U.S. ex-Secretary of State, ex-General Colin Powell is a perfect example of a Pioneer. Born April 5, 1937, with his Astrological Sun and Mercury in Aries, it’s easy to see his rectangular palm, short fingers, and widely separated life and headline. Colin Powell is a modern version of the great Greek hero King Theseus of Athens, who accompanied Jason and the Argonauts on their quest for the Golden Fleece. Theseus defeated the dreaded Minotaur (Saddam Hussein, a Taurus) and united the warring Greek factions under his rule. Secretary Powell’s commanding personality persuaded Americans to keep the faith while we invaded Iraq. I believe that he believed that he could make a positive difference, but he ended up being goldenly fleeced by the Bush administration. While our Emperor pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes, he proudly wore Colin Powell’s noble charisma, flawless credibility, and ethical principles on the front lines of international diplomacy. Powell’s largest battles are yet to come as he wages war between his personal loyalties and his own honesty, integrity, and dignity. In order to cleanse his legacy and be a true hero, Colin Powell must shine the light of absolute truth on the many shades of gray in his life.
Al Gore is an Intuitive type and a Pioneer with rectangular palms and short fingers. In astrology, Mars and Aries rule Energy and War. Jupiter and Sagittarius rule Politics. Al’s Sun in Aries, Mars, Saturn, and Pluto in Leo, and Jupiter in Sagittarius, provide Al with an abundance of inspiration and motivation to transform both energy and politics. Tens of millions of Pioneers all over the world are destined to become involved in energy, war, and politics.
Al’s Intuitive hand shape and long index finger say he’s an ambitious and egocentric natural leader. He’s a modern version of Jason, who with the help of the Argonauts captured the Golden Fleece. After his tenure as Vice President, Al bagged the coveted Nobel Peace Prize by opening the minds of the masses to the hazards of Global Warming. As a conceptual thinker, Al loves the idea part of the process. His strength is in his ability to see the big picture. Once he decides what he wants to achieve, Al backs up his point of view with statistics and makes his case. Fortunately, Al doesn’t have to deal with too many details of those statistics because he has no aptitude or patience for details. As a modern day hero, Al needs to pour his inspiration and passion into a worthy quest. As a person of great privilege, he needs to practice what he preaches.
Al was twenty-nine years old when we met. He was enthusiastic and cheerful, but confused about what he thought he should or was supposed to be doing with his life. Why was he forever failing at money matters? He read self-help books. He patronized astrologers, tarot card readers, psychics and mediums. Nothing helped. Al joined EST (Erhard Seminar Training) searching for answers, but was unable to tolerate the jargon. He also hated the idea of being anyone’s groupie.
Al asked me to take a look at his hands. His long rectangular palms and short fingers instantly revealed that Al was an Intuitive type. The overall resilience of his very firm hands, pink elastic skin, and separated head and life line convinced me that Al was a Pioneer. Al’s Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter were in the sign of Aries in his horoscope, which corresponded well to the Pioneer symbolism in his hands.
Al descended from a wealthy New England family. Al’s great grandfather (a Sultan archetype), created a financial empire in the import business. Al’s grandpa was one of several brothers and sisters entrusted as guardians of the large estate. Grandpa worked diligently to preserve the family fortune, however his playboy son, Al’s father (King of Thieves), squandered his share of the treasure on wine, women, and yachts. Penniless and directionless, Al’s father found a passive, soft-hearted wife to care for him.
Al was their first-born son. Al’s mother loved him unconditionally (real Aladdin’s have mothers), however she was way too permissive. She let Al get away with anything and everything. Al went through his formative years without a framework of authority, discipline, and structure. Al’s father was emotionally absent. He played with his son (to Al’s delight), but would later regress into selfish behavior and become verbally abusive to Al’s mother following one drink too many. Destined to become a rebel from the get go, Al never listened to his parents, nor did he respect any authority figures. He didn’t care what anyone thought or said (separation between head and lifelines). Al did what he wanted to do.
True to his archetype, Al was impatient and impulsive. He was extremely athletic and excelled at sports. As a child, he bonded easily with other boys who were adventurous. Al was always first to try anything, especially when it was dangerous or involved risk. He was famous among his peers for climbing where others feared to climb, jumping where others feared to jump, and swimming where others feared to swim. People thought Al was reckless and might one day have a serious accident, but Al was confident in his abilities and luck. He did get clobbered more than a few times, but like his archetype, he bounced back, landing on his feet and escaping permanent damage and consequences.
Even though Al was very bright, schooling wasn’t easy. He often ended up in the principal’s office after provoking a fight or for being the class clown. While Al excelled at sports, he also loved art and music. Academically, he struggled because he had difficulty concentrating. He’d likely have been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder today. As sunlight glittered through the classroom window, Al was skydiving, wind surfing, or on some far off adventure in his imagination. He knew he’d never be conventional (whorl fingerprints on all fingers). Al believed that having a boring job (all jobs were boring to Al) might kill him. He especially dreaded the thought of having no real purpose in life, like his father.
