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Tuesday, July 8, 2014


  The third rune of the second aett is Isa, which is equivalent to the letter I in English. The rune looks like a straight vertical line. Isa is most strongly associated with ice.The Icelandic rune poem calls Isa: "bark of rivers
and roof of the wave
and destruction of the doomed." *
The Norwegian says "ice we call the broad bridge;
the blind man must be led."
And the Anglo-Saxon says: 
"Ice is very cold and immeasurably slippery;
it glistens as clear as glass and most like to gems;
it is a floor wrought by the frost, fair to look upon."
  Isa is a rune than represents all aspects of ice. It is the need for caution, hidden dangers, and passive treachery, a rune that warns to beware who and what you trust. Isa also represents being motionless, stillness, calmness, rest, retreat, inertia, and temporary stasis. As well it can be temporary opportunity and taking advantage of transitory situations to our own advantage. In a broader sense Isa is also representative of winter and many people associate this rune with Skadi. Isa can be seen as reflecting the primal ice of Niflheim and in some senses of being a part of the original process of the creation of the worlds. 
   In divination Isa can represent a need for reflection or consideration before acting, or a need for a time out to consider options. It can also indicate an enforced period of stillness or stasis, when goals or plans will not move forward. In some cases Isa is a time marker, literally meaning winter. In a more negative sense it can indicate not trusting the obvious and proceeding with caution.
  Magically Isa can be used to slow things down or cool things off, especially emotions. I have had a lot of success with Isa by galdring it or visualizing it over an area or situation where a fight was in the process of breaking out or people were getting extremely upset; Isa's energy chills the situation out and diffuses the emotional tension. It can also be used, with caution, for healing work, although you should always be careful to set it for a specific period of time and remove it afterwards.  
  Connecting to Isa is easiest, in my experience, in the winter because that's when we can most clearly feel it's presence. However a guided meditation or basic journey to the rune will work at any time. If you use Isa magically in any way or undertake any meditations be sure to journal your experiences; it can also be helpful to simply reflect on your feelings relating to ice and winter in general. 

Rune poem references from

Further Reading:
Taking Up the Runes - Diana Paxson
 The Rune Primer - Sweyn Plowright
Northern Mysteries and Magic - Freya Aswynn
Runes -  R I Page

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