Skip to main content

ISA Rune


Elderfuthark Rune ISA


Alternative Names

Is, Eis, Iss.

Key Phrase

“When life seems at a standstill,

review the past and look to the future.’


Ice (in opposition of Fire)

Viking Rune Equivalent and Meaning

Standstill. Ice.



Tarot Card Equivalent

The Hanged Man - 12 XII

Divinatory Meaning


Corresponding Letter


Scroll to Continue

Associated Colour


Associated Herb


Associated Gemstone

Cat’s Eye

Associated Tree


Associated Myths and Deities

Audumla; Nifelheim; Rime-Giants; the Hrimthursar.

Manifestation Uses

To stop a process.

Relationship Interpretation

Privacy issues. Areas within the relationship that are kept private and not shared.

Healing Colour and Qualities


Helps the calm internal energies. Used in combination with Uruz is good for throat, liver and nerve problems. The Isa rune with Kenaz is good for the digestive system. Isa and the Mannaz rune are excellent for accidents and wounds. In combination with Tyr, Isa is good for gout, rheumatism and associated diseases.


Uruz can be worn to bring ‘breathing space’ or a personal space and to bring something to an end.

Isa Drawn Upright


Standstill, stillness, frozen in time, inactivity, blockage, stagnation, potential, reflection, patience, withdrawal, rest, contemplation, affirmation, challenge, frustration, powerful inexorable forces, psychological blocks to thought or activity.

ISA is ‘Perfect Order.’

The Isa rune is the third rune in the second Aett, and the eleventh rune of twenty-four. It is an ‘elemental’ rune and can be considered ‘static’, although mysterious.

Isa represents perfect order and the lack of chaotic elements. Isa, in relation to ‘ice’, shows its ability to give what appears to be permanence to all things and is believed to be very powerful. Ice represents being ‘frozen’ in time or place.

In Ancient times, ice was a constant factor in the day to day lives of the Norse. It threatened their crops, their ships and their livelihoods, almost throughout the entire year. To the people though, it also served as a symbol of creation from which all life eventually springs forth.

The Norse understood the need to have such a seemingly destructive element in order to create and maintain life. In opposition to ‘ice’ is ‘fire’.

The Norse predated Einstein with their version of the creation theory of the Universe, recognising that everything in their world contained both fire and ice – energy and matter, male and female; and that the relationship between the two defined the processes of life itself.

Ice can be considered ‘static’, although it is a mysterious substance. Ice can bring things to a halt, or place something in suspension. Ice can also be an expansive force, or one that crushes anything caught in its grasp. Ice can provide a bridge over dark water, or be a dangerous and treacherous trap. It has both the powers of control and of constraint. Either way, it is to be used cautiously. In its melted form, it brings water, nourishment and life.

Isa is a reinforcing rune underlying those around it. It tells of challenging frustrations, creativity is being blocked by psychological forces, and that this time of standstill is a time to look inwards and wait for clarity to appear.

The Isa rune primarily represents a period of rest before activity, and shows the bringing of things to a halt or to place something in suspension.

When the Isa rune is in play or drawn in a reading, things may appear to be at a standstill, or plans have come to an abrupt halt. You may feel that you are engulfed or powerless in current situations and are unable to do anything but go with the flow and submit. You may even feel compelled to sacrifice a goal or desire.

The Isa rune is showing you that it is not the right time to try to force movement or change, as to do so will bring more frustrations and obstacles. Patience is called for because you will have to wait until the timing is more auspicious and for things to change externally, before you can proceed and succeed.

Wisdom is also required, as you will need to decide how best to use you’re waiting time.

When drawn in a reading, the Isa rune may be showing you that you are in a place of stagnation. You may feel empty, exhausted or emotionally drained at this time and wonder why. Much of this has to do with forces beyond your control, but also, it is a message for you to shed and release old habits and cleanse away negativity. The seed of the new is present, but in hibernation, within the shell of the old. Have faith that your aspirations will come to fruition in their right time.

