Palmistry and Learning to Judge Hands

No two hands are alike. Notice the difference between your own two hands. The hand you normally write with is your dominant or conscious hand. It reveals what you’ve done and are likely to do with your talents and challenges. The other hand is your unconscious mind. It reveals what potentials you were born with.

Once you identify the four basic types and the three modalities, the real skill to reading hands is learning to judge hands. That takes practice. Learning to use your natural intuition is vital to getting the “big picture” first. When judging the qualities of hands, it helps to think of extremes. The texture of a person’s skin can range from the velvety softness of a baby’s butt to the calloused coarseness of coal miner’s hands. You’ll seldom see contrary qualities together in the same hands. People with opposite qualities rarely have much to do with one another. Debutantes don’t dine with ditch diggers.

Whether a person’s basic skin type is whitish, brownish, reddish, or yellowish, palms still contain varying colors. Rosy-pink is healthiest. It’s frequently found in the ball of the thumb and beneath the index finger. Red color can mean too much energy, passion, anger, or rage. White is the opposite extreme and usually denotes a coolness or lack of energy and ardency. Hands and fingers can be extremely flexible, bending back at every joint. They can also be so stiff that you can’t budge them with a nutcracker. Who do you think is more stubborn? Healthy skin is elastic. It quickly bounces back when pulled and pushed. If the consistency and elasticity of skin stays indented after squeezing, that person needs more physical exercise to build physical and psychological resistance to life’s knocks. A handshake can vary from cold damp mashed potatoes that reveal apathy, to a rough, hard, hot, dry vice grip that asserts dominance.

fingertip shapes and prints

Classifying the thumb and observing the finger proportions and qualities in general is very important. Fingers can be long or short, smooth or knotty, and have tips that are pointed, conical, round, square, or spatulate in shape. Are your individual fingertips shaped similarly or differently? Are your fingers straight or twisted? Are they spread widely or held closely together? How flexible are your fingers and each joint individually? Observe the proportions of individual phalanges (space between joints) in relationship to each other. Does one appear long or short or fat or thin in comparison to the others?  Each finger has very specific meanings that are colored by hand type and by the individual qualities of fingers. These will be discussed in future blog entries.

Palmistry and the Twelve Types

Every hand has a dominant mythological archetype or combination of archetypes that correspond to the person’s dominant astrological signs (which may or may not be their sun, moon, or rising sign, depending on the overarching themes of the chart). Whether you’re looking through the lens of astrology or palmistry, when you multiply four elements by three modalities, you get twelve distinct types that comprise humanity’s metaphysical family.  Each of the hands below has a fascinating and compelling tale to tell that fits its archetype perfectly. While describing each hand in intimate detail, I’ll link the archetypes to the person’s psychological patterns and behavior. Readers of my blog will come to understand how palmistry really works as they explore various hands and their underlying narrative.

Twelve types

Palmistry and the Three Modalities

 Initiators (Cardinal) – Builders (Fixed) – Adapters (Mutable)

FlashINITIATORS have boundless energy and enthusiasm when they feel inspired and passionate. Their powerful ambitions combine with  magnetic personalities to impel them to take action and achieve their goals. Initiators are best at beginning projects and less good at maintaining or completing them, especially when the work gets mundane or routine. These lively personalities wield enthusiastic handshakes, which are often complemented by openly held fingers, low set thumbs, and resilient pink elastic skin. Their head and life lines are frequently separated where the thumb joins the hand. Flash Rosenberg, an initiator, is a wonderful friend, Guggenheim award winning visual artist, performance artist, photographer, writer, and artist in residence for ‘LIVE from the NY Public library’. Check out her remarkable live drawing and direction:

IMAGINE: How Creativity Works –

Dr. BryksBUILDERS are great at maintaining what already exists. They say what they do and do what they say to the best of their abilities. You can depend on them to come up with a logical and practical solution for almost anything. Their greatest challenge is embracing change and not procrastinating at beginnings and endings. Builders have firm honest handshakes. Their hands and fingers tend to have stiffer joints than the other two modalities. Large stiff thumbs symbolize abundant will, supported by dogged determination and relentless persistence. Square shaped fingertips and developed knots represent an organized, practical, responsible, reliable, and dependable nature. More cautious types with fingers held closely together tend to be better team players. A Builder’s head and life lines are often intertwined where the thumb joins the hand. I knew I was in good hands the moment I met my dentist, Dr. Nathan Bryks. He’s as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar, a great craftsman, and a truly compassionate, competent, and caring person. With his large ball of the thumb he appreciates everyone and everything. In general, round full balls of the thumb belong to givers and lovers of home, food, comfort, nature, children, and art. They don’t have an easy time saying “No”. Dr. Bryks often hums his favorite melodies while repairing my cavities.  If someone has to dig around in my mouth, I’m glad it’s Dr. Bryks.

