In the northern hemisphere to go sunwise is to walk in a clockwise direction, whereas in the southern hemisphere it is anticlockwise, that is the sunwise direction. Its not hard to figure this out as the sun is quite prominently in the north, and when it rises in the east as it does everywhere in the world, it heads north to where the equator is. Well it does do for us southerners. Now why am I posting about this, well you see being that I live in the southern hemisphere, and being that I am a Witch, I cast my circle and sacred space in a sunwise direction, and I use the word sunwise, however many of the books I read are written in the northern hemisphere, thus, their circle casting is in the other direction, which more often than not is referred to as clockwise. which makes me grind my teeth a little cause sunwise is not clockwise everywhere in the world…. And given that clocks were invented in the northern hemisphear, it is not a supprise that they turn in a sunwise direction for where they were invented. But then the adventures came south, passed the equator and low and behold the sun went in a different direction…. But that is a whole nother story. Well actually its not.. here in the southern hemisphear pagans of what every variety cast their circles starting in the east and then go north, then west then south and then finishing at east completing the circle. I did spend quite a bit of time contemplating this, and trying to figure out if this was an arbitrary thing or if it really had any merit this sunwise thing.
Then I got to wondering why it is that we cast in a sunwise direction, and uncast or banish in a widdershins direction.. why is that? How does that work.. and an answer arrived, which happens when you think about things. *grins* You see the sun rises in the east, no matter where you are in the world the sun will always rise in the somewhere in the east. However depening on where you live in the world can change which way is sunwise, left or right of east. The sun is also what powers our planet and in many ways it is representative of the element of fire, being a large fiery ball in the sky. First thing in the morning just as the sun peeks over the horizon, it does not have much heat energy, but as it rises, and heads towards its zenith, which is north for us southerners, and south for you northerners, (say that ten times fast) its power grows, its heat grows as to the light grows, bringing with it clarity, shedding its light if you will, as well as heat and a fast moving energy that is associated with things when they heat up. Once it has reached it zenith, things start to slow down, perhaps they start to temper, like tempering after the blacksmith has finished shaping his metal, once the sun dips behind the horizon in the east, the light fades away, and night is upon us reaching its zenith at midnight, south for us southerners and north for the northerners, (now that is easer to say ten times fast) with the darkest hours just before dawn, and the rising once again of the sun in the east.
So when casting you are repeating the same kind of cycle, with the exception that insead of lessening energy you are continuing to build energy as you call the various elements from the cardinal directions, following the building path of the sun and increasing the energy as you by pass each of the stations, dawn, midday, dusk, midnight, and back to dawn, so that the energy is contained, the energy is balanced, and ready for you to give it its intention and send it out to the world in that ‘change the world’ like way.
Gosh, that made sense to me, and what’s more I could picture it happening, almost feeling the energy of the elements combine with that of the sun and universe to create a circle as I moved in a sunwise direction.. excellent. ! did it make sense to you? *ponders this*
Just one more thing tho, you budding authors out there and you veteran ones, we don’t have many books that are written from down here, thus we do spend quite a bit of time reading ones written in the northern hemisphere, so if you would be ever so helpful and remember that down here south of the equator, our sun goes from east to north, not clockwise, and our season are about six months different from yours.. so when you are celebrating Beltane however you want to spell it, we are celebrating Samhane, however that is spelt. And for you others playing along at home.. the above is also a reminder that you must practice your magic in the land you live in and with the direction that your sun goes in as well as the season that your land has for the land you live, that is where much of you magic comes from.. mmk…