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ISA Rune

Updated on October 28, 2012



Elderfuthark Rune ISA


Alternative Names

Is, Eis, Iss.

Key Phrase

“When life seems at a standstill,

review the past and look to the future.’


Ice (in opposition of Fire)

Viking Rune Equivalent and Meaning

Standstill. Ice.



Tarot Card Equivalent

The Hanged Man - 12 XII

Divinatory Meaning


Corresponding Letter


Associated Colour


Associated Herb


Associated Gemstone

Cat’s Eye

Associated Tree


Associated Myths and Deities

Audumla; Nifelheim; Rime-Giants; the Hrimthursar.

Manifestation Uses

To stop a process.

Relationship Interpretation

Privacy issues. Areas within the relationship that are kept private and not shared.

Healing Colour and Qualities


Helps the calm internal energies. Used in combination with Uruz is good for throat, liver and nerve problems. The Isa rune with Kenaz is good for the digestive system. Isa and the Mannaz rune are excellent for accidents and wounds. In combination with Tyr, Isa is good for gout, rheumatism and associated diseases.


Uruz can be worn to bring ‘breathing space’ or a personal space and to bring something to an end.

Isa Drawn Upright


Standstill, stillness, frozen in time, inactivity, blockage, stagnation, potential, reflection, patience, withdrawal, rest, contemplation, affirmation, challenge, frustration, powerful inexorable forces, psychological blocks to thought or activity.

ISA is ‘Perfect Order.’

The Isa rune is the third rune in the second Aett, and the eleventh rune of twenty-four. 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, ice 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.

The Norse understood the need to have such a seemingly destructive element in order to create and maintain life. In opposition to ‘ice’ is ‘fire’.

The Norse predated Einstein with their version of the creation theory of the Universe, recognising that everything in their world contained both fire and ice – energy and matter, male and female; and that the relationship between the two defined the processes of life itself.

Ice can be considered ‘static’, although it is a mysterious substance. Ice can bring things to a halt, or place something in suspension. Ice can also be an expansive force, or one that crushes anything caught in its grasp. Ice can provide a bridge over dark water, or be a dangerous and treacherous trap. It has both the powers of control and of constraint. Either way, it is to be used cautiously. In its melted form, it brings water, nourishment and life.

Isa is a reinforcing rune underlying those around it. It tells of challenging frustrations, creativity is being blocked by psychological forces, and that this time of standstill is a time to look inwards and wait for clarity to appear.

The 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.

When the Isa rune is in play or drawn in a reading, things may appear to be at a standstill, or plans have come to an abrupt halt. You may feel that you are engulfed or powerless in current situations and are unable to do anything but go with the flow and submit. You may even feel compelled to sacrifice a goal or desire.

The Isa rune is showing you that it is not the right time to try to force movement or change, as to do so will bring more frustrations and obstacles. Patience is called for because you will have to wait until the timing is more auspicious and for things to change externally, before you can proceed and succeed.

Wisdom is also required, as you will need to decide how best to use you’re waiting time.

When drawn in a reading, the Isa rune may be showing you that you are in a place of stagnation. You may feel empty, exhausted or emotionally drained at this time and wonder why. Much of this has to do with forces beyond your control, but also, it is a message for you to shed and release old habits and cleanse away negativity. The seed of the new is present, but in hibernation, within the shell of the old. Have faith that your aspirations will come to fruition in their right time.

Isa also tells us that this is not the time to be abandoning dreams and aspirations. In fact, it is the perfect opportunity to re-affirm and re-establish plans and goals. It is a time for contemplation and preparation, rather than depression and regrets.

When the Isa rune is drawn it is telling you that it is a time to turn inward and wait patiently for what is to come, or to seek further clarity before proceeding with plans. Rest assured that things will change, when the timing is right.

It is important to note that the Isa rune reinforces the messages of the other runes drawn around it in a reading. Consideration must be taken of all runes and their messages when Isa is alongside them as their wisdom wants to be acknowledged and their messages heeded.

The Isa rune intensifies the meaning of any other run it is associated with.

Isa Drawn Reversed


Egomania, dullness, blindness, obstacles, psychological blocks to thought and action, coldness, loss of energy, and end, termination, death, dissipation, treachery, illusion, deceit, betrayal, guile, stealth, ambush, plots and schemes.

Isa cannot be reversed but can lie in opposition, showing that all of Isa’s attributes are magnified.

The Isa rune cannot be reversed, but can lay in opposition. When this occurs, it is a message to the seeker to watch their own actions carefully and modify them if required. It is also a warning to observe other’s actions and to keep a look out for traps and pitfalls.

Read, then re-read the ‘fine print’.

Merkstave, Isa presages treachery, deceit, double-crossing, manipulations and plotting of others.


Sacred Scribes

Readings - Rune, Tarot, Psychic



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