A How-To guide for those changing their patterns: 1. Regrets are useless unless you intend on making amends. 2. Nothing is more dependable than an animal’s unconditional love. 3. Vices are to be enjoyed with intention. The most important advice, however, is to launch yourself forward knowing the universe will catch you. If it doesn’t, at least you can enjoy the feeling of flying before you land.
Strain recommendation: Wappa
“Respect the process,” says patience. “Tell them what’s what,” says ego. “Cut them loose, says the lone wolf. You do better with support,” says the team. All of these conflicting voices need to take a back seat to the principle guide for this week—instinct. What do your gooey inner workings whisper when you question your current status? If you can’t hear it over the din, I can help. Write a list of all your options, identify where each originates, take the remainder, eliminate the extreme ones—those that make you feel sick to your stomach or overly excited or off the hook. The boring one that is left, the one that seems quite obvious and simple—that’s the one to listen to. Strain recommendation: The One
If you Google “famous Geminis” you’ll find a list of some of the world’s most contentious and scandalous celebrities. No surprise to you, I imagine. You’re familiar with the highs and lows that regularly usurp your life. It has seemed as natural to you as the color of your eyes. This week will be the antithesis of your status quo: simple, still and flat. Instead of finding ways to destroy this peace with any measure of ridiculously outlandish behavior, I propose you sit with the madding discomfort of calm and learn how to survive what normalcy feels like for the rest of us, if for no other reason than to have greater patience for our boring stories. Strain recommendation: The Truth
I randomly put on an album that I haven’t listened to in years while composing your scope—The Kids are Alright by The Who, and the song “Happy Jack” presented itself to me as a message to you. “But they couldn’t stop Jack, or the waters lapping, and they couldn’t prevent Jack from feeling happy.” The obvious interpretation is for you to carry on no matter who tries to bring you down, but I am deciphering it as such: instead of doggedly continuing on your chosen path while nasty kids throw things at your back, why not stop, turn around and roar like a lion? Scare the crap out of the little buggers and then be happy as you recall how the gang leader pooped himself from fear. Strain recommendation: California Orange
There were a few summer evenings during my childhood when our father would come in the front door with a delighted and mischievous grin. He’d beckon us all to follow him outside. We’d put on our shoes, asking too many questions; he’d silently lead us outdoors, always with that smile. We’d walk to the edge of the driveway, then to the corner of our street, then up the hill, guessing out loud all the way as to what we were doing. At some point, we’d stop asking and fall in silent step with dad, our expectations finally in harmony with the magic of the moment. Ultimately, the surprise would be a family of sweet raccoon babies in a tree or a beautiful moon in the sky—but the impression that truly lasted was learning the joy of relaxing into everyday magic. Strain recommendation: Blue Diamond
Why is snacking so satisfying? A full meal should be enough to carry you to the next one, but we insist on grazing upon small bits of food, usually in bags, with too much salt or sugar, throughout the day. Why does it feel so good? Is it the animal within, proud to have found an extra food source because we are such good hunters? Is it our reward center convincing ourselves in reverse that we must have done something good to deserve a treat? Because the food is in small bits, we deceive ourselves that it won’t impact our body as much as a full meal, right? Stop blowing your appetite on garbage; the real stuff is coming soon enough. Strain recommendation: Tangie
Trying to make a good impression leaves only the impression that you are trying. I just made that up, but it sounds good, doesn’t it? I can usually smell ingratiating maneuvers from a mile away and they immediately turn me off, yet when I am confronted by someone new that I want to impress, I feel quite let down if they are not generous about my fumblings or awkwardness. I see them as slightly cruel and shallow. Can you see the people who want to gain your attention? If their desire is due to an authentic appreciation of your you-ness, are you kind or cold? Much can be learned about how you value yourself by how cool you deem someone who unabashedly likes you. Would you want to join a club that would have someone like you as a member? Strain recommendation: Alpha Blue
You’ve always had the ability to manipulate people, and this week that talent is looming large. The current planetary lineup is like a power-up bonus in the video game of your life, and you are Super Mario bopping up against it repeatedly. So what to do with this abundance of energy? Put it towards guiding the vulnerable to their best possible outcomes or destroy all enemies in your path? With great power comes great responsibility. Strain recommendation: Montana Silvertip
I met a bird yesterday. His name is Tony, and he is a Lovebird. He was found by my friend on the street, and she nursed him back to health; now he is her loving friend. He is many colors and as lovely as can be. I cupped him in my hand, let him rest on my chest, even crawl under my shirt and rest on my shoulder. Then something startled him and he became a claw-ful bundle of pain. I knew instantly that it was my own fault to have allowed such a sensitive creature to rest on such a vulnerable place, but I couldn’t help myself since the feeling of the little guy nestling into me was so sweet. The lesson here is to remember that even the cutest stuff can turn vicious under strenuous circumstances. Strain recommendation: Lemon G
A lot of sitting down is happening this week. You are on the computer, the couch, at the desk, on the bus; your legs are not circulating much blood. Neither is your brain, nor your libido. The remedy is obviously to get some movement happening, but your will to do it is somewhat lacking. What is getting in your way? Is there a fear stopping you from releasing your energy? There is a comfort in stillness: a lack of responsibility due to the lack of action. It’s understandable after the repercussions you have felt from your recent months of exploration, but hiding from effect by creating no cause is not the answer. Strain Recommendation: Golden Pineapple
Congratulations on finally stepping up and sounding off. You let them transgress your limits time and time again, hoping that they would sense your displeasure, and now you understand that not everyone is as sensitive to your needs as you are to theirs. Some people need to be told, straight up, to listen. You gathered your courage and spoke your peace. Now you must wait to see if they had any useful effect. While you wait, think about why you let it go on for so long and how soon you will put the kibosh on it next time. Strain recommendation: Great White Shark
“If you have no objections, we’d just like to sit here and observe,” they said. You agreed, but a sinking feeling told you that there is more to their sudden interest in your technique than a learning opportunity. Your style is being checked. The way you do your thang has garnered interest, not just from admirers, but also from those who may have a say in your future plans. Don’t let their eyes deter you from your given task—keep your focus and your hand steady. Tiger eyes on the prize! A casual conversation could be a secret interview or an evaluation, you never know. Strain recommendation: Zkittlez
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