Palm reading, also known as palmistry, is the art of deciphering a person’s character and predicting the course of their life through studying their palms. An ancient practice with a complex history, palm reading has adopted traditions from many different cultures since it first began in India thousands of years ago. Modern palmists draw from these sources to help their clients gain a deeper understanding of their personality and how it may affect them moving forward.
A palm reading usually begins with the choice of which hand will be read. Some palmistry traditions hold that the dominant hand reveals information about the choices and development of a person’s life and the other hand shows traits inherited from ancestors. Palmists most commonly rely on their client’s dominant hand for readings. The passive hand is used to supplement those discoveries and provide revelations about how the client’s hereditary traits have guided their life up to that point.
There are three major features of the hand which palmists study: the shape, the lines, and the mounts. The overall shape of the hand is determines which of four elemental affinities the client is mostly strongly associated with. These can be different from a person’s astrological sign; being a water sign under the zodiac does not necessarily mean a person’s hand will also be water. Earth, water, air, and fire elements each represent a different hand shape and reveal general personality features.
Earth hands tend to be broad, square, and have relatively short fingers. They reveal a practical outlook on the world with a love of labor and the outdoors. Water hands have wide palms with long, slender fingers. These tend to be the hands of those who are highly creative and in tune with their emotions but easily stressed. Air hands also have long fingers, but their knuckles are more pronounced and their palms are rectangular. They usually belong to intellectuals who are constantly thinking. Fire hands have very short fingers, a square palm, and pink or flushed skin. It shows a need to stand out as an individual and a desire for new experiences.
The lines of the hand reveal intimate details unique to each person. The heart line, the head line, and the life line are usually considered the major lines of the hand. A variety of minor lines exist which are read by some palmists, such as the fate line and the health line. The three major lines are usually considered the most informative and are the ones most often focused on.
The heart line runs horizontally from the edge of the hand to the beginning of the index finger. As its name suggests, palmists believe it reveals details about a person’s emotional state. It is read to reveal romantic intentions or to diagnose problems surrounding the love life. Emotional tendencies, such as excessive nervousness or creative passion, can be examined in the heart line. There is some predictive power in reading the heart to see how emotions influence the client’s decision-making skills.
Running parallel to the heart line in the center of the palm is the head line. The head line displays the client’s outlook on the world and the way they think about things. It can show if a person is spontaneous, methodical, or if they prefer physical activities over intellectual ones. The learning styles best suited for the client can be discovered through study of the head line to help them reach their intellectual potential in life.
Traveling from the side of the palm in a curve towards the wrist is the life line. Contrary to its depiction in popular media, it is not generally used by palm readers to find out how long a person will live. It is believed to change over the course of the lifetime when a person goes through great changes or disasters. A wide manner of traits can be discovered with the life line, such as inherent energy levels and the direction the client’s life is currently headed towards.
Hand mounts are the final major feature that palm readers examine. They are the mounds of flesh and the bumps present on the palm. These are named according to the planets, the sun, and the moon. Each mount indicates different personality features according to how high or low the bump is. For example, the Jupiter mount is under the index finger. If it is higher than normal, it indicates aggression and arrogance. If it is lower than normal, it indicates low self-esteem.
Some palm readers examine other features of the hand. The size, shape, and length of the fingers are looked at to discern a number of personality traits. Fingernails can reveal information about an individual’s personality quirks. In Chinese palmistry in particular, fingernails are examined for clues about the state of the client’s health.
Palm reading aids individuals in seeing where their lives are headed. Predictions are never ultimate; they are meant to serve as sign posts to help a person arrive at their preferred destination. Outcomes can always be altered with effort and understanding.