Being precocious, Al’s hormones raged early. Al was in love with love. Even before he knew what sex was, Al was attracted to the prettiest and most popular girls. He was determined to be their boyfriend. The gentle curved shape of Al’s long heart line ends under his index finger illustrating a highly romantic and idealistic nature. People with long graceful heart lines tend to see others, as they would like them to be, instead of how they really are.
As a child, Al watched all the Disney movies and saw no reason whatsoever why his own life should be any different from the heroes in the movies. He was strong and handsome and attracted a diversity of damsels in distress. Had you asked Al at the beginning of his quest, he would have described the object of his desire as Princess Jasmine (Objectivist archetype), Maid Marion (Visionary), Snow White (Nurturer), Cinderella (Analyst), or Sleeping Beauty (Diplomat). When Al’s conquest came too easily, he quickly lost interest. This pattern continued for over twenty years before Al realized he was intimacy challenged. Unlike Disney movies, beasts and frogs didn’t actually become princes or princesses in real life.
In junior high school, Al experienced his first part time job. He stocked supermarket shelves, sneaking away to eat ice cream in the walk-in freezer or roast marshmallows in the incinerator. Al did not enjoy this work, but it was novel to receive a paycheck. He learned a lot about his relationship to money during this period. He realized that he was not motivated by money (short bottom phalange on little finger). Al had always been impulsive and generous, but when that first paycheck arrived, Al’s generosity (highly flexible thumbs) transformed into pure extravagance. Money burned a hole in his pocket. Al blew his whole paycheck in minutes by throwing a party for his friends and spending every last cent he had earned. He temporarily forgot how hard the work was. After squandering a few paychecks, Al began to realize how easily his father had squandered the family fortune. Al swore that he would never be like his father and began saving a little money each week.
In high school, Al realized that he would have to join society one day. Not the exclusive social club of old wealth to which his rich cousins belonged, but the middle class culture that seemed to have no clue of what freedom was. According to Al, the middle class maintains mundane reality, so the rich can play. Determined not to feather some wealthy person’s mattress, Al decided he’d be like his great grandfather. He had no idea what he’d do or how he’d do it. Al did have great artistic talent (long ring finger, large ball of the thumb, whorl finger prints) and he was a wonderful craftsman. An overdeveloped sense of responsibility (strong middle finger) held Al back from being an artist, which was his true calling.
As Al approached college age, his middle finger began leaning more towards his ring finger. Al knew he’d eventually have to support himself. His conflict between his desire for freedom and his need to be responsible and practical was frustrating him. Al needed more time for Al. He fantasized about running away to a desert island and at the same time, he was super-conscious of creating a future, while striving for perfection in all things. Instead of smelling the roses, nothing was ever good enough for Al. It could always be better or different.
Wisely, Al’s mother managed to keep a valuable secret from him. Al’s grandfather had created a trust fund for Al that was to remain untouched until his college years. This fund was large enough to pay for Al’s education and also provide seed money for Al’s own small business. Al enrolled in one of the best art colleges in the country. What a wonderful time and experience for him. He learned about all kinds of materials and processes for the artist. He made beautiful art works, but Al was afraid of becoming a starving artist. Al chose the most responsible career path he could think of—fabricating artwork for other successful artists.
Al spent the remainder of his endowment creating an art fabrication studio with substantial warehouse space, lots of equipment, materials, natural light, and a great location. He had very little money left for maintenance, help, or holding out. Like Aladdin, however, he had an abundance of energy, undertaking every task himself. Al hadn’t a clue about business, but that didn’t deter him. He had a wealth of initiative, determination, and persistence. Al began knocking on doors. Soon he got his first job, which was unprofitable, which got him to the next job, which was also unprofitable, which got him to the next and the next unprofitable job. Al began wondering, Am I a lousy businessman? Is it my nature to underestimate work and money? Am I a sucker for a hard luck story? “Yes” was the answer. Very flexible thumbed people rarely ask enough for themselves. “No” is the hardest word in their vocabulary.
Al decided to work harder. His already curved index finger began to curve more towards his middle finger. Al worked day and night, week after week, month after month, year after year. When Al looked in the mirror, he saw that he had become a prisoner of his thoughts and desires. He imagined that he had made a deal with the devil, but the devil hadn’t kept his part of the bargain. Al had feared dying while working for someone else. With a regular job, he would have died only 40 hours a week. Al could have accepted martyrdom if he had become financially successful. He was barely making enough to survive, plus he had way too many responsibilities and obligations. Others depended on him. Al felt shame and guilt for even imagining dumping his business and running away. His latest theory was “the family curse.”
I encouraged Al to try gestalt psychotherapy. Gestalt therapy can work well on Intuitive types because they have no patience for traditional therapies. They need someone to catch them in their current patterns and habits by paying attention to their behavior, body language, and speech patterns. Al resisted the idea, feeling that his problems were external. He wanted a New Age solution. I recommended that he go on a Vision Quest and include being healthy, happy, and fulfilled in his vision. I suggested that Al cut his overhead and make art; however, he was determined to make his business succeed. I advised Al to envision his goal as his greatest adventure and conquest. Al could resolve his conflict between having freedom and taking responsibility by reverently and ritually embracing his everyday tasks and earning his freedom. Al needed much more structure, discipline, and focus. No more plans on paper napkins, deals on a handshake, or changes on an impulse. That wouldn’t be easy because Al had no patience for detail, bureaucracy, or anything mundane for that matter. Al eventually created an internet marketing business, which merged his creative spirit with his inspiration and passion. Cyberspace was more manageable than factory space for Al. It’s thriving because of Al’s boundless courage, contagious enthusiasm, and charismatic personality.
