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How to Read your Palms                         Step-by-Step Guide

WELCOME to the Palmistry section where you can discover simple truths about yourself in this Step-by-Step guide!  Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Are you more suited for outdoor or indoor work? What is in store for your future directions in life? What can you do to make your life more successful and fulfilling? These articles will guide you on how to make the best use of your natural talents and inclinations. By examining your own hands, you can find solutions to your persistent life problems and queries, substantially improving your circumstances for greater happiness!  

Read entertaining true stories of Ursula’s experiences as a reader, too, from her 35 years of studying and reading palms. She wishes to shine a light on the mystical philosophies behind the age-old questions of destiny and free will, and in the process, re-kindle the spirit of wonder that permeates this fascinating subject.

She will guide you with practical insight, so that you do not fall into the common traps of misinformation, superstition and confusion.   “There is more to the palms than text interpretation of lines”, Ursula explains. To her, hand analysis is both an art and a science.

No two hands are alike, and your lines do change, and if they do not, there is significance in that too. Each part of your hand holds a special meaning: your fingers and thumb, the size and shape of your hand, the swirls and patterns in your palm (skin ridge patterns), the lines themselves, and even the “empty” spaces where no lines exist.

When you begin to look at the palms, note the more outstanding features that draw your eye to those areas on your palms.  Are you attracted to a special marking in your palms or to a set of strong crisscross lines? What is the deepest line that stands out?  Are your hands broad or narrow?  Do you have many lines?  Few lines? 

The fingers and hand shapes are another good starting point to begin a reading. Note whether you have long or short fingers. What is your thumb doing? Is it stretched out wide or hugging close to the palm? Are your fingers straight or do some of your fingers bend to one side or another? Does your baby finger point away more from the rest of the fingers? Or do they hug closely to the ring fingers?

 Where did Palmistry come from?

Perhaps the earliest glimmerings began in earnest with our ancient ancestors, who would observe their hands and wonder at their capabilities.  The prehistoric caves in France and Spain display hand drawings of palms with the major lines, perhaps suggesting our ancient ancestors held some interest about hands.  Archeological diggings have unearthed hands made of stone, wood and ivory by earlier civilizations. 

It is generally agreed among researchers that the origin of Palmistry is rooted in Arabia well over three thousand years ago.  It's hard to say whether it spread out from there or whether it developed in several places simultaneously, such as in India and China, as these ancient cultures also possessed their knowledge dating back into antiquity. 

As part of the esoteric wisdoms of India 3,000 years ago, Palmistry was referred to as Samudrik Shastra, meaning 'ocean of knowledge'.  Tradition also held that both Buddha and Lord Krishna had the various marks of greatness on their feet, and to have any of these signs in your hands today would foretell a great destiny. Symbols such as the fish, conch, flag, and cave were popular findings to an experienced Indian palmist, but most Western readers found these symbols difficult to find, since they often came with vague descriptions as to how they should look in the hands.

One way or another, through the great trade passages and blending of cultures, written knowledge of Palmistry passed over to Europe around 12th century A.D.  Palm reading may have enjoyed a more respectable time in ancient Arabia and India, but as it moved through Europe in those earlier centuries, it came under acute attack by the Roman Catholic church for several centuries thereafter.

Its colourful path from the 1200's with original texts in Latin, led to the Middle Ages filled with volumes of 'blood and thunder' predictions.  Much of its works relied heavily on imagination born out of the times in which they lived.  There were tales such as, "If a figure like an 'e' is found near the bottom of the hand, the owner will kill his father or mother or despoil a holy church."  Another belief held that if you had a grille in a certain place in the palm, you would "die on the scaffold by hanging". 

Indeed, interpretations are always altered to reflect the cultural beliefs of its time.  For all their misconceptions of Palmistry and their superstitions, how much their observations were deemed accurate is hard to say.  And intuition and imagination undoubtedly played a part in a reading back then as much it does today.

Palmistry also attracted the gypsy caravans of India and Eastern Europe during their long treks to the Western world.  Palm reading was a blend of knowledge from their travels afar mixed in with their own folklore.  Clever as they were in all the obscure arts, they flourished by peddling their brand of mystique, yielding surprising influence for several hundred years more.  Marie Anne le Norman, a famous French palm reader, held great sway in Napoleon's court by accurately foretelling events of both Josephine and Napoleon.

