Berkana Rune {Meaning and Divination Reading}

If you are starting out with Elder Futhark divination readings, you’re probably still getting to grips with their meanings. So if you’ve drawn the Berkana rune, you’re curious about what it means.

The Berkana rune is associated with fertility and new beginnings. It is the eighteenth symbol of the Elder Futhark alphabet. The Berkana sign is ruled under Tyr’s aett. The Berkana symbol also relates to maternal energy and home life.

That’s a brief idea of the Berkana symbol, but if you want to know more, keep reading. This guide will tell you everything you want to know about this rune symbol.

You’ll also learn how to use it with divination and energy work.

Let’s get started.

What is the Berkana Rune?

Berkana is the eighteenth symbol of the Elder Futhark Runes. You pronounce it as Burr-can-ah

The whole elder futhark alphabet is split into three lots of eight. A Norse deity rules over each set as an aettir (family).

Berkana is the second symbol of the third (Tyr’s) Aett. This set of runes is ruled by Tyr, the Norse god of law, order, and justice.

Tyr’s aett represents experiences that challenge our progress from primal to the divine self. They bring about the development of your full potential. These runes help to navigate the human condition and broader issues of society.

The Berkana Rune represents the continuous cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth. Our existence follows a universal pattern, yet our own life path or ‘becoming’ is unique only to us.

In addition to Berkana, the other symbols in this Aettir include the:

What is the Meaning of the Berkana Rune?

Berkana Rune Meaning Berkano

In a general rune reading, Berkana symbolizes the human life cycle. It relates to how we mature through each stage by learning and growing.

The translation of Berkana is Birch Goddess.

This description relates to birch trees which are well known for their renewal and regeneration properties. Birch was strongly associated with fertility rituals in ancient times.

The Berkana rune harnesses both feminine and maternal energy. It’s a rune of midwives and everything related to fertility and birth.

It is not a rune intended only for pregnancy. It relates to our continuous renewal of identity as we move through the ages and stages of life.

From babies to toddlers, to children, puberty, adulthood, middle age, and then old age. Each of these phases of life brings challenges that we need to navigate.

Berkana also represents the importance of nurture, care, and compassion for successful outcomes. It’s the action of sowing seeds in the right conditions for them to come to fruition.

The Berkana rune is one of protection in the home environment. A recognition that a stable and loving home environment is the foundation that helps you to flourish.

Berkana Keywords:

  • Birth
  • New beginnings
  • Family
  • Growth
  • Regeneration

How to read the Berkana Rune

Berkana Upright

Rune divination starts with you having a question or intention in mind. Drawing the Berkana rune can bring answers to that which you seek guidance.

We’ve already discussed the general meaning of the Berkana rune. Yet, you may find this doesn’t really relate to your intention or question.

Berkana is not a chief rune for some intentions. On its own, it doesn’t always give the depth of answer you need.

When you’ve drawn a Berkana rune, it’s always better you get context from the neighboring runes. Often the order you read them will give you more details about the message of the Berkana.

On that note, the meanings in this guide are not set in stone. As a beginner, they may help you decipher the message’s meaning in your rune reading.

Use your own judgment and intuition to guide you through.

Can Berkana be reversed?

Berkana Reversed
Berkana Reversed

Berkana is a rune that can be reversed. That means a mirrored, inverted, or reversed position carries a shadow meaning (merkstave).

Reading a reversed rune is subjective. Some only consider it a merkstave rune if it falls at a position 180° flipped from upright (e.g the first rune above). Any other position is considered upright.

Another option is if a rune falls at an obscure angle, it is rotated in a clockwise direction until it reaches an upright or reversed position. This is shown in the other three examples above.

When Berkana is reversed, it relates to stunted growth or progress.  This may be because of negligence or that things have become too overwhelming.

Ask others for support, but don’t expect them to do the work for you. You need to take action and charge of your own life; otherwise, you will stagnate.

You may choose not to consider a reversed Berkana as a meaning. But, you could be missing an important message from the Divine.

Berkana For Love


A Berkana rune in a love intention is a very positive sign. If you’re already in a relationship, it relates to a strong sense of commitment, love, and affection. A healthy sex life aligns with an upright Berkana.

Your relationship is likely to experience a new phase. This may be moving in together or marriage. As a fertility rune, it’s a positive sign if you’re trying for a baby.

Berkana signals that you will soon meet a new lover if you’re single.


Drawing a reversed Berkana is a sign of stagnation in a relationship. Emotions and affection are being withheld, and this neglect needs to be addressed.

It may also indicate feelings of being smothered. Either you or your partner is overwhelmed by the constant need for attention and insecurity of the other. Boundaries need to be put in place.

If you’re single, the reversed Berkana advises you to work on your self-worth before starting a new relationship.

Berkana for Family and Friends


Berkana is a chief rune for matters relating to family and home life. It’s a rune that suggests you have a strong female figure in your life to offer you support and guidance. Use her wisdom to help you navigate challenges.

The Berkana rune encourages you to continue nurturing your family life. The effort you are putting in now is helping you maintain strong and loving attachments.

Expect announcements of good news from family or friends. This may be a new home, a baby announcement, or an engagement.


A reversed Berkana can signal neglect of family and friends. You may not be keeping in touch with them. You may naturally pull away due to controlling, abusive or manipulative behavior.

A reverse Berkana advises you to talk these issues over and set boundaries. You need to consider the long-term impacts and cutting ties if these are not respected.

