SIDEBAR A TO PART FOUR
SUMMARY: Parts One Through Three
By Ed Tarkowski
* Prayer Circles became prominent in Christianity through catholic Charismatic Renewal started in the mid-1960s through ecumenical Prayer Groups
* Prayer Circles are now a global phenomena and possibly the main means of bring people together in unity for the purpose of healing and reconciliation
* "Sweeping" ceremonies to clear a sacred place for the circle ritual.
* The use of tools, such as a sword, athame, or a wand to cast a circle.
* Initiation of communication with entities from various directions (N, S, E, W, Up, Down, and Spirit.) "Spirit," which is the center of the circle, contains the elements associated with the four directions: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Up and Down, which represent the Sky or Cosmos and the Planet, turn the sacred circle into a sacred sphere.
* The circle is a cut-off place for evil, thus protecting the ceremonies within from evil while bringing unity to all things good.
* The raising of power within the circle to change consciousness, project power, receive guidance, work psychically, bring about healing in spirit, soul and/or body, and pray for own or others' needs.
* Invoking the powers of the four (or seven) directions to bring about unity in one's self as well as unity with the human race and the universe.
* Connected to the four directions are the four elements: Earth, Air, Water, and Fire, all contained in "Spirit" in the center of the circle.
* Drum-beating, chanting, singing, dancing.
* Syncretism: a common theme accompanying prayer circles in indigenous ceremonies, the world's religions, and apostate Christianity.
* Where today "Spirit" or the "Holy Spirit" is said to be the power released in the center of the circle, the Gnostics documented many instances where Jesus appeared and stood in the center of their circles to instruct them in the "mysteries."
* Glossalalia and being "slain in the Spirit" were associated with these circles.
* Those in the circles were described as always standing toward the four directions, the four directions being considered the formation of a circle.
* The prayer circles was used to pray for others, originally by means of the "diptych," and which was later forsaken as people themselves prayed in silence for those they wanted to remember.
* Much of the Gnostic literature depicted an "ascension" through the circulatory realm to the very presence of God (the Gnostic Ogdoad with Egyptian origins). I liken this to the talk of those in the revival reaching a "new level" through what God is supposedly doing in the revival.
* As in Parts 1 and 2, the culmination of the prayer circle is that all these circles come to a point where they all form a series of circles connected around the earth.