Reaching Inward

Until my first Saturn return in my late twenties, I never thought about reaching inward. Making money, acquiring power, and having a good time was my calling. In my quest for worldly success, however, I managed to find myself fiscally devastated by fire; mentally and emotionally wrought by drug and gambling addictions of business partners; and psychologically and spiritually ravaged by the sudden unexpected death of my father.

Maybe I wasn’t meant to be doing what I thought I was supposed to be doing. I began pondering the concepts of fate, free will, and destiny. I moved from Pittsburgh to NYC, became an initiate in a mystical order, and began studying palmistry, astrology, tarot, numerology, and psychology. I lived in a fleabag residence hotel in Times Square and worked as a part-time machinist in wood and metal working shops to support my habits.

I meditated, practiced hatha yoga religiously, received regular bodywork, consulted a multitude of psychics and esoteric readers, studied Gestalt psychology, and consulted several psychotherapists. I devoured nearly everything written on the subject of palmistry, researching both western and eastern systems. Combining hand reading with astrology, tarot, and psychology enabled me to create my own eclectic system for understanding character. A life can be examined and reexamined through various lenses and illuminated by any circumstance or question. There’s no end to the amount of self-scrutiny possible.

I’ve been a self-appointed guidance counselor for nearly forty years. Within five minutes of examining a person’s hands, I can see their character, reflect on their current and major life issues and challenges, and offer constructive advice. Examining others has been the most effective method of reaching inward for me. I’ve learned to be more conscious of my own positive and negative potentials, to accept my limitations, to be more patient and tolerant, healthier, happier, and more fulfilled in my work and relationships.

People ask, “Do you read your own hands?” Yes, but it’s not easy to be objective about oneself. Reaching inward needs to become a ritual practice. I search for the best qualities in myself and try to maximize my assets and minimize my liabilities. Many people hope to learn something new by consulting an esoteric reader, but no reader can tell anyone anything they do not already know about themselves. I can say something completely wrong about a person and they may not contradict me because they think that my great reputation and specialized knowledge must make me right. People don’t realize how much they do know. I’ve counseled a lot of astrologers, tarot readers, numerologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and healers who came to affirm and confirm what they already knew. We must all learn to trust what we know about ourselves.

No matter how well we think we know ourselves, we still have to make decisions, create structures, cultivate relationships, maintain our health, and strive for personal happiness and fulfillment. We must take risks and participate in the world. If a person’s hands are hard and fingers stiff, they will fight change with every last molecule in their being. They’ll procrastinate at beginnings and endings, even when the all too familiar hand writing is on the wall. They need to learn to let go in order to make space for new beginnings. People with soft flexible hands will find myriad reasons and rationalizations not to focus their energies, or be disciplined and structured. Too many interests and distractions become handicaps. These folk need to focus, be disciplined, and structured, which is like taking bad tasting medicine for them. What are the best and worst consequences of choosing what we want? Not choosing is also a choice.

No matter what our hands say about us, the minute we begin to manifest anything that interferes with our current cycles, patterns, and habits, our demons will rise. We must learn to examine our lives subjectively, objectively, and act appropriately to catalyze the changes we need to make happen. We must learn to exercise our free will to transform our thinking, feelings, and circumstances while reaching inward and accessing our most positive inner resources. The morphology and topography of our hands will reveal the corresponding transformation over time.