Conjuring with pumpkin

By Rachel Patterson

Pumpkin selection

A familiar sight during the month of October…the carved pumpkin heralds autumn and the festival of Samhain along with Halloween and trick or treating.

Originating in Ireland (according to my research) where they carved scary faces into turnips and placed them by their doors and windows to frighten away evil spirits.

Don’t just use your pumpkins (or turnips) for decoration because the flesh is yummy as are pumpkin seeds (toasted and sprinkled with salt).

The flesh and seeds are also brilliant for working some Samhain magic…


(Cucurbita spp)

A pumpkin is for all year round not just for Halloween…

There are a huge variety of pumpkins and all shapes, colours and sizes which can be used in savoury and sweet dishes.

Obviously the pumpkin has a Samhain connection and I think with that comes the Crone association as well so it works well in any celebration or honouring dish for either.

Pumpkin seeds not only make a yummy snack they also work brilliantly in prosperity magic.

Bake pumpkin into pies and casseroles to bring abundance and money to your life I also think the pumpkin has fabulous healing properties too…a big ‘ole slice of pumpkin pie sure makes me feel better anyway.

Pumpkin Magical Properties:

Prosperity, Crone magic, healing

Ruling planet – Moon

Element – Earth

Gender – Feminine


(Brassica rapa var. rapa)

The turnip or white turnip is a spherical root vegetable that was the original ‘carved pumpkin’ the turnips were carved out and a candle placed inside to scare off evil spirits on Halloween.  The flesh of the turnip is a lot harder than that of a pumpkin so carving must have been a major feat.

Serve turnips to someone that you wish would leave you alone.

In Scotland and the north of England the turnip (or neep) refers to the larger more yellow in colour root vegetable the swede (Swedish turnip) but they carry the same magical properties.

Turnip Magical Properties:


Element – Earth

Gender – Masculine