|Some of my favorite memories are of when my mom and I would carve pumpkins, sort the seeds from the gooey mess, and roast them in the oven.Together we always had quality family time, and I think that is what this season all about.|
As we look around, we find pumpkins everywhere. You might also notice the variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. From white and green, to yellow and red-orange. Pumpkins are squatty and spherical, long and crook-necked. Some are tasty while others… not so much. Seriously if you have never thought about it, there is a HUGE list of Pumpkin varieties, you should check it out.
Obviously Pumpkins are important this time of year. We find them sitting on porches, baked into breads & pies, and made into lanterns. I found myself thinking, “Why?”… Why do we so love pumpkins so much?
Pumpkins have a long history of being the one vegetable that can ward off evil spirits on Halloween night. The tradition of carving pumpkins with faces, comes from Celtic traditions where turnips and other bulbous vegetables where cared to keep away evil or mischievous spirits during Samhain. To the Celts the head was the most sacred and important part of the body. So creating faces and turning them into lanterns made perfect sense. The term Jack O’ Lantern didn’t pop up until around 1837 and stemmed from the Irish myth about Stingy Jack.
Today pumpkins have taken additional roles. One most interesting event is the annual Pumpkin Chunking contest where engineers build large cannons and other launching mechanisms, to see who can hurl their pumpkin the farthest.
Other competitions include growing the largest pumpkin. Some of the largest pumpkins grown weigh over 1,800 pounds! Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater would be proud.
It is said that on Halloween, Witches can turn people into pumpkins. I don’t know about you, but I have never had any desire to do this… it just seems weird to me.
Beyond all this a bountiful harvest often included a health pumpkin harvest. Pumpkins were once a necessity in sustaining families through long harsh winters. They can keep for up to 90 days and can cooked in a variety of ways. Pumpkin can also be canned which extends their use throughout the year.
So this might explain why pumpkins have become such an important aspect of our culture. To go even deeper into why pumpkins are so important, we can look at their Magickal and medicinal properties as the relate to our Pagan culture.
|Magickal: Aspects:||Granting wishes, Love, Prosperity, Fertility, Protection when carved|
|Associated Deities:||Lunar Deities, mainly Goddess of water and the moon|
|When In Season:||September – December|
|Medicinal Properties:||Digestive AidHelps maintain healthy blood glucose levelsReduces cholesterol and triglyceridesDiureticHelps ease UlcersPrevents kidney stones
High in Phytonutrients & Antioxidants
Rich in vitamins and minerals to support overall health and immunity
|Spell Work:||Wish MagickLove MagickLunar MagickProsperity Spells and MagickFeminine MagickFertility Magick|
|Festivals, Observances, and Ritual:||MabonSamhain/HalloweenThanksgivingAll autumn observances|
|Culinary Use:||We are usually most familiar with pumpkin pie, but pumpkin is very versatile.Roast the seeds for salads and snackingUse small roasted pumpkins as soup bowlsPumpkin soupPumpkin Breads…|
|Preserving:||Pumpkin can be canned and used later in soups and desserts.|
|Storage:||Store on a piece of cardboard for 30-90 days in a cool dry place. Do not place pumpkins on cement.|
|Home and Ritual Décor:||Pumpkins are my favorite Fall decoration. They make great center pieces, & porch decorations. Place small ones on your mantel with fall leaves. You can make a pumpkin wreath, and carve them up as lanterns during Halloween/Samhain. Another favorite of mine is making votive holders out of small pumpkins.|
Pumpkin Wish Spell
On the Full moon during the month of October is the time to perform this spell.
You will need:
- 3 Pumpkin seeds, dry
- A flowing body of water
- On each of your seeds write one word that is directly related to your wish or desire. i.e., If you want to financial gain, you can right attain, money, abundantly… or something like that on your seeds.
- At the time of the full moon, you will take your seeds out to the area you have chosen.
- Hold your seeds in your hand and make your wish. It helps to decide what you want to say before you begin. You can use a little rhyme or whatever you deem appropriate.
- Toss your seeds into the water and allow them to float away.
So Mote It Be!
© The Magick Kitchen, 2014