Isa also tells us that this is not the time to be abandoning dreams and aspirations. In fact, it is the perfect opportunity to re-affirm and re-establish plans and goals. It is a time for contemplation and preparation, rather than depression and regrets.

When the Isa rune is drawn it is telling you that it is a time to turn inward and wait patiently for what is to come, or to seek further clarity before proceeding with plans. Rest assured that things will change, when the timing is right.

It is important to note that the Isa rune reinforces the messages of the other runes drawn around it in a reading. Consideration must be taken of all runes and their messages when Isa is alongside them as their wisdom wants to be acknowledged and their messages heeded.

The Isa rune intensifies the meaning of any other run it is associated with.

Isa Drawn Reversed


Egomania, dullness, blindness, obstacles, psychological blocks to thought and action, coldness, loss of energy, and end, termination, death, dissipation, treachery, illusion, deceit, betrayal, guile, stealth, ambush, plots and schemes.

Isa cannot be reversed but can lie in opposition, showing that all of Isa’s attributes are magnified.

The Isa rune cannot be reversed, but can lay in opposition. When this occurs, it is a message to the seeker to watch their own actions carefully and modify them if required. It is also a warning to observe other’s actions and to keep a look out for traps and pitfalls.

Read, then re-read the ‘fine print’.

Merkstave, Isa presages treachery, deceit, double-crossing, manipulations and plotting of others.


