Uncover hidden spiritual meanings

The clockwise direction that is generally used within ritual.

The direction of the sun and the moon, the direction that time is read, and things move forward. Deosil is important because it is the direction of manifestation and creation.

When a circle is constructed it is brought up deosil and it is taken down it is the opposite: widdershins. Deosil and Widdershins both will be opposite in the Southern Hemisphere from the Northern Hemisphere.

Definition of Deosil in Wiccan and Pagan Rituals

In Wicca religion, the deosil move is a clockwise, or otherwise referred to as a sunwise direction.  It is derived from the Latin word "dexter"  which refers to the right, right handed, favorable or skillful. The opposite of dexter is sinister which means on the left, left, or unlucky. It is commonly used in Wiccan ceremonies with its opposite being widdershins, meaning, moving counterclockwise.  The deosil is used when the ritual circle is being drawn. The ritual circle according to many practitioners of witchcraft, magic and rituals, refers to that magical space which is normally marked out. The purpose of the circle is to make sure that the energy is contained in it in order to help the practitioner perform the ritual or magic that is at hand. The circle can either be visualized or be drawn physically using chalk or salt.  

Deosil or Widdershins, Which Way To Go?

The creation of the circle is known as casting and there are several techniques which can be used to do it.  Some tradition believes that one must trace around the circle several times in a clockwise or deosil direction. The word Deosil is used during Wiccan ritual instead of clockwise for constructive magic. When the circle is cast, it is done in a deosil.   

When one is out to perform destructive magic, widdershins is used which simply refers to moving in the circle in a counterclockwise or in an earthwise manner. It is usually for destructive magic when banishing the circle.

Does Deosil Always Raise Energy and Widdershins Banish It?

In physics, the earth is the most referenced rotating frame, which deflects how other objects rotate in reference to its frame. This effect is experienced when the earth rotates and the inertia of the mass experiences the effect. Due to the fact that the earth only completes a full rotation in a day, the energy experienced is less and its effect is only noticeable on motions occurring over long periods or large distances such as the movement of water in the ocean or the movement of air in large quantities in the atmosphere. The forces caused by the earth’s rotation are what cause objects to move from southern or northern hemisphere to the left or right respectively. Everything seems to move to the left when in the southern hemisphere and to the right when in the northern hemisphere. If the earth was non-rotating, then everything would flow according to pressures; from high pressure regions to low pressure regions.

What the above physics imply is that energy tends to move to the right or left depending in which hemisphere they are in; and it adds up that, that is the way to raise energy.

What all this means is that the Wiccans apply a little physics in applying the deosil and widdershins during the drawing of the circle.

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By Flo Saul
Oct 2, 2012