We all know that pumpkins are used to make jack o’lanterns at Halloween. We also know that according to Irish myth, people would carve demonic faces in turnips to frighten away Stingy Jack – a man who tricked the devil and then was denied entry in to both hell and heaven, and thus was sentenced to roam the Earth forevermore.
Originally, in Ireland, where Halloween in fact has its origins and is called Samhain (sow-in) in Irish Gaelic – meaning ‘summer’s end’ – the Celtic new year; turnips were in fact used to create such aforementioned lanterns, not pumpkins. The tradition soon reached the American continent – where pumpkins are native to – and eventually became the biggest symbol of halloween that we internationally recognise today.
Now, let’s just assume these myths were based upon warding off general evil – why would the pumpkin become such a massive metaphysical protective tool?
In afro-Brazilian native myths, Oya escaped from her enemies after hiding amongst a pumpkin crop, which fooled her counterparts. Oya, then overwhelmed by gratitude, decided to never eat pumpkins again.
Behind all myths lie a real metaphysical explanation. Myths are ways of passing on knowledge.
Pumpkins are energetically associated with lack of direction and confusion. Their frequency could confuse people’s (or spirits) minds when they find themselves in a vibrational state of focusing in one single direction in order to achieve something.
Pumpkins are great for spreading thoughts of creativity too, but it may likewise have its negative powers activated when used in the wrong way or by a person in the state we have just mentioned.
Could one culture’s myth explain the other? How come two very different cultures manage to believe pumpkins are of great way of tricking bad spirits?