Palmistry Basics

I read my first palm when I was eight years old. It was a chilly day on the playground and I don’t remember why I started looking at my classmate’s dirty hands, but I do remember how it ended. I was about to make a profound pronouncement of fate, when Miss T grabbed me by the ear, dragged me into the school, up the stairs to the principal’s office and firmly deposited me onto a chair opposite his desk. Miss T had been a teacher since Calvin Coolidge had been president and she didn’t put up with Tomfoolery, especially hand-holding, on her playground. I got off with a warning and a sore ear.

I’ve read thousands of palms since that morning. One of my favorite palm reading experiences was at a zoo, near the elephant enclosure. I’d been hired to read hands for a company picnic held there. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I saw several remarkable hands that most palmists only get to read about. I read over 100 palms that day. I saw a perfect pentagram in the palm of a young lady, as well as a quadruple life line and the most complicated hands I’ve ever seen.To this day, the smell of elephant dung brings back fond memories.

Using the hand as a focus for divination and personality analysis is an ancient art. It’s still actively practiced all over the world, and will be for a long time to come, because it works. During the Victorian Era, attempts were made to turn it into a science, with bizarre results, some of them causing problems. The “Murderer’s Thumb,” is an example. Good people who had this trait were branded as dangerous. One of the kindest persons I ever met had such a thumb.

Let’s keep palmistry an art and leave the science out of it.

With practice, palmistry can help you to know who individuals are really, regardless of how they may try to disguise their true nature. Palmistry isn’t as hard as some make it out to be and has the benefit of not needing any special paraphernalia. I’m honored to share some of my views on the subject, as well as the basics of what it will take for you to get started in palm reading. Be prepared, for palmistry is uncannily accurate once you get the hang of it, so have fun, but do take it seriously and enjoy the adventure.

Palmistry Basics

Most palmists read much more than the palm. Chiromancy is the proper name of divination with the hand, but palmistry has become the generic term. The shape of the hand, length of fingers, both individually and as a group, the fleshy pads of the hand known as mounts, the knuckles, flexibility of the thumb, the way the hand is held, its color, fingernails and other traits are all taken into account. Of course, we read the lines of the hand, but they’re only a part of the puzzle. The key is to learn that puzzle piece-by-piece and not try to figure it all out at once.

How to Read Palms

What follows is some of what goes into palmistry. Some techniques are traditional and others my personal points of view. Ultimately, you’ll develop your own style and discover that experience is the best teacher.

How to Read Palms: Learn About the Life, Head, Heart and Fate Lines

The Shape of the Hand

Much is made in classical palmistry about the shape of the hand. I’ve studied it extensively and have finally come to the conclusion that whether a person has a Fire, Water, Air or Earth Hand is relatively unimportant. It’s far more valuable to look at a hand and ask yourself some simple questions. For example, does this person like to work with their hands? Is this the hand of a deep thinker? Is this person philosophical, or do they simply accept whatever comes their way? Is this hand impulsive? Does this person have psychic abilities? You’ll be surprised at how quickly the answers come and how accurate you are. After all, you’ve been observing hands all your life. It isn’t cheating to look at callouses, rings or other identifying features of the hands; it’s all part of the process.

The Hands Tell a Tale

Look at both hands. The dominant hand will reflect the interaction of the person with the “regular, real world,” while the other hand will show the less-known side, the subconscious and even their most secret desires, often unknown to them.

Don’t Forget the Back of the Hand

Knuckles can reveal more about a person than you might imagine, as will coloration and the general appearance of the hand itself. While looking at the back, take a gander at the fingernails. There are many theories regarding the shape and condition of fingernails, but the best advice is to allow your intuition to guide you. The key is to pay attention to details and to begin with people you know so you can apply what you’ve learned. In time you’ll find patterns that will invariably lead you to the truth.

Knuckles

Fingers with knobby, large knuckles often belong to people who are deeply philosophical, or analytical. They think things through and can often be stubborn. That analytical mind can be a great benefit, or a hindrance, depending upon the situation. Smooth knuckles are considered to be a sign of openness of mind and a willingness to accept situations. Some people consider smooth knuckles to be a sign of gentility and sensitivity, but that’s an archaic holdover from another era.

The truth is that you will usually see a mix of knuckle size and shape in hands. The proper analysis of these joints will depend upon the finger itself, as well as which knuckle is affected. With that in mind, let’s move on to the digits.

