holistic rune meanings and correspondences for the elder futhark rune isa

Isa Rune

holistic rune meanings and correspondences for the elder futhark rune isa

Isa – Rune of Stillness

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 formed on your window on a sunny winter’s day and it’s the stiff dumped 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 considered 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’ ruled by 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 (obviously never used to diagnose within the context of a rune reading), hypothermia, death (again, never to be predicted within the context of reading for someone else)

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 own agitated mind but beware of using the rune to bind others against their will. Using it to bind someone else should only be done as a last resort and 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.

To strengthen the effect of the affirmation, you can draw the Isa rune over a glass of water. Say the affirmation out loud while holding the glass. Then drink it slowly while being mindful of your intent. It is appropriate to take ice with water charged with Isa.

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!


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