Berkana for Health and wellbeing


Berkana drawn for health indicates that you need to nurture your body. Eat good foods, take regular gentle exercise and pamper yourself.

Upright Berkana is strongly related to fertility. If you’re trying for a baby, it’s an excellent sign that you will be pregnant soon.

If you are not looking to have a baby, this is your warning to take extra precautions if there is a chance of you falling pregnant.

Berkana can also relate to a healthy menopause and managing the side effects well.


Drawing a reversed Berkana signals that you have not been caring for your body. Neglect of healthy habits such as inactivity, overeating, and stress can manifest as chronic health problems.

Act now to prevent pain, blood pressure issues, poor sleep, and digestive problems.

Reverse Berkana is strongly linked with fertility issues. This may be trouble conceiving, with the source being the man or woman. It can also relate to miscarriage or a difficult pregnancy.

Berkana For Money and finances


In money matters, drawing the Berkana rune means a time of wealth and abundance. You have taken care of your finances, and it is paying off well for you.

Now is the time to use any excess wealth to support your family. You can help them to pay bills to ensure a warm and comfortable home life. Or you may want to treat them to a family meal and enjoy their company.


A reversed Berkana doesn’t indicate poverty. Instead, it relates to insecurity around money. You have a scarcity mindset.

This may be a feeling that you never have enough or can’t progress any further. This mindset is holding you back from enjoying the rewards of your work.

Berkana reminds you to assess priorities. If you’re comfortable, spending quality time with your family should come first.

Berkana for Career


When Berkana is drawn in career intention, it signals that you feel motivated and creative in your role. As Berkana relates to new beginnings, this may be because you have just started a new position.

This Rune can also indicate a strong female role model or mentor in the workplace. Try to gather as much wisdom from her as possible and tailor it to your way of working.


A reversed Berkana can indicate a period of stagnation in your career. You’ve been avoiding taking the opportunity to update your skills. Or you may have been overlooked for an opportunity from higher up.

You’re feeling bored and finding the role tedious and mundane. It’s time to consider if you simply need to improve your abilities or if you need to consider looking for a new job.

Berkana for Personal development


With a personal development intention, Berkana encourages the exploration of your creative skills. There will be positive outcomes with new ideas that you bring to life.

If there is a project you’ve been considering for a while, then now is the time to go for it.

Berkana is also related to developing your interpersonal skills. It encourages you to connect with others and show your nurturing and caring side.


Berkana reversed indicates that you have neglected to work on personal development. This is because you’ve been giving too much of yourself to others. You need to take time out to work on yourself.

You may also feel a bit unsure and scared about moving onto a new phase of your life. Perhaps you are about to move out of home, become a parent, or marry.

Chat with people you admire and ask them for advice so that you can help ease your worries.

Berkana for Spirituality


The Berkana rune signals that now is a good time to nurture your spiritual and creative gifts. Divine feminine energy eases your connection to your intuition.

Slow down and listen to the message the cosmos is trying to bring you. Their guidance will bring a calm and even flow to your life and set you on a new path.


A negative Berkana can often indicate a disconnect with your spirituality. This may be impacting significantly on issues related to your home life.

Reverse Berkana encourages you to look towards the divine feminine for inspiration. Connect with goddess energy by tapping into your intuition.

Magical uses of the Berkana Rune

  • Concealing and protection spells
  • Regeneration of spirit
  • The creative process and bringing ideas to fruition
  • Containment and nurture
  • Connection to the divine feminine

Berkana Rune Associations

The Berkana rune connects with many other universal energies. These may suggest ways to incorporate the Berkana energy into your divination work.

Berkana corresponds with the following

AnimalsBear, Swan
ColourDark Green
Half monthMarch 14th- March 30th
Ruling planetVenus
TarotThe Empress

Berkana Rune Poems

Anglo-Saxon Berkana Poem

The birch though fruitless

Sends out countless shoots;

Leafy branches, high crowned,

Reach to the sky.

Norwegian Berkana Poem

Birch has the greenest-leafed branches;

Loki brought the luck of deceit.

Icelandic Berkana Poem

Birch leafy twig

And little tree

And fresh young shrub

Silver fir, protector.

Berkana Galdr (Runic Chant)

Berkano Berkano Berkano
bu ba bi be bo
b e e e e e r r r r r
ob eb ib ab ub
b e e e e e r r r r r

Rune Berkana Other Names

  • Old Germanic name: Bercna, Berkano
  • Old Norwegian name: Bjarkan
  • Anglo-Saxon name: Beroc
  • Old Celtic name: Berrachd
  • Old Icelandic name: Bjarkan

Final thoughts

Berkana is a rune of birth and new beginnings that takes us through the rites of passage in life.

As we travel through the various stages of life, we have to learn how to adapt to our new roles. We grow from children to adults, then spouses to widows, parents to grandparents. We gain experience which helps us to learn and grow.

With such feminine connections, Berkana is a rune strongly associated with fertility and birth. One which offers all the maternal characteristics of care, nurture, and affection.

Berkana carries matriarchal energy, looking out for the family unit. It aligns well with issues of the home and family, offering protection against anything that poses a threat.

Even in the reversed position, Berkana remains a somewhat positive rune. It relates to insecurities and feelings of instability, which can be easily remedied.

It’s a gentle nudge to make changes. You need to put in the work. Don’t rely on others to do things for you. If you do, your life will stagnate.

Use the Berkana rune to harness these energies into your life and divination work.

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