One of the runic energies that I feel we as humans struggle with the most is Isa. The rune of ice is disruptive, slows things down, and delays or stops progress altogether; or at least that is how it appears to most. Its energy is very much like that of a blanket of ice that glosses over a town overnight. It can feel inconvenient, dangerous, and usually a source of resentment among many who have things to do and places to go.
We have all these techniques to conquer the ice and get back to business as usual as soon as possible. Realistically, to a degree, this makes sense for it is hard to put everything on hold for long. Roadways need to be clear for emergencies, important services need to be accessible and shipments of important goods must make their way to their destination. However, are we missing something big by not heeding the lessons of the ice?
Like a town that is not equipped to deal with ice, we as a society are not well practiced in handling the energy of Isa and what it asks us to do. This is a rune of stillness, surrender, and introspection. It requires us to see the ice and be one with it, to allow it to put things to a halt so that we can take time to tend to deeper things within. It is the treacherous bridge of a frozen river, asking you to examine every step and use your senses to determine how to continue. You cannot move forward aimlessly or allow yourself to be distracted with Isa.
We (as a society but as individuals many of us struggle) are quick to want to get back to the way things were before the ice came, rather than learn from it and keep its lessons for when it leaves. We want our comforts, our habits, and our productivity. There is no reward for being still, and oftentimes that pause is punished. The winter holidays have even become the busiest time for many of us when we are meant to be staying home and letting our energy rest for spring.
It is because of this that every winter I make a point of trying to connect with Isa as the teacher it is. Isa arrives when it wants to, freezes your life over, and when it thaws there are mysteries, lessons, and gifts left behind for those who stop to look. It asks you to hand over your need for schedules and control and challenges you to cross the obstacles with a deeper mindfulness.
It is because of all of this that I consider it to be a close friend to the mystic, spiritual person, or healer. Isa helps us become the bridge, slowing down and allowing information to cross over carefully. I find that making an effort to safely step outside (despite the urge to stay indoors) even for a few minutes goes a long way to connecting with this energy. Reciting its name, visualizing frozen landscapes, and listening to the sounds a frozen river makes are also favorite methods of mine.
If you do divination or other spiritual work, try marking it on your skin before your work and see what happens when you cross the metaphorical icy bridge. You may be surprised by how inviting this energy can be when you embrace it fully. Isa can give you access to information you wouldn’t have normally had, it can soothe and cool tempers and slow volatile situations. It is so much more than disruption and unwanted pauses.
How do you feel connecting with Isa would go for you?