The season of Samhain is upon us and what would Samhain and Halloween be without pumpkins? Do you know the origin of the jack-o-lantern? It actually comes from Irish myth and legend (as does much of our modern day Halloween) and we can use it to help deepen our Samhain practice especially as it comes to working with our Wee Witchlings!
Since then the practice of carving jack-o-lanterns in various vegetables have become a seasonal tradition. The Ancient Celts believed at certain time of the year the veil between our world and the Spirit World was thinner than usual making it possible for the spirits of the dead to roam the Earth. In the Old World, these were ancestral spirits to honor and venerate. With the onset of Christianity (which had clearly happened by the time this myth came into being) any specter or spirit was suspected of sinister intentions and treated accordingly. They feared visitation by spirits and began to use jack-o-lanterns with frightening expressions carved into them as a way to scare off wayward, evil spirits — much in the same way scarecrows are intended to scare away birds.
Here are some symbol suggestions (click on the linked text for a version of the symbol you can download to create your template!):
A Pentacle – The five-pointed start is a protection symbol which represents the five elements (Air, Fire, Water, Earth, and Spirit) plus generally considered the symbol of choice for Wicca/Witchcraft. You can just tell your neighbors you’re a huge “Supernatural” fan if you’re worried about people talking. LOL
A Triquetra – This Celtic symbol has been adopted by Christianity as a symbol of the Holy Trinity, but started as a symbol for the triple goddess and is also a symbol of protection.
Hecate’s Wheel – This symbols is a fair bit more complex BUT this symbols is said to represent the cycle of birth, death, and renewal and is considered protective for devotees of Hecate.
Eye of Horus – Especially sacred to those practicing Kemetic paganism and super fancy-looking!
Hamsa – The palm with an eye in the center is said to ward off the “evil” eye, especially in Middle Easter culture and belief.
Do you carve pumpkins with YOUR wee witchlings? What sorts of designs do YOU usually carve? Tell me about it in the comments below!