My Experiments with Palmistry in a Foreign
It was between June and October 2000 that Vinay Aditya, Associate
Editor to the Vedic Astrology, happened to participate
in the Expo 2000 at Hannover in Germany. He had several interesting
experiences during his rather prolonged stay there even as we
in India missed him. While his primary participation was to promote
the Vedic astrology, it turned out, rather interestingly as well
as unexpectedly, that he found palmistry as of greater help there.
He seems to have learnt a lot from his German experience. Here
he recounts some of his interesting encounters that might prove
enlightening to our readers. Editor
We were selected by India Trade Promotion Organisation,
New Delhi, to participate in the Expo 2000 at Hannover, Germany.
We were to promote and give a taste of Indian Astrology to the
visitors of this five-month long international exhibition whose
theme was Human Being, Nature and Technology. We were
given a small stall to conduct our activities as a part of India
Pavillion. There were 20 odd other shops selling Indian
handicrafts, jewellery, textiles and nick-nacks, quite like Delhi
We went there armed with the most sophisticated
computer programmes of astrology with the notion that there would
be a lot of interest in astrology amongst the Europeans and specially
the Germans. We put up small posters to indicate that we were
offering computerised Astrological reports, Prashna, Matching
of Horoscopes, Muhurta, Varshaphala, etc. We tried to do this
in as short yet as explanatory a manner as would drive home the
idea. But it failed to create a longing in the hearts of the visitors
to make use of these services. Most of these were so foreign to
them that they did not appreciate the very idea behind them. They
failed to understand how the methodology of Prashna could work
or how some body other than the couple themselves could vouch
for the compatibility in marriage. Our concepts of gunas
(which we called the Compatibility Index) or Muhurta
(which we called finding the most auspicious time to start a new
venture) had few takers. In an exhibition it is possible to cater
to a de-mand that has caught the fancy of the visitors but it
is a quite a task to create demand where none exists.
Within a day we realized that we would not survive
here on the staple diet of astrology alone. We have to invent
something new to sell, and that too pretty fast, and it has to
be in the line of astrology, something for which at least a little
demand already exists. And we stumbled upon Palmistry. My colleague
had been doing it ever since he was in the womb of his mother
who herself has been an exceptionally gifted palmist. And I had
stopped doing it ever since I found a wife through Palmistry.
When I was a bachelor, a Chhaya Shastri in Bombay. Chhaya Shastri
is apractitioner of a variation of Prashna or Horary
astrology who constructs the Prashna chart by measuring the shadow
of the querist. He probably uses it to fix the lagna of the Prashna
chart. He had told me that my wife would have a cross on her mount
of Jupiter (which indicates happy married life). So, when I was
looking for a bride, I would make sure to look at the palm of
every prospective girl. The moment I found a girl matching the
description given by the Chhaya Shastri I gave the much awaited
nod to my family. As if the purpose of learning palmistry had
been fulfilled, I practically stopped seeing the palms of people
except when I would be recruiting fresh talent in my company.
It was beyond my wildest imagination at that time that a day would
come when I would have to resort to my favourite pastime (nay,
a passionate and absorbing hobby of holding delicate hands of
nubile young girls) for economic survival. As it turned out later,
I saw a couple of thousand hands in five months, as against a
fraction of this in the previous 33 years. What you learn in your
youth, I realised, comes back to you spontaneously flying back
on the wings of time. After the whole experience I took a vow
never to do astrology alone; I must combine it with a good look
at the palm too.
Insufficient interest in Astrology
While trying to find reasons behind lack of interest
in astrology amongst the masses in Germany (and probably in the
whole of Europe) several reasons surfaced.
Performance of Wester Astrologers: The
first and the foremost seemed to be a dismal performance of the
western astrologers as a class (individual exceptions notwithstanding).
The common man gets the taste of astrology through its practitioners.
If his expectations are not fulfilled he loses interest in astrology.
We found that an astrologer is more a target of ridicule there
than respect. Our Indian experience had made us 'assume' that
we would be accorded respect automatically because we were providing
astrological services. That our assumption was false came to us
as a painful revelation. Their argument was seemingly impenetrable
that If you cant change the future what is the use
of knowing the future; and if you can change the future then what
is the use of taking the prediction. Either way the astrological
activity is good-for-nothing. Our counter arguments convinced
but a few. The ones who had preconceived notions were harder nuts
to crack, but crack we did.
