I’ve been dealing with the Norse Runes for probably going on….two years now, I think. Time gets a bit fuzzy for me at times, so I don’t know the precise amount of time I’ve been working with them. But in that time, I’ve done a fair bit with them.
Since we’ve come to the letter “I” in the Pagan Blog Project, and there’s not really much to talk about with the letter “I” in Heathenism that I know of (if I’m wrong, please let me know, so I have something to write about next week). So I decided to talk about my recent experience with the Rune Isa, or Ice.
Of the twenty-four Elder Futhark Runes, there’s only three that are considered negative: Nauthiz, Hagalaz, and Isa. Nauthis is about need and constraint, Hagalaz is the wild and uncontrolled power, and Isa is Ice, stasis, and being frozen in time. Of these three, however, Nauthis is also the will to overcome, and Hagalaz is merely about power and change, which is neither truly good or bad. Only Isa doesn’t have a balancing “good” property, at least as I have learned them.
So when Isa shows up in a rune reading, it’s time to start wondering.
When it first started up, it was before my trip, and popped up a couple times with Algiz, the rune of protection, awakening, and connection to the gods. While initially I was concerned (did this mean my divine protection was on hold?) I put my mind to working. The fact that around that same time I had started feeling drawn to Skadi, Goddess of skiing, hunting, and winter (who happens to be born of the Jotun, or frost giants) caused me to realize that Isa, instead of representing a freezing of protections, was in fact speaking to me of the protections from the Ice, namely, the Goddess of Winter.
Now, when Isa shows up, I tend to view it as Skadi having something to do with things in my life. If I see it in someone else’s reading, I still give pause, because it is the rune of bad things, and Ice is by no means friendly.
As an aside, and this is slightly untested, Isa might well be good for preservation magics. If and when I do any research into that, I will be sure to post about it.