Fingers

Each finger is related to one of the planets. This system draws upon astrology as a model and allows the hand to become a reflection of a person’s chart. With this system, each finger has a specific story to tell, as well as the corresponding “mounts” beneath them and around the hand.

The forefinger is ruled by Jupiter. The middle finger is Saturn. The ring finger belongs to Apollo/the Sun, and the little finger to Mercury. The thumb is ruled by Venus. Mars is found in the plain of Mars, the central part of the hand itself. The Moon rules the lower percussion, or side, of the hand.

By noting the length of fingers, we get a good idea of what’s the most important focus of someone’s life and where their skills lie. For example, someone with a very short Mercury finger may not have great skills with money, or the ability to keep it once made. In some hands, we may notice that the fingers seem to be bending toward the Apollo, or ring, finger. We can assume that they have a strong sense of self, may be highly confident, or are thrust into the public eye. Many celebrities have such fingers. A long first, Jupiter finger implies leadership abilities and love of life, although it can also indicate engaging in fun activities or infidelity in relationships. The middle finger, ruled by Saturn, can show common sense, wisdom, the tendency to take life seriously and sound judgment, as well as a depressed personality or stubbornness and a lack of frivolity. Of course, all of these are only basic guidelines and need to be studied in real-life situations in order to be properly learned.

The fleshly bumps at the base of the fingers reflect the condition of certain energies. For example, an extremely pronounced mount at the base of the thumb is said to show great desire and physical urges. No mount at all represents quite the opposite.

The Thumb

The thumb can be an indicator of a person’s happiness, focus and desire. People have learned from body language experts that hiding our hands, or holding them in a specific way, can create trust or mistrust, but our thumbs never lie. They can reveal immense willpower or a total lack of such. They betray the habitual liar and show us to who's punctual. It’s beyond the scope of this article to delve further into this, but I’ll give you a couple of pointers.

Consider the thumb to consist of two parts, the top part of the thumb, with the nail, and the bottom that connects to the hand. The bottom part is considered to be indicative of our desires, those things that we deeply crave, while the top is linked to our strength of will. I’ve found this to be accurate. A short top thumb joint may indicate an impulsive person who acts before thinking things through. A large top part of the thumb can belong to someone who plans carefully and doesn’t act before the time is right. Knowing this about someone, especially if you conduct some sort of business with them, can make the difference between a successful outcome or a problematic one. Incidentally, if you’re dealing with someone who continually hides their thumbs, be cautious.

What Do the Lines on Your Hands Mean?

The lines that mark the palm of the hand change throughout our life, subtly but definitely. I’ve watched my own hand change over the decades, accurately showing me where I’ve been and am most likely headed.

Life Line

The most famous of lines is the life line. It has been misrepresented in popular media as an indicator of the duration of life. I met a woman in her 90s who had an extremely short life line all her life. A palmist told her, at the age of eight, that she wouldn’t live much beyond 20 due to her short life line. She gave me mischievous look and asked me how long I thought she’d live. Luckily, she gave me wink to let me know she was only kidding. In her case, the short life line was an indication that her life was uncomplicated and without considerable changes. In fact, she’d never traveled farther than the county seat and had no intention to do so. The lifeline can show many specifics regarding the quality and consistency of life, but it shouldn’t be proclaimed as much more, unless great skill has been achieved in reading palms. I have a long life line, but then again I feel myself to be truly blessed.

Head Line

The head line begins near the life line and swings across the palm, toward the edge of the hand. Head lines that reach the edge, to the Mount of the Moon, are said to show psychic ability.

Heart Line

The heart line starts at the edge of the hand, underneath the Mercury finger, and heads toward the Jupiter and Saturn fingers. It is said to show emotional depth and volatility.

Fate Line

The line of fate starts at the wrist and makes its way straight up to the finger of Saturn, if we are lucky. It shows good fortune, or a lack of it. Of all the lines, this one seems to change the most in a lifetime.

The study of these lines and lines that cross, connect and spiral upon them is where the artistry of palmistry comes into play. I’ll leave it you to discover your own meanings through study, but the real power of palmistry will only come through the doing. You’ll learn quickly if you seek answers sincerely and with an open mind. Most importantly, never forget that regardless of how skeptical someone is, the holding of their hand is an intimate process, and peering into their life a remarkably personal and influential act. Always choose your words carefully and ethically.

If you approach palmistry with sincerity and respect, you’ll never lack for volunteers, or for a source of wonder.

Until next time, I wish you all peace and love.

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