The first time I realized that Isa was truly home to all the runes, I was drumming. I saw her lying on her side, a single horizontal line and when I looked closer I realized she wasn’t a single line, she was layers of lines, one on top of the other like the layers of ice that form in a glacier year after year after year. And I could read what was layered there by lifting off the single lines and reassembling them back into rune shapes. When I was shown this I was also told that as the ice is melting, runes are being released and revealed. We’ve been limited in our understanding of and relationship with the runes by only focusing on small groups of them like the 24 that make up the Elder Futhark or the Anglo Northumbrian. The runes are the signatures of powerful, energetic beings who are guardians of universal truths and there are myriads of them. One of the many creation stories of the northern European tribes tells us that in the beginning fire and ice came together in the great void. And out of that chaos, life emerged. What grand dance of creation is taking place right now on earth amidst the destruction that’s happening as the fire is melting the ice? Ice is a great preserver and it also destroys. We put things such as meat and vegetables into the freezer as a way to preserve them but if we leave them in there too long, they ultimately become ruined. Freezing is a way to slow down the movement of water but there is still movement. The nature of water is to move. What can you learn from Isa about the movement that exists in stillness? Where have you frozen something to preserve it and has it reached the point where it’s been frozen too long? Could you use the wisdom of Isa to determine that? Isa holds within herself the wisdom of changing form as well as the deception that is possible within appearances. When water freezes it becomes solid thus creating a bridge, a way to cross over. It can appear to be solid but not be strong enough to carry any weight. Dazzling in the sunlight, it can be treacherous and slippery. And one of the fascinating aspects of ice is that it’s solid but rather than being heavy, it floats.
Isa realm of ice home to all the runes the crushing weight of ages you float hissing groaning there is movement in your stillness preservation in destruction enthralled or released I serve you
The Isa poem is one of the 33 original rune poems created by Ingrid Kincaid, the Rune Woman. They were first published in her limited edition, completely hand made book(un) familiar.