In intimate relationships Al had always operated on a double standard. Even though he was ready to hop in the sack at a moment’s notice, Al secretly wanted his lover to make him earn her trust. Presenting flowers and creating romantic candlelight dinners for the object of his desire was part of his mating ritual and inevitable conquest. I encouraged Al to be truly old-fashioned. I advised him to find a woman who wouldn’t put up with his chauvinistic bullshit. He’d never fully appreciate or respect any woman without having to work hard for her. I encouraged Al to earn her trust and to cherish every drop of what he earned.
Al eventually married an adventurous, attractive, loving, supportive, and intelligent Thinking type. His wife is not a princess. She has her own career. Marriage will never be easy for Al as he can’t stand being restricted in any way. He and his partner may never be very wealthy, but they make time to share those precious adventures. Al is happier, but needs to remain conscious not to slip back into impulsive, excessive, and obsessive behavior patterns.
Author’s note: Over the next several months, I’ll share an eclectic mix of tales of real life heroes and anti-heroes who you’ll recognize in yourself and others. We each embody the best and worst qualities of one or more of twelve basic archetypes that comprise the core family of western myth. I hope my stories inspire you to see your hands as a portal to being your own best friend and bullshit detector.
The Pioneer is the most courageous and adventurous of all twelve types. He’s an inspired risk taker and a natural hero. As a naturally energetic and enthusiastic person, his passion is contagious and optimism eternal. He’s ready and willing to compete with anyone at any time and place. He never runs out of doors to knock on because he doesn’t take rejection personally. He’s an independent, freedom loving, naturally rebellious type, who hates being criticized, detests bureaucracy, and believes being his own boss is best. If he’s dedicated to a worthy cause, he’ll crusade relentlessly until he realizes his aspirations. When he has low set thumbs, he’ll seek out underdogs who he can defend.
As an Intuitive type, the Pioneer is not a detail person. He needs to see the whole picture, to set sensible goals, and to build sound structures on solid foundations. When he gets bogged down with mundane tasks like office work or bookkeeping, he becomes bored, restless, and impatient. When he’s frustrated, stay out of his way if you can’t help him. Executives, military leaders, soldiers, policemen, firemen, salesmen, surgeons, barbers, and butchers (anyone unafraid of blood or working with sharp instruments) have strong Pioneer symbolism.
Hands of pure types feature rectangular palms, short fingers, and puffy pink bumps where the thumbs meet the hand. They have a well-developed percussion (bulging side of hand under pinkie finger). The consistency of their hands is firm and their skin is elastic (quickly returns to normal when pushed or pulled). An overall pinkish or reddish coloration to the palms energizes the person. The headline and lifeline are frequently separate where the thumb meets the hand.
We all have a Pioneer in our symbolism. To the degree he’s present, we take chances and overcome our inertia. His Greek mythological archetype is Ares, symbolized by the popular male sex symbol also known as Mars, Roman god of war. In astrology, Mars rules the sign of Aries ascending in the first house of the natural horoscope at the birth of spring. Mars was an invincible warrior and lusty lover. The Pioneer is often built to match, with a solid athletic body sporting a dominant chest and head. As a physically healthy type, he has an amazing resilience and ability to bounce back, always landing on his feet. Mars types have a powerful sense of inner strength and tremendous courage. His physical problems include headaches, fevers, inflammations, and high blood pressure. Mars is the mythological ancestor of heroic pioneers such as Jason and the Argonauts, King Theseus of Athens, Joan of Arc, Robin Hood, and his popular eastern cousin Aladdin, the orphaned son of the king of thieves, a handsome adolescent street rat, a diamond in the rough destined to be a prince.
My next blog entry will be a tale of a real life Aladdin. Although Al’s thinking and circumstances are unique, his underlying character parallels his archetype. His story will unfold as we examine his hands. Following Aladdin, I will post a series of short vignettes of family, friends, clients, and celebrities who are Pioneers.
The future of palmistry is not the science of palmistry. After 5500 years, there’s more than enough science to give palmistry credibility. One more theory, detail, statistical confirmation, blind study, or variation on a theme will not make the difference. The future of palmistry is the art of palmistry, the accurate interpretation of the science and the skillful counseling of clients. It’s time for palmistry to come out of the closet and be finally recognized in the 21st Century as a valid and vital form of self-help.
It’s not necessary to consult a palmist or to know palmistry for that matter, to attain valuable insights into relationship, career, health, and other major life issues and challenges. To that end, I’ve edited my blog and turned it into an e-book, Real Palmistry, which gives readers an opportunity to see their hands in an entirely new light.
