Monday, January 20, 2014

The Empowerment of Isa

Isa is the ice Rune.  I know many people who, when they take time to reflect or meditate or just pause, pick up Isa.  It's supposed to invoke a period of calm or rest, even peace. 

Using Isa for this purpose can be very powerful, because it is important, sometimes, to just sit and be with the present without judgement or expectation.  This is one way that Isa can help to empower us.

However, Isa also tends to be associated with stillness and caution, a lack of progression or forward movement.  In this instance, Isa suggests that things aren't flowing.  It comes with warnings to stop and 'enjoy the view', but not to tread on the path.

So what do we do if this happens, if we happen to get stuck in a place (a mental, emotional, spiritual or physical place) that acts on us like this aspect of Isa?  It inhibits our forward motion, though we are still eager to move in a positive direction?

Remember, even water molecules in ice move a little, despite being frozen.  So why can't we still wiggle when an external force makes us feel stuck?  Frozen?

This is another way that Isa can be very empowering.  It can help us work within a confined space.  Although there may be limits to what we can do in this restrained position, this is a great time to prepare, to work on small pieces of the puzzle that we will need down the road.  We can keep our eye on our long term ambition, but work within the short term to support it.  Isa can also help rally our inner strength, that part of us that needs to stand up and fight or that needs to bide our time just a little longer.  Moreover, one great way to spark creativity and innovation is by restricting avenues.  (I use this technique occasionally with great success in writing workshops.)

Now... I don't usually mention a Rune's place within the Futhark... but I think this one is particularly interesting.  The ice Rune is wedged between Nauthiz, the Rune of need and necessity, and Jera, the year Rune.  These two Runes support Isa's position and role.  We begin with recognizing what we need, what our basic requirements for survival are.  With Nauthiz, we do exactly what we need to do.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  Once we know what those needs are, we start to acquire them through Isa where, of course, we heed its advice to use caution.  Once we wiggle within Isa's boundaries and address our most basic needs, we will move on to Jera, the year, the harvest, the process.  This is where our plans hit their stride and forward progression surges.

Jera is one of the best Runes we could have here, because it allows us to take what we've accomplished through the support of Isa and move forward in a stronger way.  By accepting Isa's freeze and working on what we could within its confines, we lay a foundation on which to build.  Laying that foundation through Isa's slow and cautious movement empowers and ensures us that, when the time arrives (Jera) for real forward motion to resume, we will be ready to make the most of it.

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