Thursday 19 October 2023

Autumn Lore: Pumpkin Spice Potions and October Magic

It's become an autumn tradition, hasn't it? Some love it and others hate it. Personally I enjoy pumpkin spice syrup in porridge in the winter, but not so much in coffee. 

As you probably know pumpkin spice is an American mixture named because it’s traditionally used to flavour pumpkin pies, not because it actually includes pumpkin as an ingredient. It’s similar to mixed spice that’s traditional in England and used in Christmas cakes and mulled wine, and is often a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and sometimes allspice. Many people will have those sitting on their kitchen spice racks already. I know I do and I actually put mixed spice into my porridge long before I acquired a bottle of pumpkin spice syrup!

These days everyone knows the American mix is often referred to in the context of a Pumpkin Spice Latte from coffee shops. Starbucks popularised it from around 2003, but it was probably first introduced three years earlier by the J. L. Hufford Coffee and Tea Company of Lafayette, Indiana, according to good old Wikipedia. 

Starbucks apparently experimented with improved recipes, including some that included pumpkin, but found out lattes taste best with just the spice mix and no extra vegetable matter – although technically pumpkins are classified as a type of fruit rather than a veg.

But imagine pumpkin spice – or mixed spice – as the vital ingredients in a magical potion. Here's what they symbolise:

  • Cinnamon: protection, luck, love and prosperity
  • Nutmeg: prosperity, luck and psychic power
  • Ginger: magical power, prosperity and passion
  • Clove: protection and prosperity
  • Allspice: prosperity, health and good fortune

So, add a little to your food or beverage of choice and make a wish for protection, prosperity, good luck and maybe a little spiciness in any other ways you desire.

There are more ideas for seasonal activities in my new book Pagan Portals - Rounding the Wheel of the Year, published by Moon Books. Copies can be bought from Treadwell's bookshop at 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London, or from online sellers such as Amazon.

On Tuesday 24th October I'm giving an online talk on October Magic and Folklore for the Thinning of the Veil via The College of Psychic Studies. It starts at 7pm and tickets are £16. You can find the details here:

(Note: I earn commission from advertisers for some links. This helps support my blog at no extra cost to those who read my posts.)

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