Real Palmistry is the foundation for future blog entries and my next book, ‘Real Palmistry Stories’. Readers can learn about hands by reading real stories of real people as seen through the lenses of their hands. A person’s hands reflect their character; what they’ve done, are doing, and are likely to do with that character. Accurate interpretation is a result of keen observation, an intimate understanding of archetypal mythology and psychology, meaningful dialogue, and practice. I plan to continue linking details in the hands to the science of palmistry and explaining new details wherever possible; however, I’ll be focusing on the gestalt of hands in the future, not a smorgasbord of isolated scientific details.
Check out this pilot for a palmistry video series I’m planning which will consist of 2 minute segments on how a person’s character, values, thinking, feelings, will power, health, relationships, creativity, philosophy, purpose, dreams, and spirituality can be observed in their hands. I’m looking for the right venue for the series by querying online consumer magazines, newspapers, network TV, and internet providers in the hope that they want to be instrumental in bringing palmistry to the masses. Any thoughts, ideas, insights, opinions, and suggestions will be appreciated. I’ll keep you informed of my progress.
I’ve been out of touch for several months because I’ve taken time off from the outer world to upgrade my homes, vehicles, communications hardware, software, personal relationships, and health. I’m happy to report that all are in excellent shape. I’m headed to Norway in a couple of days for a family adventure. I’ll be totally out of touch with everyone and everything for that time. When I return in early August, I plan to devote myself to writing ‘Real Palmistry Stories’ and to promoting Real Palmistry.
The following list is a modified version of a keyword list that was given to me by my palmistry teacher who tailored and shared the list passed on by her teacher. The purpose of keywords is to help students grasp basic palmistry. Keywords are simplistic, intended to be an introduction to the subject, not concrete definitions of human nature. They’re meant to evoke images, ideas, and feelings that provide insight into our selves and others. As I’ve pointed out many times, every detail should be examined and interpreted in the context of the whole person and all other details at the same time. I’ve provided links (in blue) to illustrations and more information.
DOMINANT HAND: writing hand, conscious mind, what you do with what you’ve got
PASSIVE HAND: subconscious mind, basic character, innate behavioral patterns, natural talents, abilities, and propensities
HAND SHAPES: relationship between fingers and palms
Long palm short fingers: Intuitive, large picture person, inspired, passionate, restless
Square palm short fingers: Practical, practical, responsible, reliable, dependable
Square palm long fingers: Thinking, social, communicative, versatile, needs space
Long palm long fingers: Feeling, most sensitive, vulnerable, protective, psychic
FINGER LENGTH: in relationship to palm / whole hand
Long: love of detail, suspicious, skeptical, sensitive, slow, thoughtful, careful, investigative
Short: intuitive, impatient, restless, easily bored, quick, hasty, needs to see the whole picture
FINGERS: positive traits based on physical attributes
Index finger: ambitious, proud, career minded, goal oriented, natural leader, partner well
Middle finger: dependable, organized, efficient, patient, faithful, technical, strategic
Ring finger: versatile, adaptable, creative, expressive, likeable, dramatic
Pinkie finger: communicative, curious, quick-witted, clever, childlike
FINGERS: negative traits based on physical attributes
Index finger: low self-esteem, critical, judgmental, controlling, indulgent with food
Middle finger: self-critical, frustrated, overly responsible, guilty, depressed
Ring finger: spread too thin, distracted, appearance oriented, gambler
Pinkie finger: restless, nervous, superficial, deceitful, con artist
SPACE BETWEEN FINGERS: relates to particular fingers affected
Wide space: need for freedom, sense of adventure, willingness to try new things
Moderate space: satisfaction with the status quo, not subject to extremes
Narrow space: cautious, private, takes direction well, doesn’t rock the boat
FINGER TIPS: 5 primary shapes, can be any combination of fingers
Spatulate: originality, inventive ability, unconventionality, needs activity, realism
Square: precise, orderly, practical, useful, punctual, systematic
Round: combines and balances spatulate and square qualities without extremes
Conic: idealistic, romantic, emotional, love of beauty & harmony
Pointed: dreamer, idealist, poetic, inspired, spontaneous, impractical, psychic
NAILS: takes six months to grow, timing = center of nail is 3 months, tip is 6 months
Long & broad: frank, honest, open, direct, balanced, healthy
Broad: physical strength, stamina, steadiness
Long & narrow: nervous, intuitive, lack of robustness, possible psychic ability
Small or short: curious, inquiring nature
Very short: (may be bitten) critical nature, nit picky, argumentative
Cross ridges: trauma. Illness, health problems
Vertical ridges: nervous condition, easily stressed, increases naturally with age
Bulbous / whitish: bronchial / respiratory / circulatory problems, throat, lungs, and heart
KNOTS: located at joints of fingers, size of knot indicates degree of qualities
No knots: intuitive, impulsive, spontaneous, aesthetic, inclined to be social
Top knot: mental order, analytical, systematic, methodical, deliberate, thoughtful, careful
Bottom knot: material order, neat, organized, ordered, everything in its place, OCD
THUMB: how it’s formed, size, and how it’s set on the hands
Tip: will power, determination, ability to command
Second phalanx: logic, perception, judgment, reasoning ability
Large: (higher than middle of 3rd phalange of index finger) strong character, natural leader, guided by head, desires practical results
Small: (lower than middle of 3rd phalange of index finger) weak character, follower, guided by heart, sentimental, impressionable.
