History of Palimstry or Palm Reading Part 1

About the history of palmistry or palm reading an ancient form of fortune telling, followers, and a do it yourself guide.


What Is It?

Palmistry is the practice of "reading hands," of gaining knowledge about personality, past individual history, and likely future events by examining the shape, size, and configuration of the fingers and, most important, the lines and protuberances of the palms themselves.


There is some evidence that palmistry may have begun in the Stone Age. Hand outlines can be seen in black and red-ocher pigments on the walls of the ancient caves of Altamira in Spain and in other European grottoes. Palmistry as it exists today probably had its origins in ancient India long before recorded history and found its way into western Europe through nomadic bands of Gypsies, who made contact with Europe in the 15th century. These Gypsy bands can trace their roots to a single village in northern India.


Beginning with Alexander himself, the list of important people who have at least taken an interest in palmistry is a long one--Aristotle, Thomas a Becket, Paracelsus, Napoleon, Balzac, Alexandre Dumas, and Pope Leo XIII. In more modern times, many celebrities have had palm readings--Gladstone, Mark Twain, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Arthur Rubinstein, David Susskind, Helen Keller, and Eleanor Roosevelt. Popular acceptance of palmistry has fluctuated over the centuries, but with the current renaissance of interest in parapsychology, it is again growing.

Do It Yourself

Serious hand readers spend a lifetime studying their art, and usually combine their technical skill with a paranormal intuitive talent. But with a few relatively simple observations, you can gain a fascinating insight into the special kinds of knowledge available to the palmist.

First, the general position of the entire hand in relation to the rest of the body is a key to personality type. For example, a worried, anxious person will clench his hands or hold them shut tight. If you hold your thumb over the rest of your fingers, like a prizefighter, you are determined or maybe even belligerent. An open floppy, dangling hand reveals a person who lacks firm character or strong purpose. You can also look at the size of the hands. If they are out of proportion to the body, you can expect something original or odd.

Very small hands tend to show immaturity; large hands are those of analytical people capable of delicate, intricate work. To determine "normal" hand size, compare the length of the hand to the length of the face: from the tip of the longest finger to the base of the wrist usually equals the distance from the hairline to the point of the chin (usually about 7 1/2 in.).

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