Pumpkin Symbolism and Spiritual Meaning

Pumpkin Symbolism and Spiritual Meaning

Pumpkins evoke the magic of the Fall season. When we think of pumpkins, we are reminded of jack-o-lanterns sitting on porches for Halloween, the scent of pumpkin pie baking for Thanksgiving festivities; the warmth of pumpkin-scented candles, and the return of (gasp!) pumpkin spice.

The Quintessential Symbol of Autumn

Pumpkins are intricately connected to Autumn and its various festivities, especially Samhain. Pumpkins help to unveil the intrigue, mystery, and magic of this supernatural time, as pumpkins are intricately connected to the Underworld and the Goddess of Magic.

Lit Pumpkins Guide Spirits and Ancestors

When the veil is at its thinnest, and the spirits of our ancestors and not-so-familiar spirits find purchase in the physical realm once again, it is the glow of carved pumpkins lit with candles from within that help guide the path — or steer them away.

A photo of orange pumpkins taken with a selective focus lens.

Pumpkins Remind Us of Mortality and to Respect the Dead

The spirits of the dead return for a brief moment to remind us that all that is living will one day pass away. In this regard, pumpkins also carry with them the sobering message of our mortality and respect for those that have passed before us.

All Things Come to an End

With the arrival of pumpkins also comes the awareness all things come to an end. The sweltering heat of the summer season is making way for the settling chill of autumn and winter.

Reaping the Fruits of Our Labor

All the planning, preparation, and sowing we had engaged in at the beginning of the growing season now come full circle, and we see the fruits of our labor. The time of growth has come to an end, and now it’s time to harvest and store.

Pumpkins Symbolize Wealth and Prosperity

Pumpkins share many associations with wealth, abundance, and prosperity. It is said that dreaming of a pumpkin patch is a sign that you will come into wealth. This makes perfect sense because being fortunate enough to have a pumpkin patch means having access to abundant fruit that can be used in many fortuitous ways.

Pumpkin Seeds Mean Opportunity

Pumpkin seeds especially seem to evoke the promise of wealth and abundance to come since pumpkins are replete with them and having so many seeds means many opportunities to grow the fruits that will lead to budding prosperity.

Three pumpkins — large and small — resting on a haystack with strings of orange lights in the background.

Pumpkin Fun Facts

Pumpkins are one of the oldest domesticated plants, with evidence of their use dating as far back as 7,500 to 5,000 B.C.

“Winter Squash” Pie

The pumpkins used for carving jack-o-lanterns are usually not the “pumpkins” used in the canned pumpkin puree, and pie filling found at the grocery store. The canned pumpkin puree is usually made from winter squash, most often butternut squash.

Where Does the Name “Pumpkin” Come From?

The word pumpkin originates from the Greek word pepon (πέπων), which means “large melon,” and is typically used to describe something round and large.

Two bright orange pumpkins on a dark gray wooden surface.

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