In a few books recently I have seen the word “deosil” refer to clockwise motion, but these books are ignoring half of the world. “Deosil” does not simply mean “clockwise”; it refers to the direction in which the sun travels in the sky. This is clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, but anticlockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. This may seem strange to some, as of course the sun will always move from east to west – but below the equator the sun is in the northern half of the sky, and from this viewpoint its passage is anti-clockwise.
The word “Widdershins” can mean both anticlockwise and against the path of the sun, though in Pagan religions that use the word it tends to mean the latter.
Bonus factoid: the spelling “deosil” is rather modern and doesn’t appear in the Celtic languages. You may prefer the term “sun-wise”.
It is my understanding the words are of Scottish origin. but I could be wrong.
Indeed! I believe it says as much in the wikipedia page that’s linked. ^_^
The following is an interesting discussion on the etymological origins of the word as well…
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Just heard the word ‘deasil’ on NPR. Looked it up and lo! We’ve been misspelling it all these years. Under deasil, it has clear Gaelic origins. Also, withershins. Curious, no?