Category Archives: isa

I is for Runes

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I is for Runes

Isa

Isa is the rune of Ice and cold. Ice, perfectly frozen with very very air bubbles can look like precious stones, so much so that people once believed that clear quartz was in fact a kind of ice that could not be melted.
Ice, the power of cold, to freeze things and lock them into a state where they are well preserved for as long as they stay frozen. That is part of the power of Isa. Whether it is to cool a situation down or you want to put someone “on ice” Isa is the rune to turn to. While heat is a very popular and widely used tool, from “hot footing” to melting wax dolls in order to soften someone’s heart, or even in the form of candle burning (which bring heat and light to the spiritual and magical work) cold can play a useful role, one that is often overlooked. As soon as methods of cooling things became available with items like iceboxes and then later freezer and refrigerators, people started using them to work cooling freezing magic.
Another useful parallel is language found in African diaspora groups of spirits that are “hot” and “cool” The cool spirits are often the main ones that people have allegiance to, like the Orishas, although they can turn hot when needed (or offended) but often the desire is to cool them down and to keep your spiritual essence cool. The practice of rogacion is about cooling the head and the spirit of the head to help bring clarity, insight and wisdom. A cool intellect often literally sees things much better then a raging hot head, something that is actually scientifically true.

Inguz
Inguz/Ing/Yngvi is name that Sweden and seems to be a later addition to the Futhorc. The Anglo-Saxon rune poem refers it to the the leader of Ynglings, but it also seems connected to Freyr, usually in the form Ingvifreyr, which suggests that while Freyr was his title, Ingvi may actually be his real name. But the truth of that is lost to time. However connection to the god Freyr remains, and this rune seems to resonate with some of the powers of Freyr, the shining brother of Freya. He is the lord of seasons, and by some he is the compared to the Horned God of Wicca, believing that the rituals of which Wicca was seeking to revive was the older rituals of Vanir, the tribe and gods who predated the arrival of the Aesir and the establishment of Asgard. So, like the Horned God, he is through to rise anew each year, only to be sacrificed again with each harvest, that his sacrifice may give renewal to the ground in gratitude for the gifts of food that it has given. The Vanir might have even been the Gaelic people who inhabited Europe for a much longer time until the arrival of the nomadic and conquering Aesir.
The magic and mystery of Inguz is the masculine birth/death/rebirth cycle expressed by seasons. It is the masculine complement to the Beorc. It’s various shapes always remind me of a seed, which one might compare to the seed of sperm, the tiny activator that starts the process of pregnancy once it reaches and fertilizes the egg, but in doing so, it is gone, as the egg begins a new process, catalyzed by the sperm to start cell division and create a new life.
To some ancient cultures that saw this present in nature as well. Noticing that areas of land struck by lightning would produce more abundant crops (as the lightning would fix the nitrogen in the soil) they equated lightning with fertilizing force of the gods. The same with rain as well, as it brings growth to plants and food crops, which without it, they would lay fallow in the ground until sufficient water is brought to help the plants to grow.
A similar metaphor can be found internally. Sometime the formative idea or concept is there, working on itself until a catalyst, the lightning flash of insight, inseminates it and it starts to grow and form itself into the new work that you are creating.

Ior
Ior is the rune of the World Serpent, that beast born of Loki and Angrboda, a giantess who gave Loki three children, one of which was the Midgard Serpent, Jormungandr. As it is one of the much later Anglo-Saxon runes, and it’s rune poem is odd, describing a river fish that lives in both land and water. To older cultures, they readily identified anything that lived in water as being a fish, whether it is actually a fish or not by today’s scientific classification. The “river fish” that they indentified may have been an otter or a beaver, or some other kind of amphibious mammal that lives in and surrounded by water.
Part of the mystery of Ior is the dual natured, or polymorphous nature of this river fish. Something that inhabits both land and water, but is not tied to both. Some have seen this as a fitting description for Jormungandr, the world serpent, as it was born on land, and lives in the sea, mainly because it is so huge that is the only place with room for it. But the coils of Jormungandr are seem to identify what is within Midgard and what is outside of it, the serpentine “hedge” of in-lying and out-lying on a cosmic scale. Being able to cross those boundaries is usually part of the tool kit of the spiritual practitioner, being able to leave the physical world behind and enter in the other worlds, but also being able to think outside the limits of place, time and culture to see things differently and recognize beneficial change but also harmful change. Working with Ior can cause you to experience that boundary, and being able to cross it, but also to affirm it, and somehow to become it. Making yourself polymorphous and no longer locked into one state of being, thinking or doing. No longer a person who is something or is not something, but simple a person.

