56: The Wanderer

Seasoned travelers know that special decorum is called for when venturing far from home. They must develop a more yielding personality so that their local contact, or host, can open doors and pave the way. Inwardly, the wanderer knows that it is sometimes difficult to discern the intentions of strangers: Are they hostile, or friendly, or merely opportunistic?

The twin houses of mystery and discovery rule any journey we take. Each new day is launched on a fresh landscape—one that reaches out to grab our attention. Travel is a great teacher and a great equalizer; there is an art to living on the road. Increased caution and discernment become the keys not only to success but to survival.

If you are entering a new environment, be sincere, flexible, and undemanding rather than stubborn. Get rid of attitudes and habits that could encumber you or make you too conspicuous. The onset of a great journey is not a favorable time to enter into binding agreements or to start new enterprises. And though being the wanderer offers you a certain freedom from being judged by your history, you also have no history to fortify you. Pay close attention to local customs, and honor them.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

When you are in a vulnerable position—as is any wanderer—do not become involved with trivial matters that are not your concern. Maintain your sense of purpose, and don’t allow yourself to be distracted. If forced into tempting circumstances, maintain your dignity and reserve; otherwise, misfortunes will happen. A traveler preoccupied with petty things is inviting bad luck. As ever, perseverance furthers.

Line 2

Two of the greatest assets of a traveler are modesty and a natural affection for people, even for those who are very different from yourself. A warm and open attitude should be cultivated whenever you find yourself in a new environment—much benefit will come from it. Also, the more ambitious the journey, the more beneficial it is to share it with a trustworthy companion.

Line 3

When a traveler in a strange place has no one to trust, the situation can become dangerous. If you meddle in affairs and controversies that do not concern you, you are taking a serious risk. If you are careless with those who are willing to help you, you will lose their support. Those who become arrogant in the company of those who are perceived to be “little,” are cut off at the knees. No place is safe for the ill behaved.

Line 4

There is a predicament for the traveler who takes up a temporary residence in a strange place: even though the traveler has managed to acquire a safe haven, he must remain alert, because he is not yet in full harmony with his surroundings. He may like where he has landed, but in his heart, he is still unsettled, for he has not yet arrived home.

Line 5

A skillful traveler shows good manners and wins acceptance. A time of success, promotion, and reward is indicated here. Those who learn to thrive in new places will prosper anywhere. This is supreme fortune!

Line 6 (top line)

A changing line in this position suggests a bird whose nest has burned up. The worst mistake a traveler can make is to forget that he or she is an outsider. Such forgetfulness produces carelessness, and such a traveler becomes lost. Carelessness on the path—or in any new situation—inevitably brings misfortune.