Lessons in Palmistry
Assessing a man's destiny from his palm is an age
old technique. Its proponents hold that this knowledge is a highly
useful, scientific tool that must be employed, along with other
such exalted subjects as astrology, to analyse the strengths and
vulnerabilities of a native. Vinay Aditya is one such proponent
who holds that, as far as possible, a horoscopic analysis must
be accompanied with a study of the hand. While in Germany for
a few months last year, he used his prificiency in Palmistry in
good measure. He has agreed to write on this subject here for
the benefit of the readers of the Vedic Astrology. Editor
That there is so much information in the hand
will be a surprise to many, and when it is seen how logical, rational
and even common place, hand reading is, perhaps it will then be
taken out of the occult class to which it distinctly does not
belong, and placed among the other rational means at the service
of mankind, whereby they may be enabled to gain a better knowledge
of themselves. We cannot find better words than the ones
given above by William G. Benham, to introduce the subject of
Palmistry. Those who do not want to make use of this information
in the name of pseudo-scientism are nothing but a blinkered lot.
The vidya of palmistry is ancient and was a part of Samudrik Shastra
that dealt with signs and marks on the human body and palm. We
refrain from calling it a science, lest the heckles
of the so-called scientists are raised, till the time they evolve
to the level of understanding and appreciating it. However, the
common man can continue to derive benefits from this vidya.
One of the best names known to the lovers of palmistry is that
of Cheiro who has most reverentially referred to seeing
an old manuscript in India that contained the meanings of markings
on the palm. Cheiro, the most prolific writer on the subject,
was also a very successful practitioner of this vidya, but his
success could not have been so stupendous if he restricted himself
to the use of knowledge that he revealed in his own books. He
certainly used in his practice the secret knowledge on palmistry
that he acquired in India.
In the modern times, a study of palmistry can be very useful at
least in the following major areas:
1. To understand the basic character and aptitude of the self
and the others. Thus one can work towards removing ones
character-flaws. The hand would indicate if a certain flaw has
2. To offer career-counselling by understanding ones nature,
temperament and aptitudes.
3. The same knowledge can be used to reduce costly errors in recruitment-exercises.
4. Pre-warning for imminent diseases or pre-disposition to certain
diseases. The palm would show a disease much before it manifests
on the body thus it allows for a preventive treatment resulting
in avoiding the disease completely.
5. Psychotherapy : This is one big area where palmistry can be
most effectively used. The number of couch-hours saved in diagnosing
the problem can be invested in actual treatment. We would like
to propose that study of palmistry should be made mandatory for
all doctors and psychotherapists, for infallible clues available
from the palm are difficult to come by through any other means
6. Predicting success in business or profession, extent and timing
7. Compatibility, specially in marriage. Differences in sexual
appetite and behaviour are the root cause of many marriages failing.
It is not difficult to assess such differences from the palms
of the couple.
Accupuncture, accupressure and reflexology are subjects much better
accepted today than a decade ago. They make use of meridians in
the body that the modern science does not understand, yet it acknowledges
its efficacy. Accepting validity of principles of hand reading
is but one step further. The fact that markings on the palm have
specific meanings is analogous to having meridians or chakras
(as per Patanjali Yoga Sutra) in the body. One hopes and would
like to encourage the modern scientists to take up the study of
these subjects and prove them the way they would want
to prove to their satisfaction that these things are scientific.
Till then we can continue to study these things for the benefit
It was a medical man who first wrote, Hand and brain are
physiologically connected. In fact, as compared to any other
part of the body, it is the palm that receives maximum number
of nerves from the brain. Lines on the palm are formed by brain
cells acting through the blood vessels and nerves. According to
Benham, Never was there a hand that did not exactly reflect
the brain that directs it. Just as no two brains are alike
so are no two hands alike. The ridges on the thumb are so unique
that they are considered a better reference for identification
of a person than his signatures. While the criminologists have
developed the science of finger-prints to a great
art, they have ignored the rest of the palm though, as
a logical extension, the whole will give more information than
The palm is a highly evolved organ of the body and is capable
of expressing feelings and thoughts by gestures and writing. The
markings on the palm. however, are a different ball game. Our
growing understanding of the genetics is now opening new vistas
in hand- analysis. The palmists have aways known that the hands
in a family have remarkable similarities more often than not.
The hand analysis is generally divided into two parts Cheirognomy
and Cheiromancy, a proper understanding of both is necessary to
arrive at competent hand analysis. Cheirognomy is the traditional
name given to the study of the mounts; Cheiromancy is the study
of lines on the hand. A student of palmistry must not harbour
the notion that palmistry is only the study of lines on the hand
a very popular misconception in the minds of lay-persons.
Infact, the student must prepare a chart in front of him enlisting
all the parameters of hand analysis, so that he does not miss
out on any of them. They are all equally important, e.g., a line
cannot be considered more important than the mount. It is the
combination of all the parameters that gives the accurate analysis:
1. Type of hand
2. Palm in relation to fingers
7. Nails and hair
9. Special signs
10. Abnormality or special features.
We will take up the study of each one of these parameters one
by one not necessarily in the same order as in the list given
TYPES OF HANDS
Different authors have described and categorised the type of hand
differently. The correct understanding can be had only by imbibing
the spirit behind each system. None of them are wrong; it is just
a matter of how one begins to unfold the subject.
A. Standard Classification
1. Elementary Hand: It denotes lowest type of mentality. Its appearance
is coarse and clumsy. It has large, thick, hea-vy palm short fingers
and short nails, very few lines on the palm. Such people have
very little mental capacity but they have brute force. They have
very little control over their passions. They generally have short
and thick thumb with the upper part heavy and full. Such people
can be violent in temper and passionate in a coarse manner. They
behave more by instinct than by reason.
