CLOCKWISE / ANTI-CLOCKWISE or COUNTER-CLOCKWISE
WITH THE SUN / AGAINST THE SUN
Muddled muddle can appear here. ;-)
Unnecessary complications ( that
is is a 'good one' IMO as a
'complication' is something
added to a time piece beyond hour, minutes,
seconds.) have been added there when using these
about making, coiling, laying, serving, parceling..... cordage.
In an external reference, meaning reference taken outside of the
left & right, an oriented
plane or space, it can clearly be stated.:
- - - clockwise is the way 'les aiguilles' / the 'needles'
( 'hands') move. It is 'Indirect' too.
anti-clockwise is the
- - - Anti-clockwise or counter-clockwise is 'Direct' or
I do not think that it is being pedantic or
Any thing is good to put minds out of the ruts setting them in a fixed
way of (not) thinking.
The 'direct' indication of time passing is the apparent course of the
It “directly” warms your right side, then your back
(Northern hemisphere) , then your left
side when you face the
traditional "Seat of Power' which is in the North .
In that orientation, not seeing the Sun itself, the 'indirect'
indication is given by the shadows.
Seen by the observer shadows are
moving from his left to his right along the day.
'Trigonometric' is what is used in Astronomy.
( Hipparcus: unit of one degree of 60 minutes each minutes
trigonometry : the measurement of 3 angles )
An observer is facing the Sun if he is looking :
- - - toward South in the Northern
hemisphere. (so sundials are pointed North)
- - - toward North in the Southern hemisphere. (so sundials are pointed
That is so
because Sun is apparently 'wandering' between the two Tropic lines.
Cancer 23°27' South : Capricorn
Of course in both hemisphere Sun is rising in the East and
setting in the West (external
Things get complicated when the observer facing the Sun mid-day
position is using
self-referencing : right / left.
- - - in one case (Northern hemisphere) Sun in rising on the Left and
setting on the Right
- - - in
the other case (Southern hemisphere) it it just the other way
: rising on the Right
setting on the left.
I have read all sort of interpretations being given by
'knotters' on the Net.
When the first weight-driven clocks appeared in the 14th
(in the Northern hemisphere mind
the way their hands rotate was made identical
to the way
shadows moves: West,
North, East ( or 09 , 12, 03 on a
face ), it is too the same rotation the
Sun itself apparently moves :
East to South to West ( 03, 06, 09 on the face of a
That is 'clockwise'.
Only if you think "straight lines" instead or arc of circle will you
think the 2 numerical
sequences are opposite.
The almost half-circle of the sundial was closed on the clock
face, the 6 A.M mark rejoining
the 6 P.M mark and 12 where
noon shadow was (Sun was then South : that is why
yourself with your watch you point the small hand ( hour ) toward the
and the bissectrice of the angle formed by 12h and the small hand
point to South in
Northern hemisphere and to North in the Southern hemisphere)
12 or Noon mark on your watch clock is where the
shadow would have been
had a miniature meridian pillar. (Note that on a vertical
noon shadow is pointing
downwards, rather towards the centre of
Earth, and on an altitude sundial only the length
is taken in account to do the markings they can be horizontal or small
cylinder as in the Pyrenean models or sheep keepers had. This
just show how things
can apparently change, apparently only. Think an horizontal sundial for
a given latitude will
be a vertical sundial for the 'complement'
altitude e.g : 35° - 55. All this just to show the
of always carefully stating what your frame of reference is or
other person : imagine! you are speaking horizontal, the other
thinking vertical !)
So traveling direction on a sundial, when you are on :
- - - the Northern hemisphere is :
sunset shadow : in the direction
sunrise shadow : 03
culmination shadow in the
direction of 12
- - - the Southern hemisphere is :
sunset shadow : in the direction
sunrise shadow: 09
Noon culmination shadow in the
direction of 06
that are numbers for the face of a mechanical clock. They are coming
the sundials which had the extremity of the gnomon pointing North in
the Northern hemisphere.
As you see our clocks faces and movement of hands are "Northern".
Clock are "models" of sundials, both were first
in the Northern hemisphere
(never forget that point as it is "the
Sundials faces are marked differently in Northern and Southern
Hour marks on the sundial faces in the Southern hemisphere are disposed
of what they are in the Northern hemisphere. External
All is in the perspective when reference are not 'external' :
the same entity can look quite another one
just by changing the point, physical or
psychological, from which it
is looked at.
This is the famed Diamond Cutter Sutra with a perceived snake in the
darkness that was
fact a rope in full light. Illusion.
An oriented circle viewed from above has an opposite orientation
if seen from under.
Think about this quite ancient spiritual symbol
: the cross in the
of the svastika or
swastika ( Navajo Tribe has it, Hindus,
one in the sky made by the apparent rotation of the stars when
projected on the
ground of Earth has another perceived orientation when
seen by a man standing
That is the symbolic significations
attributed to the so called svastika ( correct appellation
is : Cross
the shape of the svastika) one is celestial or polar while the
viewed from Earth.
That is so for an observer walking the Earth
but an Extra-Galaxian observer will see two
Imagine drawing the Earthy projection of the celestial cross on a
Put it horizontal on the ground, then dig underneath just enough to
slide under it so that
you will look both of the crosses, the one the
glass and the one on the celestial dome
along the same vector of
perspective. You will then see they have the same
It was your different perspective that created a
distortion of what was 'real'.
Great care is to be given to choice of frame of reference and to
'perspective' as this will
modify the 'opinion'.
Put yourself immobile at the centre of a circle turning
itself on an horizontal
you will see a mark on it border traveling from your left to your
right but go outside
face it then the mark will appear to be going from your right to your
This is the problem with coiling a cordage : whether you are
centripetal or centrifugal in the
progress of the coiling change a
clockwise to an anti-clockwise.
