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Lessons in Palmistry
Vinay Aditya

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 one’s character-flaws. The hand would indicate if a certain flaw has been overcome.
2. To offer career-counselling by understanding one’s 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 or tests.
6. Predicting success in business or profession, extent and timing of it.
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 of mankind.
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 part.
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
3. Fingers
4. Thumb
5. Mounts
6. Lines
7. Nails and hair
8. Ridges
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 above.
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 regu-
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-
acteristics are
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 this category.
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 similar.
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 and Aquarius.
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 hand)
4. Mercurian Hand 5. Lunar Hand (or Moon hand) 6. Venusian Hand and
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)