Popular Pagan Holidays
Autumn: The Croning Time
Daily Goddess Awareness
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chri... Yuletide!
Well, You Donít Celebrate Christmas...
Samhain: A Time for Introspection---and Activism
For A Religion So Opposed to Paganism, You Sure Stole a Lot of Our Stuff!
The Dark Half of the Year
The Halloween Witch: Sense of Humor or Sense of Ire
Ah...To Be A Witch...
Winter Solstice By Any Other Name
The Beltaine Storm
Spiritual Aspects of Yule
Winter Holiday Intentions and Food Magik
Ostara...It's Not Just For Kiddies Anymore!
Autumn Equinox: A Point of Balance on the Wheel of the Year
Alicia Meets Grandmother Autumn: A Childrenís Story
Lughnasadh: The Deeper Meaning
A Meditation on Samhain: How Lucky You Are.
The Solstice Flame: A Yule Story
Imbolc: Traditional Celebrations for a Modern Time
Supermomsí and Superdadsí Defense Against ďHoliday KryptoniteĒ
A Story For Autumn
Traditional Yule: Make your Own Homebrewed Mead
Ostara: Enter the Light!
An Egyptian Wheel of the Year
Samhain: Learning to Release
A Celtic View of Samhain
A Summer Solstice Primer
Winter: A Joyous Holiday Season
The Oak King and the Holly King Revisited
The Babylonian Ghost Festival
The Best Thing About Death
Imbolc...or As The Wheel Turns
The Sacredness of Halloween
The Celtic Origins of Samhain
The Theme of Mabon
Witches Lost in Halloween
Dealing with the Darkness, Post-Samhain
Donít Waste That Pumpkin!
The Samhain Experience
First Thanksgiving... in China
Love Lives On: A Samhain Reflection on Death, Rebirth, and the Afterlife
A White Christmas in Fuyang
Solstice of the Soul
Solstice Swim at Beach 69, Puako, Hawaii
The Tale of the Holly King and the Oak King
A Samhain Dance
Lughnasa: Festival of the Harvest (A Druid's Perspective)
Imbolg - A Lesson of Positive Change
Beltane Beyond Sex
The Story of Ostara
Planning A Good Death: A Samhain Process
The First Yule
Season of the Blues
Unity During Samhain
Yule...and Saturnalia Smurf Hats
A Yule Story for Children ~ The Tiniest Fairy ~
Yule and the New Year
Mabon..Balance and Reflection
Bealtine: Blessing the Summer In
The Blood is in the Land
Yuletide Thoughts, Life and Death
Ghosts, Omens, and Fact-Finding: Wandering In Today's Eco-Interface
Easter is Pagan
Groundhog's Day is American for Imbolc
Preparing for Summerland During Samhain
Sandy Was The Name Of the Dark Goddess This Samhain
When The Crone Pays A Visit, You'd Better Pay Attention
Yules Lessons from Days of Yore: Perfect Love, Perfect Trust
A Midsummer Labyrinth WalkÖWinding the Way Back Home
The Promise of the Harvest
Brighid's Healing Sword: Imbolc
And the Last Spoke is Mabon
"The Horn of Plenty": A Pathworking for Lammas
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Donít Waste That Pumpkin!
Article Specs |
Article ID: 14807
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 599
Times Read: 3,815
RSS Views: 17,920
Author: Kalynn Osburn
Posted: October 30th. 2011
Times Viewed: 3,815
As Samhain passes us by and the dark half of the year closes in, many people begin storing up what they need for the long winter. For the every day person, this means everything from stocking cabinets with canned foods to making sure you have salt for the sidewalk and snow boots. For the witch, this can mean a little bit more.
When Irish immigrants turned up on the shores of America, they brought with them many of the old legends and traditions that comprised the Celtic culture after the Christianization of much of Europe. One of these was carving a lantern out of a turnip in order to provide a light to frighten off wicked and mischievous spirits from ones hearth. The turnip was quickly dropped, however, in favor of the easier to carve pumpkin. This tradition has lasted through the centuries till you can hardly see a house during the fall that does not have pumpkins and Jack OíLanterns decorating the porch and yard.
