Isa Elder Futhark Rune Meanings - Rune of Stillness

Isa Elder Futhark Rune Meanings

Isa Elder Futhark Rune Meanings - Rune of Stillness

Isa – Rune of Stillness

As a native Swede, I sometimes recall the smell of the February snow on an unusually still morning when I pull this rune. Under the snow and ice, I can feel the seeds waiting patiently to open up and start their climb to the surface. It’s the calm before the explosion of life that awaits in springtime.

Isa is a call to stillness or a warning that forward movement will not be possible at this time. It is at once mesmerisingly beautiful and completely lethal. It’s the shimmer in the frost crystals that form on your window on a sunny winter’s day and it’s the stiff floating in the river on a cold night. It’s the slippery road that you are better off not travelling and the icicle about to break off as you walk past. And it’s a rune of caution that you truly are better off staying in and tuning in than going out and acting out.

Stripped back meaning based on the actual word and shape

The shape of this rune is a body without limbs, the flat line on the ECG and a line of thought without tangents. It is what stillness looks like.

The Norse word isa (EEsa) simply means ‘ice’ and in modern Swedish it is ‘is’ (pronounced ees).

Ice and fire are the two primordial forces of creation in Norse mythology. It is also a strong force of destruction. The realm of the dead who did not die in battle and were deemed worthy of Valhalla was known as an icy region known as ‘Hel.’ The Queen of Hel is Hella/Hel, daughter of Loki and Angrboda.


  • Polarity: Feminine
  • Zodiac correspondences: Neptune
  • Tarot card correspondences: The Hanged Man
  • Archangel correspondences: Asariel
  • Chakra correspondences: Sacral Chakra and Third Eye
  • Health: mental health issues (never offer a diagnosis in a rune reading), hypothermia, death (do not make predictions physical demise)

Divinatory Meanings

General: stillness, going within, a halt to plans, a need for a new point of view, frozen emotions, fear and resentment, stagnation – Reversed: N/A (this rune is the same reversed – look to surrounding runes for further clues)

Love & relationships: the love has gone out of the relationship, one or both partners are afraid of showing how they truly feel, feeling alienated and isolated (all the same meanings as when you dream of ice) – Reversed: N/A

Health/wellbeing: depression, lack of movement, being incapacitated, delusion, analysis paralysis – Reversed: N/A

Business: frozen assets, a red flag about any opportunity (it is not what it seems or now is not a good time), putting plans on ice – Reversed: N/A

Holistic Healing Tips for Isa

You can use this rune to bind a situation that is getting out of hand. You can also use it to create stillness in your agitated mind but beware of using the rune to bind others against their will. Only use Isa to bind someone as a last resort. A good example is when a child or other innocent person who is not capable of defending themselves is under threat by someone with a sinister agenda.

You can use Isa to clear your head if you are confused and agitated. Do this by chanting ‘Eesa’ at a rather high pitch several times.

To bind or halt gossip, carve the rune and wrap it around with a piece of paper upon which you write down the rumour that has started spreading (rather than the names of individuals). This method can also be used to halt litigation if you stand falsely accused.

Meditate with this rune to reach the zero point of absolute stillness within.


  • I am still and know.
  • I bind that which seeks to harm the little ones.
  • My mind is cool and clear.
  • I rest peacefully until it is safe for me to move forward.
  • I trust Mother-Father God to thaw out any frozen emotions, heal my heart and infuse this relationship with love once more.

Isa Prayer

Dear Mother-Father God, Thank you for the stillness within and how refreshing it is to return to be nourished by silence. Help me to do so often and to always emerge with greater clarity. Amen and so it is!

Isa and Hyperborean Water Magic

You can more read about Hyperborean water magic HERE.

How to Charge the Water

  • Draw the rune over your glass or another glass vessel with the pointer and middle finger on your dominant hand.
  • Chant the name of the rune three times.
  • Visualise the rune glimmering in the colour of your choice as you chant (see colour correspondences above).
  • Visualise the light from the rune charging every molecule in the water until the light expands beyond the glass. When the light has formed an aura around the glass that you can see or feel with your hands, it is ready to drink/use.

Isa Water Magic

Enchant water with Isa before meditating if you find your mind racing. Drink the water mindfully, visualising soft white snow falling all around you. Imagine a magical stillness in the air. Breathe this stillness into you. Think of the water being born from the snow of this stillness. The water you drink and the air you breathe both serve to calm and flush out all nervous tension.

Send Isa energy to any large bodies of water that are threatening to melt too quickly, submerging large areas of land that need to be above sea level.

Take me back to the Elder Futhark Rune Index!

Check out the Isa Ease the Blockage Rune Tarot Spread!


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