Attitude of the Church: For many centuries
the church had got the state to ban the practice of astrology
and palmistry. The church perceived that its authority would be
undermined due to the growing influence of astrologers and palmists
in around the 16th century. So, the teaching in the school was
that these kinds of vidyas were unscientific, more like
black magic and fit for consumption only by the weak minded. (Vidya
means a body of knowledge which can be learnt and taught either
through books or by a teacher. I am using this term to avoid a
controversy that very often arises due to the use of the word
science.) Any one found to be engaged in these activities
was doing so illegally. The law abiding citizen thus would not
like to be seen anywhere around an astrologer or a palmist irrespective
of his personal inclinations.
Scientific Attitude? Similarly, the
scientific community would not like to be caught having a reading
or consultation from an astrologer/palmist for fear of ridicule
by the peer group even if one had a genuine desire to test
and explore the veracity of these vidyas. This reminded us of
the Indian scientific community who scores hardly any better on
this account than their European counterparts. They both equally
shun the responsibility of providing proofs for these vidyas (science/art/craft).
The astrologer/palmist does not have the wherewithal of providing
a scientific explanation for his vidya; he can only successfully
demonstrate that there is truth in his vidya and this he demonstrates
time and again in the form of readings, consultations and predictions
for his clients everyday. The burden of finding the science
behind everyday occurrences, whether in nature or in practice
by individuals, must obviously fall on the shoulders of the scientists.
But the scientific community has betrayed the most unscientific
attitude towards these vidyas by rejecting them without
Useful branches of Indian Astrologer:
The western astrologer probably does not deliver any of the more
useful offshoots of astrology as does the Vedic astrologer.
Only a few western astrologers practise Horary. Matching of horoscopes
is done by a few on psychological lines; they have nothing as
concrete as guna in matching.
They do not seem to be doing sufficient work on
actual event-predictions because they have no system like dashas.
All their work is focussed on transits which are never the primary
causative factors for actual events. That transits are subordinate
to dasha indications is a well-digested dictum for every Indian
astrologer. Thus most of the work done by western astrologers
confines to ever-flexible psychological pronouncements. This amounts
to the condition of a hypochondriac who has every sickness that
happens to have been mentioned in the book. This is not to say
that no western astrologers have ever done any significant work
in the realm of actual predictions. This is also not to say that
majority of Vedic astrologers keep making unfailingly accurate
predictions everyday. But the popular perception is always formed
on the basis of consultations churned out by the majority of astrologers.
My stress is on the more useful aspects of astrology mentioned
above. Those aspects are missing from the arsenal of the western
astrologers. Therefore, the common man in Europe does not find
astrology or astrologers very useful for his day-to-day life or
even during his exceptional circumstances.
Faith in Karma: An Indian should be
more tuned to belief in Karma because he has Gitas teachings
flowing through his blood from early childhood. Alas, it is not
so. An average German/European has more belief in his power and
ability to shape the destiny through his own efforts. The material
advancements in their countries support their belief. Therefore,
their disdain towards astrology is understandable.
Reasons apart, we turned to palmistry purely as
a survival measure and began to enjoy it soon. Astrology was not
foresaken completely; it formed only about 10% of the total activity.
As it turned out, Palm-readings were more readily
accepted though there was no dearth of cynics, disbelievers and
down right ridiculers. Yet the more open-minded people started
trickling in. There were various reasons due to which they came.
The most important can be broadly classified as:
1. For the sake of pure fun.
2. For the sake of curiosity, how it is done? Can it really
be done? Is it not some magic?
3. Some real problems that would be gnawing at their hearts
or haunting their minds and they would want to know what lay in
store for them in future.
4. Some friend or colleague recommended that they must
visit the Indian Palm-readers as they are something special.
5. The last but the foremost was 'When will I meet the
love of my life?' or 'when will my big love come?' or 'Is my current
love the love of my life?
The fun lovers just wanted to have the experience
of what it is like to have the palm read as they had no previous
experience of it. Generally, they were suitably impressed and
happy to have got it done. Their apprehensions turned out to be
unfounded. One case comes to mind. A young American girl got her
palm read and left money enough for 3 persons. A little later
she came to say that we should see her friends palm but
not tell him that we had been paid since the friend did not believe
in all this. The friend refused to come despite her persuations.
