Norse (Viking): Is
Old English: Is
Other Names/Spellings: Eis, Icz, Isar, Isaz, Iss
English Letter Equivalent
I (short) as in sit.
Ice, cold, freezing. Lack of change. Stagnation. Lack of
emotion. Storing binding. Bridge across danger.
Isa means ice. Although ice can be beautiful, it is also
dangerous. It can be slippery or treacherously thin, or block
your progress. Isa means that you may have to delay your plans
until a more favourable season. But it can take the heat out of
a confrontation, or protect against magical attack. Emotionally,
Isa implies a cooling of affection, or frigidity. It has a
freezing, delaying, or preserving effect on other runes around
A period of non-action is indicated. Do not let yourself get
into a rut. Do not take anyone for granted. Be not afraid to
show your feelings. Crossing water will be beneficial. Things
appear to be at a standstill and this is not a time to try to
force movement. Patience and wisdom are called for. This is not
the time to abandon goals, but an opportunity to reaffirm them.
This is a time for contemplation and preparation, not
despondency or regrets. Things will change as surely as winter
changes to spring and then summer.
Isa has no reverse.
Coolness hides emotion. An impending change will not be of
benefit. Smiles mask evil intentions.
Astrological Correspondence: The Moon
Talk by Leila Vey
Isa is somewhat tricky because its direct connection
with any one tarot card is not quite as strong as many
others. This is mainly because of its icy cool energy.
When I think Isa, I think frigidity and, alas, there is
no tarot archetype for the Snow Queen.
Many sites associate Isa with the
Hermit and I can understand this way of thinking. The
Hermit is a seeker who has done it all, and has chosen
to withdraw for the purpose of seeking enlightenment.
She is in touch with the fires within (and teaches
others who make pilgrimages to her.)
However, I would sooner associate Isa with The Star.
The Star represents a temporary period of stillness and
reflection, especially after hardship. It depicts a
refreshing flow of water. It is a cooling down period,
a time to regroup and re-evaluate plans. The Star also
warns not to get wallowed up in regret, depression, or
self pity. There is the understanding that she must
move forward and build something new as soon as she has
regained her strength.
visit Leila's site at
The Rune Poem: Verse XI Isa
Ice is extremely cold, immeasurably slippery.
It glistens clear as glass;
Most like to gems.
Is a floor wrought of frost a fair sight?