Hart en Ziel, The Leudal Festival, will take place on September 6, 2020 in the Trefcentrum Aldenghoor from 1 p.m. to...
Pumpkin as a Teacher
Pumpkin - Cucurbita pepo L.
The first pumpkins grew in Africa at a time when our ancestors lived on trees. 40,000 years ago farming was triggered by them.
Symbolically, pumpkin stands for mother earth, bringing forth new life, while “mother“ is not meant in a sexual sense, since the plant has female and male flowers. In Africa the pumpkin is considered a plant of fertility. The seeds are believed to promote conception, the fruit symbolizes the uterus.
According to the creation story of the Khmu, a people in Laos, a pumpkin gave birth to humanity. This story is known in variations in other Asian countries, too. It says, a tsunami left a pair of siblings alive. Analogies to Noah’s Ark and the first asexual inhabitants of Paradise are on the rise. The woman did not give birth to a human, but a pumpkin, from which the various ethnic groups hatched. Not surprisingly, the Khmu came first, then the neighboring peoples, and then the far-flung Japanese, Americans, French, Germans, etc.
The pumpkin did not need industrial globalization to spread across the world; it survives in water for a long time and swam to America and Asia. About 12,000 years ago, his cultivation began in South America, where he has since supplied one of the staple foods. 3000 years later he reached Mexico and returned to North Africa, more precisely Egypt via the detour North America, 5000 years ago.
Wherever he appeared, it did not take long for his disciples to appear. Like any good teacher, he does not give his pupil the fish, but teaches him to fish. In this case, you can understand this literally.
The early collector societies always had problems bringing the collected goods home. How many nuts can you hold in your hands without dropping them? Dried pumpkin halves represented the ideal solution. The Latin name of the plant Cucurbita is derived from ‘Corbis’, meaning basket. And that’s not all ‒, even water can be transported in it. The prototype of the bottle was a pumpkin. Drinking and scooping containers, bowls, spoons, whatever it was, the pumpkin inspired people to more and more ingenious inventions. Finally, they started using hollowed out pumpkins for fishing, as mentioned above.
And that’s just one side of its everyday usability. People made rattles, flutes and other musical instruments out of it. As long as potters did not use turntables, hollowed pumpkins were used to make vessels.
Pumpkins served as religious offerings as well as medicine, as birdhouses and as masks. When the first humans found out that one could eat pumpkin pulp, the less tasty remains ended on the garbage where the seeds germinated and produced new pumpkins. The beginning of agriculture can be found in a waste heap.
Our garden pumpkins has ancestors from Cuba, where it made a stopover on its journey and began its triumphal invasion in North America, where the indigenous people bred varieties that could ripen even in less warm climates.
Now it was ready for the jump across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe. 500 years before Columbus discovered the plant, it had arrived in Europe and was mainly grown for medicinal purposes in the imperial gardens of Charlemagne.
The American Thanksgiving Fest has a special pumpkin note. The first settlers were supplied with food by the natives, i.e. also pumpkins. They used their seeds for sowing and started to celebrate their thanks in autumn. This includes the traditional pumpkin pie.
It has retained its versatility - its qualities as inspirator and teacher we now recover in the flower essence. Pumpkin Essence is pretty much the opposite of the head teacher, who draws satisfaction from knowing more than anyone else, or from a sergeant who demands obedience. Pumpkin also is not a Hahnemann who demands “reproduce it, but reproduce it exactly“. Pumpkin lets us discover, understand and use things of our own accord just like in a game. It does not show us how superior it is, it lets us find out, disassemble and reassemble, play, vary and rediscover.
Thus it offers a suitable essence for those who are stuck somehow, and have landed in a dead end. It is an essence for the frustrated and discouraged, intimidated by the present and timid of the future.
The inner teacher draws our attention to the small signs that we are inclined to overlook or misinterpret. He shows us the way in a manner that allows us to consciously and willingly decide for or against it, makes us curious about what is coming, and before we know it, we have left our impasse and now see the vast horizon of possibilities instead of being focussed on the stumbling block.