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Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from Middle Low German weddersins, weddersinnes, from Middle High German widersinnes, from wider- (wither-, against, opposite) + genitive of sin (direction, way).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈwɪ.də.ʃɪnz/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈwɪ.dɚ.ʃɪnz/
  • (file)


widdershins (not comparable)

  1. (obsolete) The wrong way.
  2. Anticlockwise, counter-clockwise.
    It is unlucky to walk widdershins around a church.
    • 1946, McKay, Herbert, The World of Numbers, Cambridge University Press, OL 189640M, page 45:
      Astronomers cannot help regarding the solar system as a small widdershins universe, because the real movements with which they are familiar are nearly all widdershins: the rotation of the sun on its axis, the rotation and revolution of the earth and the moon, the rotation and revolution of the planets and of most of their satellites.
    • 1995, Estelle Daniels, Astrologickal Magick, Weiser Books →ISBN, page 23
      The next hour wedge in a counterclockwise (or widdershins) direction, between 8 :00 and 7:00 is the 2nd house. The 8:00 line is the cusp of the 2nd house. You continue all around the wheel widdershins until you get to the hour wedge ...
    • 2002, Laura Perry, The Wiccan Wellness Book: Natural Healthcare for Mind, Body, and Spirit, Career Press →ISBN, page 87
      I like to carry the incense widdershins around the room (widdershins being the direction of banishing) and then also run the incense widdershins around windows, doors, and mirrors. You can also do this type of cleansing with a container of ...
    • 2005, Melissa Roth, The Left Stuff: How the Left-Handed Have Survived and Thrived in a Right-Handed World, Government Institutes →ISBN, page 29
      They even had a word for it, widdershins, an adaptation of the German word wiederschein, which means “against the sun.” If you walked around a bonfire counterclockwise, or widdershins, you were suspected of harboring a penchant for ...
    • 2005, Michael Ford, Luciferian Witchcraft, Lulu.com →ISBN, page 98
      Widdershins are movements around the circle in an anti clockwise dance. Some witches may find it useful to recite the Lord's Prayer Backwards while moving widdershins in the beginning of the Sabbat Rite, this allowing or 'giving permission' ...
    • 2007, Ruth Barrett, Women's Rites, Women's Mysteries: Intuitive Ritual Creation, Llewellyn Worldwide →ISBN, page 88
      In the Dianic tradition, the cast circle is opened in conjunction with valedictions in reverse order, also known as widdershins or counterclockwise, starting with a valediction to earth and moving from north, to west, to south, to east. In the Dianic  ...
    • 2008, Ann Finnin, The Forge of Tubal Cain, Pendraig Publishing →ISBN, page 55
      The one thing we didn't think of, due in part to our quasi-Gardnerian training, is that one grinds the mill widdershins — counterclockwise, not clockwise. The counterclockwise motion (also called “Moonwise”) churns the energy against ...
    • 2011, Dion Fortune, Psychic Self-Defense: The Classic Instruction Manual for Protecting Yourself Against Paranormal Attack, Weiser Books →ISBN, page 197
      The contrary way is widdershins, the way in which the witches danced at the Sabbats. The deosil movement affirms the rule of God's law in Nature because it is the Way of the Sun; the widdershins movement repudiates God's rule over Nature ...
    • 2012, Juliet Blackwell, In a Witch's Wardrobe: A Witchcraft Mystery, New York, NY: New American Library, →ISBN, page 32:
      Before people started arriving, I began the day as I always did: by sprinkling saltwater widdershins—counterclockwise—around the perimeter of my shop, then smudging deosil—clockwise—with a sage bundle.