A Basic Overview of the Palm
The following presentation is meant to guide the reader in interpreting the lines and markings of the hand though a generalized, deductive approach. Though some texts provide examples of configurations of the hand for rote memorization, this author prefers to establish a generalized framework by which the intelligent cheiromancer may discern for themselves what the import of a specific set of markings mean, for there are far too many combinations of features of the hand for it to be worthwhile to memorize.
This overview is further divided into four sections:
Divisions of the Palm
The palm is divided into four sections, as indicated in the diagram to the left. These quadrants are divided by two lines. The line which divides the hand between inward perspective and outward perspective is roughly defined by the Line of Fate, though should this line be aberrant in any respect, it is the vertical line that would pass straight through the finger above the mount of Saturn. The line which separates the ideal from the material is more strictly defined as the division created by the Line of
A further explanation is warranted, and will begin with the division between inward and outward perspective.
An individual is often torn between two worlds--what he believes and how he expresses these beliefs, the difference between these two being known as cognitive dissonance. An individual may feel something very strongly, but may act upon them differently with others, perhaps to make themselves a martyr, perhaps to promote social harmony, or perhaps because they are willing to sacrifice some ideals for a greater good. A good example of this can be seen in the Mounts of Mars. The Mount of Lower Mars represents an individual's outward aggression, and lies in the demesne of outward perspective. Contained in the inward realm, however, is the Mount of Upper Mars, which signifies how stubborn an individual is with their beliefs. Both mounts relate to the same belief, but approach this belief from two different sides: The outward expresses this belief to others, while the inward is a true reflection of the individual's passions and thought processes.
The other division is how and to what extent an individual interacts with the material world versus the ideal world.
The optimal place to commence in this explanation is in the Line of Head itself. A steep, sloping Line of Head betokens a very creative, idealistic individual. The reason for this is not necessarily to be found in the slope, but the amount of area it allocates for the upper, ideal portion of the hand. An observer may well notice that a steep Line will devote much more space to matters of the mind, and consequently decrease space devoted to material concerns. And these material concerns are as what one may expect: money, food, spirits, athleticism, and other such things as take on a physical existence. This is where we find the Line of Life and the Line of Health, both of which deal with the physical constitution of the body. One who lives in a material world may be obese as a lover of food, or vainly opulent, indulging in luxuries and possessions. They operate well in matters of the world, for their drive to assume ever more possessions sparks many an entrepreneurial venture.
On the other side of this division lies those interested with ideas, such as scientists, spiritualists, artists, and priests. For them the collection of physical possessions is not nearly as important as the collection of ideas and feelings. It is in this realm that both the Line of Head and the Line of Heart exist, for one deals with ideas, the other with passions, both of which are utterly intangible. These individuals invent and inspire, but their intellectual dynamism is a powerful front for their frail, idealistic natures. As this is exclusively connected with the Line of Head, it is not surprising that a very steep Line may sometimes portend a tendency to suicide, as harsh reality suffocates so many of the beautiful ideals one may conceive of.
Of course, the previous cases are simply extremes. Most individuals find themselves at a comfortable balance between the ideal and material, the inward and the outward. But the reader should always bear these divisions in mind when interpreting both mounts and lines, for they will prove to be extremely useful landmarks in both interpreting and remembering the science of cheiromancy.
Texture and Composition of the Hand
How firm or soft a hand is may temper the entire reading. The following are the different types of textures the reader may encounter whilst practicing cheiromancy:
Smooth hands--For one to possess smooth hands betokens a very calm and unruffled temperament. These individuals will rarely lose their temper.
Rough hands--To possess rough hands denotes the opposite. Their temper is uneven and easy to rouse. Such individuals usually are more coarse and earthy, and are more fascinated with the concrete than abstract ideas.
Lined hands, that is, hands that are networked with a large amount of fine lines, reveal a person who is fretful, worrisome, and easily vexed.
Soft hands--To possess soft hands betokens sloth. Though an individual may possess brilliant markings designing great talent, if the hand be soft, they will find motivation difficult, and perseverance even moreso. These hands have a tendency for sensuality.
Firm hands--Firm hands denote a great deal of energy and drive; an active nature. Those with firm hands will start many projects, often simultaneously, and possess the energy and followthrough to see them to their end.
Hard hands--If the hands be hard but not springy, and instead bony and tough, the individual lacks energy and enthusiasm. This lacking differs from soft, fleshy hands, however: in the case of soft hands, the individual possesses the energy, but it goes to waste through laziness; in hard hands, there is no energy to begin with. It means a dispassionate, selfish, and potentially pessimistic nature.
