Africa, and it’s belief in spiritual beings.
The belief in spirit beings in the whole of traditional African life is dominant.
The traditional African concepts of reality and destiny are deeply rooted in the spirit world and the belief in spiritual beings.
The activities and the actions of the spirit beings rule all social and spiritual realm. In the African tradition, it’s believed that the spirit world is divided into two broad categories:
(1) Non-human spirits: Non-human spirits are regarded in hierarchical order following their kind and importance, depending upon their power and the role they play in the spirit realm. They can easily be angered, provoked, or injured by the humans, so man requires tack and wisdom to deal with them. In dealing with both mystical powers and the spirit
(2) The spirits of the dead: Africans revere their ancestors so much, they believe that a deceased family member can help them spiritually. The ancestors are close to humans and serve as their custodians.
It’s always in this order, the creator, then the deities, the non-human spirits that are object-embodied, the ancestor’s spirit, and other miscellaneous spirits that are non-human, comprising both good or harmless spirits and evil spirits.
It’s believed that man stands between this array of spiritual hosts.
You may be asking what Constitutes the Spirit World in the African sense.
African tradition believes that the whole world is full of spirits, that spirits roam around the world as we humans do.
That the abode of spirits are numerous, such as the Ngwu tree, baobab tree, sycamore tree, burial grounds, and other places;
It’s also believed that the spirits are classified into two categories, the bad ones, and the good ones;
Africans hold a firm belief in reincarnation—a belief in life after death, future reward, and future punishment.
Like every other external religion, African tradition believes in and practice of exorcism or spirit possession.
Most African traditions don’t associate evil with satan because satan is non-existent in our cultures. Evil spirits are naturally believed to be evil.
There is a very close relationship between the spirit beings and the African belief in mystical or impersonal powers. This phenomenon is that the supernatural operates mystical power, juju, witchcraft, sorcery, and many others. The spirit world or the realm of the supernatural is, in a sense, a battlefield of spirits and powers that use their mystical powers to affect the course of human life, which can be used positively or negatively, good or evil, which may bring blessings or curses.
Its Lso believed that If man only knew how to master and control the spirit’s realm, the world would be a much happier place. Belief in the mystical powers as described already, the spirit beings behind them and the human quest to control or influence them had produced a variety of specialists such as medicine-men, mediums, rainmakers, diviners, herbalists, magicians and witches. Superstitions, taboos, and rituals grew out of such beliefs.
For safety and protection in a world that is believed to be governed by the spirit beings and powers? African tradition believes that one needs a spiritual compass for guidance and practical efforts for control, protection, and security through religious rites, reverence to ancestors, symbolic totems and regulative taboos, rituals, superstitions, customs, and specialists. For guidance and protection in life, one needs some, if not all, of these.
If you have followed African tradition, you will notice, in the African traditional religious thought, spirits are believed to inhabit certain trees, rocks or mountains, caves, rivers, lakes, forests, animals, human beings. The skies, the ground and cites, carved or molded objects, charms, amulets. It’s the reason why certain places and things are considered sacred.
It’s also believed that these spirit beings can be “manipulated” to serve humans or vice versa.
The belief is spirit beings is a very much dominant one in African tradition and holds a strong theological basis.