Pumpkins and Witches

Pumpkins and Witches: Pagan Lore and Scary Carvings

The history of pumpkins and witches intertwines with one another back to ancient Ireland. Long before faces adorned pumpkins, the Celts carved faces into turnips to keep the faeries mischief at bay.

As the Irish began to immigrate to the United States, the practice morphed from turnips to pumpkins as this gourd was more readily available in the new world. The Celtic new year began on November 1st when the last harvest was complete, and the harsh cold of winter blew in.

Turnip vs Pumpkin
Turnip vs Pumpkin

Samhain, the last harvest festival of the year, is a time of death, both in the fields and with humans. Just as in modern Wiccan practice, the ancient Celts believed the veil between the worlds thinned on the eve of November 1st and the ghosts of the dead could return to the land of the living. The pumpkin’s carved faces scared away the evil spirits that roamed the villages and caused havoc, which is why they are traditionally placed on door steps.

But the witch’s pumpkin has much more to offer than just a scary face. They are a hardy vegetable that can be kept for long periods of time, which could sustain a family through the meager scraps of winter. These gourds are full of vitamins and minerals needed to sustain a healthy immune system when colds and flus run rampant. They also help to reduce cholesterol, maintain healthy blood glucose levels, and prevent kidney stones.

Pumpkin Wicca

Magical Pumpkins

Magically, the pumpkin is a symbol of prosperity, love, and fertility. They can grant wishes, and of course, when carved provide protection from any malevolent entities. This year from September to December, take time to celebrate the wonders of the pumpkin in more ways than just carving faces into them. Here are a bunch of ideas on how to use pumpkins in your magical work.

Pumpkins have been known to grant wishes, so why not use one to enhance the earth and your desires at the same time?

  1. On a Full Moon during the harvest season, write your wish on a piece of paper and place it inside a pumpkin.
  2. When the pumpkin becomes ripe, bury it in the earth knowing that you have planted your desires.
  3. As the pumpkin decomposes and returns to the land, it fertilizes mother earth while at the same time bringing powerful magic to your wish.

Witch’s Pumpkin Carving

Carving pumpkins can be a fun holiday activity. If you’re looking for Pagan pumpkin carving patterns, know that anything goes! Remember that the point of carving a face on your pumpkin is to scare away evil spirits, so make them scary!

Pumpkin Carving Patterns

Wiccan Pumpkin Carving Patterns
Pumpkin Carving Patterns

Here’s another idea: Instead of just burning a candle in the pumpkin, consider adding a disc of herbs like rosemary or sprinkle some nutmeg inside for a boost of protection. The negative energies won’t stand a chance with your house!

🎃 Did you know that Samhain is considered the Witches’ New Year? Find more ideas at the Spells8 Forum:

Delectable Treats

Pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup, and pumpkin pie all hit the spot as the cold sets in and the light begins to fade into darkness. Use your kitchen cauldron (crock-pot) to whip up a delicious soup or heat up the oven for some tasty bread.

Choose some magical spices to your dishes and turn the whole cooking or baking process into a ritual or start a new family tradition of Kitchen Magic. Invite friends and family over for a delicious treat or give them out as magical gifts to your coven mates. Either way, the pumpkin will not only nourish the body, but it will also help to heal and protect the soul.

Spell Bag

Use the fertility of the pumpkin to bring forth abundance in your life. Dry and roast your pumpkin seeds. Add them to a charm bag full of magical items to bring forth success and good fortune. Carry it with you into a new endeavor or use it as harvest gifts for your witchy friends.

Halloween pumpkin witches

Wishing Stems

Pop the stems off the pumpkins and dry them out to use in rituals throughout the year. If you have a lot of pumpkins, save one for each of your coven members and create a wishing or prosperity ritual next year using the stems. Or you could string them to make a garland to hang on your altar, hearth, or over the door. Get creative and paint or decorate them to add a festival touch.


Take pumpkin puree, honey, an egg, and a dash of apple cider vinegar to whip up a facial mask. Apply it to your clean face and let it soak in for 15 – 20 minutes. Rinse it off and feel the rejuvenation of your skin and your spirit. Each of these ingredients is fabulous for nourishing your skin as they increase the moisture levels and brighten the skin tone. Adding a face mask to a cleansing bath ritual can take your self-care to a whole new level.

Pumpkins as Offerings

Harvest festivals are a time to honor those who came before us that toiled the land and worked hard to make it through the harsh winter. We are here because of them and what better way to thank them than to make an offering to their sacrifice and dedication.

Read and discuss about Offerings at the Forum

If you live near the woods, take a pumpkin to the spirits of the land and offer it to them. You can adorn it with moss or acorns and place it on a pile of sticks. Or make a bird feeder by hanging pumpkin from a tree outside your window. The spirits will appreciate your offering and the creatures of the woods will enjoy a wonderful snack!

Pumpkins can be incorporated into magical work in more ways than the traditional jack-o-lantern. Unleash your creative powers this season as you incorporate a new purpose for the pumpkin. Use these ideas to help you incorporate pumpkins in a different way this season. Use them for protection of your home and your skin, gain inspiration in your pursuits while helping to feed the local fauna, and feed your family and friends a delicious treat to bond on a deeper level. Next time you are in the store and see these large orange gourds, revel at the versatility of the pumpkin!

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