The direction that you pass things can also contribute to meaning. Johnny Moses, a Native American teacher on the northwest coast, says that prevailing winds have determined for various people the direction that they pass bowls, candles, cedar smoke or smudge, and so on. On his island, the prevailing winds move counterclockwise, so that is the direction that they pass objects. In other cultures, for example on the Great Plains, it is traditional to pass things clockwise, the same direction as the prevailing winds.

In most Earth-based traditions, the clockwise passing of ritual objects is affirmative, while counterclockwise supports dismantling or letting go. If you were releasing a part of your life – a job or emotions – passing things counterclockwise would support the letting go. However you may want to move things clockwise to affirm change, a new job, or other positive aspects of your life.

It doesn’t matter which way you decide to pass objects, and it may depend entirely on the nature of the rite, the prevailing winds in your area, or what feels right at the time. What matters most is that your intention is clear and positive.

I suggest you choose which feels right to you and stick to it, unless you intend to intentionally shift for a specific purpose. Consistency helps set your overall intention more firmly, and you won’t have to reestablish your groundwork every time.

Robin Hereens Lysne in Sacred Living