Widdershins is a Scottish term (Lowland Scots) meaning counterclockwise or against the sun. The Scottish Gaelic term is tuathal, which means “Northerly”. The opposite direction is deosil or, more correctly, deiseal, or sunwise (clockwise). The term Widdershins is also used to mean any direction that isn’t the proper or usual way.

Traditionally, it is bad luck to move widdershins around a building or person while walking deiseal confers good luck and protection. Walking widdershins around a church is especially unlucky. According to the fairy tale, Childe Rowland, running widdershins around a church may get you transported to the land of the fae and the story of Fairy Cross Plain tells of a boy who danced widdershins nine times around a faery ring and fell under their control.

Many modern magical practitioners will move widdershins only when “undoing” a magickal action, such as opening a circle. Some will walk widdershins when doing banishing magick and curses and deiseal for drawing and healing magic.

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