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Working Widdershins

I have long held a philosophy of never working widdershins, but my practice and understanding are constantly evolving, and I've peeled back a few more layers and found that widdershins workings have a place in my practice after all.

What's Widdershins?

Widdershins comes from Middle Low German weddersinnes, literally "against the way" (i.e. "in the opposite direction"), from widersinnen "to go against", from Old High German elements widar "against" and sinnen "to travel, go", related to sind "journey". – Wikipedia

In the Craft of the Wise, Widdershins usually indicates a counter-clockwise motion used during magic. For example, student witches are usually taught to cast the magic circle by moving clockwise, also called deosil, and to take the magic circle down again, one moves widdershins. In general, clockwise is the direction for creating things, for increase, and widdershins is the direction of hexing, banishing, or decrease.

How NOT to use it

Because my magical practice is powered by working in harmony with the Law of Attraction rather than trying to work against this powerful force of nature, I never work to banish, or decrease anything. I am aware that my attention to anything makes it grow bigger and stronger within my experience. And it takes a lot of attention to cast a spell.

However, Widdershins does have its uses. Everything has a purpose. And during a recent meditation I got a whole flood of deeper understanding about Widdershins.

It's not about banishing

It's about releasing

This is more than semantics. How many times have I relearned the lesson about creating the things I want in my life? That being, that it's never about force, persistence, action, determination, stubbornness, or hard work, but simply about two things; aligning and allowing.

Much the same way, Widdershins work doesn't have to be about pushing against, chasing away, clearing out, hexing, cursing, removing, obliterating, zapping, or even will power. Widdershins work can be more like an untangling of the ties that bind this thing to us. We are untying the knots. We are freeing ourselves by gently releasing that which we no longer want. And importantly, we are doing so with appreciation for the clarity the unwanted thing has brought.

There's a huge difference in vibration between "I don't want you! Get out!" and "I have learned from you. Thank you for all you have taught me. Depart in peace."

Negative experiences serve a purpose

I know you know this, but just for review, when we go through a rough patch in life, it has come to us for a reason. It matches something in us, a need we have or a change we are refusing to make. It might match a habit of thought, a self-limiting and false belief, or some ghost from our childhood. Whatever it is, there's something in us that matches the energy of the bad thing. Otherwise it couldn't exist for us.

When we stop seeing the negative experience as"just the way it is, or as some permanent condition, and start allowing it to help us imagine what would be better, that is the very moment we begin the process of moving away from what we do not want and into what we do.

Simple example, we get sick. We get really, really sick. Maybe there was something we were stubbornly refusing to learn that we now know for sure. Maybe we were working ourselves into a far bigger crash, and this bout of illness came to slow us down before we killed ourselves. Maybe we are doing something that is physically terrible for our bodies, and our bodies have decided to tell us so in terms we might finally hear.

When something is off, when we are working against our own desires, our body will usually tell us so. It's learning to listen that's key. So if we get sick, there was a reason. And the sickness is showing us how much better it is to be well, and how good it is to take a break sometimes, and how wonderful self-care and a bit of pampering can feel, and how great it would be not to have to work so hard, and a hundred other things. We never want to be well more than when we do when we're sick. And we never feel better than after a long illness lifts away. The sicker we get, the more powerfully we create our wellness. And the good is always bigger than the bad that came to inspire it.

Widdershins Work

How to release without trying to banish

Everything hinges on where our minds are. Our work is to focus on what we have learned and how much better we are going to be after this episode than we were before it. We should not do any magic at all until we have come to a deep understanding of what this episode is pushing us toward. We should be clear on what wonderful conditions this bad condition is causing us to create.

As we focus more and more on what the negative experience has caused us to want that we didn't even know we wanted before, or to want something more than we've ever wanted it before, and how that is going to feel, we move into readiness for Widdershins Magic - The Magic of Release

Widdershins Magic Tips

Cast your circle deosil (clockwise.) Honor the elements, elementals and deities in your usual way. As a rule of thumb, I take my circle down in the same clockwise motion if I am in my own space, in a room frequently used for magic, where I want the power to build over time. If I am not in my own space, or not in a space often used for magic, I take the circle down widdershins.

At some point in the rite, state the condition or thing you are releasing aloud. Talk about what you have learned from it, and then most importantly, what you now want in its place. Example, "Illness came and made me crave wellness. Malaise came and made me craft vibrance. I am rested now and I have newfound clarity as to what I desire. I am ready to release you, great teacher, to claim what you came to show me."

As you state the above, move widdershins around your circle or move your hand widdershins over your altar and any tools you are using in your spell.

The act of releasing with love and appreciation creates an outward flow, a vacuum, so ALWAYS follow widdershins magic immediately with deosil magic to fill the space. Energy will always rush in to fill a vacuum. Make sure it's the energy you want. Regardless, it will be the energy you match, so make sure your vibe is high.

To refill the space with the new thing, the better thing that the old thing caused us to desire, we must now move deosil, clockwise, while rapturously celebrating the new and improved condition. Imagine it, state it aloud, give thanks for it in advance, feel it already alive and well in you, visualize it, FEEL it. Let it flow into you and through you and out your hands and lips and eyes and pores into your reality.

And then seal the magic with a kiss, stomp, clap, or snap and a "So mote it be."

  • Never work magic when you're feeling angry.

  • Never work magic when you feel desperate about something.

  • Work widdershins when you feel at peace with the problem and clear on why it came.

  • Work widdershins when you've got the lesson and are ready to move on

  • Work widdershins from a place of appreciation and eagerness. This cannot be faked.

  • ALWAYS follow widdershins work with deosil work to refill the space with a higher vibe.

My Widdershins Autumn Magic

I published a blog post about how I used widdershins magic to release the energies of summer's work and tending the crops, immediately followed by deosil magic to welcome the energies of autumn, the harvest, and abundance. It's another good example of how the widdershins magic can work. You can read that here: Autumn Magic | Invoking the Harvest



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