The worship of nature is the obligatory step in the process of evolution of humanity. For the Vietnamese and their country, a people and a nation that lives from rice cultivation in flooded terrain, the dependence on nature are all the deeper and closer. We explain everything about the cult of nature in Vietnam!
The fact of simultaneously depending on several elements of nature leads to the synthetic mode of thought and to the polytheistic mode. The consequences of the Yin character of the culture of agricultural origin are a social behaviour based on the sentimental and the valorization of the woman that leads to a factual situation: A plethora of female goddesses and geniuses.
The Deities of the Worship of Nature
First of all, they are Ba Troi (the Lady of Heaven), Ba Dat (the Lady of the Earth), Ba Nuoc (the Lady of Waters), goddesses who preside over natural pheomenes. At first, they are indeed female goddesses. It was only later that, partly as a result of a need for balance between Yin and Yang, we found Ong Troi (Mr. Heaven). Then, under the influence of Chinese culture of pastoral origin, we also have Ngoc Hoang (the Jade Emperor), Thô Công (the Soil Genius) and Ha Ba (the Water Genius). However, the “Ladies” continue to exist in parallel under other names: the Lady of Heaven becomes Sait-mother of the Nine Heavenly Floors) or Cuu Huyen Nu (the Black Lady of the Nine Heavens). In Hue, there is Thien Mu (the Heavenly Lady).
In many regions, the Earth and Water Mothers still subsist as regional geniuses like Ba chua Xu (the Queen of the River), Ba Chua Bach (the Queen of the Canal). Sometimes these three deities are still worshipped together as a trio of the “three powers” in the form of Tam Phu “three palaces”: Heaven, Earth and Waters: Mau Thuong Thien (Holy Mother of Heaven), Mau Thuong Ngan (Holy Mother of Mountains and Forest) and Mau Thoai – deformation of the Word Thuy (Holy Mother of Waters).
The custom of worshipping the sun is a widespread belief in agricultural regions like Vietnam, images of the sun are presented everywhere before the King is considered the son of Heaven.
After Heaven, Earth and Waters, there are the Ladies of Clouds, Rain, Thunder, Lightning)-natural phenomena that have great importance for the life of the people of rice farms in flooded terrain.
The Vietnamese still revere general natural phenomena like space and time. The God of Space is represented according to the “Five Principles” (the Genius of the Five Directions) who presides over the four cardinal points and the Center. The Genius Ladies of time are those of the twelve zodiacal signs of the twelve decimal system and form the group of the Twelve Great Dignitaries” who each preside over a sign. Time being the essential element of eternal life, these twelve geniuses also preside over life. It is the twelve geniuses of childbirth who welcome the newborns.