Naturally, a hand may possess a combination of the above qualities, for it is possible to have a soft, smooth hand or a hard rough hand.
The Colors of the Lines and Flesh
The various colors the reader may encounter importune the same for hands and lines alike.
Red indicates a great robustness. A red hand will be passionate, quick-tempered, and ardent. This extreme vivaciousness, however, may end in apoplexy. A red line will indicate much of the same, but it will be modified by the function of the line, i.e. a red line of life will indicate a vigorous, robust health coupled with an active nature, while a red line of heart will denote overflowing and heartfelt emotion.
Yellow is the mark of the melancholy and morose.
Pink denotes a hopeful, sanguine, enthusiastic, and bright nature. One may consider it to be a less extreme manifestation of a red hand or line. This is the optimal color for any line in a healthy, well-adjusted person.
White denotes a lack of interest in the outside world and those with whom the bearer may associate. White hands are egotistical, consequenting in selfishness and a lack of sympathy for others. It is also a symbol for general ill-health and weakness.
A dark or black line denotes a trait of a person as grave, haughty, distant, and vengeful.
Qualities of the Lines
When diagnosing the import of a line, color, length, and direction are not enough. Often the manner in which the line is etched into the palm will indicate its overall power.
A deeply-cut line strengthens the influence of the line over other traits. The deepest line on a palm signifies the most important aspect of their life, i.e. a deeply-cut Line of Heart would designate an emotional, passionate person, while a deep Line of Head would betray an individual enamored with ideas and the intellect.
A thin line indicates the opposite, as would be expected. A thin line will have little influence over the bearer's life, just as a thin Line of Fate would show little direction in life and a thin Line of Life would show weakness of constitution.
A broad, shallow line is also a sign of weakness, but typically due to physical factors, either congenital or incidental.
All of the above lines preclude the normal line, which is straight, firm, light pink in hue, and clearly marked on the palm.
Apart from the primary and secondary lines, there may be lines of chance and influence that rise and fall. One may discern whether a line is rising or falling by the varying thickness of a line. The thicker end of the line marks the point at which it gives rise, and the waning end marks its terminus.(78)
The meaning of the left and right hands.
As many newcomers to cheiromancy are apt to ask, "which hand should be consulted when reading the palm?" It is unanimous that both palms need to be considered. One is the hand with which the bearer was born, indicating the potential of the subject. The other is a glimpse into the future livelihood of the individual, revealing how their potential shall be harnessed or squandered, how they shall avoid the perils marked on the hand of the past, and how they shall create new ones for themselves.
Though the cheiromancers agree on the importance of both hands, there are disparate views of what the right and left hands mean. There are some who contend that the right hand predicts the future, the left a past history. Others claim that it is the hand which is used the most frequently by the individual that foretells the future, while the more neglected hand is the marked by the past. One author(156) claimed that it was the right hand that portended the future on men, whilst the left did so on women! However, if the reader give the same thought this author did upon the subject, it should become quite clear which perspective to elect.
The hand of the past is the hand one is born with, the hand that from the first day reveals the aptitudes, constitution, temperament, and talents of the bearer. If this truly be the hand one was born with, should its imprint not be crystallized in time for later comparison?
But comparison with what? The hand of the future, that which has seen the action, the life, and the changes of the individual that has caused it to differ with the hand of the past. This hand that has seen the industry of life has changed due to its activity. As the bearer uses their hands, they will favor one over the other, and this hand will see more activity than the other. "Depending on the way you hold you hands, certain mounts may be more developed," and so too for the lines and overall composition of the hand.(7) Thus, would it not stand to reason that this frequently used hand, in its activity, has erased some lines that the individual was born with, and created others? At both times of business and leisure, they will be altering the very shape of their more frequently-used hand, while the neglected hand will experience little change.
Thus, in right-handed individuals, the right hand reveals the future, while the left hand the past; it is just the opposite for those who have merited the distinction of being left-handed. One may inquire further as to which hand should be consulted in the case of ambidexterity. This is a difficult matter, for if the individual is truly ambidextrous, it will be uncertain as to whether either hand has preserved the past. As a general rule of thumb, seek the hand that is used to write as the active hand. Careful interrogation may also give insight to a slight bias to a particular hand. Use caution, however, when remarking on great changes they have made in life, for the contrast is not as pronounced in the ambidextrous.
Throughout the centuries, the markings and features of the palm have established a considerable repertoire of pseudonyms, the most common of which are displayed below. Some names are fairly interchangeable, while some are clearly outdated and potentially confusing, such as the archaic reference to the heart line as the "mensal" line. Though the author will endeavor to use only the primary name of each feature, this table will prepare you for the various alternate referents one may use.
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