Wicca in the Southern Hemisphere

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This is a 'work in progress' page for now, though eventually I'll submit it. It's purpose is to discuss the differences between Wicca in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. For the moment I'm looking at the differences in relation to working Magick, and the celebrations, but I certainly won't limit it to that.

For more information on Wicca, and a good discussion or two, try The Wiccan Forum.


Deosil is generally taken to mean clockwise, and Widdershins to mean anticlockwise. These two meanings are taken from the Northern Hemisphere, where the words originated. However we need to go back to the 'real' meanings of both words, not just what they have come to mean.

Deosil means 'with the sun'. In the Northern Hemisphere the sun travels in a 'clockwise' arc across the sky, that is it goes East-South-West. However in the Southern Hemisphere, the sun travels in an 'anticlockwise' arc across the sky, that is East-North-West. Therefore Deosil for the Southern Hemisphere is in fact anticlockwise.

Similarly, Widdershins means 'against the sun', and for the reasons just described, in the Southern Hemisphere that's actually clockwise.


Now, what does all this mean? Well if you live in the Southern Hemisphere and need to do something Deosil (like casting a circle), then you need to do it anti-clockwise. Conversely, if you need to do something Widdershins (like opening a circle) you'll do it clockwise.


The Sabbats, both Greater and Lesser, mark changes in nature. Be it a change from one season to another, or celebrating the equinoxes. These celebrations are reversed from Northern to Southern Hemisphere. For example, while the Northern Hemisphere is celebrating Samhain, the Southern Hemisphere is celebrating Beltaine.

The table below shows the 'Wheel of the Year' for both Northern and Southern Hemispheres. You'll note that some dates contain a range, rather than a specific date, that is because these Equinoxs fall on different days each year.

DateSouthern HemisphereNorthern Hemisphere
May 1SamhainBeltaine
June 20-23YuleLitha
August 1ImbolcLughnasad
September 21OstaraMabon
October 31BeltaineSamhain
December 21-23LithaYule
February 2LughnasadImbolc
March 21MabonOstara

Compass Points and the Elements

Before I talk about Compass Points and the Elements, I will note that this is the system I know. It isn't the only system; different traditions have their own systems. For whatever you system you use, you need work out why it is like it is and then work out what Northern/Southern Hemisphere changes need to be made.

In the Northern Hemisphere, South is traditionally Fire. South faces the equator, the hottest part of the planet. Conversely the equator is North of the Southern Hemisphere, and therefore North is actually Fire. Similarly the Earth is in the North for the Northern Hemisphere, but South for the Southern Hemisphere.

But what about East and West? For me they don't change. Why don't they? Well for me, Air is where the sun rises and Water where it sets, and North or South, that's the same direction. I was happy and surprised to find a Witch role model of mine, Fiona Horne also thinks this way.

DirectionSouthern HemisphereNorthern Hemisphere

Other Links

  • For more information on the celebrations and seasonal differences between Northern and Southern Hemispheres try The Mystical Grove

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