It is the eleventh of the twenty-four runes of the magical Norse alphabet and, in the same time, the third rune of Heimdall’s aett. In the past, in the Scandinavian countries, the ice was the omnipresent element of winter, the symbol of stagnation. Although there is no way of knowing how the old were seeing the ice, whether feminine or masculine, ice is definitely the opposite of fire. Without a frost period, nature would not rest and the life cycles would be perturbed, without rest, there would be no harvest. The ice is the symbol of matter, the inert and lifeless mass that Fire gives the vital impulse. If fire would not exist, ice would always remain solid, and if ice would not exist, fire would have nothing to melt and thus, spring would not exist.
It is one of the nine symmetrical runes, having the same aspect regardless of its position, whether normal or reversed. Its form is the expression of the greatest simplicity: a vertical line with no other element and we can interpret it in many ways, precisely because it is so simple. Principally, the majority of the runes contain at least one vertical line, so it is fair to say that those runes contain the static potential of Isa or that they originate from the action of some forces against matter. The vertical line is the symbol of ice also because it seems straight, idle, solidified – the principal ideas of this rune. It is a neutral rune when extracted, which tends to emphasize the significance of the adjacent runes it gets extracted with.
Depending on the asked question, the stagnation, the pause or “frozen” state can manifest under different forms. Socially, it predicts a stoppage of plans, a delay that occurs naturally and predictably. Although it can be associated to the inner frustrations and worries caused by these delays, Isa represents the static, quiet and calm point, when it’s a good time to redirect the course of our actions, reevaluate the situation and search for the inner clarity and wisdom. If we are not called by our family or friends, it doesn’t mean they forsake us or that they don’t care about us, they are rather giving us the space to be alone with our thoughts.
Financially, Isa is as neutral as in the social domain. Our finances are stagnant, regardless of their state. A stagnant and precarious financial condition is something apparently negative, while a stagnant high income is considered mere constant. We have to move beyond the subjective judgements and see the frozen state of the economic flux as a sign of change. Erotically, things are the same, but with a slight negative nuance. The couple life is monotonous, replete with routine and it seems as unsatisfying for both partners. Communication is deficient and the behavior between partners is cold and distant. The rune announces major changes in the perspective of each partner, but the nature of these changes can be determined only by analyzing the adjoining runes Isa gets extracted with.
In terms of health, this rune brings an excess of cold, affections that occur in winter (regardless of season) or convalescence. We might be immobilized in bed or forced to a temporary exile in our own domicile. More severe cases imply hospitalization in a medical institution for few days or, at least, a limitation of the freedoms we have become accustomed to.
The state of health is precarious, there is a lack of vitality, of appetite and even a severe depression. Isa brings along everything in terms of retreat, isolation, reclusion, any situation that makes us become strongly aware of our solitude. This might be at a physical, real level, as in the case of hospitalization or isolation, or at a mental or psychological level, as in the depression cases, when a person feels lonely, regardless of how many close people are around.