West African traditional religions have pantheons of Gods.
Within these pantheons, there is a hierarchy. The supreme being is at the top, followed by deities, the ancestors, human beings, animals, plants and minerals. Our Spirit/Vital force is what connects us. There are not as many temples for the supreme being or the Gods; however, there are shrines dedicated to the specific deity. These Shrines have different purposes, but this is where the deity resides. Each shrine has a caretaker or caretaker and a priest who can communicate directly to and with the deity. We find shrines in mountains, rivers or seas, at the foot of a village or at the residence of a priest/priestess. Offerings of prayer, alcohol, food or money are given to the deity for goodwill, protection or gratitude.
What I find exciting is these enormous Pantheons still have unknown or undocumented deities. It is a platform for research and discussions on transgender deities and their place in Africa’s transgender society. What rituals safeguard and re-energise our vital force and connection to the spiritual universe? How can we hold spaces for those witnessing our transition? These are the questions I am working on.