2. Square Hand: It denotes the prac-tical, the useful and the
lar personality. Better speci-mens amongst them are very orderly,
punc-tual and precise. They con-form to custom, are disciplined
and law-abiding. Such people have nearly square palms and square
finger tips. They are generally materialistic in nature. The square
hand undergoes major modifications in its implications depending
on the nature of fingers and the head line.
3. Spatulate Hand: It denotes a personality that is restless,
exci-table and full
of energy with purpose and enthusiasm. It derives its name from
the word spatula, an implement that chemists use to
mix two medicines or two chemicals. These people are generally
creative, inventive and have a marked individuality. They are
generally ahead of their times.
4. Philosophic Hand: The people belonging to this type are analytical
and philosophic in nature. The shape of the hand is gene-rally
long and angular with bony fingers, developed joints and long
nails. As opposed to being practical or materialistic they are
thoughtful people. They study mankind and the issues that confront
mankind. Many of them become mystics and yogis.
5. Conic Hand: The main characteristics of this type of hand are
impulse and ins-tinct as opposed to practicality and rationality.
The conic hand is generally me-dium sized, the palm slightly tapering
upwards, fingers full at the base and conic at the tip. Such people
are usually artistic in nature but more of consumers of
art than creators of art, of any kind. They fall for luxury easily
and have enough indolence to prevent them from converting their
intentions into actions. They are generally generous, sympathetic
but selfish. Impetuosity in word and deed is a common feature
of their personality.
6. Psychic Hand: What is considered beautiful, artistic or feminine
hand, in popular perception, is this type. In
its formation it is long, narrow and fragile looking with slender,
tapering fingers and long nails. In its pure form it is most rare
but when you do find it you immediately recognise it. It is not
a very fortu-nate type since
in this age and
time their char-
ardly sought after.
These people have a visionary and idealistic nature and appreciate
beauty in every form. They are quiet and gentle and pure-hearted.
They often make good psychic mediums and have very
good intuitive powers.
7. Mixed Hand: As its name implies, it has a mix-
ture of all the types, in varying degrees. It is the hand of ideas,
of versatility and often changeabi-lity of purpose. With mixing
of races down the ages, a very large number of people fall in
B. Division of Hands According
to Basic Elements
Another type of classification of hand is in accordance with the
elements of the 12 signs of zodiac, viz., Earth, Air, Fire and
Water. Their characteristics are quite in accordance with the
properties of the sun-signs they represent. One would do well
to study the sun-sign descriptions by Linda Goodman or someone
1. The Earth Hand: It has a square palm and short, thick fingers,
generally square tipped. It is a practical hand that belongs to
sensible and level-headed, down-to-earth people. They are hard
working, have keen insight and can be a bit impatient with non-performers.
Typically, the lines on the palm are few but well-marked and deep
cut. Generally, the headline is straight but if it curves downwards,
it can lend a very creative and imaginative mind to its owner.
These people love outdoor activity and love to be close to nature,
specially the mother earth. The zodiacal signs that this hand
represents are: Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn.
2. The Air Hand: This hand also has a nearly square palm but the
distinguishing feature from the earth hand is that the fingers
are rather long and supple, with rounded tip. These people are
mentally very active; physically they may or may not be. A typical
air hand will have an elegant hand with clear, well-defined fine
lines, not as deep-cut as in Earth types. Communication is the
key word for the Air type and many of them display vocal or literary
talents. The media is full of such people.
Writing, journalism, translation and publishing are some key careers
for the Air people. They learn to handle technological toys of
every description, including computers and the latest programs,
very quickly. The zodiacal signs they represent are: Gemini, Libra
3. The Fiery Hand: It has a long palm with comparatively short
fingers and square or spatulate tips and fine construction. These
are lively, dynamic and enthusiastic people who are driven by
thrills, challenges and excitement. They are generally extrovert
people. The palm contains several well-defined, strong lines.
The Fiery hand people take the lead in any group activity since
they lead their lives with passion and zeal. These people make
fine actors and strong performers. They must guard against accidents
and disproportionately expansive urges. The zodiacal signs represented
by this type are: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.
4. The Water Hand: This hand has long palms and long fingers.
These are the most sensitive people amongst all the types. They
are intuitive and creative. Many of them are poets and musicians.
These people are cultured and refined. The palm has a profusion
of lines indicating a very emotional nature. Of the four type
of hands, these are the least materialistic. Many of them possess
heightened intuitive or psychic powers and find their way into
psychological or spiritual careers. They are themselves vulnerable,
often high strung and highly impressionable. The zodiacal signs
they represent are: Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.
C. Division of Hands According
to Mounts on Hands
The third type of classification of hands as proposed by Benham
is according to the predominant mount on the hand. Thus, the seven
mounts on the palm create seven types of people possessing seven
distinct characteristics. The mounts and their locations on the
palm are as shown in the diagram.
The names associated with the mounts and the characteristics they
represent are almost identical with the planets and their significations
as used in Astrology.
The seven types of Hands thus are:
1. Jupiterian Hand 2. Saturnian Hand 3. Apollonian Hand (or Sun
4. Mercurian Hand 5. Lunar Hand (or Moon hand) 6. Venusian Hand
7. Martian Hand.
To understand the characteristics of mounts is of paramount importance
in palmistry. These would be discussed
in the next lesson. ¦
(To be continued)