But has the ability of the pumpkin been overlooked? Where does your pumpkin usually end up once itís been carved and the 31st of October passes into November? In the trash or in the road, smashed to bits. Oh what a waste of such a virile and generous gourd. In truth, the modern pumpkin has many uses, from oils to salves, decoctions to poultices; the ripe orange rind offers a litany of useful products to the patient witch at work.
First off, you need a large, orange pumpkin with as little spot on it as possible. As you begin to carve the top off and scoop it out, make sure to save the seeds, innards and meat of the pumpkin separately, as each is a valuable resource. You can choose to scrape the meat out bit-by-bit, which is necessary if you want to keep the pumpkin for decoration. But if you have plenty for you and your family to carve up, it wonít hurt to use one just for these recipes. Letís start with the most basic:
Pumpkin Seed Oil
-2 cup pumpkin seeds
-1 pint mason jar
-ceramic/ glass bowl
-Clean and pat dry the pumpkin seeds and lay them flat on the cookie sheet.
-Cook for 10 minutes or until thoroughly dry. DO NOT LET THEM BURN!
-Take out and allow to cook, and then crack open using a mallet and paper towel.
-Gather the seeds and add them together until you have at least 1 cup of shelled pumpkin seeds.
-Fill pot with 4-6 cups of water (depending upon size of pot) and heat it to boiling on the stove.
-Reduce heat to a low simmer and place the bowl on top of the pot. The water should be close but not touching the bowl.
-Add in seeds and oil and stir liberally until all seeds are coated.
-Continue to stir once every 2 hours for the next 12-24 hours.
-Have jars ready and dry.
-Place strainer over bowl and make sure it is stead.
-Using mitts to handle, slowly pour contents of bowl into strainer, letting the oil drip through into bowl.
-Allow cooling for a few minutes, and then using cheesecloth to press down and squeeze any remaining oil from the seeds. This takes pressure and time but itís worth it, as you donít want to waste oil.
-It may take several straining to filter out the seeds entirely, so just go back and forth between the two bowls until itís fairly clear.
-Pumpkin seeds are said to have a unique effect on prostate cancer and contain fatty acids that help with blood vessels, nerves and tissue. Feel free to enjoy with bread, salads, and (my person favorite) mix the leftover seeds and a little oil with hummus and goat cheese for crackers!
And of course the joy doesnít stop there. You can also melt down beeswax in a double boiler (1 oz of beeswax per cup of oil) and add in the oil to make a splendid pumpkin salve that works for as an anti-inflammatory aid and helps with dry skin during the winter months.
-6 cups water
-2 cups pumpkin meat cubed
-1/4th cup honey
-Heat water to a boil and add in pumpkin chunks.
-Let simmer for 4 hours
-Strain pumpkin chunks and set aside for blending (See Pumpkin Poultice recipe) .
-Add honey to mixture while mixture is still hot and stir till dissolved.
-Pour into storage container and refrigerate for later.
-Pumpkins, as you can tell by the orange color, are high in beta-carotene, which helps with eyesight. It also contains potassium and is very good for your heart.
-Pumpkins also produce Vitamin A, which helps with heart disease and cancers. It can also help regulate in insulin in your body.
-If you want to make an Infusion into a Decoction, reduce the amount of water to 4 cups and boil for 4 hours instead of simmer. You can also add some of the blended pumpkin meat back into the Decoction while itís still hot for an extra kick.
-1 cups pumpkin innards
-1 cup pumpkin meat boiled until soft
-Scoop innards from pumpkin and remove seeds. SAVE THOSE SEEDS! (Seed Pumpkin Seed Oil)
-Put the pumpkin innards in a food processor.
-Take the meat of the pumpkin and chop it up into small cubes.
-Cook the cubes in water like potatoes until they soften enough to process.
-Strain the pumpkin into a bowl. SAVE THAT WATER! (See Pumpkin Infusion)
-Blend the innards and meat together until it forms a smooth, thick paste.
-Save in mason jars and refrigerate until needed.
-When needed, heat till warm and place between cheesecloth and apply to affected area.
-This poultice can be used warm to help relieve swelling or an abscess after it has burst.
-Pumpkin can also be combined to help ease sunburn when used as a cold infusion or mixed with other herbal oils to help relieve dry skin or achiness.
So before you throw out those gorgeous gourds, take a moment and try out some of these simple recipes. Your body and family will thank you for it!
Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2013 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren‚Äôs Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches‚Äô Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).