referred to as "sê". We can then imagine that each man consists of an image or projection of the primordial sê, hence the designation gbé = father, author and to = world. In this sense, Sê represents the Whole, since each part of creation conceals a sê, which consists of its incarnation, but also Nothingness, because the spirit is impregnable, elusive, infinite.
Se manifests himself in all his power in Lêgba. The God se generated within himself the Gods Lisa and Maou and through this couple, he created everything. It has no physical representation. The mind has no color or form. Sê designates the fon form of the Egyptian solar demiurge Rê.
AYIDOHWÊDO (Fire / Air)
As in Lêgba, he is attributed the function of mediator between heaven and earth, therefore between gods and men. He leads souls from heaven to earth. Its name means etymologically: "do" (which possesses) "ayi" (earth) "hwê" (line, line, colors), it is therefore represented by the rainbow and is a source of wealth and fertility.
It is also said that he is the god distributor of gold, mines and that his excrement, "danmi" (kinds of blue pearls) have a gold value. According to the Fon creation myth, originally the waters covered all space, no earth existed. Maou, the creator, asked Ayidohwêdo, to dry up the waters, to give them a territory, “hou” the sea, to make the earth emerge.
Ayant accompli l’acte créateur, désigné en fon par le concept « voodoo », Ayidohwêdo monta au ciel. Là il devint Hwédohwan ou Lêgba (Soleil à midi) et reçu comme récompense, la première fille de Maou, Soun (Lune).
This myth defines a parallel with the Egyptian myth of creation. Like Atum, Ayidohwêdo is a serpent, Dan. Its representation by a double interlaced serpent, male and female, represents the two forces of creation, the plus and the minus, the masculine and the feminine, the sky and the earth, hence its role of mediator announced above. It also represents the original air, that is to say, life. Its color is blue, the color of the sky, and its number is 7.
LÊGBA (Fire / Air)
Lêgba designates the manifest or accessible form of the purely abstract concept that is Sê. Lêgba represents in fon as in ancient Egyptian, the heart, the beat, the spirit. He personifies the midday sun. As a principle of life, it governs order in creation, legality, unalterable law. The God Lêgba appears as a civilizing god who transmitted the law, knowledge and ingenuity to humanity.
He is the sovereign of the gods, the greatest: “houn-daho” in fon. Which means "houn" mystery, "daho" great. Lêgba embodies the creative power of Rê, which is said in fon Sê. All prayers, all requests are addressed to him and the ultimate decision belongs to him. He is the cosmic, universal judge in the voodoo tradition, and rewards each according to his deeds and merits. It represents the strict neutrality of the law, the perfect and ideal balance in the universe.
The fear he arouses results from the fact that he embodies the rigor of the law.The individual worship that each person can render allows him to appropriate the creative power, the life that he represents, which is translated by the expression “Lêgba symbolizes the anger of every man.
And everyone tries to appease him ”. Anger, fury designate the primitive forces of creation, generators of all being, the fundamental impulse which nourishes and maintains creation. Legba's anger calls every man to the conversion of strength, to the nobility of the soul, from defects to qualities. Lêgba offers everyone to become an “individual” sun, such is the meaning of his worship.
According to tradition, the God Lêgba appeared several times on earth, as a celestial man, who has neither beginning nor end of life. Like Fâ, he is the god of oracles. The color of Lêgba is red and his numbers are: 7, 21 and 41.
FÂ (Fire / Water)
Le Dieu Fâ-Dé ou Fâ représente le cycle naissance-mort-résurrection Il est symbolisé par la noix de palme ou le palmier Fâ-Dé. Ce palmier à seize branches se dresse tout droit le matin, s’incline à midi et touche le sol de ses palmes le soir. Le lendemain, il se relève, et ce mouvement se poursuit sans fin. La legend raconte que Fâ était un homme aimé de tous, car tous pouvaient l’approcher et le questionner. Ses prédictions étaient toujours réalisées. Hêvioso, son frère, le puissant dieu Tonnerre, en prit ombrage, puis décide de tuer Fâ.
Using a knife, he cut Fâ in half. But Fâ being immortal, he was incarnated in the Fâ-Dé palm tree and his servants were metamorphosed into the “avinyi” tree from which the seeds are taken from the divinatory rosaries or “agounmaga”. By his identification with Fâ, in particular with his mysteries, to his ideal of civilization, the initiate finds immortality, eternal life represented by the palm tree or tree of life.
Fâ constitutes, in view of the foregoing, and according to tradition, the god of salvation.The worship of Fâ gave birth to the system of divination called Fâ, comprising 16 fundamental Formulas or Dou, the bipolar combination of which gives 256 Formulas making it possible to account for matter, the universe, life, consciousness, evolution, etc.
The sixteen Dou or Gods constitute the sixteen faces or essential aspects of the creator, of creation. They are sixteen names or sacred sounds each expressing an idea of creation, a divine idea and in 16 x 16 = 256 names of manifestation. The first Dou, "Gbé", corresponds to the creative principle, the last, "Crazy", corresponds to the design principle, usually designated by the Father and the Mother of the Son-Gods who are then 14 in number.