The Complete Book of Palmistry
By Joyce Wilson
What we love about raccoons and what makes us nervous about apes is the humanness of their hands. They use theirs the way we do ours. What is charming in the little unlike-a-person raccoon is unnerving in the very-like-us gorilla or orangutan. We think of our hands as our SELF and want to reserve them for our own species.
What makes the human hand so human? It is the length of the fingers in proportion to the palm and the length and mobility of the thumb. It should come as no surprise to us - but it does - that the shape, size, and even the lines on the hand are genetically determined. That is, the genes that give you your other physical characteristics - the color of eyes, texture of hair, complexion, body shape, and so forth - have predestined, so to speak, the lines you now look upon in your hand...have predetermined the knottiness of your knuckles and the shape of your fingernails, both of which we shall be considering in delineating character from the hands. Disease may of course intervene - arthritis can knot a knuckle; thyroid malfunction or other disorders can afflict the fingernails. But what we look at in the hand is destiny as revealed by inherited human characteristics.
Medical men and women are in fact aware of many of the characteristic inherited defects as shown in the hand. A retarded child has the characteristic short thumb and palm print that reveal (or confirm) mental deficiency. And many other genetic disorders show up in the shape of hands and fingers and fingernails. The color of (he palm and of the skin of the back of the hand are diagnostic clues. When you next visit a doctor, observe him as he shakes hands with you. He is observing your hand with a practiced eye while he makes this seemingly casual welcoming gesture.
Eventually you will find yourself doing a similar thing - making a careful routine examination of all hands you come in contact with for their soon-to-be-obvious characteristics.
You begin to read a hand long before its owner thrusts it out and says: "What's going to happen to me?" Your first clue is the handclasp. If you are interested in palmistry, you will discover that it is not only cordial but also informative to clasp hands with anyone to whom you are introduced. Often at this first contact you can tell whether or not you might want to read this particular hand.
Observation is your second step. Watch how a person uses his hands. Sometimes the hands lie flatly on the thighs or chair arms or are quietly clasped in the lap for long periods; others use their hands constantly, and the hands fly about like birds during a conversation; in still other individuals, the hands are used for deliberate affirmative gestures only - a kind of forceful dramatic play; others make painful nervous gestures: there are people who hide their hands, stuffing them into pockets or even sitting on them! This use of the hands is an important lead into the character.
Hand shape and size, the relative smoothness or knottiness of the fingers, are also readable across a room. Make it a habit, while you are learning, of evaluating the hand type of every individual you have a chance to observe. It is only with this kind of experience that you can come to distinguish the various kinds of hands unerringly.
Usually, when a person wants you to read his palm, he thrusts it out to you palm up. It is courteous to observe the palm that is offered and to make some comment at once - even if it is only "How interesting!" But usually it is best to say the first thing that comes into your mind about the hand, because this is often a kind of message that accompanies the first contact - a form of clairvoyance or insight that will reinforce your careful delineation of the hand. Then take the other hand and quickly compare them before you begin to analyze the hand as a whole.
Be prepared at this point to note the hand that you do not want to read. It is inevitable that some hands will repel you. Other hands may show indications of mental derangement, violence, or perhaps sorcery. You should firmly refuse to read such hands and be ready with a comment that will nicely free you from the responsibility: "Oh, but you must want your secrets kept." "What an exciting life - you could tell me more interesting things than I can tell you." Or, decidedly: "Haven't we had enough of palmistry for one evening? What about some music?" Don't just defer the situation by saying you'll read the palm another time. If you don't mean to. don't say you will.
Actual reading of the palm should proceed in an orderly fashion. When we start to read a hand as a beginner, we look first to the lines. The lines of the hand, especially the major lines which we learn about first, are a little like the astrological sun sign. Everybody has one and nearly everyone knows what his sign is. So, in the palm we all have a life line, a head line, and usually a heart line - and the beginning palmist (or even the most uninformed person) is aware of these.
A great deal can actually be learned about a person from this very rudimentary knowledge. If, when you start reading a palm, you learn to recognize and to read the basic lines - life, heart, head - you are farther along than you can even guess. And you really can tell a lot about your subject from just these lines.
As you become more informed, you begin to understand more about the other lines - and to recognize them. You also begin to evaluate the hand and fingers in regard to their shape; the thumb in regard to its flexibility and form. In fact, as you become a much more sophisticated palm reader, you should begin to conduct your reading in reverse order. Let the person place his or her hands before you on a table top. Palms down, so you can observe the shape of the hands and fingers and the knottiness or smoothness of the knuckles, the spread of the fingers, the relative size and spread of the thumb in relation to the hand as a whole.
Before you start to read the fines and areas of the left hand, gently caress the middle of the palm with your thumb or index finger. A basic artery of the hand flows under the ball of the thumb and there is also said to be a "psychic center" in the palm of the hand that, when stimulated, will aid you in communicating the-things of importance that you see in the palm. True, events of the life - important journeys, changes in status, danger, marriage, and so forth - and the age at which they are likely to occur can be read in the lines of the palm.
But when a palmist sees the color of your future mate's hair and eyes and church at which you are to be married, her visualization is being arrived at by clairvoyance in association with the events indicated by the lines. Professional palmists are somewhat mediumistic and "see" events this way. As you pursue palmistry, you will find your own ESP sharpened - and will begin to "read between the lines," so to speak, perhaps even to see future events (clairvoyance) or to hear (clairaudience) things happen.
Although you will want to observe everything about the hand to help your reading, it isn't necessary to tell the individual everything step by step. This is not to say you shouldn't "tell it as it is," but that there often are contradictions that you should resolve in your own mind and then come up with the dominant indication: "You have a tendency to let people walk all over you, but when something really matters, they'll find you have a bar of steel inside." "You have a potential for the arts that you've never developed. Maybe you should pay a little attention to music and painting along with making money."
When it comes to potential disasters, speak with care. Indication of a major sickness at a certain point in life can be handled this way: "Your health is generally good, but a problem develops about age 45. Better watch things a little after age 40. " For a serious accident: "You're inclined to be a bit of a daredevil - and you need to watch that accident hazard about age 30. Start driving a little more carefully now." Most people today are interested in love, money, success, travel - and care less about health and life expectancy than they used to when life was more precarious. As a beginner, it is wise to confine your reading to the four high-interest areas rather than to foretell disasters, which take some experience to define.
If you run into a confusing hand, it is wise to ask what questions the person wants answered: "There's so much in your hand - what particularly do you want to know about?" Then concentrate on answering the questions. A storehouse of tactful remarks is part of your preparation for palm-reading. Always call attention to potential good fortune when you see it in the hand.
The first palm to read is your own, first the left and then the right. Theoretically, the left hand shows your destiny; the right, how your own will and environment have modified this destiny. If you have trouble identifying the lines, it will help to outline them with a soft lead pencil or with a ballpoint pen with washout ink.
Proceed to inspection of the palms of family and friends. It helps educate you to be able to compare what the hand indicates to you with what you actually know of a person and his or her life. But be prepared for some surprises. Often we over evaluate or underestimate those near to us.
When you go on to read the palms of comparative strangers - people at parties or those working with you - you will soon become aware how individual and different hands can be. We all have individual palm prints. If palmistry does nothing else for you, it will impress upon you how various and multifaceted is the world of men and women - how rich each of us is in our own dreams, talents, and adventures.