Every so often, perhaps once or twice a year or less, perhaps at a crossroads in my life, perhaps during times of doubt or despair, always seriously and sparingly — I consult the I Ching. I did this the night before last. The throw of three coins six times produced hexagram 62, Thunder on the Mountain (title of the first track on Bob Dylan's Modern Times album!): Hsiao Kuo/Preponderance of the Small. After converting the changing lines to their opposites (I had just one, top line number 6) as you are supposed to do for a more exact reading, this led me to hexagram 56, Fire over the Mountain: Lü/The Wanderer or Pilgrim. I combined the import of both these hexagrams.
Without going into the technicalities of interpretation, I'll give a brief summary of what I gleaned from my reading. My source books were: I Ching Or Book Of Changes translated by Richard Wilhelm with a foreword by CG Jung, The I Ching Or Book Of Changes: A Guide To Life's Turning Points by Brian Browne Walker and Total I Ching: Myths For Change by Stephen Karcher.
In a great storm the wise bird returns to her nest and waits patiently. (Hsiao Kuo)
We are all wanderers in the Unknown. Those who travel beside the Sage are protected from harm. (Lü)
These are difficult and dangerous times — but it's no solution to struggle or be aggressive. Wait patiently for guidance, bide you time, fly low and safe. Don't react with fear, panic or anger. Take non-action rather than action. Be humble, accepting, independent, reliant on your own resources, flexible, adaptable. Think small, take small steps, do small not big things. Don't lose the ground (mountain) under your feet by trying to fly too high (into thunder or fire). Retreat into your centre and stay focused. Harness the power of the yin, the dark, the moon, the feminine, the subtle, the hidden.
This is a time of transition, of being a stranger in a strange land. You have few real friends, but the friendships you do have are incredibly deep and meaningful. Survival depends on treating strangers with tolerance, generosity, modesty, gentleness, caution, sensitivity and lack of pretension, avoiding all disagreement and conflict. Then you will never be alone. Be reserved but also yielding. You are an exile on a quest, a wanderer, a bird flying low through liminal places and spaces. Be open as far as you can, but also be on your guard. Ultimately there is the chance of creative and alchemical transformation.