The literal meaning of widdershins is to progress in an anticlockwise direction or to go AGAINST THE SUN. In many old folk tales, traditions and superstitions to proceed widdershins was tempting fate if not downright dangerous.
Superstitious sailors would never turn their vessels anti-clockwise and after a good meal the port decanter was never passed widdershins around the table.
Local children would never dance round a ring of toadstools in the fields either nine times or widdershins because to do so would give the fairies power over you and you would be taken away to work for them.
On the North Yorkshire Moors in Fryup Dale there is a mysterious spot (picture) called Fairy Cross Plain and here many years ago a boy by the name of Thomas Skelderskew did both just to show the silly local girls that this was superstitious nonsense - you can guess what happened!!!
Here is one for the curious.
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