Berkana rune pendant displayed with roses


One of the most interesting things about Berkana is the rune’s association with the God Loki. Loki is widely known as a trickster God, but he also gave birth to Sleipnir, the eight-legged horse. Berkana is associated with births, new beginnings, plentiful abundance and, with a form that represents the breasts and belly of a pregnant woman, Goddess energy. 

Understanding Berkana: Historical Examples of Berkana

Berkana appears in all three rune poems, the Old Norwegian, the Old Icelandic, and the Anglo-Saxon. The rune appears to refer to both birch and poplar trees; both are common in the Viking lands and the trees share many similar qualities. 

Old Norwegian:

Birch has the greenest leaves of any shrub;

Loki was fortunate in his deceit.

Old Icelandic: 

Birch is a leafy twig

and little tree

and fresh young shrub.


The poplar bears no fruit;

yet without seed it brings forth suckers,

for it is generated from its leaves.

Splendid are its branches and gloriously adorned

its lofty crown which reaches to the skies.

Berkana is the Runic Letter B.

What Does It Mean When Berkana Appears in a Rune Reading?

The appearance of Berkana in a rune reading can be a cause for excitement. Berkana represents fast, rapid growth – much the way birch trees populate freshly cleared land in short order. 

Berkana has strong associations with motherhood, and a gentle, nurturing energy that is often found to be helpful to people who are overcoming previous traumas. Among the ancient peoples, birch trees were often associated with and considered good luck for young girls.  If you’re seeking new beginnings or a fresh start, Berkana is a good rune to see. 

Berkana is also associated with bears. The appearance of Berkana in a rune reading can signal the appearance of a fierce, protective energy – literally, the power of Mama Bear is with you.

Wear Berkana’s protective energy as a rune pendant.

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