THE ELDER FUTHARK
 
The third Rune of the Second Ætt of the Elder Futhark
(for more information on the First Ætt per se, go to
http://runesecrets.net/profiles/blogs/the-second-eight)

This is an installment in a series covering each and every Rune of the Elder Futhark. In this series, instead of giving the esoteric meaning of the Rune by citing the Rune poems written in Old Icelandic, Old Norwegian and Anglo-Saxon (a.k.a. Old English), or any modern commentary, the etymology of the Rune name is presented.

        I
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2:3 ĪSA

Pronunciation: “eee-suh” with stress on first syllable “eee”


Writing: The ISA stave stands for the phoneme /ī/ - a long “eee” sound; and it is to write this “eee” SOUND in a word (NOT the letter “i” ) that the ISA stave may be used. For, the letter English “i” does not always - and does not usually - represent this “eee” sound. Remember this when using this stave in writing!

Etymology: HAGALAZ is Proto-Germanic for what perhaps should be defined as “living ice.” This is not the standard definition, which is “ice.” In German this word is Eis (ice); English ice; Old Norse íss (ice). HAGALAZ is related to  Proto-Indo-European eis (to spray) [See Kluge, p. 213], and eis (to drive on, to quicken); and these earlier Indo-European meanings derive the alternative Old Norse form eisa (to spray, to foam).

Think here of what ice as an element means in the Old Germanic creation myth - of the Universe coming out of the meeting of Fire and Ice.

        REFERENCES:    
        Kluge’s Etymologisches Wörterbuch (23rd Edition)
        Vǫluspá of the Poetic/Elder Edda  


NOTES…
(1) A German-speaker may hear the derivative “Eis,” and think of the word “Eisen” (iron) - thus CHARGING the rune with such meaning. This instance of SEMANTIC CHARGING is the same that could have happened to the originators and contemporaries of the Elder Futhark, as the Proto-German word īsa sounds much like Proto-German īsan “iron” (Old English īsen “iron”)
(2) Incidentally, the S going to R is English “iron” is an example of rhoticization, which is a phenomenon relevant to the pronunciation of ALGIZ, where the final Z turned into a palatal rhotic sound, i.e, a sort of R.

      

...Now, NOTICE the entire semantic domain covered by ISA through time. Let this be the MYSTICAL MEANING of ISA. Study it and ABSORB it.

AUTHOR: Francis Tokarski
www.linguexperience.com
www.runesecrets.net
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