thnidu: Tom Baker's Dr. Who, as an anthropomorphic hamster, in front of the Tardis. ©C.T.D'Alessio (Dr. Whomster)
thnidu ([personal profile] thnidu) wrote in [community profile] reading_moonwise2012-11-01 02:29 am

the title

The directions of rotation in modern American English are clockwise and counterclockwise; in modern British English, clockwise and anticlockwise. Before clocks there was and is the movement of the sun across the sky, from the eastern horizon to its peak in the southern sky to setting in the west, moving rightward through its arc; and anything that turned that way was therefore moving in the manner of the sun, or sunwise. Its opposite, widdershins, comes from Middle High German wider "back" + sinnes "in the direction of", i.e., "in the opposite direction [to the sun]".

What, then, would moonwise be, beside 
moon-wise adj.  Obs. rare knowledgeable about the moon, its movements, etc.
1582   R. Stanyhurst tr. Virgil First Foure Bookes Æneis iii. 48   And moonewise Coribants on brasse their od harmonye tinckling.
? Would it be
  • "clockwise", moving as the moon does through the sky as the sun does?
  • "counterclockwise", seeing the moon as a complement, counterpart, or opposite to the sun?
  • in some other sense "in the same way as the moon"?
pickledginger: (closeup)

[personal profile] pickledginger 2012-11-02 07:35 pm (UTC)(link)
I'd say, moving sunwise -- because it does -- but perhaps alternately, or additionally:
• waxing and waning
• moving with / drawing the tides
• moving into and out of the night
• moving into and out of wisdom, fertility. magic, all of which have been associated with some phases or aspects of the moon

thanks -- very thought-provoking
Edited 2012-11-02 19:40 (UTC)