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ISA - The Ice Rune


Alternative Names
Anglo-Friesian/Germanic: Isa
Norse (Viking): Is
Old English: Is
Other Names/Spellings: Eis, Icz, Isar, Isaz, Iss

Pronunciation: Ee-saw


English Letter Equivalent
I (short) as in sit.


catseyeIce, 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 it.

alderPersonal Interpretation
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.

henbaneRunic Number: 11

Color: Black

Element: Ice: (i.e. Water)

Polarity: Female

Associated gods: Verdandi

Astrological Correspondence: The Moon

Tarot 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 http://tarot.leila.ca

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?



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