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
Alsherjargothi,
Asatru Folk Assembly