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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.
References in periodicals archive ?
"Like its counter-clockwise namesake, Widdershins has a taste that's totally backwards," says Emily Armstrong of Left Hand.
In the weird and wonderful world that culture blogger Sid Langley resides, he was preaching "the puppet gospel" on April 18 after seeing Theatre of Widdershins' Furry Tails.
As a contributor to the series it was inevitable that he would sit for his own portrait; the striking thing is how he accomplishes this by walking widdershins around his predecessors.
For instance, Elves and the Shoemaker by Theatre of Widdershins proved a hit at the Festival with its story of down-at-heel cobbler Elvis Schumaker set against the backdrop of a beautifully-cafted set, puppet cast, music and a kaleidoscope of miniature shoes.
Ring-a-ring-a-widdershins, Linkin', lithely widdershins. Cummer, carlin, crone and quenn, Roun' go we.
Widdershins remarkably and deftly splices traditional fairy myths with Native American history.
In addition to McBain's Final Curtain--a country house murder tale featuring scary men in trenchcoats--the line-up included Joseph Goodrich's death-in-Paris stumper Panic; Don Nigro's Widdershins, set in Edwardian Wales; and David Foley's If/Then, which boasts a twisty blackmailer plot.
Then he knew nothing of mangoes, avocado pears, could not have known of the Queen of Sheba leading her soft camels widdershins round the kirk-yaird a lull two decades later.
"He who hesitates is lost," according to Captain Widdershins. That philosophy applies as well to this book.
Walking the ins and outs of bays and capes, recalling sailors' talk, one would arrive at the first-order generalization self-contained, aware of moving either clockwise or counterclockwise, or rather (this antedates clocks) deasil or widdershins, directions more immediate for island dwellers than compass points or (compasses too) the apparently single-minded career of the Sun, whose chariot plunges across while I go round and round; and discover, despite the senses' endless record of detail, the shore as a closed curve.
approach desirable or does it approach the problem widdershins? More
His later stage plays include "Zoo, Zoo, Widdershins Zoo" (1969), which was staged with Lynn Redgrave.