beaded charm with key, coin and brass pixie

I’ve been thinking a lot about ancestor work for the last few months. Last night I finally recorded a podcast on the subject, with my first remote guest, Michele James-Parham! So I wanted to share that news, which also reminded me of this weird and slightly crafty thing I wrote about when it happened last year:

“My parents have boxes of Christmas ornaments for me and my sister, and every year we look through them and the meticulous lists they have kept of where and when we got all the ornaments…except that this year, on top of the tissue paper, we each had one of these “Cornish Piskies” – which weren’t mentioned on the lists and we couldn’t remember ever seeing before.


My parents denied any knowledge of what they were or where they came from. I also asked my Grandmother when we went to visit because it looks old and mysterious, and she also denied any knowledge (but she’s ninety-nine years old, so I’m taking that with a grain of salt). She did say that some of her family is from Cornwall, so I’m guessing it’s some kind of weird old family item. Anyway, we both took them home.


Google says these were popular lucky charms for Cornish houses, though I couldn’t find this exact model. And then I lost it and forgot about it and found it again today while I was making a lucky magical necklace, which seemed like too much of a coincidence to ignore.”

Cornish witchcraft is one of the ancestral traditions I’ve been looking into since this happened, along with Pennsylvania Dutch Braucherei, so I hope to share more about those subjects and related ancestral projects in the future. In the meantime, check out the podcast if you’d like to hear more of my questions (and Michele’s interesting answers) about ancestor work!