Palmistry is a method of interpreting the shape of the hand and the lines of the palm, to project the character and possible life experiences of an individual. The science is divided into two broad areas: the study of hand structure, or cheirology, and the study of the lines of the palm, or cheiromancy
TYPES OF HANDS
The essence of palmistry lies in identifying the hand type, which can be attributed to individual characteristics:
The Elementary Hand: This is characterized by stiff, heavy, short fingers and a short thumb. Other traits are a thick, hard, square palm, shapeless fingertips, and rough and leathery skin. The person with the elementary hand displays a lack of enthusiasm and imagination. They show a general indifference to life, and are concerned only with daily existence. This person is largely intolerant of a nasty situation, and can get violent when provoked.
The Spatulate Hand: As the name suggests, the fingers of this hand are flattened like a spatula. The most characteristic feature is the large thumb. It is extremely broad near the base and tapers towards the fingers. This hand belongs to the imaginative. These people have a quest for knowledge, and a restless and excitable nature. They are energetic and dexterous, and thrive on taking risks.
The Psychic Hand: This is a small and slender hand, characterized by smooth fingers. The palm is medium in size, and the nailed phalanges are long and tapering. The thumb is small and elegant. People with this hand have a visionary and dreamy nature. They are interested in occult sciences. Persons with this hand shape lead a chaotic life, characterized by a lack of discipline.
The Conical Hand: This hand has smooth fingers, the nails of which are shaped like cones, giving the hand its name. The palm is broad, thick and large, and the thumb is also unusually huge. People with this hand are usually connoisseurs of the arts with superb communication skills, and a love for the arc lights. On the flip side, this person is impulsive and has a short temper.
The Square Hand: The square hand has a square palm, a square wrist, and the fingertips are also square. While the fingers are largely knotty, this hand is characterized by a large thumb and a square finger base. People with square hands are blessed with perseverance. They are downright conventional and love general order. They are honest and reliable, and like to lead disciplined lives, with little imagination. Profession: This hand usually belongs to businessmen, executives, lawyers, doctors, scientists and engineers.
The Intellectual Hand: This is a long and angular hand, with bony fingers and knotty joints. The palm is large and bony, and the nailed phalanges are part conical and part square. The philosophic hand belongs to those who spare a thought for the less fortunate. They are blessed with the ability to understand the metaphysical aspect of life. They are gifted with analytical powers and are adept at keeping secrets.
THE HAND’S IMPORTANT LINES
The Life Line: The life line starts between the thumb and the index finger. It then touches the wrist, curving widely around the thumb. This line indicates longevity, vitality, and the quality of life. An absent life line shows a sluggish and high-strung person, with a tremendous nervous energy. A long and regular line indicates an excellent equilibrium and a healthy constitution. A faint line indicates a lack of endurance, or a dull and uneventful life. If the line is forked at its beginning, it shows the person as just, truthful, loyal and dependable. On the other hand, if the line ends in a fork, the person suffers from frail health and experiences a lack of energy. A faint line indicates a life of misery, while a clear line suggests a smooth life. A double line is typical of the security offered by a loved one of the opposite sex. It also indicates a healthy sexual life. Branches in the life line make a strong statement about the fortunes of the individual. While upward branches show achievement, glory and success, drooping branches indicate financial, social and emotional loss. A long and deep line shows an abundance of energy, and single-minded determination to reach goals.
The Heart Line: The heart line runs horizontally across the upper palm. The length of the line has a general impact on a person's health. It rules a person's emotions and relationships. An absent line is indicative of a person high on logic and reason, who could even be ruthless in order to reach the top. The length of the line plays an important role in determining a person's attitude to relationships. While a short line indicates a highly self-centred person, a long line belongs to a person who has a highly idealistic vision of love. A very long line, touching both sides of the palm, shows a person highly dependent on relationships. This could even lead to promiscuity. A deep and straight line indicates jealousy and criminal tendencies. On the flip side, if the line is clear and deep, the person is sincere, respectful and considerate. A deep line indicates a highly stressful life. Branches arising from the line suggest a strong interest in the opposite sex. If the line has drooping branches, it shows a poor relationship. The heart line can also be read in relation to other lines. A slight curve towards the head line shows a person with an intellectual bend of mind.
The Fate Line: This line rises from the base of the palm, dividing the palm into halves. An absent fate line shows a person who is self-made and diligent. These people plan their entire life with meticulous detail, and leave very little to chance. A fork in the beginning shows a traumatic childhood. This will lead to conflict, but the person will choose the right path later in life. A double line implies insecurity.
The branches of the fate line indicate the rise and fall of fortunes. A rising fate line indicates a successful career with great opportunities for prosperity. Dropping lines mean heavy losses, failure, and disappointments. A wavering line shows an indecisive and lethargic person who lives life on a totally materialistic level. An unusually deep line reveals an inheritance, and success that is handed down.
Judging by the number of hands painted in prehistoric caves it would seem the human hand held a interest for humans since the stone age. Archeologists have discovered hands made of stone, wood and ivory by ancient civilizations. The emperor of China used his thumbprint when sealing documents in 3000 BC. Aristotle (384-322 BC) discovered a treatise on palmistry on an altar to the god Hermes.
Greek physicians Hippocrates and Galen (AD 130-200) knew of the use of palmistry as a clinical aid while Julius Caesar (102-44 BC) was said to have relied on palmistry to judge his men. Information on the practice of hand reading has also been found in the Bible and other religious texts. At one point, the practice of palmistry was forced underground, branded as a form of devil worshiping by the Catholic Church. Anyone found to have an interest was quickly murdered. But, as the church began to lose its influence in society, common sense prevailed.
Notable people such as Paracelsus, an alchemist, physician, astrologer, and general occultist (1493-1541) and Robert Fludd, a prominent English Rosicrucian and Paracelsian physicist, astrologer, and mystic (also, the son of Sir Thomas Fludd, a high-ranking governmental official under Queen Elizabeth I), (1574-1637) brought respectability to palmistry through their writings. Later Dr Carl Carus, physician to the king of Saxony in the 19th century matched palms to personality. Advances in genetics, psychology and forensics have propelled palmistry into the modern age.