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November 22, 2010 – Isa

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Isa

Isa is the vowel sound “ee”

Anglo-Saxon rune poem (from ragweedforge.com)

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 the rune of ice and cold. In a very literal way, today was a very cold day in Southern California. Not record lows, but according to weather history for the area, very close to it.
Spiritually, it shows that things have been put on ice. Generally it indicates things are frozen and locked up, unable to move or break free, contained or trapped by things around them. Of course, when things are frozen over, it might be an opportunity to pass them by, as you able to slide past easily (and hopefully gracefully) seeing things locked away, perhaps what was once ugly, not glistens like a jewel, frozen away

September 2, 2010 – Isa

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Isa

Isa is the vowel sound “i” (ee)

Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem (from ragweedforge.com)

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

Wow, Isa, two days in one week. The message I am getting is “The big chill.” Relax, de-stress, and don’t worry about things. If something is getting you all hot under the collar, maybe you should just let it slide, and dis-engage. Is it really worth or the storm and stress?

August 31, 2010 – Isa

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Isa

Isa is the vowel “i” (pronounced “ee)

Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem (from ragweedforge.com)

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 the rune of Ice, cold and stillness. In the depth of winter, when it is record cold temperatures, living things are dormant or seeking refuge from ice, and snow that surrounds them. This is a trend that even appears in warmer climes, as the winter months in Southern California, often the streets are emptier at night, there are less people out, and everyone is gathered in their homes, or with friends. In that stillness there can grown contemplation, reflection and insight. Isa can be the stillness and silence of deep meditation, where everything exterior seems to fall away, leaving only a centered-ness where one can be an observer, and experience the oneness and detachment at the same time.

A part of me feels like that this is a call, to be silent, and bring stillness to the chattering of my mind, so that I can embrace the quiet strength of Spirit and my soul.

June 11, 2010 – Isa

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Isa

Isa is the vowel “I”

Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem (From ragweedforge.com)

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

If you are wondering, “hey, you missed some days” well I have an excellent excuse. Micro-tears to the tendon connecting my elbow and forearm together prevented me from typing. I needed to give my hands rest, and still need to, but they are much better today. Considering that it happened on Tuesday with Hagalaz, well, I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised (and honestly I wasn’t), but maybe healing from this will prove more enduring and longer lasting.

In my constant search for all things runic, I did come up health correspondences for the runes. They are interesting, especially as Isa correspond to all the joins, as they can freeze up and be unbendable, or move smoothly, like gliding across slippery ice. Hopefully, it’s a sign that my elbow will soon be moving smoothly again.

May 13, 2010 – Isa

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Isa

Isa is the vowel I (pronounced ee)

Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem (from ragweedforge.com)

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, the rune of Ice, is a rune of freezing, stillness, cold and silence. In the early 20th century Runic renaissance in Germany, most esotericists saw it as the main rune to use in the beginning, as a way of bringing stillness to the energies within, a kind of runic zen meditation to bring stillness and emptiness to your being. It still works well for that purpose, as the stillness that it can bring can often bring clarity and a greater sense of self to the user. In a reading it can indicate when forces become stopped or frozen. You might be stuck in a situation or a mindset, and until you can be released, you are frozen, often repeating the same behavior. It can also show an opportunity to be still, and have a moment of rest and solitude, before venturing out again to deal with the world around you again.

Isa is one of the rune of the key cosmological forces of the Northern Tradition. It’s opposite is Cweorth, the Fire-twirl, as it embodies the force of Fire. From the meeting of Fire and Ice, the void was filled, and the first beings came into being, first a cow named Audhumla, and then a massive Frost Giant, Ymir. At it’s strongest, Ice is complete stasis, o degree Kelvin as it were, where nothing moves, changes or can be altered. It is only when Fire, the force of action, change and transformation is brought in the Ice melts away, revealing what was locked inside and setting it free. But, also in reverse, Ice can bring stillness to overwhelming activity, slowing down the change, allowing it time to set in, before it changes again. Too much Fire can be as damaging or difficult as too much Ice. It is in the balance of these forces that Life and Creation is found.

February 2010

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Isa

Isa is the vowel sound ee (a long e like seize)

Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem (from ragweedforge.com)

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 means Ice. That is probably the most consistent rune in the all the Futharks, as it means ice in virtually all of them. The Anglo-Saxon stanza refers to the beautiful quality of ice, although it does give a brief indication of its dangers (cold and slippery).

Esoterically, it is cold, frozen, slippery, yet also static and unchanging. Things that are frozen at very low tempatures, don’t decay or change. That is why we have modern day freezers, to help us preserver our foodstuffs longer, because as long as they are frozen, they won’t decay as quickly. With Isa, you can freeze energies, entities or whatever, stopping them from reaching you. You can also use it to freeze yourself, giving time to reflect, be still and calm. Eventually though, things will thaw and when the ice melts, it can bring a gentle renewal or a mighty flood.
In a quite literal interpretation for the month of February, I think winter will hold on a bit longer then normal. But that is just my hypothesis. Also, don’t expect a great deal of change in this month, which can be both good and bad. Everything will probably just seem to take extra effort, unless you apply some heat to get things moving along.