The HIGH TIMES astrological forecast, complete with strain recommendations!
Neuroscientists are discovering that MDMA might be critical in treating PTSD. CBD helps relieve inflammation and induces relaxation. According to The New Yorker, “…research on psilocybin and other psychedelics has been ramping up, producing results that show potential for treatment of disorders such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, addiction, and more.” It probably comes as no surprise to the informed HIGH TIMES reader that many of the drugs many believed to be harmful are actually medicinal if taken responsibly. The cosmos are asking you to borrow this mode of thought and apply it to your personal history this month. Something you deemed as damaging or even toxic in your past may yet contain a undiscovered lesson if you can reinvestigate it with the clarity of distance and the responsibility of an adult human seeking healing. (note: this does not apply to reintroducing dangerous people into your life or putting yourself in threatening situations – please only examine the past events, don’t relive them) Strain recommendation: The Dessert
A lovely toddler I know and love called Theodore pronounces his name ‘video store’. Each time he says it I feel my heart grow in size just like the Grinch’s. Little kids say cute shit all the time, and we are biologically made up to go gooey when they do, so why do I find this particularly touching? At first I thought it was the melancholic, anachronistic effect of a tiny person thinking he is named after something we loved so much but won’t exist by the time he can understand what it is. Now I believe it has more to do with the idea of naming ourselves. When I am told someone’s name it often means little more than “this is the noise you should make if you want my attention”. This month, the cosmos want you to meditate on the sounds your inner self craves, be they ones that bring comfort or strength, joy or respect. An experiment I put to you is to ask to be called by that name during September, and keep your soul open to what inner shifts may come of it. Strain recommendation: Joliet Jake
Stop it. Just stop. Whatever it is that is dragging down your joy, or comfort, just make it end. Stop: biting your nails, eating crap, being lazy, driving everywhere, being late, being mean, drinking so much, watching too much TV, compulsively checking your social media, wishing you were somewhere else, blaming other people for your shit, getting mad at strangers, bailing on your dreams, drinking soda, getting irritable, stealing, pissing everyone off, not listening, being hard on yourself, punching things, hating your life, hating your job, hating your family, hating people for being different, gossiping, drinking coffee late at night, staying up to play video games, chronically masturbating, denying yourself pleasure or love, ignoring your responsibilities, being unkind to those who love you unconditionally… no more warnings or pleas are coming; it’s time for you to simply take control of your life. No point in ultimatums now ’cause you know how this will go down. You just might be surprised how quickly it’ll come, especially since you’ve been lulled into thinking you’ve been getting away with it for so long without any real consequences. Strain recommendation: Lennon
I recently caught one of those achingly cute videos that get passed around about a dog that has been trained to clean beaches and the ocean floor of garbage. The owner turned activities that the dog enjoys (swimming, diving, retrieving) into a way to help the environment. Ignoring the sad fact that it takes a sweet dog to clean our nasty human mess, this does have a hopeful message in it about turning something you love into helpfulness. You have a little hole inside you that needs filling with selfless acts of kindness: might as well kill two birds and do something fun at the same time. Of course I could suggest using your knitting skills to make mini sweaters for birds caught in oil spills, or your love of biking to deliver meals to shut-ins, but even just imagining the many ways you can be useful in this world is a powerful activity, so get thinking. Strain recommendation: Serious Happiness
Who’s got a belly full of fire and a story to tell? You do! Yeah that’s right, it’s your month to rage it out. Speak your heart, smell the rubber burn as you speed down your righteous path, hear your voice rise above the din of suppressive naysayers, taste the freedom that comes with not giving a shit, and feel the power surge from your soul. No more playing it safe, you’ve spent enough time on THEIR feelings. You have some truth to lay down, and no one can do that for you, so batter up! Sure there may be some consequences, but nothing worse than the sickness you will create if you keep pressure cooking your beliefs for the sake of diplomacy. Strain recommendation: Atomic
Daily Vice has a fun little interview video with comedian Mike Birbiglia about the value of failure. As a comic, bombing on stage is a necessary part of developing your routine, and your thick skin. For the less adventurous, or insane, the fear of failure just stops keeps us from doing what we desperately yearn to do. Is it the implied humiliation that comes with losing that stops us? Or are we scared to find proof that our worst self-loathing fears are substantiated, thus triggering a lifelong depression? Whatever flavor is yours; most of us are victims in some form or another. Simply encouraging you to challenge this fear is a bit of cliché astronomical prediction, so I will take it one step further: if you face your rejection/failure fear this month, head on, without shame, and promise not to berate yourself if it all crumbles at your feet, then I can assure you some kickass good luck. To the victor go the spoils, and in this case, just trying makes you a winner. Strain recommendation: Mango Habanero