High set: cautious, private, less adaptable mind
Medium set: balanced, reasonable, sensible
Low set: (check position & how thumb is held) generous, independent, loves independence for others, impulsive, open adaptable mind, quick to grasp concepts
THUMB SHAPES AND QUALITIES:
Elementary: dense, heavy, coarse, tactless, no mental agility
Broad: determined, strong, physical energy & stamina, may be aggressive & blunt
Column: shapely thumb, strong will, tact, refinement
Paddle: broad tip with waisted 2nd phalanx, mental determination with tact & diplomacy
Nervous: flattened tip, lack of balanced energy, nervous mind & energy
Clubbed: (tip short & broad with short broad nail) often hereditary, obstinate, possible explosive reactions in difficult situations, crimes of passion, ‘murderer’s thumb’
Waisted: logic phalanx narrowing at center, refined logic, tact, mental agility, able to gently persuade, diplomacy
Stiff: practical, economical, stingy, willful, stubborn, cautious, reserved, traditional
THREE WORLDS: hand as whole and individual phalanges of fingers
First world: mental & intellectual qualities, higher learning, ideas, thought, spiritual
Second world: practical, business, commercial, day-to-day routine & energy
Third world: baser, instinctual, animal nature, luxury, laziness, sensuality, material values, “what’s in it for me”
BASIC LINES: beginnings, endings, meanings
Life line: begins at thumb wraps around ball of thumb – about quality, not quantity of life
Heart line: begins under pinkie, traverses towards index finger, expression of feelings
Head line: begins near thumb, crosses toward percussion, how a person thinks
Fate line: begins near base of palm, rises toward fingers, quality and direction of career
QUALITIES OF LINES: life cycles and timing can be roughly judged on lines
Islands: obstacles, being divided for that period, indecision,
Chains: one obstacle after the other, chronic struggle about choices or directions
Dots: acute problems, possible headaches, heartaches, or physical obstructions
Bars: obstacle that can prevent the person from moving forward for a time
Breaks: usually an ending that implies new beginnings will follow
Crosses: challenges that need to be met, character building experiences
Forks: usually at end of line, taking two directions, conflict with decision-making
Grilles: frequently under middle finger, perfectionism, own worst critic, depression
Tassels: usually at end of line, energy dispersed or distracted near end of life.
TEXTURE: back of hand – think of extremes (baby’s butt vs ditch digger)
Medium: normal, healthy, good resistance to life’s knocks
Coarse: unrefined, earthy, may be vulgar (rough skin with large pores)
CONSISTENCY: shake hands, press under fingers, heel of hand, ball of thumb
Flabby: lazy, dreamer, procrastinator, desires ease and luxury, needs physical exercise
Soft: tends toward laziness, needs encouragement to develop energy
Elastic: considered healthiest, active, responsible, trustworthy, a doer
Hard: tends to be rigid, inadaptable, dense, best for physical labor
FLEXIBILITY: bend wrist and fingers back at joints
Very flexible: open minded, adaptable, versatile, distracted, extravagant, impressionable, tend to spread themselves too thin, possible mood swings
Straight: balanced, self-contained, in control, able to concentrate
Stiff: fingers don’t bend, may curve inwards, cautious, narrow, stingy
COLOR: examine nails, palms, and lines
White: cold, distant, selfish
Pink: healthy, normal blood flow (especially ball of thumb and under index finger), warm, generous, sympathetic, appreciative
Red: intense, ardent, lots of vitality, physical strength, angry, violent, high blood pressure
Yellow: pessimistic, cranky, irritable, may drink too much carrot juice (changes meaning)
Blue: poor circulation, weak heart, may be seen at base of ball of thumb during a woman’s menses, potentially serious health problem if seen at base of fingernails
Keywords embody concepts that unlock the doors to knowledge. They reduce an idea to a single word and are universal to all languages. In metaphysics, keywords are used to represent symbols and embody specific principles. When you learn palmistry, astrology, numerology, tarot, or any occult language for that matter, it’s important to have a set of key words to guide you. Whether you’re optimizing a search engine, exploring science, observing art, playing music, designing your home, or examining human nature, the key to keywords is in their collective recognition and interpretation.
My metaphysical teachers always provided me with a list of key words at the beginning of my journey into a particular discipline. When I began studying astrology (over 35 years ago), I learned that our solar system was the basis for constructing a horoscope. To an astrologer, planets are basic archetypes of nature and also keywords for specific energies, ideologies, and potentialities. As Apollo drives the chariot of the sun across the sky each day, he sheds light on all things. Sun is a patriarchal archetype that symbolizes spirit and consciousness. Moon is matriarchal and represents emotion and the unconscious. Mercury communicates. Venus senses. Mars energizes. Jupiter expands. Saturn contracts. Uranus revolutionizes. Neptune imagines. Pluto transforms. This is extremely superficial, but you get the point. Planets are one of four basic elements required to interpret a natal horoscope. Astrological signs are adjectives that describe the basic qualities and energies of planets. Houses in a horoscope represent the areas of life in which planets and signs reside. Aspects are the relationships between planets, signs, and houses that challenge, enhance, and impel a person or circumstance. Humanity consists of masses of harmonious and contradictory computations, permutations, and probabilities rotating and revolving through time and space. We’re one big dysfunctional family, mainly because in our individual consciousness, all of time and space revolves around each of us.
