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BERKANAN - The Rune of Growth and Fertility



Alternative Names
Anglo-Friesian/Germanic: Berkanan
Norse (Viking): Bjarkan
Old English: Beorc
Other names/spellings: Bairkan, Bercna, Berkana,
                                    Berkano, Beroc


English Letter Equivalent
B as in BAG

Birch Twig

Growth. Fertility. Re-birth. New life. A new broom. Physical beauty or stature.

moonstone Characteristics
Physical or mental growth. Increased business, investment or profit. Bumper crops. Lost causes may be redeemed. New beginnings will flourish.

Berkanan refers to renewal, regeneration, purification, healing, and recovery. It is the rune of the family and the home, and represents the enjoyment of sexual relations, fertility, and birth. Birth in this context can be literal or symbolic, such as the successful start of any new idea or enterprise.

birch Personal Interpretation
An exciting time for new beginnings, fresh adventures. Activity and energy. Sow seeds, but the harvest is yet to come so don’t expect immediate reward for your effort. Put the past in its place, learn from experience. A good time for spiritual renewal - clear away misconceptions and accept new ideas.

Lack of growth or reduction in stature. Decline or loss in business, profits, or crops. A bad time for new ventures.

Increased size or profit is being hidden, or dishonestly withheld. You may suffer a theft.
An investment that looks risky may well be safe. lady's mantle


Runic Number: 18

Color:  Dark Green 

Element: Earth

Polarity: Female

Associated gods:  Nerthus, Holda

Astrological Correspondence: Virgo


Tarot Talk by Leila Vey
Like Berkanan, The Empress refers to new life, growth, fertility, birth and re-birth, beauty, stature and abundance. Berkanan embodies female energy in its earthiest sense and its association with The Empress is abundantly clear.

The Empress also represents the power of nature, wealth, sensuality, sexuality, family and home, renewal, purification and regeneration, health and healing, and thus reinforces all these attributes in the Berkanan rune. I have also seen this run associated with Death because of the renewal, regeneration and purification aspects.

visit Leila's site at http://tarot.leila.ca

The Rune Poem: Verse XVIII Berkanan
The Birch is fruitless, nonetheless it bears
Shoots without seed; it is beauteous in boughs
High of helm, fairly adorned
Laden with leaves, close to the sky


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