 In England, practicing Palmistry meant being a gypsy or a witch (or worse), and therefore at risk of the death penalty until the 1700's, when it was eventually repealed during the reign of George III.

It wasn't until the 1800's and early 1900's when several systems emerged to classify hand shapes, particularly by palmists Casimir Stanislas D'Arpentigny, Adrien Adolphe Desbarolles, and William G. Benham, which are still widely used today.  It was the beginning of the scientific and empirical approach, combining various elements between the hand shapes, lines, and mounts. 

A new wave of thinking surfaced with a more psychological view associated with temperament, basic urge patterns, hereditary and character traits, such as in the exhaustive works of William Benham titled, "Laws of Scientific Palmistry" and by Charlotte Wolffe's "The Human Hand".  Other great Western authors began to emerge:  Carol Gustav Carus, Mrs. Robinson, Julius Spier, Beryl B. Hutchinson, Katherine St. Hill, and Cheiro, to name just a few.  

Author and Palmist, Andrew Fitzherbert, noted that even totally insane people wrote Palmistry books, too.  In his invaluable work, "Palmists and Palmistry Books", he wrote about Watson Bradshaw, "In 1913 Watson Bradshaw published 'The Freak Hand", in which he set out to prove that his palm was actually a plan of the St. Paul's Cathedral...if his hand was super human and so was he, this was proof of the validity of Palmistry." 

Books are cropping up each decade with ever-evolving perspectives on the age-old mystery of destiny, free will, and human nature, and no doubt, there is a great deal yet to be discovered.  

With our advancing knowledge, when will we step beyond the boundaries of our past and present day thinking on this subject?  What discoveries await us that will alter our views we have today, let's say -- two hundred years from now?

Yet I muse over an ancient Indian sage who once made a remarkable observation, "The hand should have one thumb and four fingers, and if there are any more, it is a very bad sign!"  

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 Let’s start with some general observations: 

Many small lines all over the palm often form part of a larger meaning, instead of reading every single line. A network of many fine lines (Fig. 1) shows a refined and sensitive nature, a congenial and gentle approach to others, and a generally weaker constitution than shown with strong-lined patterns. With many broken line markings, one can become high-strung with a life filled with many dramas of one sort or another. There is a tendency to procrastinate and therefore leave decisions to the end or feel under pressure when it comes to taking important steps. You will likely pursue many mental interests. 

Many strong and vibrant lines belong to a more forceful personality, one who communicates ideas well and gets things done (Fig. 2). You may be multi-talented, charismatic, and capable of far-reaching goals you set yourself. 

Fig. 1 - Many fine lines

               Fig. 2 - Many strong lines

Fig. 3 - Very few fine lines
Very few fine lines in the palms (Fig. 3) show a withdrawn or quiet and cautious person with a mild temper. His demeanour is cool at first, but once you get to know him, you will find him to be a sensitive and intellectual fellow.  He is normally a slow speaker and to the point in his words. He may not have a wide circle of friends, preferring the companionship of a select few, and as a rule, he is careful to draw attention to himself, especially in public exhibitions.  He does not like crowds.

Very few strong lines in the palms (Fig. 4) belong to people who are earthy by nature, who work with their hands and enjoy the outdoors. They often like to build something, whether that be constructing a home or fixing the fence. They are usually focused and direct, and firm and unflinching in their emotions. With negative markings, they can be intolerant towards others and do not adjust to change easily.  With other positive signs in their fingers or palms, they are capable of great fortitude and loyalty. 

You can get brief messages from just a glance and touch of your hands. For instance, are your hands soft?   If so, you are sensual, impressionable, adaptable, and magnetic. People come easily into your life and you will find many are willing to help you with your ideas and projects.  Your emotions are close to the surface, and you are apt to be moody, yet overall you are easy-going. If the hands appear too soft and full, it can signal laziness and dependency on others.

                                                                                                                        Fig. 4 - Very few strong lines

Firm hands mean you are persistent and tough in spirit, and you have a forthright personality. You can be relied upon to get things done, but you may come across at times rather harsh or unyielding. Firm and thick show a physically active and often generous nature, one who likes consistency in all things. 

