16/10/18 | By

Pumpkin, Turnip and Corn Magic

rachel patterson, kitchen witch

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).  Any of the squash varieties can be used in place of pumpkin, they carry the same magical goodness.

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


(Zea mays)

Corn is available in many guises…sweet corn, maize, corn oil, cornmeal, corn flour/cornstarch, pop corn – the plant is tall and leafy and produces ‘ears’ of corn kernels.

Corn and corn meal are good to use as offerings during the harvest sabbats and to leave as a thank you to nature.

Corn and corn meal are also good to use in spells for abundance, luck and prosperity as the corn symbolises life and abundance.

Apparently the Mayans would use the blood of their enemies to fertilise their cornfields, their king would also donate drops of his own blood (you do not want to know from which body part…really you don’t…) to be sprinkled amongst the young corn plants.

The Aztecs would throw corn pollen into the air to bring rain.

Corn was and still is often used in fertility rituals and spell work.

Sigils and symbols can be drawn on the ground or on flat surfaces to invoke the gods or the spirits using cornmeal.

Corn Magical Properties:

Abundance, luck, prosperity, offerings, fertility

Ruling planet – Sun

Element – Fire, Earth

Gender – Feminine


Information from A Kitchen Witch's World of Magical Food

rachel patterson


Photo by Drew Hays/Unsplash



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