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Palmistry: Simple Handreading

IN EXAMINING anyone's hands, including your own, bear in mind that a combination of traits gives accurate character assessment, and the appearance of any quality in the hand must be verified in at least two tests to have any validity. And remember, any feature of the hands can be changed or modified to a striking degree by changing your character or perspective.

Before reviewing the various character "tests", I would like you to consider really focusing on the hands of all you meet. Soon you will realize that they impart more knowledge of the person than you previously thought. A hand that is full of life is springy and elastic, almost telling you of its vital energy before you even touch it! Dr. William Benham, author of "The Laws of Scientific Hand Analysis", the veritable bible of the subject, states that, "Every pair of hands has eyes: that they seem to look at you, asking for pity, maybe, for their owners, or, that they have mouths, and beseech you to hear their story". (Perhaps this is why the most successful hand models are more than a perfect set of fingers, but rather have a "knowing" that guides their hands like little actors).

The right and left hand

Note that palmists consider the left hand (in a right-handed person) to represent the unconscious life as well as the person's potential. The right hand represents what is actual, how an individual has handled his problems, or how easy or difficult it has been for him to follow his original "life path."


Texture is determined by feeling the skin on the back of the hand. It is the key to the natural refinement of the person. The difference in the texture of the two hands can reveal much about a person's social mobility. If the left is rough while the right is smoother, the person has attained some refinement. Very fine texture tells that the person just can't say "So what!" These people are oversensitive to what others do and say about them, no matter how tough their demeanor. Very fine texture can be found on the hands of those who do the roughest tasks, and conversely, rough texture can be found on young and (seemingly) refined boarding school students.


The degree of elasticity of the muscles of the hand indicates the flexibility or rigidity of the personality. If, as you shake the hand, the hand grips and releases as you release, the person is usually intelligent, trustworthy and full of energy. The person with hard consistency has tremendous physical energy but is not at all cerebral. The person with weak consistency has low energy and is hard to stir to activity. This is why we are often turned off by the "dead fish" handshake.


If the fingers are stiff, so is the person. An argument with him is an exercise in futility. He lives in the past, isn't receptive to new ideas, tends to hoard old possessions, and is narrow in his outlook. The owner of the flexible hand is versatile and mentally adaptable. But if the fingers are very flexible, the person is often weak-willed and overly susceptible to other's ideas. What we look for are medium qualities in these tests. Also, you can begin to see that if a person has hard consistency and lack of flexibility in his hands, he is more rigid than the person with hard consistency and flexible fingers.


The color of the palm is an indication of the temperament and health of the person, and is directly related to the bloodstream. Most palms are a shade of pink. The white-palmed person may be cold and distant; he lacks sensuality, is dreamy and mystical and makes few friends. Red palms signify intensity of physical expression. These people are ardent. Yellow color signifies a cynical pessimist who can be sarcastic and moody. He always crosses bridges before he gets there and can be very uncooperative. Blue color is usually seen after illness or surgery.


Nails give us an insight into the robustness and sensitivity of the person. They are like windows. Look for smooth, pliable nails without bumps, fluting or scaling. Any variation shows us something is out of balance.

Any mark, be it a white dot or a knife mark, shows that a serious physical or emotional upheaval has occurred. The timing of the event is told by the location of the mark. It takes six months for a nail to grow out, so if the mark occurs in the middle of the nail, the event took place three months ago.

The shape of the nail gives us more information. A narrow nail, compared to the width of the whole fleshy part of the finger, shows a lack of robustness. Nervous energy keeps these people going. The broad nail is usually a sign of muscular strength and energy. The deep or long nail (from cuticle to tip) belongs to the frank person. If the nail is deep as well as broad, the person is open and easy to get along with. Medium-short nails often tell of a quizzical nature. However, very short nails, especially if bitten, reveal a very critical personality. The criticism is often turned towards the self, and, if the cuticle is also ragged, he is literally "running himself ragged."


The general rule is the more pointed the tip the more idealistic the person, the broader the tip, the more practical. The spatulate tip, the broadest, wants action, is on the go and is extremely enthusiastic. Conic tips suggest artistic, impulsive people who rely more on intuition than on reasoning.

