Berkano Rune Meaning





The numen of the birch as the earth mother.

Germanic Gothic Old English Old Norse
berkano baírkan beorc bjarkan
birch goddess birch twig birch tree runic birch goddess (from ON björk: birch)

Earth mother, Birth, Birth-life-death cycle, Containment, Moment.


  • Rebirth in the spirit.
  • Strengthens the power of secrecy.
  • Works of concealment and protection.
  • To contain and hold other powers together.
  • Realization of the oneness of the moment as the mother of all things.
  • Bringing ideas to fruition in the creative process.

The B-rune contains the complex mystery of the great mother. In its cosmological aspect, it is the mother of all manifestation and embodies the mysteries of cosmic and human birth and rebirth.

Berkano rules over the four pivotal human “rites of passage,” which take place at the crucial times of birth, adolescence, marriage, and death. This birch goddess also displays the darker side of the “Terrible Mother,” ruling over death. In Norse mythology, she is represented by He!. In the Germania, chapter 40, Tacitus reports on the goddess Nerthus as the earth mother. In this cult, the goddess is attended by a priest and she is drawn throughout the territory in her chariot, spreading her blessings of peace and fertility. When the procession is at an end, Nerthus receives human sacrifice in order to replenish her spent power.

The B-rune is the container of all becoming/being. It is the unity of the birth-life-death-rebirth cycle through the “mystery of the moment.” This is the “unit of evolution,” that moment of “being” (a single complete cycle of arising-being/becoming-passing-away to new arising) from which “becoming” is built. The phenomenon of chance in nature is described by this rune, because each moment each of these units of existence has its own uniqueness, although they are all held together by a universal pattern.

Berkano is the passive receptor and the conserving protective force. It conceals and protects. The B-rune rules over all protective or concealing enclosures such as caves, lodges, or the initiatory “earth houses” (ON jardhhús).


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