Today I got Isa, the rune of meditation and reflection, perfect for the day before my 67th birthday.
Our birthday is like our personal New Year's. It's the anniversary of our coming into this life and world. We might ask ourselves questions like, "How well have I fulfilled my purpose so far?" "Am I on track with my life?" "What do I want to do that I haven't done yet?" "In the future, after my new year turns into the old year, will there be anything I'll wish that I had done?" "Is there anything I'm neglecting that I need to do?"
Of course, every day we wake up, we have the opportunity to begin anew, to start a new life and ask ourselves similar questions. The questions we can come up with are endless, many and varied. For me, there are so many things I love to do and want to do that sometimes I think I'll go nuts just trying to sort them out. I love to sew and embroider; I want to practice more often on the guitar and make some new flutes and rune sets; I want to write more articles and maybe books; I want to travel more, attend Light Body and remote viewing seminars, and wander about, especially collecting rocks and finding special places in the wilds. I want to do more art, visit people more often, and buy a new motorcycle. I know I don't want to spend more time in front of the TV; there are some programs I like, but I keep it in line. More than one TV show a day or too much time watching animal videos on Facebook can suck my creative juices dry.
All contemplative traditions encourage self-examination at the end of the day. Replaying and reflecting on the day is a wonderful practice for self-knowledge, and anything that gives us self-knowledge also gives us more power and strength in life. If we practice daily self-examination, we can go even further at the end of the year. We're already far ahead of where we would be if we lived an unconscious, unexamined life.
Getting Isa on my reflection day also prompts me to ask: Is there any area of my life that is stagnant, unmoving, or unalive? Isa, after all, is the rune of ice. Ice signals the possibility of slippery ground and the danger of falling. Am I unresponsive or hard or trapped with regard to any issue? In the icy grip of a fixation? Am I being seduced by something that is glittering and beautiful but cold and unfeeling and treacherous? Do I isolate myself too much? Or is Isa saying, "Cherish your private time; don't feel guilty about indulging in work you love. It is your nature to be part hermit: go for it! You have always needed extra time alone. Remember?"
I have never known the runes to mislead me, but I have mislead myself using the runes when I stopped short in my thinking or jumped to conclusions. So I always give it time, now, to sink in and sort itself out. There may be an angle I didn't see at first. Sometimes it's the most obvious thing that gets overlooked, as well as the subtle, or the thing I don't want to deal with right then.
In the Norse tradition, ice is the cosmic ur (Uruz) substance out of which life comes: ice melts when it meets heat and forms water. Bifrost Bridge, also known as the Rainbow Bridge, is a mystical pathway connecting Midgard and Asgard, earth and heaven. This bridge is symbolized by Hagalaz; an alternate shape of Hagalaz is the six-pointed star or snowflake. Hagalaz, being hail, is a special form of ice. It might be thought of as two Isa's connected by a bridge. This bridge symbolizes the eternal cycle of water to vapor to ice and back again and again, or life to death to rebirth and back again and again. Hagalaz is the persistence of the spirit or information in the substance that maintains its nature despite radical change of form.
But today, the star of the show is Isa, the rune of the mirror, of being still and observant, receptive and inquiring. Tomorrow, the ice melts.