Berkano, Birch Goddess is the mystery of the womb and of the tomb, the nurturing enclosures the bring forth new life and life anew. This feminine rune teaches us about growth and development in a place of safety and concealment. A mother’s womb is a beautiful illustration of this concept, a chamber where a baby develops and forms, safe and protected. This continues through life as a mother shelters and nurtures a child while they learn and grow toward adulthood and victory in the world. The Allfather tells us in his Runatal, “A thirteenth I know: if the new-born son of a warrior I sprinkle with water, that youth will not fail when he fares to war never slain shall he bow before sword.” This metaphor continues in a man’s life (if he is lucky) when he can come home to a loving wife and a warm home where he can breath easy and find nourishment and comfort from the struggles of the day, a warm safe place from which he can emerge and face the world refreshed and clearheaded. Ultimately this continues as our remains go back to the tomb, to “rest in peace” in the loving embrace of Mother Earth before we go on to the next phase of our soul’s existence. We all need a place to go and feel safe and nurtured. We all need to recharge and refresh, to remind ourselves of who we are and what we fight for. Hail the great ladies of our folk who nourish us, those loving women who give us a home and a beautiful future to fight for!
Matthew D. Flavel
Asatru Folk Assembly
Tiwaz, Tyr is the mystery of cosmic order, ever true, constant as the Pole Star. The Tiwaz rune is named for the god Tyr, in fact this name became the word for divinity itself. The roots of Tiwaz go even further back to the ancient Aryan word Deiwos meaning “celestial god”. The Aesir are gods of consciousness and order, shaping an ordered cosmos from chaos, Tiwaz represents that divine order. The Old English Rune Poem tells us “Tiw is a guiding star; well does it keep faith with princes; it is ever on its course over the mists of night and never fails.” The world we live in grows ever more complex, we live in an age where words like “right” and “wrong” are unfashionable and moral choices are dismissed as “shades of grey”. Take heart, Tiwaz teaches us the lesson of moral clarity, principles of order that are timeless and guide us through the thickest mists and the darkest night. This order was visualized by our ancestors as the Irminsul, the world pillar that held up the sky above us and fixed the earth below us. Simplifying things to principles of time honored right and wrong, making judgments from those firm values gives us confidence and surety. Let us all hold our heads high as we stand for order and principle “well does it keep faith with princes” to do so.
Asatru Folk Assembly
Eihwaz, “Yew” is the powerful mystery of transformation and ascension. Eihwaz represents Yggdrasil, the world tree that orders our cosmos and connects the chthonic to the celestial. Just as our cosmos is likened to a tree, so are each of us. Within us all there is a “world pillar” an axis that connects the primal nature of man with his divine potential. Fathoming the mystery of Eihwaz we learn to delve deep down into our core and to evolve ever upward into the infinite. The Old English Rune Poem says “The yew is a tree with rough bark, hard and fast in the earth, supported by its roots, a guardian of flame and a joy upon an estate.” the Old Norse Rune Poem tells us further more that the “Yew is the greenest of trees in winter; it is wont to crackle when it burns.” Let us be like the eternal yew, evergreen with hope and joy in life’s winters. Let us be thick skinned, solid and rooted in our folk and our identity. Perhaps most of all let us burn hot, passionately reaching ever upwards toward the stars always climbing ever closer toward divinity.