They came back again after an hour and this young man then got
his palm read. He was amazed how we could tell so much from the
palm. He disbelievingly accepted my explanation that it is a language
that can be learnt by anyone. His scientific mind(?) had received
a big jolt and he had gathered enough food for thought for a whole
life-time. Atleast this is how he described his experience of
You know a lot of me!
Then there was this class of curious people. Many
of them would just watch us doing the palm from outside the stall.
They just stood fascinated watching that such a thing could be
done. We were the subject of innumerable flashguns fired by such
curious people. They would take the photo even if they did not
know the person showing his/her palm.
After the reading many of them expressed their approval
by a quaint remark, You know a lot of me. One such
person came again after 10-12 days and asked for a repeat reading.
I suggested that in 10-12 days there would have been no difference
in his lines and, therefore, my reading would be the same. He
told me that he wanted to ascertain if the other day I was not
doing some magic, because that day I had told him something significant
and he wanted to test whether I would tell him the same thing
again. For a moment I was in a fix. It was nearly impossible to
recall what I had told him 10 days back. Here was the question
of protecting the honour of my science of palmistry. I searched
hard for any abnormality or special thing in his hand and told
him whatever I found. I was unsure whether I had repeated (covered)
that one thing that he wanted to hear. To my utter relief (and
I am sure his too) he confirmed that last time I had told him
that he had had a legal hassel related to his love life (an influence
line from lower mount of Mars was cutting the life line at the
age of 34-35 and going towards the marriage line) at the age of
34 years and today I told him the same thing at the age of 35
years. Since the difference of 1 year was hardly material he congratulated
me and promised to send a photograph of me which he had taken
the last time. In a weeks time I received a letter of appreciation
from him and a very crisp digital printout of my photo looking
at the palm of a lady, his new conquest that earlier evening.
There were many amongst the curious who wanted to
show their hands but did not want us to tell them anything bad.
A very large number of people had this apprehension that if we
told them about any tragic event in their future, how would they
handle it. This was in direct contrast with the Indian clients
who would insist that we told them everything as it is. Of course,
a wise and compassionate palmist would never tell about tragic
or strongly unfavourable things as it is because he has clients
well being at the back of his mind. He also gets a fairly good
idea of how well the client can take bad news by one look at the
palm. Generally, a hard hand with straight head line will be able
to get the useful message from the bad news and will be able to
make efforts in the direction of averting the calamity. As opposed
to this, a soft hand with drooping headline, pointed fingers and
badly rayed mount of Moon has to be handled with care, bad news
broken gently and remedial measures, if any, advised simultaneously.
I used to tell the client who forbade me from telling
the bad news that he was paying for the full bottle of Coca Cola,
drinking the half and throwing away the remaining half. Towards
the end of the all-positive reading I would ask for the client's
permission if now he/she was ready for the bad part. Most of them
were in a state of reassurance by now and gave the permission
for the bad news also. Actually, it is the bad news in which lies
the useful aspect of palm-reading the palmists advice.
If everything is going great guns where is the need for any palm
reading or advice?
A Typical German Hand
Having seen so many German hands, in such a short
time, the picture of a typical German person was etched on our
minds. As are the characteristics in the palms of its people so
are the characteristics of a nation. With practice it had become
possible for us to announce that even if a curtain was put between
us and the client we would be able to pronounce whether we were
seeing the hands of a German or a national of some other country.
So typical is the hand of a typical German that we caught ourselves
using the following words almost parrot-like: sincere, honest,
ambitious, practical, hardworking, strong willed and well-disciplined.
The palms had the features to warrant this type of reading
a well formed mount of Jupiter and the heart line commencing from
it or sending an offshoot to it, square tips, head line nearly
straight with a slight droop towards the end, semi hard hand and
an unbending thumb. Another feature which could be considered
as a 'constant' was present in majority of cases. It was a malformed
heart line after the mid point. This indicated emotional unhappiness
or stress after the age of 35 or 40 years. If one could generalise
from these sample cases, it seemed as if the whole nation was
suffering from emotional disturbances. Almost everyone was suffering
from insecurities in his/her relationship. No one could say with
any degree of confidence how long their present relationship would
last. And that is why that was the oft-repeated question to us.