It’s impossible to define human nature with keywords, and yet keywords are absolutely necessary to understanding human nature. One challenge in relying on keywords in palmistry is that a majority of palmistry books are obsolete cookbooks and notoriously confusing, full of stale ingredients and unreliable recipes passed down for generations. Inaccurate information and inadequate illustrations are cloaked in esoteric and technical jargon.
Palmistry keywords are not meant to define human nature, but instead, to evoke images, ideas, and feelings that give us insight into our selves and others. That being said, l will attempt to generalize all of the literature of western palmistry using keywords in my next blog entry. I’ll tie them to past blog entries wherever possible so that they can be viewed in the context of the gestalt of palmistry. If you want to learn how to read hands, you can print out the list of keywords in my next entry and consult it as you observe and examine hands.
Keywords in palmistry are derived from the basic formations and qualities of hands.
- Size, shape, and proportions of hands reveal a combination of four basic archetypes: Intuitive, Practical, Thinking, and Feeling.
- Hand texture, color, elasticity and consistency of skin, and flexibility of joints explain how we initiate, maintain, and adapt to new ideas and circumstances.
- The lengths and proportions of fingers, knots, shapes of fingertips, and qualities of nails represent how we relate and are fulfilling our potentials in our world around us.
- Fixed skin ridge patterns (dermatoglyphics), lines, and gestures reveal more detailed information about life path and circumstances.
Before proceeding, here are two very important ideas to keep in mind.
1. Always consider the dominant archetype. Remember that every detail is capable of modifying the whole and all other details at the same time. The basic shape and proportions of hands is the place to start. Finger lengths are crucial to understanding motivation. Shapes of fingertips flavor the thinking of the type. The development (or not) of knots modifies that flavor. No matter what else is happening, the color, consistency, elasticity, and flexibility of hands in general are critical to understanding a person’s energy, natural resistance to life’s knocks, and adaptability. Without a healthy thumb, it’s hard to have a healthy life because will power or logic can be excessive or deficient. Reading hands is satisfying when hand qualities are consistent, which they usually are.
2. There are relatively few pure types. Pure types tend to be extreme. They can be taxing to be around. Fortunately, most of us are mutts. Once you recognize a dominant archetype, look for a secondary type, which modifies the motivation and behavior of the pure type. With a dominant middle finger and secondary index finger, forget about middle finger melancholy. This person is a disciplined ambitious leader in their chosen career. If the index finger is dominant and middle finger secondary, a person’s powerful ambition may be tempered or hindered by a lot of structure, discipline, and pragmatism. If the middle finger is dominant and the ring finger is secondary, forget about being a loner. This person is gregarious and much better at selling himself than the pure dominant middle fingered person. If the ring finger leans toward the middle finger, you may have a great craftsman or an overly responsible perfectionist. Your dialogue with the person will help you to understand how these qualities manifest in each individual. If a pinkie finger is secondary, that increases shrewdness, adaptability, spontaneity, and a person’s sixth sense. On the dark side, he could be the master criminal who can pick your pocket and rob your life savings at the same time. Some people are harder to judge, as you will see when I begin to share fascinating stories of family, friends, clients, and celebrities.
“The worst enemy of creativity is self-doubt” Sylvia Plath
Clients say, “I’m not creative.” “I don’t have a creative bone in my body.” “I couldn’t draw a straight line if my life depended on it.” They think being creative is being artistic. Some ask, “How can I be more creative?” I encourage them to use their imagination, be original, think critically, and view creativity not as a destination or goal, but as an innate birthright.
People agree that creativity is a good thing to have, though few can effectively define it. Scientists try to measure our C.Q.s along with our I.Q.s. Neurologists designate the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex of our brain as the location for creativity. Creativity and hands are inextricably linked. Hands may be a small body part, but they occupy a large space in our cerebral cortex. As we solve problems, our hands carry out the messages of our minds, do the work, and topographically map our motivations, character, behavior, values, thinking, feelings, will power, health, relationships, philosophy, purpose, hopes, wishes, fears, and spirituality.
Creativity is like the bastard prodigal child of great joy and intense suffering. Researchers agree that creativity thrives in extremes and opposites. It can sprout in brilliant light or total darkness, blossom in absolute good or darkest evil, and flourish in razor sharp focus or complete distraction. Western mythology links creativity, sex, death, and transformation. Like us, creativity is born, procreates, and dies.
Creativity produces art and music that pulls our heartstrings, ignites our spirits, inspires us, and fills us with joy, passion, and desire. Creativity within science has enabled us to have a very high standard of living by heating our homes and allowing us to travel and communicate freely. Creativity triumphs over any and all obstacles. When our creative juices are flowing, we can embrace our creative process, take creative license, and do anything but steal someone else’s creative work. When our work is done, we’ve got recreation.
