And the earth becomes my throne
I adapt to the unknown
Under wandering stars I’ve grown
By myself but not alone
I ask no-one
And my ties are severed clean
The less I have the more I gain
Off the beaten path I reign
Rover, wanderer, nomad, vagabond
Call me what you will
But I’ll take my time anywhereWherever I May Roam – Metallica
I’m free to speak my mind anywhere
And I’ll never mind anywhere
Anywhere I roam
Where I lay my head is home
Metallica – 1991
At last, our Hero has had the courage to accept the keys and step behind the veil. We now see him as a wanderer, stripped of his glory as a Charioteer. He resembles an older version of our friend The Fool. But this time, instead of finding learning outside of himself he must look inside. He holds a lantern up to cast light for his search yet the light shines only back onto/into himself. This presents the paradox – to see the way forward is to look within.
The learned wanderer is quite a common and evocative image that occurs in stories from Merlin the wandering magician to Hollywood stories of educated vagabonds. History often remembers these people as great teachers (eg. Jesus). I think that this limits the perspective of the image, as when you think carefully, no-one can ever teach you anything… all they can do is show another possible way, another thing about nature, about yourself. It is up to the individual to learn from himself which directions & methods are useful for a successful life.
At some time in our lives, we all feel the “call of the wild”, when there is a great need to go in search of what we truly are. Like the person in the song, this can only really be achieved on our own; the ability to know & be our own self. Once we become more aware of our self it matters less where we are as we are more self-reliant. This self-reliance is very important to our ability to proceed in our journey of growth.
This time can appear to be thrust upon us by external circumstances like loss of a job or relationship. Look back and there will be a catalyst somewhere where you wanted this freedom (even if it feels like chains). Use this time to find the light again. The light is in your real “heart’s desire” – which may not actually look like what you think it should at all.
Looking within. Reflection. Knowledge of self. A teacher. The teacher within. Self-reliance. Informal learning. Aloneness. A feeling of loss. Isolation. A dark or lonely time, resolved by understanding from within.