Very firm and thin flat palms, with skin tight like a drum, reveal an independent and nervous streak. They enjoy their time alone,  especially if the fingers are knotty (pronounced knuckles). They have a keen mind and are known to have strong opinions, and they should guard against being too brusque in manner by cultivating sensitivity and tolerance towards others.  

When hands are usually hot and dry, you are leading an active life, possibly using your hands, or possibly working outdoors or working with heavy equipment. You will need to drink more fluids to keep the body supple and moist. It also signals tendency to digestive ailments due to strong meats or over-spiced foods.

Sweaty hands show an active endocrine system or a general nervous temperament. Extemely sweaty palms may indicate a condition called Hyperhidrosis that affects the sympathetic nervous system. Medical experts have isolated the sympathetic chain of nerves that run alongside the spine as the possible culprit for this condition.  

Pale hands and lines show limited energy, or it could indicate a quiet or timid sort of person, and they usually enjoy mental and spiritual pursuits, Gardening or nature walks will soothe and strengthen their vitality,.  They don’t care much for the limelight, preferring to do their work from behind the scenes. 

Reddish hands and lines indicate a bold and robust nature, full of zest, sometimes overwhelming others with their strong presence. These people are hardworking, enthusiastic, opinionated, and perhaps have a little bit of anger in the mix. They enjoy outdoor activity and they are the doers, always in action. 

Cold hands, warm heart? Well, maybe so…yet it usually means a blocked or sluggish circulation. Oftentimes a change in diet and physical exercise can make a difference. Try experimenting with foods high in protein and minerals. Usually cold-handed people are not getting enough outdoor exercise, which can also make a difference. Hand temperatures change over the years. If your hands become abnormally and suddenly cold (apart from freezing temperatures or a physical ailment), it will be an indication of mental stress or a recent shock in your life, and this eventually changes over time with your hands becoming warm once again. 

Large hands mean that you like to be the centre of attention and have a powerful personality. You also have a detailed mind and critical eye for small things, and a thorough approach to everything you do.

Many leaders, jewellers, and composers have large hands. You will be slower to start, but once you gather steam, there is long staying power to any project you put your mind to.

Overly large hands (in comparison to your body size) will indicate a tendency to overwork or take on more responsibilities than one could handle, risking mental or physical health ailments as a result. 

Small hands show a keen quick mind with a ready sense of humour. You initiate quickly what you set your mind to, but you may not have enough patience to see things through to completion. This is why you need organized people around you to help with your many ideas. If you have small hands, you adapt to change and you enthuse others with your stream of ideas. You think big, initiate big, and often like to drive large cars!

Interpreting Right Hand / Left Hand

Which hand does one read the most? The answer is both, but for different reasons. The dominant hand shows the active development of character and events and the visible outcomes of those actions you take.

The passive hand shows the underlying currents and potentials of the situation, as well as, the inner influences that affect your personal life. Regardless of which hand is the dominant, both hands show clearly defined stories and need to be read together for best results. 

If you are completely left-handed, then your left will be the dominant hand. Interestingly, I have noted many left-handers have strong features in their right hand also, perhaps from adapting to a right-handed world. If you remain left-handed but still write with your right hand, then this makes for a mixed reading with defined outcomes surfacing from both hands.

Note:  In these articles, any reference to the dominant hand means your right hand, and the passive hand is referring to your left.
                 Passive (usually left)                Dominant (usually right)

Innate, natural bent                 Acquired, developed

Tendency, potentials                Realized potential

Plan, desires                             Progress, fulfillment

For a reliable indicator as to whether you are right or left-handed, try this popular test.  Clasp your hands as you normally would in your lap, with fingers interlocking (see below) and note which thumb rests on top. If it’s the right thumb, you’ve guessed it…you’re a right-hander.  Ask yourself some typical questions --- which hand do you write with?  What hand do you throw or catch a ball with?  Which hand has the strongest grasp?


In our next Article...

Be sure to visit often for more discoveries about relationships and love, and the kind of love that you seek.  Many fine details can be found in your palms about the nature of your love life and other important influences.

What are the major indications for your career and what occupations best suit you?  There are many reliable indicators pointing to various professions in the hands.  For accurate results, you need to look at both lines and hand shapes, but you can easily pick up clues by just one glance.

These and much more can be revealed from the prominant Life Lines and Fate Lines, which will be the topics coming up soon....

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