An I Ching Meditation to further illuminate the Mars/Saturn opposition and simultaneous Saturn/Uranus trine:
* The 56th hexagram of the I Ching is called “The Wanderer,” and it depicts a time of transition, traveling, and uncertainty
* The 56th hexagram also denotes times after an abundance of activity, or gain…after these times there is an immediate period of weakness, uncertainty, danger, or even a “lull”
* Hexagram 56 is also about the open space we find ourselves in after a tradition, structure, or familiar set of rules, habits, or patterns, have collapsed or are in the process of falling apart
* The instructions of Hexagram 56 include modesty, patience, and humility. The traveler doesn’t push his or her own agenda, the traveler is cautious, the traveler is frugal, the traveler conserves his or her energy, the traveler doesn’t take things for granted, the traveler doesn’t assume anything will be there to support him or her, the traveler knows that waiting and watching, listening and praying, will bring good fortune during times of uncertainty, during times of transition and wandering.
* The 56th hexagram also talks about how difficult it is to make progress or to pursue our ambitions when we are temporarily in the position of being the stranger in the strange land, or when we find ourselves in a rather uncertain moment or period of time. However, the I Ching also reminds us that these periods are natural, regularly occurring, and usually following periods of great accumulation, development, activity, or gain.
* A simple example. Let’s say you start your day with a simple cup of tea or coffee. It helps activate and awaken you, and pretty soon you feel that surge of energy and productivity and off you go! By noon you’ve accomplished a lot, but not nearly as much as you told yourself you would by the end of the day. At just this moment you become the wanderer. Your caffeine buzz is wearing off, and suddenly you’re faced with the overwhelming temptation to drink your second cup. You tell yourself that you could easily get even more done if you just reup your caffeine meter. But what would really happen? You might get more done while also become more agitated, more worried, more critical of the work you’re doing, you might lose control and eat all of the cake in the office, collapse at your desk from a sugar high, force yourself to wake up through a third cup of coffee, and then go home where you have an emotional meltdown with your spouse and kids, and by the end of the day you’re thinking, “I’m a mess. My life is a mess.”
* The traveler is the one who recognizes the come down and says, “I recognize this is the time for modesty, for awareness, for stillness, for patience, for avoiding rash or hasty decisions, for being frugal, and for being content with the small gains I’ve made so far and whatever else may come to me at this time.” So, you avoid the temptation to take your second cup of coffee.
* The 56th hexagram depicts wild fires on the mountain and says, “Catastrophic to man, a passing annoyance to the mountain.” In the I Ching the Mountain is also an image of meditation, stillness, and the power of non-action. During times of transition, when things slow down, the addiction to action tempts us to press forward when and where there is no support. These waves of action, from the perspective of the mountain, are a fleeting thing, not worth getting embroiled in (taking the metaphorical second cup of coffee).
* The second line of the 56th hexagram talks about finding an inn to stay at, along with a faithful servant.
* When we recognize times of anti-climax within a larger transformational process, and when we meet the moment with modesty, frugality, economy, simplicity, and patience, staying focused on the slow, steady, path of the noble work we are doing, the Universe provides us with temporary lodging, comfort, and support, and whatever lull we might find ourselves in also acts to provide us with whatever we might need in order to keep going. However, this support doesn’t come to those who push, push, push, and grab for that second cup of coffee.
* The 56th hexagram I received this morning for these transits changes into Hexagram 1, the creative.
* Simply put, the path described above leads back to an expanded time of enormous creativity, productivity, and newness.
* Large transformations occur just as much in non-action, waiting, and the lulls, as much as they do in the appearance of dynamic opportunities, events, emotions, and enthusiasm. However, they move in a never-ending cycle with one another.
* The real liberation lies in recognizing the entirety of the cycle as we are in the midst of it. The traveler possesses nothing, has no home, needs nothing, and by doing so finds comfort and companionship, support and ease on the never-ending road.
* Often enough, when we pass on that second cup of coffee, sometime later in the afternoon we experience a tremendous and natural surge of energy, but it comes from the heart, and guides us and supports us in ways that our noontime second cup of coffee “to-do list,” could not have planned for.
This I Ching reading wonderfully highlights the moment we find ourselves in. A moment of anticlimax within a revolutionary season, a moment where things are “relatively” slowed down, and yet nothing is as it was and we sense there are more big changes coming.
Prayer: Teach us to be like the wise traveler, and show us the way to your comforting inns.