Beorc or Berkana. This is a rune that evokes different associations and feelings for everyone that I know who works with the Elder Futhark. Birth, creativity, Freya, medicine, healing, diine feminine, pregnancy, and of course the birch tree, for which it's named.
In my own work and study of the runes, there is one particular story that stays with me. Birch is the first of the trees to grow back in the forest, after fire and destruction. When I see this rune, I am not only directed to think about new growth, but also the things that have been lost.
I was speaking recently with an acquaintance about the Jul season. I always find myself in a state of low energy and something that relates to mourning, around the solstice. She spoke of a long process she had around that same feeling, and how before working through it she found herself managing a lot of anger around Jul.
It was her who said that Yuletide is a time of great transformation. I have been resonant in that experience the last several days. It is hard for me, around Jul, not to notice how much I have changed from past years.
Pulling Berkana this morning has been a reminder - one might find themselves in pain, surrounding by grief and loss. That is a part of the cycle. While joy may be something we seek, particularly in this season, it has a partnership in it's cycle. For the sun to come back, it must disappear. It is important to celebrate each piece of the cycle, or at least honor it's place, so that you may experience it and continue to move forward.