Isa – Rune Meaning

“Ice only appears to stop a river’s flow.”

Isa – “Iss-ah” – Literally: “Ice” – Esoteric: Stasis, Stillness

Rune of concentration of things in a static or frozen state. Rune of stillness and the Ego-Self.

mental faculties, focus, ego, self-image/self-identity

stillness, contraction, stasis

Mundane: cold, self-preservation, harsh reality

Divinations: Concentrated self, ego-consciousness, self-control, unity of being; or egomania, dullness, blindness, dissipation, immobility, self-centeredness, lack of change, psychopathy.


Development of concentration, will and focus
Halting of unwanted dynamic forces as an act of self-defense (ard against demonic influences)
Basic ego integration within a balanced multiversal system
Power of control and constraint over other wights (entities), emotional outbursts
Focus of the will into single-minded action

My Notes:

Ice is beautiful and treacherous. It lulls the traveler to sleep with its peace and serenity. Nice locks life under its surface and keeps it motionless. However, there is little else as powerful as the slow moving glacier, which can tear apart even the bedrock as it inches forward. Although ice generally shows itself as it is, with little glamor, there is little so treacherous as a weak spot in the ice that will swallow the unwary with surprising swiftness, and soon enough leave hardly a trace. The hidden part of an iceberg, which represents 90% of its bulk, can remain hidden and gut a ship with little mercy. This is how the ancients saw ice: inimical, even hostile to life. Therefore this third rune of the second aett is yet another rune that represents an aspect of the harshness of reality.

In the most elementary dynamic, Isa is a building block of the physical world, slowing down fire energy and solidifying it.

Isa is a rune of control.  As your ego-self grows in strength through spiritual thinking and training, this construct matures into the individualized YOU (or the ‘I’).

There is a dark side to this enhancement of ego as you can see by the dark side of Isa. When not kept under control, the ego-self can take a path into ego-trips of self-aggrandizement, superficial desire and fall for the glitter of false trappings instead of real spiritual substance. Those who claim to know with too much certainty: beware!

Isa will control and quiet emotional distress, but be wary! It will not eliminate any persistent root cause of unpleasant circumstance. But it can help in extending stillness into your aura. Isa is particularly useful in attaining stillness of presence.

26 thoughts on “Isa – Rune Meaning”

  1. Has anyone else (like me ) made the Isa connection to the Disney Movie Frozen ?
    Isa has been re named Elsa !
    Many interpretations of the rune Isa have been given to the Elsa character like:

    Protection by freezing a situation which is what Elsa does when she puts up ice walls.
    Let it go ( the song ) is another of Isa meanings.

    Clearly someone in Disney production has made a study of the Runes.

    Let me know what you think?

  2. i pulled this rune to a question whether or not i should leave my job (it is extremely stagnant for me and has been for years). so you think it is telling me to wait..or that i am on track with my feelings and this is a good decision>since it can represent stagnancy/blockage?

    1. Julie,

      As you can see, there are at least two perspectives on this- is Isa telling you to stay put, or is it warning you that you’re stagnating in your job?
      For this very reason, I think it’s best not to ask simple yes/no questions of the runes (or for most divination systems, for that matter), but ask detailed questions regarding action in an acknowledged time frame in such a way that the answer will provide clarity. Perhaps ask, “What would be the best career move for me to make in the near future?”, or, “What warning signs should I be aware of in my job at this time?”.

  3. … Rune of the day Isa… In comparison to Ehwaz yesterday… Is this confirmation that my marriage is “on the rocks”? Or is it my Career? … Lost and completely confused… Suggestions?

  4. Isa shows a moment when we need to stop the time or, to be more objective, when The Uni-verse makes us stop it. It is strict vertical (originally) if to consider the very moment (some quark or less) of The Present, which is a mo-ment between The Past and The Future. It is frozen… so, that we can have time to meditate on it… :) It’s a magic of stopping the time, so to speak. Not for-ever, sure, as in this sphere of Universe only a thought is able to get that level of speed, see, to be able to, to have opportunity for attempt to rEVERse something, that is vitally important. And as a result of catching of such moment we can say that impossible is possible. :)

  5. Thank you for your prompt reply. To try and clarify: the idea is to have people who are unjustly bothering or harassing one to cease their attacks. It was proposed that the rune Isa would increase the effectiveness of the spell, although that term is much more elaborate than the simple form in question. By “freeze” is meant simply putting the culprit’s name on a piece of paper with a request to stop the torment and put, literally, in a freezer. Now silly as it might seem it has, by repute, some degree of effectiveness, and surely you might, perhaps, be able to see where the idea of ISA being applied almost like Sigil could enhance that effect. I don’t know if it would but does it make any sense to you at all? That is why I dared to impose upon your time and expertise as I wanted to know if this was completely without any basis in reality or just more “fluff” as one might call it.
    Thanks again Tyriel

    1. I think that any rune could be used to solve the problem, because problems generally have more than one solution. Think of the rune (in your case Isa) as a focusing tool. Visualization without any follow up is pointless. But if you channel the qualities of Isa — such as remaining cool and unmoved, yet communicating that the culprit is treading on thin ice — then that is how you’d invoke the deeper powers of the rune in question.

      Use common sense. How does writing a rune on a piece of paper solve anything? That sounds superstitious doesn’t it? On the other hand, if the rune is used to provoke action, or another perspective, or as a reminder — then you see it may have some kind of impact.

      Also, I don’t think you mean ‘literally, in a freezer’. Literally means you would be placing his body inside an object called a freezer, and you’d probably get arrested for that.

      Also Chet, you don’t have to ‘dare’ or ‘impose’ to ask me questions, I’m really not one of those types who requires any reverence or ritual to approach. Just fire off a question and either myself or others who visit the site will be more than happy to eventually help!

      Best of luck,


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