I really do not really like "clockwise" and "anticlockwise"
around cordage except in a
clearly delimited environment! ( mental and physical) .
All this is too much source of potential ambiguity.
digression about time pieces, time measure...
Another change happened with going from sundial to clock :
of time valued as an hour was
represented by different sectors on sundials, with
the face of the
mechanical clock all the sectors were made to 15°
angle for a 24h face and
30° for a 12 h face.
But this 12/24 division of a nycthemer, the day and night, is
quite old. It is what
to 'read' the 'lines' on astrolabes, quadrants,
Once upon a time... midnight and midday/noon were the sixth hour of the
12 hours long night
12 hours long daylight, the 'zero time' being sunset and sunrise. (
It seems it is sunset and sunrise that 'reset' many
biological clocks, such as those of migratory
animals. ( others use the
Do not think that mechanical clocks lead to the quick demise of
sundials and such.
On the contrary, sundials were in greater demand as a way to
're-calibrate' each day the poor
performing mechanical clock.
Up to Harrisson famous H4 (1779 - less than 3 seconds per
day) a discrepancy of plus or
minus 15 mn per day was
Sundials were obsolescent only by the 19th.
They regained some credit at the end of the 20th as a 'personalized
ornament' for gardens
Time was 'local time', local to the degree that it was
time of the village ( astronomically
determined ) with its meridian
pillar! or small town with its belfry both with clock and sundial.
Navigation was only preoccupied with "keeping the time" of the
departure point, the local or
astronomical time could be
otherwise determined and it is the difference between the two
leads to a 'transformation' into distance and localization.
With the apparition of railways for which 'common time' was a necessity
and the apparition of
telegraph which gave the mean to send messages to
uniformly the clocks over large
areas, time ceased to be 'local' to be
extended to larger administrative entities, even world
time zone. Now it is radio and even satellite
End of digression
Problems arise when one tries to apply this clock or
anti-clock 'rotation' to what is
as a "straight line", the strand -which in fact is winding
away ( I almost forgot myself and wrote
spiraling ), a small portion
of which is then isolated and assimilated
to a straight
Consider three strands suspended together from the same fixed point on
To get strands
giving the visual appearance of an oblique line going to the right in
direction the group of strands must be twisted (
with right hand
or with left hand depending on
lateralization ) at their low
a clockwise rotation.
The strand is then a 'right hand' one by
result ; but by
procedure it is a
This is what you must keep in mind.
Now take the strands between both your hands : one extremity
in left hand and the
To get 'right-hand' result you have to twist
'counter-clockwise' with left-hand and 'clockwise'
with right hand.
left-handed person will give predominance to his lateralization and say
it is a 'right' strand so
Not only clock and anti-clockwise is the result of the domination of
the Northerner hemisphere
but it is also the result of the domination
of the right-handed.
We tend to look at things from the perspective of a being standing up
and walking the Earth.
Never forget to put yourself in the correct
position for the chosen frame of reference.
Taking a "convention" made in one domain into another domain
can lead to 'muddle'.
So beware of 'observation' and adhere to convention how
arbitrary they may be in appearance
and always 'think' about the
position of observer in the chosen frame of reference.
As far as possible avoid using 'clockwise' and 'anti-clockwise' with
laid cordage and use Z/S.
= West to East apparent
move of shadows viewed when facing the
Sun from Northern
gave the way
needles / hands move on the
lower half of the clock
It is too the East to West apparent course of the Sun as
observed from the
Northern hemisphere looking towards it. ( upper half
of the clock face)
ANTI-CLOCKWISE = the other way.
Want to read about International Date Line ? then feel free.
Another the wrong result of using clockwise / anticlockwise in some
- - - state that the "cyclonic" winds ( Low pressure) are clockwise and
(High pressure) are anti-clockwise and
will be correct in the northern hemisphere but
the southern hemisphere.
I have already written most of my thoughts on
this topic in the preceding one.
This is a depiction after the description.
Too much occasion for
ambiguity, keyed ambiguiLty first time.
Is that a revelation ?
I have read all sort of contradictory interpretations on these
My summary :
Whether the expressions are referring to what the Sun itself
apparently doing or
what the sun is making the shadows apparently do (as
if they were walking with the sun)
is "with the sun" or "clockwise" for
hemisphere (not for the Southern)
It is the move of Sunflowers following the Sun in its course
the sky and the move of the
shadow of the Sunflower on the Earth.
WITH THE SUN
( indirect or clockwise)
West to East walk of the shadows obeying the command of the Sun that
shadow on the sundial ! It is too the course of the Sun in
when you are facing it.
Like the gnomon shadow move on a sundial. That dictated the
orientation clock hands
were made to move.
AGAINST THE SUN
( direct or trigonometric or anti-clockwise or counter-clockwise) in
opposition to what
the Sun command the shadows to do, or fighting the
course of the Sun itself in the sky
when facing it.
Mnemonic : it is "same word used" that is =
"with the sun" is "with the clock"
"against the sun" is "against the clock"
Note that this
apply ONLY TO THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE and ONLY FOR
MECHANICAL CLOCKS as sundials in the Southern hemisphere
marked "in what is
our nowadays anticlockwise" way !
Apparent paradox is that when going 'clockwise', on the one hand shadow
following, and on
the other hand "with
sun", following the star if
you think "straight lines" you
will believe they
are in opposition but if you
think 'arc of
circle' with concavity oriented toward each other then
you will see
they are following one another. Another ambiguity.
Indeed I am sure that those expressions about cordages or
best relegated to the
sphere summary of : clockwise, sunwise, with the sun.
These and their contrary expressions should be clear now.