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(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

"Widdershins" is the term for moving in a counterclockwise direction (clockwise is termed deosil). In many Witchcraft traditions moving widdershins within the ritual Circle is forbidden, yet it is acceptable in other traditions. For some Witches a widdershins movement is necessary for uncrossing and for banishing spells, and it is even used by some covens when casting a Circle in the waning phase of the moon.

The word comes from the Anglo-Saxon with sith, meaning "to walk against." It is regarded by many as unlucky since it goes against the natural rotation of the sun. Rosemary Ellen Guiley suggests that a widdershins movement is used in necromantic rituals, when a magician is conjuring with corpses in an effort to discover future events.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.