Let’s explore the dark side of creativity. Creativity manifests darkly in many ways. We avoid what we know is right by compartmentalizing, analyzing, and rationalizing unhealthy thoughts and feelings. Temptation germinates the seeds of shameful secrets that nourish guilt, rob honesty, compromise integrity, and tarnish nobility. Fear debilitates, sabotages, and betrays. It takes creativity and a good memory to juggle promises, lies, and excuses. Some symptoms of dark creativity are: “I may have not told the whole truth, but I didn’t lie.” “I didn’t mean to tell.” “I never intended to hurt anyone.” “The temptation was too strong.” “I’m sorry for my part.”
In order for creativity to manifest, a symbolic death must take place. Letting go, no matter how painful, creates space for new choices, actions, and circumstances. I know about death and creativity. Pluto rules my horoscope. Pluto, Scorpio, and the eighth house symbolize transformation in astrology. Catastrophic business and personal losses forced me to rethink, restructure, and recreate my life several times. Pluto is master of the ‘little death’ (sexual orgasm). Pluto also welcomes us as executioner, coroner, and mortician at our final exit. Lord Voldemort, Darth Vader, Mummy, and the Big Bad Wolf are modern Plutonian types.
Reading hands is more about quality than quantity. We can’t see the extent of creativity in our hands, but we can see the qualities of creativity. Creative orientation can be observed in the shapes and proportions of our hands. Our desire to create is revealed by the conditions and qualities of our thumb and index finger. Ways we structure and communicate our creativity can be seen in the middle and pinkie fingers. How we express creativity is mirrored in the elasticity, consistency, color, texture, and flexibility of hands and fingers. Our imagination is incarnate in the qualities and directions of our head line. Our appreciation of art, music, nature, kids, food, home, etc., can be seen in the ball of thumb and ring finger.
The length of a lifeline does not determine the length of life. You will die. No one can or should tell you when. That’s God’s job. Our job, is to be personally and collectively creative in as constructive (as opposed to destructive) ways as possible. Our positive creativity is essential to our good health and the health of our world.
“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” Albert Einstein
I ask, “What does spirituality mean to you?”
Spirituality is subjective. Everyone agrees that spirituality is a good thing to have, though few can effectively define it. To the ancients, it meant life, not in its physical aspect, but as a universal principle that infuses, drives, and sustains existence. It was understood as an abstract energy in man that is the only reality in the midst of an ever-changing world. Hermes, western myth’s father of wisdom and communication, described spirit as the essence that permeates and the glue that connects everything. Our spiritual development is dependent on recognizing, realizing, and manifesting the spirit within us. To an eastern philosopher, spirit is universal. It’s never individualized. One person does not have one spirit and another person another. Man is a race of spiritually indivisible individuals. There are no divine spirits, human spirits, animal spirits, or plant spirits, but one spirit flowing through all divine forms. Chinese Taoists say, “As springs flow into streams, streams into rivers, and rivers into oceans, evolution is imprisoned in all things flowing through innumerable forms back to the sea of its own universality”.
In all esoteric teachings, the goal of spirituality is about raising consciousness in order to become aware of something greater, higher, and deeper than things appear to be in the moment. We reference all that is good, exalting, uplifting, and god-like in man’s nature. A feeling of reverence, devotion, attention, and a separation from all that’s low and degrading is present. Manly Hall postulates in his book, Questions and Answers: Fundamentals of the Esoteric Sciences, “All men suffer from certain reasonable doubts concerning life and truth. Spirituality is not in keeping with either the church or state. Each person is his own high priest and the obligations he makes to himself are what’s real.”
Rudolf Steiner, in his book, Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment, explains that human beings can attain spiritual enlightenment and wisdom through diligent esoteric study. The primary goal of this study is to recognize a life of truth and inner tranquility. There are six attributes that initiates strive to acquire: control of thought, control of actions, tolerance (towards persons, creatures, and circumstances), impartiality (the faith which can move mountains), equanimity (cultivation of inner balance), and perseverance.
Many people have a concept of spirituality that is colored by the exoteric and dogmatic beliefs of formalized religion. For example, you can become more spiritual by being celibate, denying materiality, or fasting. These are ideologies fostered by religious institutions in order to further their own private agendas. Modern psychologists believe that while consciously denying something, the surrounding issues become highly charged. Edward Whitmont, in The Symbolic Quest, writes, “Whatever is repressed while then lost in consciousness still does not disappear. It becomes an unconscious compulsive force, which then has primitive and potentially destructive characteristics. No wonder so many priests are sexual predators. I’ve examined hands of many violent criminals who discovered religion while incarcerated. Few were in touch with their spirituality. Knowledge without wisdom is lame, religion without spirituality is blind.
Spirituality connects anyone and everything at any time and every place. When I seek spirituality in the hands, I look for a firm handshake, pinkish elastic skin, and a full ball of the thumb that embraces life with enthusiasm and appreciation. Within the ball of thumb are lines parallel to the lifeline. These lines indicate an ability to have intimacy with others. More and longer lines reveal more and longer intimacies. William Benham (father of western palmistry) had an electric current theory of lines. He believed that current from the brain etches the lines in the hands, which in turn, reflect the qualities and directions of the person’s intentions and actions. Clear deep lines allow the current to flow freely. Frayed or islanded lines are produced by and represent interruptions and disruptions in the life force. Sometimes there is confusion at the beginning of a line and clarity over time. Many people become conscious of their struggles and thrive as they age despite challenging childhoods full of difficult obstacles.
