This is a compilation post from two different websites containing three articles. Great data to reflect on for today I think.
Enveloped in darkness, we find the spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, which is our soul in the darkness and represented in the symbolism and myths of the Jack-o-lantern. This Gnostic story of a lost spirit is represented in Jack who roams about the dark countryside of Hades on All Hallow’s Eve (October 31) with his illuminated candle, in search is his soul that is located somewhere between heaven and hell. His pumpkin represents the as without darkness of his body, that inside holds the light of his spirit as within.
This time of year is known as Samhain, and it was said to be a time when evil spirits were said to have roamed about the countryside. The stories and actual use of carved pumpkins known as the Jack-o-Lantern, originate from the ancient Druids celebration of the festival of Samhain where they would light their sacred fires to the god of the forest on the advent of November. This was the great autumn festival that the Druids celebrated in thanksgiving for their harvest. Hence, this was their Thanksgiving.
These pagan festivals were later morphed into Irish, and the Scottish Highland tales. These pumpkins were “often carved with grotesque faces to represent spirits or goblins,” as an attempt to scare these wandering spirits and ghosts of long-ago.
Forever, the Jack- O-Lantern wanders as a lost spirit in Hades that could not find a place to rest. In other words, Jack could never find his soul that was located within him the whole time. Hence, he never found true gnosis.
The terms Jack o’ lantern, Jack a lantern, or Jack of the Lantern, is also called will-o’-the-wisp, or Will of, or with, the Wisp. The term “will-o’-the-wisp” uses “wisp” (a bundle of sticks or paper sometimes used as a torch) and the proper name “Will“: thus, “Will-of-the-torch.” He is also known as Jack and ends with lantern, which mean ‘the little imp or goblin called Jack, who goes about in the twilight or the dark with a lantern to delude unwary travelers.’ He is also called Hob with a lantern, Jack of the wad, Kit with the candlestick, Kitty with the wisp, and Will with the wisp in many variations of these names.(1)