It was understandable if a person would come alone and ask this
question. But this question was asked even by husband-wife teams
who came together though there were few such teams. This
question was an open admission in front of each other that they
could be having some one else in their minds otherwise
why this question? On our reassuring them that there seemed to
be good indications in the hand that they would stay together
for a long time, they would express their happiness by planting
a kiss on the lips of each other right in front of us.
The third category was of people who had some real
problems at present and were looking for possible solutions or
guidance in how to solve these problems. At one point of time
we realized that our proficiency at palm reading would not suffice.
A mere mention of a problem at present or in future does not help
people. They are looking for solutions to their problems and guidance
in that direction. And that is what is not given in the books
on palmistry. It is only your own life-experience, your own special
training or your own special interests that can help the situation.
There were all kinds of questions directed at us
which had no direct answers in palmistry. My colleague had a degree
in Business Management and I in Engineering. In these curricula
none of what was taught to us came to our rescue. Even if our
proficiency in Palmistry were ten times higher these questions
would have remained unanswered if we did not make use of the techniques
we had learnt from psychotherapeutics, meditation, management,
or general readings in spirituality or self-development.
The techniques that were spontaneously developed
and repeatedly used were mainly drawn from: Transactional Analysis
(psychotherapeutics), Vipas-sana (meditation), seven Habits of
Successful People by Steve Cauvey (management), seven Spiritual
Laws of Success by Dr. Deepak Chopra (spiritual management), Wisdom
of the New Millennium by Sri Sri Ravishankar (spiritual evolution).
It would be difficult for me to place my finger on a specific
source of inspiration for a specific answer as often times the
guidance offered would be a mixture of several of them. These
sources are any way known for their porous boundaries.
The clients who had specific health problems were
advised a suitable remedy from Naturopathy or other alternative
therapeutic systems. It came to us as a great surprise that homoeopathy
was not such a popular therapy in the land of its birth as it
is in India, even though the world imports its best medicines
from Germany. We developed a technique to diagnose whether a client
was predominantly Vaata type or Pitta or Kapha type by looking
at the palm. I experimented with prescribing homoeopathic medicines
such as Nux Vomica to Vaata type and Pulsatila to Pitta type because
the description of Vaata imbalance matches exactly with the medicinal
profile of Nux and of Pitta with Pulsatila. These medicines could
work for the respective types as constitutional remedies
a concept unique to homoeopathy. We met with many cases of skin
diseases. Some people reported back miraculous recoveries who
had been recommended a wash with Neem-water a harmless
remedy practised in rural India. We recommended the use of emerald
in the little finger, after a thorough appraisal of their horoscope,
if afflicted Mercury was the planet causing their skin disease.
This was prompted by a badly rayed mount of Mercury in the palm.
Simple remedies that are known to most Indians such
as drinking 2-3 glasses of water in the early morning to cure
constipation were reported back by some as miraculous. Bad digestion
is detected easily by a badly broken line of hepatica and can
be cured easily in its early stages by the above method or other
naturopathic methods which have no adverse side effects. Of course
we left the more complicated diseases to be handled by the well
trained ayurveda experts, who were also present in the India pavillion.
But unlike the physician, an astrologer or a palmist can detect
a possible disease much before it manifests on the body and, therefore,
a preventive regimen can be profitably prescribed.
Palmistry can offer very sound advice on careers
and many young men and women took advantage of that. I think personality
traits and potential are more easily discernible from the palm
than the horoscopic chart at least to me. Since many people
in Germany continue to study till late even upto the age
of 30 or 35 years (with intermittent breaks), what to study that
will offer them a better professional success becomes a perennial
question. We broke many a young heart by advising them that they
should concentrate on their studies because they were not likely
to become famous pop-stars. They neither had the proper Sun line
nor an appropriate mount of the Moon. A strongly drooping headline
with conic tips and soft hands would never give them the tenacity
or perseverence so necessary to succeed in such a competitive
young girl, exceptionally beautiful, was the first client one
fine morning. She wanted me to guide her whether she should study
medicine, psychotherapy or law. Her hand revealed that she was
more beauty than brains. I took her permission to take a picture
or two before giving the answer. In the process of taking her
portraits I realized how photogenic she was and how powerful were
her eyes. I advised her to take to modelling rather than the studies
she was contemplating.
