You don’t know who you are. I get it. For a few years or months you were able to put your faith in the stars, certain that understanding how your sun, moon, and Saturn signs align would give you the secret knowledge of who to love and who to shun. 

But the stars were mistaken. Despite matching every compatibility on Co-Star, they broke your heart. How can you ever trust the stars again? 

You can’t. Trust the machines instead.

“The machines!?” you ask indignantly. “Aren’t machines capricious and devilish by nature?”

That’s very wise of you to consider, but I’m not talking here about those hunks of lithium and microchip brains we call “machines.” I’m talking about the true machines: the simple machines.

Lever, pulley, inclined plane, wheel and axle, wedge, and screw.

While no person’s personality can be entirely defined by one simple machine, it should be obvious to most of you that everyone has one dominant machine type determining how they interact with the world and those around them. Below are some of the dominant personality types of different machines I’ve discovered in my research, but you should trust your own gut when thinking about your internal machine.

Lever: Levers are doers. A lever matches your energy and amplifies it. A lever stays up all night and then climbs a mountain the next day. If you’re friends with a lever, you’ll never run out of fun things to do, but you might find yourself a bit overwhelmed trying to follow them to three parties in one night. If you’re someone who sleeps five hours a night, is president of three clubs, and already knows where you’re going to grad school, you might be a lever!

Inclined Plane: The inclined plane may not seem exciting at first, but they are a steady and nurturing presence. If you just put in a bit of work to get to know a plane, they will make that work seem much easier by reducing the force and increasing the distance over which it’s applied. While a plane can be a great friend to have, they tend to sometimes be walked on, not being willing to put up much of a fight. The inclined plane is also the mother of two other machines: the wedge and the screw. This motherhood gives the plane much of its instinct to protect others.

Pulley: When a pulley gets pulled one way, it’s gonna move in the other direction. You might find groups of pulleys hanging out together, multiplying their mechanical advantage to lift those around them. If you ever find yourself feeling down, find a pulley to envelop you in their gentle lifting arms. Watch out for those pockets though! Despite their gentle nature, pulleys are the most larcenous of all the machines.

Wheel and Axle: Wheel and axles are free spirits, happy to move wherever their momentum takes them. Don’t mistake that freedom for carelessness though. Once a wheel makes a hard decision about where to go, they can stay on that path (supposing no obstacles get in their way). Sometimes they might need someone to keep them on the right direction, as they can move too fast and accidentally run over those in their way. Having one of these great machines by your side can keep your life on the fast track. 

Wedge: Wedges can’t resist a challenge. When given a task, a good wedge will figure out exactly every step of what it needs to do, opening up new possibilities like an ax (sharp wedge) opening wood. On the other hand, a bad wedge might force their way of thinking onto others, and can sometimes hurt those around them when they feel pressured or have force applied to them. 

Screw: If you’re a little  hussy, harlot, tramp, vagabond, or couch-surfer you might be a screw! A screw will come into your life and twist you into knots falling over them. A little fella might find themself on the Sisyphian treadmill on climbing to the top of a screw, or watching mesmerized as it turns, never seeming to rise or fall. I try not to talk poorly of any machine, but I’ll warn you now. DO NOT trust a screw.

Sail: Oh, you forgot about the sail? The sail isn’t surprised — it’s not the first time that’s happened. Most people don’t even think of the sail when they’re discussing ‘chines with friends, but she doesn’t really mind. The sail thrives in the solitude of the sea. She flourishes on the beach, and she’s gonna dance in the wind whether or not any friends show up to her party. The sail could easily be considered the “sigma” of the machine world, but in a cute and fun way.

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