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Isa is a rune of control. Isa is far from inert. Isa does not have to move quickly: it is inexorable as an oncoming ice age. It knows that sooner or later our fires must die and our green lands must succumb to the frost. Ice is beautiful and treacherous. In the most elementary dynamic, Isa is a building block of the physical world, slowing down fire energy and solidifying it. Isa will control and quiet emotional distress, but be wary! It will not eliminate any persistent root cause of unpleasant circumstances.

Isa represents the ultimate stillness: A blanket of frozen immobility which seals the land, restricts travel and covers all that is life-giving and fertile. Under it’s beautiful and concealing silence the rich earth below is nurtured and prepared for new energy and life. Isa is representative of the feminine principle in Norse philosophy — a stillness of contemplation and a preparation for new life: new hope and rebirth. This is the Yang to the Yin of fiery Kenaz. Without ice and winter to moisten the fields, the farming and harvest would be impossible. Where Kenaz is fire and aggression, Isa is meditative, still and ultimately a creative force.

It is an ‘elemental’ rune and can be considered ‘static’, although mysterious. Isa represents perfect order and the lack of chaotic elements. Isa, in relation to ‘ice’, shows its ability to give what appears to be permanence to all things and is believed to be very powerful. Ice represents being ‘frozen’ in time or place. In Ancient times, Isa was a constant factor in the day to day lives of the Norse. It threatened their crops, their ships and their livelihoods, almost throughout the entire year. To the people though, it also served as a symbol of creation from which all life eventually springs forth. Isa rune primarily represents a period of rest before activity, and shows the bringing of things to a halt or to place something in suspension.

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