What was very surprising was that several young
girls who had either passed the examinations for becoming doctors
or were about to complete their courses themselves had very poor
health a very strongly criss-crossed hand, soft and delicate,
islanded life line, depressed mounts of Mars, etc. Of course they
had very good headlines indicating sharp minds. They had to be
advised to avoid physical and mental stress so as not to fall
prey to nervous breakdown because the basic vitality was low.
We saw the hands of many psychotherapists who were
themselves in urgent need of therapy. Some of course were very
good but the majority had serious problems in their own lives.
They were vaguely aware of the benefits offerred by meditation
specially by Vipassana. We extolled the virtues of meditation
and told them what profound effect it had had on our lives and
that they must try it not only for their own benefit but also
for the benefit of their clients. One psychotherapist is coming
to my mind whose head line was so defective that I was suspicious
that he must be causing damage to his clients rather than offer
them any improvement. On entering into a dialogue with him my
suspicion got confirmed because he had a very poor practice and
most of his clients did not return to him after a couple of sessions
with him. His heartline was also full of islands indicating that
he did not have emotional stability either.
Characters of an author
It was a matter of great delight to see the hands
of many musicians, dancers and actors. To one person I told that
he must be an author, a poet or a philosopher. He said he was
an author. I said, You are not writing on history, social
sciences or articles based on facts; you must be writing fiction.
He said yes and asked me, Now that you have
told a lot about my character, can you describe the characters
I write? Now this was like a second order equation in algebra,
quite difficult to solve. The author had a strong imagination
(bulging mount of Moon) but then so had I. The author had a strong
mount of Jupiter and so had I. I told him that his characters,
specially the hero, is an extremely idealistic man and would fight
for the cause he stands for till the last drop of blood in his
body. I had seen that this author was an idealistic man but compromised
with his principles as he was also very comfort-loving. So, what
he could not become in his real life he could project onto his
characters and satisfy his fancies and idiosyncracies. I was dead
right as the author confirmed my description of his hero. But
he kept wondering aloud whether I was reading his hand or his
novels or I must be having some supernatural powers.
Many other instances come to the mind. One notable
case is of the actor who had come from Holland and his play was
running at the Expo. He wanted me to tell him what roles he should
choose so that he could turn in a powerful performance. He was
advised that he should pick up high energy roles with sincere
and profound dialogues because that went better with his own personality
high mount of upper Mars, strong mount of Mercury and a
very good mount of Jupiter; good space between his lines of head
and heart and the heart line starting from mount of Jupiter.
Some people wanted an opinion on whether their new
venture would succeed or not. To most of them we gave reassurance
that they would succeed except to those in whose hands clear danger
signals were visible or a special character flaw would not allow
them to succeed. A good fate line if supported by a fine Sun line
is a sure formula for success. But if the fate line in subsequent
years had islands or breaks they were advised to make their moves
rather cautiously. On the other hand, some people had plans and
proposals but were hesitant to take the final step. They needed
a little push to come out of their fear or complacency. There
came a physics teacher who was a very fine man but was a bit too
shy. He was being asked by the members of his village community
to take on the responsibility of supervising the village welfare
schemes. He was very hesitant. I told him to go ahead as this
post could open the doors for his future evolution and influence.
He had to be convinced that with his scientific and logical mind
he could do a lot of good work for his community. He promised
to give it a try in pursuit of his ideal of selfless social service.
He had a good Sun line and a good head line besides many other
supporting features in his hand.
There was this other lady who had inherited her
fathers business but not his business acumen. She was very
perplexed about how to make her staff work according to her plan.
Now this should have been a question to a management guru and
not to a palmist. But the question was asked with a confidence
that we would be able to answer it easily. We had noticed that
the lady had a bit of a headstrong character and did not think
high enough of others in comparison to herself. Drawing upon our
experience of dealing with our own workers we told her the game
plan. You should invite each worker to your cabin and explain
the job. Then ask the worker to explain the plan how he/she is
going to achieve the target.. Suggest at the appropriate time
gently, how about doing it this way. The worker can
go back with the idea that the whole plan is his/hers. Once
the worker has the ownership of the plan he/she automatically
takes the responsibility of making it work enthusiastically. It
relieves you of the burden of constantly supervising or pushing
them to work harder.
There were many such hints that were offerred to
various people which went beyond the confines of astrology or
palmistry as such.
(To be concluded)
© Vinay Aditya, Vedic Astrology.