Ice is very cold and immeasurably slippery;
it glistens as clear as glass and most like to gems;
it is a floor wrought by the frost, fair to look upon.
Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem
In a casting, Isa is often read to suggest that a response of inaction be considered. Things are brittle, and frozen, and to try and force them to bend to your will would to be risking them breaking.
It brings to mind one of the four powers of the Sphinx, from Thelemic Magic—to be silent.
And this all goes back to something I say quite often to my sponsees- “It’s amazing how much of a good relationships depends on what you DON’T do and what you DON”T say.”
Pre-recovery, my approach to power or agency was always to take action and to tell the world what I thought. I was fairly certain that the world would give me my way if I just rammed my head against it long enough, or talked at it long enough. I was a battering ram of a human being. I don’t know what gave me the impression that this was a good way to be. Yes, sometimes it worked, but I think more often than not it didn’t Essentially, I didn’t trust I would be okay if I did not get my way. So I was frantic in my attempts to get it.
Recovery changed everything. It taught me how to sit in my discomfort. And, trust me, discomfort was in ample supply as a young college student who had decided to quit drinking. You try sitting in a dorm room on a Saturday night with the sounds of keggers raging at both ends of the hall and see how comfortable you are (I lived between two historical Fraternity hangouts, lucky me. What can I say, I had a single!). Yes, uncomfortable. And I had to sit there and learn to NOT react to it.
That also just called growing up, and some people don’t need 12 steps for it (freaks). The concept that reaction was not necessary was liberating to me, and literally changed every single relationship in my life. With my teachers, my friends, my family, the people I walked past in the hallways. And today, it informs my relationship to my magic. Right now I am working the Iron Pentacle, and we are on the Sex point. Like so many of us, I have a complicated and uncomfortable relationship with sex. Working this point has brought up a lot of that. In talks with magical friends, there has been a lot of “UCK, it’s just UCK” exasperations coming from me. But I’ve learned how to be uncomfortable, and I’ve learned that being uncomfortable is usually a sign of spiritual growth. There is a terrible saying in 12 step programs that makes everyone groan—“Pain is the touchstone of spiritual growth.” We usually insert a ”motherfucking” in there somewhere.
When I get to that place of pain, my reaction is to want to….cut all my hair off. Quit my job. Cheat on my taxes or my husband. Run away, anywhere. Do SOMETHING to blot out the feelings I am having, the emotions that are being brought up. But today I have the option to consider Isa and move into a position of inaction. Keep silent and wait for more to be revealed. Become open to the idea that forces larger than I are at work and they are unfolding a bigger mystery to me.
Today I open to the power of inaction and the power of silence. Thank you for revealing these gifts.