I wore the Flying Purple Widdershins to the first hockey scrimmage tonight. When I came down, I showed them to my DS and announced their name. My DS, a natural born skeptic and having the normal, teenaged aversion to anything out of the realm of ordinary, wrinkled his nose and asked me not to announce to the parents or team what they were called. When I inquired as to why, he said the name was "weird." In other words, his mom would be considered weird for having socks with a weird name. Or maybe the fact that I name my socks at all is the weird part.
Needless to say, that got me thinking about what Widdershins might mean. So I googled it. I had to laugh. According to Wikipedia,
"Widdershins (sometimes withershins, or widershins) is a word which (usually) means anticlockwise, however in certain circumstances it can be used to refer to a direction which is against the light, i.e. where you are unable to see your shadow. It is cognate with the German language widersinnig, i.e., "against" + "sense". The term "widdershins" was especially common in Lowland Scots, and was known in Scottish Gaelic as tuathal, which uses the same root as tuath meaning "north", the opposite of widdershins is deiseil/sunwise. In the southern hemisphere, the sun actually goes anti-clockwise, but in the northern hemisphere, it goes clockwise, which is where the term "sunwise" originates from. Because the sun played a highly important role in primitive religion, to go against it was considered very bad luck."
Now, I've already stated that I don't believe in luck. But I did laugh that my hockey socks were named for something that 1) could be considered bad luck and 2) has an link to pagan religion (if you read further).
The scrimmage went well. The boys lost (2 - 4) but played extremely well. They were plagued by pentalties, not having adapted to the new rules quite yet but managed to kill a couple 5 on 3 penalties. My DS played defense the whole game and got an assist and managed to draw one penalty on a breakaway, all without getting a penalty himself. He played extremely well and I'm one proud hockey mom tonight.
Did the socks have any impact on the game? Well, my feet were warm. Quite toasty, in fact, even though I was working the penaltybox and was on the cold side of the rink. Therefore, score one for the Flying Purple Widdershins!