The pumpkin is one of the most visible signs of fall’s arrival. Images of the round, orange fruit are as much a symbol of the season as the changing color of autumn leaves.
It is believed that the origin of pumpkin pie is thought to have occurred when the colonists sliced off the pumpkin top, removed the seeds, and then filled it with milk, spices and honey. The pumpkin was then baked in the hot ashes of a dying fire.
Carved from turnips or gourds, they were set on porches and in windows to not only welcome deceased loved ones but to also act as protection against evil spirits. Burning lumps of coal were used to light the inside of the jack-o-lanterns, only to be replaced by candles as the years passed.
People have been making jack-o’-lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed “StingyJack”.
Legend has it, in 18th-century Ireland, a foul-mouthed drunk and disreputable miser named Stingy Jack asked the devil to go have a drink with him. The devil obliged and when the bill came he convinced the devil to turn himself into a six pence coin to pay.
The devil fell for it and Jack skipped on the bill and kept the devil at bay by sliding the coin into his pocket to lay at rest beside a silver cross.
But Jack decided to be a good egg and let him out, providing that the devil wouldn’t come after Jack for a period of one to 10 years.
In the end, Jack was given a lump of burning coal by the devil to light his way through purgatory. Jack carried the coal inside a hollowed out turnip.
Irish families told the tale and began to put carved out turnips in their windows to prevent Stingy Jack and other ghouls from entering the home.
The term jack-o’-lantern was originally given to the ghostly light, also known as will-o’-the-wisp, caused by the combustion of methane gas over swamps and marshes at night.
The term jack-o-lantern denoted either a lantern-carrying nightwatchman or a will-o-the-wisp, one of those wandering orbs of light, perhaps of supernatural origin, that appear in forests and swamps to lead travelers astray. Will-o-the-wisps were often thought to be lights carried by malevolent fairies seeking to trick unwary humans.
Pumpkins can be used for protection, divination, banishing, and prosperity. Pumpkins and pumpkin seeds represent fertility, abundance, wealth, love, prosperity, good luck, and can attract money. They can also be used for healing, honoring the Moon, and Divination/Contacting the Spirit World.
Pumpkins are a symbol of prosperity and can be placed on the altar, hearth, and doorstep to bring prosperity into the home and to those who live in it. Keeping a pumpkin in your divination space is said to provide extra insight in your reading.
With this candle
And by its light
I welcome ye spirits
This Samhain night.
Bury your spent pumpkin in the garden to “fertilize” a wishing spell.
The pumpkin’s magical lore makes it “ripe” for wishing magic. Write a goal on a piece of paper, and bury it in the garden to bless your endeavors.
Place a pumpkin near your creative work space for inspiration and brainstorming.
Pumpkins connote fanciful thinking and fairy tales. Use this energy in your work space to break out of box thinking and reach deeper.
Save the stems.
The stem dries out pretty quickly. Leave it in your magical cabinet to boost wishing spells or prosperity spells during the next Wheel of the Year.
Torch any tensions
Write them down and then agree to let them go with the start of the new Wheel of the Year. Place a candle inside the pumpkin lantern, and one by one, burn the papers. Watch them go up in smoke and let go.
Pumpkin spice can be an added powder in your autumn magic to increase its potency. It can increase both your magical and personal power, especially in work dealing with prosperity, love, and deepened psychic perception
When you’re out and about this Halloween, be careful as you walk towards that glowing pumpkin. Maybe it’s been carved by friendly neighbors, but maybe it’s a trick to lead you into the dark October night.