Isa is the Viking rune for ice, a substance that was a very large part of the Viking’s world. Symbolic of winter’s cold beauty, Isa represents stability and purification.
Understanding Isa: References in the Historical Literature
Ice dominated the Viking’s landscape for much of the year. Not surprisingly, there are many references to Isa in all three rune poems. These poems speak both of ice’s beauty and its many dangers.
In the Old Norwegian Rune Poem, we read:
Ice is called the broad bridge;
the blind man must be led.
In the Old Icelandic Rune Poem, we read:
Ice is bark of rivers
and roof of the wave
and destruction of the doomed.
In the Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem, we read:
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.
What Does It Mean When Isa Appears in a Rune Reading?
By addressing the harsh nature of life, Isa encourages us to build our strength, stability, and endurance. Isa reminds us of ice’s many dangerous qualities. Ice is treacherous, causing the unwary to fall – or worse, break through to the watery depths below. Isa’s appearance in a rune reading can mean you need to pay attention to avoid potential hazards.
Ice is also frozen. Isa’s influence can help you exert control over a situation that’s getting out of hand, and it can also help calm excessive emotions. Isa’s appearance can also be a warning that you’re getting too frozen in your mindset or attitude. It’s not good to be set in your ways. Remember that even ice moves eventually. Glaciers, which are composed of hundreds of thousands of tons of ice, move slowly indeed – but when they do, they shape the face of the world.