As an author of Celtic Fantasy Romance novels, my favorite holiday is Samhain, the Celtic fire festival which gives us our Halloween traditions. Samhain, pronounced SOW-Kuhn, is the Celtic New Year, October 31 or November 1st. Samhain falls between the old year and the new—it's a day without time. Spirits of the dead and supernatural beings easily cross into ur earthly dimension on this day, since the veil between worlds is at its thinnest.
In our modern Halloween celebration, one of our favorite supernatural creatures are werewolves. The ancient Celts liked shapeshifters probably even more than we do. All their gods had shapeshifting forms. For instance, let's look at the Welsh god, Gwydion. That name means born of trees, which sounds so druidish, and for good reason, he's basically the druid of the gods. Along with that, he's a powerful sorcerer, a master of illusion, a poet, the world’s best story teller, and a trickster. When god Math needs a virgin handmaid to because he has to lay his feet in her lap to keep them warm, Gwydion tells him he has the perfect woman, his half-sister Arianrhod. But it’s a trick because he knows she’s no virgin. Math test her virginity by touching her stomach with his magic wand and two babies drop out. One is a sea creature, the sea god Dylan, they set him into the ocean. The other is a lump and Gwydion takes it and a few months later it has formed into a beautiful baby boy, the sun god Llew. Gwydion raises Llew and uses his trickery to thwart the three tyngeds that Arianrhod put on him.
- That Llew have no name except one given by her
- that he bears no arms except those given by her
- and that he can never have a wife
This is one of my favorite stories in Welsh mythology. Also, one of Gwydion’s shapeshifting forms is a wolf.