April is a month of reflection, celebration, and connection for those of us in the Scottish diaspora. It’s a time to delve into our roots, uncover our heritage, and carry forward the legacy of our ancestors.

This guide is inspired by my personal journey of cultural reclamation. It focuses on four key areas: food, Land, Tradition, and Myth. Let’s embark on this journey together.

As we step into Scottish American Heritage Month, I find myself reflecting on the deeply personal journey I’ve undertaken to reconnect with my Scottish roots. As an adoptee who has always had an interest (read: obsession) with Scottish music and culture, my affinity was validated in 2010 when I found out about my Scottish heritage.

Through this exploration, four sacred keys to ancestral reclamation became apparent to me. I’ve developed these keys over the past six years and have shared ways of working with them through my books, podcasts, articles, and classes. These keys—Food, Land, Tradition, and Myth—serve as gateways to the Old Ways, allowing us to reconnect with our ancestors, their cultures, and the spirituality of our homelands.

Build A Scotland Altar

First, I’d suggest creating an altar or sacred space honoring Scotland for the month of April. Fill it with your own family heirlooms, photographs of ancestors, and images of Scotland or symbols you associate with it.

Plan to create some offerings over the month to offer.

Food – A Taste of Scotland

Food is a direct link to heritage, capable of evoking memories and connecting us across generations. Even if we didn’t grow up in our culture, learning about the traditional foods of our ancestral lands can tell us a lot about the geography and help us get to know the flora and fauna.

This Scottish American Heritage Month, I encourage you to explore traditional Scottish cuisine. You don’t have to start with haggis (as I am enjoying in the picture above). Start simple with homemade shortbread or oatmeal for breakfast. Don’t forget to share your culinary adventures with family or leave an offering on your ancestor altar. For a unique twist, try my Scotch Eggs recipe, a perfect blend of Scottish and American flavors.

It’s not just sustenance but a profound connection to life, tradition, and the cycles of nature. My exploration of traditional Scottish cuisine has been a way to honor my ancestors and deepen my relationship with the land.

Land – The Earth Beneath Our Feet

Our connection to the land is fundamental. To honor your Scottish roots, you might think about planting thistles in your garden, a symbolic nod to Scotland’s natural beauty. Take it a step further by researching native Scottish plants—many of which might be more familiar than you think. Understanding their traditional uses can deepen our respect for the land and our ancestors.

By recognizing the foods that grow there and nourished our ancestors, we find a grounding and expansive sense of belonging and connection to nature, wherever we might be.


Tradition – The Language of the Land

The rituals, language, and customs we preserve and pass on are not mere acts of remembrance but living connections to the spirits of place and the old powers that shape our identity and sense of home.

In an age where Scottish Gaelic speakers are becoming increasingly rare, every effort to learn and pass on the language is a precious contribution to its preservation. I started my Gàidhlig journey almost a year ago. I have a long way to go, but I feel good knowing that I’m doing my small part to keep the language alive. Apps like Duolingo offer free and accessible means to start this journey. Even learning a few phrases can make a significant impact and help keep Scottish culture vibrant and alive.
Learn Gaelic
is another helpful online resource, offering free online classes, a newsletter and a searchable dictionary.


Myth – The Stories That Bind Us

The myths and tales of Scotland are a rich source of wisdom, entertainment, and cultural insight. The stories of our ancestors are not just tales but lessons and pathways to understanding our place in the world and how to live in balance with the natural cycle.

This month, take the time to read some of these stories, perhaps to a younger family member. Sharing these tales is a powerful way to ensure that our ancestors’ voices continue to be heard in new generations.

One of my favorite resources for Scottish myths is Discover Kelpies, a Scottish book publisher that specializes in children’s books (but I absolutely adore their books!). I also adore the storytelling of Eileen Budd. On her IG account, you can find videos where she shares some quick stories. She also has a podcast where you can find longer stories as well as Scottish folklore and history.

These four keys- Food, Land, Tradition and Myth are not just methods and reflections of a journey into the heart of Scottish heritage, but for anyone of any heritage wishing to reclaim ancestral wisdom and traditonal knowledge- a way to live in our magic and serve the wider community. As we explore these paths, we find our purpose and place in the world, connected to the past, present, and future.

Building Your Ancestral Legacy

Beyond these four keys, consider engaging in Scottish First Footing rituals, exploring traditional music and dance, or even tracing your genealogical roots. For more inspiration and a detailed guide on how to start building your ancestral legacy today, check out “5 Ways to Start Building Ancestral Legacy Today “.
As we celebrate Scottish American Heritage Month, let’s remember that our journey toward connecting with our roots is both deeply personal and universally shared. By embracing our food, land, traditions, and myths, we honor those who came before us and lay a foundation for those who will follow.

May your April be filled with the rich, vibrant culture of Scotland, and may your journey bring you closer to your ancestors. Slàinte mhath!

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5 Ways to Start Building Ancestral Legacy Today