Deosil & Widdershins

A circle is simple to draw despite its complex nature. It signifies a completion of a cycle, perpetual motion. Endless loop. Deosil and Widdershins are a classical approaches to working with circles. Deosil is the ritual act of moving around a circle in a clockwise direction; and Widdershins would be the counterclockwise direction of movement when practicing spells and rituals.

Traditionally, one moves deosil to cast a circle or invoke energies and moves widdershins to banish. Some choose to adhere to these traditional practices while others practice without paying attention to movement and direction. As a practitioner, do what feels correct to you. The concept of clockwise (deosil) and counterclockwise (widdershins) is a powerful way to sharpen your intent and work with energy.

Deosil is moving in a clock wise motion. This direction is also called the motion of the sun. This is used in raising energy. Whenever you start ritual, call the quarters and raise energy by chanting and moving around the cauldron.. always move in a Deosil motion. Even when crushing herbs in you mortar and pestle for ritual incense, move the pestle in a deosil motion, it will put energy into your incense.

Widdershins is moving in the opposite, counter clockwise or anti sun motion. This is used to release energy. When in ritual you are done raising energy and are ready to release it, move in a widdershins motion. And after that moment, for the rest of circle move in widdershins.

There are also other purposes of moving in widdershins, like moving negative energy, or doing certain kinds of spells.

The terms deosil and widdershins come to common Craft usage from older German and Gaelic terms that refer generally to clockwise and counterclockwise movements, respectively.

Deosil is a more modern spelling of the Irish and Scots Gaelic terms meaning “right” or “sunwise” — as in “turning in the direction of the sun.” It was considered propitious to turn to the right and to favor right-handed movements, a propensity that carried over into ritual practice and was handed down into superstition to the point that some people even believed that drinking or performing other actions with the left hand could prove to be fatal.

Widdershins, on the other hand, comes from an old Germ word widersinnig (“against” + “sense”). This form of “sense” is most closely related to words like “practicality” and “aptness.” So, to move widdershins is to move against the norm. This bears out when we look at the way the word was cited in the Oxford English Dictionary’s entry in an early attestation from 1513, where it was found in the phrase “widdersyns start my hair”, i.e. my hair stood on end.

Some traditions have strict rules about only moving deosil or only moving widdershins within the caim. Many Traditional Witches use both types of movement during ritual, though we use them very deliberately. We acknowledge that every step within the compass is an act of treading the mill. Be cognizant with each step you take of whether you are building on the magick of the work you are aiming to do, or if you are unwinding it by moving contrary-wise.

You can use the mill to lead you either up and out or down and within. When treading sunwise, the energy rises upward, spiraling us into the first realm. Treading widdershins brings the energy down into the land where we can access the third realm. Neither of these movements is more desirable than the other, they are both as necessary and as benign as the positive and negative poles of a magnet.

Love & Light, ·´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ ..·´ Trish-:¦:-
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´*

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