Bright Blessings, Witches and Witchlets! This is the second installment in a new series where we’re delving into the Runes of the Elder Futhark. With each post, we’ll go over the meaning and interpretation of each focused Rune and show what each one looks like. Let us begin.
WHAT ARE RUNES?
Runes are the letters in a set of related alphabets known as runic alphabets. Runes were used to write various Germanic languages before the adoption of the Latin alphabet and for specialised purposes thereafter. In addition to representing a sound value (a phoneme), runes can be used to represent the concepts after which they are named (ideographs).SOURCE
WHERE DO THEY COME FROM?
Runes have been found in places that hold root in Germanic-speaking countries like Iceland, Scandinavia, parts of England and Central Europe, Constantinople and anywhere the Vikings journeyed.
WHEN WAS THE RUNIC ALPHABET USED?
AD 150 is the earliest date that runic inscriptions have been recorded. With time, the Latin alphabet replaced these characters as those who utilized runes were subjected to the Christian Reformation. In Central Europe, this happened around AD 700 and in northern Europe, AD 1100.
USING RUNES FOR DIVINATION
Interestingly enough, using runes for divination is NOT an ancient practice used by the Vikings. There is no evidence to support this commonly-held belief. The closest thing we do have are a few Icelandic magickal texts that use runic symbology. Other than that, the utilization of runes for divination didn’t come about until the 17th century.
While runes may not have been used by the Vikings, this doesn’t mean this system of divination isn’t a viable one. I know plenty of witches – including myself – who cast runes and consult the messages found from the Divine.
THE ISA RUNE
Today’s rune is ISA and it is pronounced ‘ISS-ah’. The literal interpretation of this rune is ‘ice’. The esoteric interpretation is ‘stillness’ and ‘stasis’.
WHAT DOES THE ISA RUNE LOOK LIKE?
It is represented with a single straight line, like the Roman numeral for 1. Easy enough to remember, right?
- The Self
When ISA makes an appearance in a divination cast, it can signal:
- Having or needing self-control
- Concentrating on the self
- Being conscious of the ego
- Lack of change
- Feeling stagnant
- Suffering from egomania
The ISA rune is said to govern our will and focus. It also helps to develop concentration. ISA can offer aid in stopping unwanted energies and act as a ward against negative influence. The ISA rune can be thought of as ice in the way it can freeze outbursts of emotion.
Having the ISA rune show up in a casting is a reminder that there’s always room to be conscious of control. When we allow our egos to go unchecked, we risk taking trips down streets full of false promises. With awareness and taking control of our emotional state of being, the stillness of ISA can help in the pursuit of being present in the moment.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this second installment of the Rune Series! The aim is to offer an introduction to each rune to give an idea of what they all mean and to encourage new casters to try their hand at this divinatory practice. Do you cast runes? Are you inspired to start? Let me know in the comments and, as always, Bright Blessings and Happy Crafting!