*Berkano

Ungdom och skönhet har du
när växer du till skyn.
Biarkan har grönaste bladen.
Biarkan hjälper att hela.

Berkana, Biarkan, is the rune of the birch tree. The youthful tree grows and flourishes with great beauty and green leaves. It does not bear fruit, but grows from seed, and will grow again when cut. This rune symbolizes birth and natural growth; neglected it is not, and it is given what it needs. Smothered, it is not, and it is allowed its space and time to grow as it may.

“Birch is leafy branch,
and little tree,
and youthful wood.”
-Icelandic rune poem

“Birch is the greenest-leaved of branches.
Loki was lucky in deceit.”
-Danish rune poem

As the birch grows well in the northern climates, it is a symbol of the growth and prosperity that can come about, even when the environment around it is rough and unforgiving. Several different parts of the birch tree have long been used in medicine as well, and because of this Berkana can be seen as a rune of healing. Its leaves, roots, bark and other pieces all help to keep the beauty of life growing and flourishing, even when the conditions are unfavorable. This rune is the force which keeps the green leaves alive and vibrant, and the wood youthful and growing.

“Branch-runes you must learn, if you want to heal,
and know how to treat wounds.
Cut them on the bark, of forest trees
whose branches bend eastward.”
-Sigdrifumal: 11

Ungdom och skönhet har du
när växer du till skyn.
Biarkan har grönaste bladen.
Biarkan hjälper att hela.

—————

Number: 18

Phonetic Value: B

Literal Meaning: Birch

Associations: Beauty, growth, flourishing, healing

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