Mythology Around Runes: Berkana



As might be imagined with such a feminine rune, its mythology derives from the stories of several Norse goddesses. Prominent amongst these is Frigga, the Goddess of the spinning wheel and the wife of Odin, who has been previously encountered with the Runes Wunjo and Pertho.
Frigga is the patroness of women, especially those in labour caring for infants, of marital fidelity and family harmony. Fiercely protective of hwe own children, she nevertheless found time to care for the offsrping of others, too. In one of her aspects, that of Brechta ( leterally meaning “birch” ), she guarded the souls of young children. It is interesting to note that in past times, if a marriage ceremony was thought to be too expensive, the union could still be recognised if the prospective bride and groom jumped over a birch-twig broom broom together. The symbolism of the birch-twig broom leads us to the medieval traditions of witchcraft, because in old stories a witch and her brrom were rarely parted. It may be that brooms did indeed play a role in a half-remembered matriarchal pagan cult that survived into recent history. This could be especially significant since women accused of being witches were often local healers and midwives.

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