Noted palmist Frank Andrews told me that most babies have spatulate fingertips, showing their freedom and openness. During the school years, the tips tend to change and become squared as the children are expected to accept a certain amount of dogma by rote. As they mature, however, it is not uncommon for the tips to become more conic or rounded as the individual creativity develops and is allowed to express itself. If the person becomes extremely religious his fingertips may become pointed, showing the least resistance to divine inspiration.

Andrews illustrated the distinctions between the varying fingertips by describing the sort of artwork that might be done by each type. The artist with spatulate fingertips would paint a horse running through a field. The feeling would be expansive, and the canvas probably large. The artist with square tips would paint the horse standing still and would include lots of detail in his picture. The artist with conic tips would create a painting of a very beautiful horse, using lots of color to illustrate its magnifagance. However, the artist with pointed fingertips would see his horse with wings and would possibly depict him as a flying horse. Picasso had spatulate and squared fingertips, and was, of course, one of the pioneers of the cubist style of painting.

Smooth and knotted joints

All of us have two joints on each finger and one on the thumb. People with pronounced joints or knots are neat, lead orderly lives, and are the doubting Thomases of the world. The more pronounced the knot, the more philosophical, slow-acting and less likely to be led they are. Overmeticulousness is thought by some to cause arthritis. If you have smooth fingers, you may develop knots later if your personality becomes overly judgmental.

Long and short fingers

People with long fingertips go into the smallest details. They don't accept change easily and are offended at the drop of a hat. The short-fingered person despises detail. He thinks big, quickly, and considers the whole picture. Don't give him details; give him results. He is intuitive and gets to the point. Often he is a fast talker and may be impulsive and hotheaded.


The hand as a whole is divided into three worlds: the mental, the practical, and the material or sensual. Because it is rare to find a balanced hand, one or two worlds usually predominate. If the fingers are very long, the mental world predominates. A large middle section (the area from where the thumb is attached to its webbing up to the base of the fingers) belongs to the person who is interested in practical matters; he is your businessman. If the third world (from the thumb to the wrist, that is, the heel of the hand) is large, the person wants results and is quite capable of asking for what he wants. He is also usually a physically oriented person. Professional people often have prominent first and third worlds. And the wise ones leave the business side of their work to others. A person with little third world is not asking enough from life, both materially and emotionally.

The lines

The lines of the hand show the details of one's life. When events have strongly impressed themselves upon the brain, lines appear. However, if someone makes a dire prediction about you because of a line in your hand, run, do not walk to the nearest exit. Lines can change in as little as three weeks, when you change your point of view, and thus your destiny.

In general, the deeper and clearer the lines in your hand, the clearer your path will be. And please note that the length of the life line does not necessarily determine how long you will live! The curve of it, however, can tell a lot about a person's love life. A very curved life line, sweeping into the palm, outlining a large cushion or heel of the hand attached to the thumb, usually belongs to a lustful, healthy, good-natured, warm person. A life line that cleaves close to the thumb, with a fairly flat heel, can be the sign of a person who is more mental than physical, is shy, and tends to have relationships that are more platonic than sexual.

The mounds

The prominence or absence of mounds tells us much about the character, preferences and dilemmas of the person. For example, a large prominent mound under the finger of Jupiter (the pointer finger) suggests a leader, one who uses his voice effectively to influence people, who can be an overprotective parent, is predisposed to drinking problems, and should only marry a person he is proud of. Now if the subject also has a prominent mound of Venus (the cushiony portion attached to the thumb) he can be very attracted to a lover because of lust. Thus a conflict is present. He may be crazy about a woman because of their physical relationship, but if he isn't proud of her, a marriage between them will never work.

The interesting part of this study really begins when the different worlds and tests are placed together. Not only does each finger represent different character qualities, but also the phalanx of each finger. Now, consider that the lines in your hands can actually change within months-I can personally bear witness to that.

The simian line

When the heart and headlines are fused, as on a monkey's palm, the existing line is called the "simian" line. Although this is often evidence of Down's Syndrome in infants, palmists believe that it can be a sign of genius as well. It is also thought to indicate intensity and is not uncommon on the hands of people who agonize and have overly possessive attitudes.

Hands, by Linda Rose

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Beware of the harsh soaps in public restrooms. They dry out hands and cuticles. Try moistened towelettes instead.

-- Linda Rose in

Linda Rose in Redbook

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