I was asked by a commenter on my livejournal why I would look to other people to guide me spiritually instead of only asking spirit. I thought I would expand upon my comment.
Here are some reasons:
1) A community is important to religion. There is only so much you can learn from yourself and spirit. For the most part, we are social animals. I'd like to have a place to go to and discuss religious topics with co-religionists. There are some things that only co-religionists can get.
2) There is a reason why a certain ritual or act or tradition is done in religion. Understanding this helps us understand the spiritual Beings in the religion.
3) People have been using the rites and worshipping the deities in the religion for centuries which has been passed down either through the diaspora or through the ancients own writings. If it didn't work, we wouldn't be doing them.
4) Jade added that other people are good to talk to to make sure that people's egos are in check. Sometimes, we hear what we want to hear rather than what is really being said.
Furthermore, being in an African Traditional Religion, connecting with communities -- both the deities and ancestors and the communities in which humans congregate -- is an integral part of these faiths. This is a matrix of energies and personalities which when handled well will create great communities filled with responsibility and integrity.
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