Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Art of Palmistry: Your Hands and You

Some people believe that the eyes are the window to the soul. Some people used to believe that a person’s character could be read by examining the shape of and bumps on the skull (otherwise known as phrenology). The idea that our bodies can give some kind of inkling towards explanations of who we are is a common idea, and one popular method for this is palm reading or palmistry.

According to palmistry, characteristics and future happenings in a person’s life can be detected by examining the shape and size of the palm and fingers as well as the four major lines on the less dominant hand (i.e. if someone is right handed, examine the left hand). The heart line, head line, life line, and fate line are the four major indicators. However, not everyone has the fate line. Supposedly, by examining the length and depth of these lines as well as intersections and smaller lines surrounding them, a palm reader can determine what a person’s romantic life will be like, if they will have good health, be happy, experience trauma, etc. Yet all of this is based in interpretation and sometimes obvious observations, not science.

For example, course skin on the palms supposedly indicates that someone is practical and responsible, but it also indicates that that person works with his or her hands. Any auto mechanic, construction worker, or welder can tell you that working with their hands made their skin rougher without knowing anything about palmistry. A long life line symbolizes vitality. Multiple life lines indicate extra vitality. These observations are based in human assumption and visual correlation – i.e. a long life line will most likely yield a long life – not scientific deduction. Furthermore, who is to say what is long or short? Who is to say if a line is deep or not? If a person goes to three different palm readers, s/he may very well get three different interpretations of the same hand. By using broad characteristics and vague language, palmistry functions much the way fortune cookies and horoscopes do. Phrases like, “A great opportunity is waiting for you in the future” are right up there with saying that a break in the life line indicates a change in lifestyle. That could mean anything. While it may be entertaining to go to a palm reader, each interpretation should be taken with a grain of salt.



  1. Although I know this course is supposed to disprove non-scientific events, I did have a palm reading when I was about 11. I was on vacation in Florida with my grandmother and we were sitting poolside when a woman sitting next to me asked if she could read my palm. I thought why not, it’s harmless. I mentioned not a word about myself or family. The odd part was she was very exact with the reading, especially when she stated that my mother had ulcers, which she did. I know that it could have been a 50/50 chance that one’s mother has ulcers, but it just seemed believable at the time.

  2. I agree with Daphne. Two weeks after I started dating my now fiance, we were sitting in the park and he said, "you know you're going to have twins right?". This actually frightened me... not only because I barely knew him but also because twins run in my family and my mother always tells me that I'm probably next to give birth to twins.

    A year ago, last summer actually, my fiance and I were on the boardwalk in Atlantic City and there was a palm reader... I had never been to a palm reader or anything of the sort because I was always skeptical but I figured "why not??". I went in and told my fiance to stay outside so the women didn't say anything vague like "you're in love". Well one thing that shocked the hell outta me was that she said after looking at my palm was, "do twins run in your family?" I told her yes and she told me I am going to have twins".

    I will be really scared if I do have twins because that means that both my fiance's and the palm reader's predictions came true!!

  3. My friend used to think she could read my palm just by the length on the lines on my inner palm. She would say that my life line is short so I am going to die young. I told her thanks for the hope.