So of course as soon as I told everyone that I was looking for a good dance class to help me get in shape, I see the perfect fall/winter class being offered near my home, for not too much money, with a cool teacher, to which a few friends have already committed, happening on SATURDAY MORNINGS. This means waking up at 8:45am, during the winter months when the light has barely risen, to trudge through the snow and shake my fatigued booty just ’cause I declared to no one in particular that I am now “in training”. So I have a choice. Do I admit to myself that I am completely unwilling to follow through on my resolution, or do I sign up anyway, hoping that the embarrassment of paying and bailing will shame-force me into going? Why do we play these little games with ourselves? I am bargaining with unlikely scenarios and empty promises. My unwillingness increases every time I try to imagine the good times and healthy results because my bitch ass inner punk doesn’t like being told what to do, even if that thing is fun. What is this crazy mire of sticky self-crap I have waded into? You know what it is, cause you are right here with me, aren’t you? Torn between your defeatist, cynic self and the future you that has it all together. Pick a side already and commit to it. If you are a sloth, then be the best sloth ever! If not, then get off your furry butt. Strain recommendation: Fire Alien Strawberry
The brilliant filmmaker Michel Gondry’s most recent creation is Home Movie Factory, an interactive project that tours internationally. It invites groups of strangers to make a film together in 3 hours, using his unique story-creating process and an assortment of pre-made potential sets and costumes. The only stipulation is that participants enter the process with an empty mind. As I imagine signing up, I can already feel the tension and desire within me to arrive with pre-made ideas, to formulate wildly creative and inventive suggestions that will ensure our team will make the best movie ever. Whoa. Where did this needy, perfectionist and competitive spirit come from? Nothing like a silly, creative challenge to bring out your dark side! You may come across a similar opportunity to test yourself this month; take the time to really assess how easy it is for you to just let yourself be, to enjoy without expectation. You might be surprised by how unchill you really are. Strain recommendation: Anubis
Ozark is a cool new show on Netflix. The underrated Jason Bateman not only stars in it, but also produces and often directs as well. It took me a minute to stop thinking of him as the child star I grew up with when Arrested Development came out but his wicked comedic chops won me over entirely. Now I have to adjust my perceptions of him again to fully appreciate the dramatic actor and creator he is. I love when life sheds new light old preconceptions. You are going to be offered a quite a few opportunities to experience the same process of re-evaluation this month. The cosmos recommend taking advantage of every single chance it offers to open your mind to fresh ideas. Strain recommendation: Purple Rain
As the days of summer shorten, we grasshoppers who played all summer transform into little ants worried about keeping our bellies full during the hard winter to come. It’s not too late to start lining up your ducks, though you may be surprised to find that many industrious workers nabbed most of your options up last spring. Wow, life is being scheduled earlier and earlier, and really now is when you should be planning for next year at this time! Holy crap it’s so stressful and overwhelming. When did everyone get so far ahead of you? Was there a group meeting about how to plan your life that you missed? Stop fretting and jump into action. Think of Sept 1st as Jan 1st, and start the New Year off with a bunch of hard-core resolutions that will promptly kick you in the ass. Strain recommendation: Haze
What you need now is meditation, sweet meditation. Get in touch with the non-judgmental you; that quiet self that sits beyond the monkey brain and compassionately watches the circus antics you drag yourself through, every moment of every day. If you already meditate, then I would suggest upping the time or trying to new style, cause something is blocking those peaceful algorithms from engaging. What are you so afraid of looking at? Why does self-healing bring you distress? The Catch-22 being that to solve this issue you have to do the very thing you are frightened of is not lost on you, for sure. The bright light, though, is that the cosmos say that meditation should help give you the little bit of distance you need to help maneuver your confining dark corners. Strain recommendation: Congo
Do you have a friend, or relative, or pet, that just won’t participate in anything unless they were specifically invited to do so, in the proper way, with what they deem to be ‘enough’ advance warning? Aren’t they often the same people who back out of the plan at the last minute, or have so many specific requests or needs that you spend more time on them than you do all the rest of your invitees put together? What are these people really asking for? To be treated as a valuable member of your community: to be special to you. Whether this is a chronic personality issue they have or it’s just with you, they are in need of help. This month you will be dealing with a lot people who need your personal attention. You will find if you make it your mission to ease their emotional needs that their practical needs will lessen, as will the burden you feel to ensure their happiness. Strain recommendation: WTF
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