Rescue Circle

Rescue Circle

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Arescue circle is a circle of Spiritualists—usually meeting on a regular basis—who spend their time connecting with spirits who are having difficulty adjusting to the transition from life on the physical plane to life on the spiritual plane. Some are unable to accept their own passing and remain in the locations with which they are familiar. Sometimes this is due to traumatic events such as a a sudden and unexpected death, or a variety of reasons tying them to their old life. If the sitters are able to connect with the spirit and explain what has transpired, and how spirits are meant to progress to the next level, then the “trapped” spirit can continue on.

Some Spiritualists believe that such rescue work should be left to those on the other side, who are normally there to greet a newly deceased person. Simply sending prayers from this physical plane is often felt to be all that is required or necessary. But according to Nandor Fodor, rescue circle adherents claim that “earthbound spirits are too gross to be reached by the influence of higher spirits from the other side. They stand closer to the material plane than to the spiritual.”

The idea of rescue circles came from the Shakers, who saw the various Native American guides as being in need of “waking up” and wanted to proselytize and teach them. Records of various Shaker attempts are detailed in such books as D. E. Bailey’s Thoughts From the Inner Life (1886) and W. Usborne Moore’s Glimpses of the Next State (1911). Similar work was carried on by medium Emilie S. French and was described in Edward C. Randall’s Frontiers of the After-Life (1922). Karl A. Wickland’s Thirty Years Among the Dead (1924) contains hundreds of recorded cases, while Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Wanderings of a Spiritualist (1921) details the work of the Tozer rescue circle in Melbourne, Australia.

Sources:

Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan: The History of Spiritualism. New York: Doran, 1926
Fodor, Nandor: Encyclopedia of Psychic Science. London: Arthurs Press, 1933
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