Fingerprints also influence spirituality. People with whorl fingerprints rarely accept religious dogma and preconceived ideologies. They’re attracted to more unconventional and original philosophies. Loops are social and adaptable. You’ll find loops in all religions because a majority of people has some. Arch prints reflect more social conditioning and conventional religious beliefs. No matter what the hands say, no one is really able to comprehend the essence of another person’s spirituality until they have a dialogue with the person.
Early in my palmistry career, I was invited to attend a spiritual event for Swami Ji, a holy man, who had arrived from India to tour the United States. Many followers flocked to his northeast talk in New York to receive his wisdom and blessings. After the event, I got to spend quality time with him. It was my first experience with a guru. As I examined his hands, I was surprised by how many mundane questions he asked me about his competition, finances, and (it seemed to me) petty concerns about his immediate staff and personal comfort. We examined ways in which his outer worldly concerns challenged his inner-world.
Every person has material and spiritual concerns and questions. I wouldn’t presume to tell anyone they weren’t spiritual. Everyone is spiritual by degree. People frequently tell me how spiritual they are. I’m often surprised when I examine their hands to discover how very closed or rigid they are in their ideologies and attitudes. I won’t argue with fundamentalists about anything, but I do sprinkle seeds of spiritual thought and encourage them to sprout. Everyone must learn to weed, prune, and fertilize his or her spiritual garden.
As the human race relentlessly becomes a race against bad shit happening, a lot more people are becoming more spiritual. We grow more aware of our spirituality as we realize our impending mortality. I just look in the mirror. AIDS was a death sentence in the late 1980’s. Spirituality blossomed as people suffered and died. In the 21st century, our immune deficient environment, ailing economy, broken healthcare system, decaying infrastructure, partisan political system, fundamentalist religious ideologies, and terrorism, etc. are driving people to seek answers within themselves. No matter what anyone thinks about his or her spirituality, priceless information is waiting to be discovered at the ends of our arms.
Most parents want to be good parents. I frequently hear young parents say, “I‘m not going to make the same mistakes on my kids as my parents made on me.” While they may not make the same mistakes as their parents, they’ll make other mistakes. As my friend and fellow astrologer, Michael Lutin, jokingly quips, “It’s easy to forgive your parents after you’ve screwed up your own kids.”
Over twenty years ago, I observed hundreds of criminally insane people’s hands while working two days a week over a two-year period in the rehab department of a forensic psychiatric hospital. I was amazed how many of them were named Hope, Faith, Angel, Jesus, Grace, Joy, and Mary by dysfunctional role models who prayed that god would bless them with their child. Sadly, those parents ended up physically and emotionally abusing their kids until god’s blessings transformed into acts of violence that finally landed their children in maximum-security forensic mental hospitals for the criminally insane.
Learning to read your kid’s hands is an effective way to tailor your parenting to the individual character of each child. Knowing your child’s character will place your own needs as well as your child’s needs under a microscope. No matter what the age of your child, palmistry can help you to understand his or her real needs and concerns. You’ll learn to be more patient and tolerant by observing your child’s hands. As you realize your children’s natural potentials, talents, abilities, and challenges, you can encourage the best in them, help create a meaningful educational plan, and point them in the direction of a fulfilling career and life.
I was able to participate in the delivery of my child at birth. I pulled her from my wife’s womb and cut her umbilical cord. Joanna tells the story of how I was reading our baby’s hands before knowing what sex she was. It’s true. Her little hands could barely wrap around my index finger and they already had a story to tell. Her character was sculpted in the shape and proportions of her hands; her strengths and weaknesses, talents, goals, and dreams engraved in her palms. Those tiny hands were beautiful, but on closer inspection, I felt somewhat confused. Joanna and I have such long heart lines (romantic, sentimental, and very much able and wanting to express our feelings) and our daughter’s heart line was so short (emotionally serious, untrusting, and unable to verbalize feelings). In addition, her index finger was very short which symbolized future problems with self-esteem and spirituality. During her first two years of life, she was very cautious, fearful, untrusting, and extremely clingy. Armed with foresight, Joanna, and I nourished and encouraged her to unfold as who she wanted and needed to be. Based on our decision and commitment, along with Cassie’s tremendous will power and determination, her index finger and heart line grew longer during her formative years. Now, at twenty-one, she’s self-assured, fiercely independent, healthy, and although still an emotionally serious person, she’s able to express her true feelings.
Children’s hands change dramatically during the first five years of life. It’s no surprise that psychologists call this period the “formative years”. One of the best examples I’ve seen of changes in a child’s hands was illustrated in Andrew Fitzherbert’s book, Hand Psychology. My friend and fellow palmist, Marion Gale, gave me permission to use the above prints and copy. These are her prints of the same child. On the left, at age two, he’s an orphan, having lost both parents. Notice the curved index finger and widely spaced low set pinky finger. There’s a lot of fear and insecurity in this hand. On the right, at age seven, five years after loving relatives have taken him in and cared for him, he has a confident hand with a strong and straight index finger and a healthy pinky finger. The primary lines in his hands strengthened while unnecessary peripheral lines disappeared.