Sacred Scribes

Readings - Rune, Tarot, Psychic

The Elderfuthark Runes

  • RUNES - The Elderfuthark
    The runes bring their message like a roaring wind, then whisper their secrets of hidden mysteries. The word rune comes from the root-word runa, literally meaning whisper, to...
  • Mythology and Cosmology of the Norse Vikings
    The mythology and cosmology of the Norse is complex in detail, concept, ideology and comprehension. The beliefs and ideals entail an intensive study on their own and would take thorough investigation to...
  • The Tree Of Life - Web of Wyrd
    Wyrd is a Norse term for the complex interconnecting web that binds all things together, whether they be living or not. This web is more intertwined and intricate than any other thing in the...
  • RUNES - Care, Cleansing, Empowering and Storage
    CARE OF YOUR RUNES Runes can be powerful allies provided you treat them with the care and respect they deserve. They do need to be cleansed and empowered, particularly when they are...
  • Consulting The RUNES
    Because the runes are an ancient guidance (and to some, divinatory) device predating many others, they bring into our consciousness a more grounded, earthy value system. Too often we are not able...
  • Healing Runes
    Runes have strong and powerful healing properties and are of great therapeutic value. This is because of their ancient earth-based, grounded energies, as well as their harmonious and balancing...
  • The Runes and The Cabala
    The Cabala pre-dates the Elderfuthark Runes and the Tarot by approximately 100 years. The Cabala is a system of Jewish mysticism that is thought to have originated in Southern France and Spain in the...
  • FEHU Rune
    FEHU Alternative Names Feoh, Fe. Key Phrase Wealth should never be hoarded, but used for the benefit of all. Meaning Cattle, Fee, Gold. Viking Rune Equivalent and Meaning Possessions,...
  • URUZ Rune
    URUZ Alternative Names Ur, Uriz. Key Phrase To find your true strengths, you must first face your weaknesses. Meaning Auroch (wild Oxen) Viking Rune Equivalent and Meaning ...
    THURISAZ Alternative Names Thorn; Thurith, Thurs. Key Phrase You have the power within you to face anything that may cross your path. Meaning Thorn, The Strong Ones, Giants,...
  • ANSUZ Rune
    ANSUZ Alternative Names Ansus; Ansur; Os. Key Phrase Everything that comes to you comes to teach you. Meaning Authority figure, a god, a leader, mind and body balance,...
  • RAIDO Rune
    RAIDO Alternative Names Rad; Raidho; Reidh, Rit, Radio. Key Phrase For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Meaning Journey, travel, a wagon, a cartwheel, the...
  • KENAZ Rune
    KENAZ Alternative Names Ken; Kano; Kaunaz; Kanaz, Kaon, Cen. Key Phrase Enlightenment needs to be tempered with wisdom before its true worth and power can be known. Meaning Wisdom, insight, a...
  • GEBO Rune
    GEBO Alternative Names Gyfu; Giba; Gyfu; Gipt; Gifu; Geofu. Key phrase To tread a spiritual path you must be both a giver and a receiver. Meaning Gift, an offering, love, balance,...
  • WUNJO Rune
    WUNJO Alternative Names Wyn, Winja, Wynn. Key Phrase To have happiness You must be at peace with yourself. Meaning Joy, happiness, perfection, light,success, contentment, rewards....
  • NAUTHIZ Rune
    NAUTHIZ Alternative Names Ny, Naudhiz, Nauths, Nyd, Naut, Nied. Key Phrase To achieve your wants, you often need to experience the very opposite. Meaning Need, fire, primal need....
  • JERA Rune
    JERA Alternative Names Ger, Jer, Ar, Yer, Jara. Key Phrase This is a time of hard work, and of reaping rewards for past efforts. Meaning Year, time, harvest, a...
  • EIHWAZ Rune
    EIHWAZ Alternative Names Eoh, Iwaz, Eow, Ihwar. Key Phrase By embracing change you will make quick progress on your path. Meaning The Yew Tree (Yggdrasil), Natures...
  • PERTHO Rune
    PERTHO Alternative Names Perthro, Per, Peor, Perth, Palrthra, Peordh, Perdhro, Peorth. Key Phrase Make your own choices and take charge of your own destiny. ...
  • ALGIZ Rune
    ALGIZ Alternative Names Alz, Elhaz, Eolh, Eolh-secg. Key Phrase Although your path may be fraught with danger, you have the power of protection within you. Meaning...
  • SOWULO Rune
    SOWULO Alternative Names Sowilo, Sowelu, Sigel, Sowelu, Sugil, Sigil, Sol, Sig. Key Phrase You have the power to bring things to fruition. Meaning The Sun. Viking...
  • TEIWAZ Rune
    TEIWAZ Alternative Names Tiwaz, Tir, Tyr, Teiws, Tiw. Key Phrase Now is the time to make use of the skills and wisdom you have acquired. Meaning Tyr (Warrior God), ...
  • BERKANA Rune
    BERKANA Alternative Names Berkano; Beorc; Bairkan; Bjarkan. Key Phrase Now is the time to put the knowledge and wisdom you have learned into practice. Meaning A...
  • EHWAZ Rune
    EHWAZ Alternative Names Eoh; Aihwas; Eh; Ior. Key Phrase Always be as loyal and supportive to those around you, as they are to you. Meaning A Horse or Horses,...
  • MANNAZ Rune
    MANNAZ Alternative Names Man; Mann; Manna; Madhr. Key Phrase Your Destiny Awaits - Claim It. Meaning A Human; Mankind; Human Existence. Viking Rune...
  • LAGUZ Rune
    LAGUZ Alternative Names Lagu; Lagus; Logr; Lagaz. Key Phrase Still waters run deep. Meaning Creation; water; emotions; the Leek plant. Viking Rune Equivalent ...
  • INGUZ Rune
    INGUZ Alternative Names Ing; Epel; Ingwaz; Enguz; Iggws. Key Phrase Live in the moment. Meaning Ing the Fertility God (also known as Freyr) Viking Rune Equivalent...
  • OTHILA Rune
    OTHILA Alternative Names Othala; Ogthala; Othel; Othal; Ethel; Odhal; Opild. Key Phrase Focus your thoughts to attract the right energies that you need to make your dream a...
  • DAGAZ Rune
    DAGAZ Alternative Names Daeg; Dags; Dag; Daeg; Dogr. Key Phrase If you stay true to yourself only good things will come your way. ...
  • HAGALAZ Rune
    HAGALAZ Alternative Names Haegl, Hagl, Haegl, Hagal, Hagall. Key Phrase Never shy away from challenges as they strengthen and teach you throughout your life. Meaning Hail,...

Related Articles