hold up hands 2ADAPTERS have a warm handshake that conveys honesty and sincerity (which may not necessarily be the whole truth). They’re clever, hate conflict, and work hard to avoid any confrontation by honing the fine art of tact and diplomacy. Adapters generally have the most openly held, flexible, and elastic hands and fingers of all three modalities. My open hands are saying that I have nothing to hide (Flash and Dr. Bryks also hold their hands openly). Adapters help Initiators begin and Builders maintain by doing best what they don’t do or don’t want to do – public relations. Like most adapters, I love language and words. Anyone reading this blog can see that I’ve chosen to be a spokesperson for one of the most esoteric and obscure subjects on the planet. I hope to shift the paradigm of palmistry as a gypsy fortune-telling scam by being a credible expert on palmistry and a crystal clear communicator. My mission is to give everyone a helping hand, their own. There’s priceless treasure waiting to be discovered at the ends of our arms. Please feel free to respond to any of my blog entries if you have any questions. I’ll do my best to answer them.

Palmistry and Astrology

Tens of millions of people read their horoscopes daily in newspapers and magazines without realizing the true value of astrology. More ancient than the pyramids, astrology is a science and art that examines relationships between the cycles of celestial bodies and life on earth. Astronomical patterns synchronize with life experience and personality patterns. Every moment in time and space has an exclusive signature. A natal horoscope is a unique map of the positions of planets in the heavens at a time and place of a birth. Kings, Presidents, Dictators, Philosophers, Mystics, and Scholars throughout history have used astrology (and still do) to understand and influence world events.

I studied astrology for several years before I began learning palmistry. Initially, I found astrology to be very complex and mathematical, however, with practice I began to recognize a profoundly simple and elegant system for examining human nature, patterns, timing, and life cycles. One problem with Astrology for me was that accurate forecasting is an exacting science. I know from personal experience that most doctors, nurses, and parents are not watching the clock at a baby’s first breath. Clients often give birth times on the hour or half hour. Many don’t know whether they were born in the morning or evening. Others depend on a vague memory from their mother long after the event. My mother wanted to have natural childbirth, however, after 24 hours in labor; the obstetrician finally cut me out in order to save her life. Mom believed that she remembered my birth time correctly, but her memory was different from my original birth certificate, which I ended up using to construct my horoscope.

One more thing that I discovered by reading hands was that even when a birth time is correct, it doesn’t mean that a natal horoscope reveals the whole picture. In astrology, the ascendant (rising sign) of the natal horoscope is considered the basis for determining behavior, however, I discovered from reading hands that a person’s sun or moon or powerful aspects between planets or perhaps a stellium of planets in a particular house might actually be dominating their personality.

I have Scorpio rising, Saturn conjunct Pluto straddling my Leo Midheaven, and a stellium of Gemini planets (4) in my 8th house. You’d think my hands would be very Scorpio, but instead they’re very Gemini. That’s not to say that I’m not Plutonian. I am, but not in the ways I behave. Sometimes, clients are different than I expect they’ll be from looking at their horoscope. Imagine their chart is dominated by mutable water or air without a drop of earth. I’m expecting them to float through the door. Instead, a very grounded person walks in. When I look at their hands, I see no mutability, air, or water. Their astrology begins to make more sense after I realize how they’ve compensated for whatever they lack in their astrological symbolism. I’ve learned not to depend on a person’s horoscope to observe their character. Learning palmistry and astrology have helped me to understand both better. Astrology is especially helpful in confirming and affirming what I already see in a person’s hands. It also provides additional information about their behavioral patterns, timing, and life cycles.

I’ve applied an astrological framework to palmistry to help identify and define twelve basic character types. Western astrology and palmistry share the same Greek and Roman gods. Their family relationships are forever being acted out in our lives. Humanity is one huge dysfunctional family and each of us is a member. In my last blog entry, I introduced astrology’s four elements in palmistry as psychological types: Fire (Intuitive), Earth (Practical), Air (Thinking), and Water (Feeling).

Palmistry and the Four Basic Archetypes

Shapes and proportions of hands reveal one of four basic personality types. INTUITIVE or PRACTICAL qualities dominate when fingers are shorter than palms. Intuitive types with their long palms and short fingers take chances when they’re inspired and are impatient and easily bored when they’re not. Practical types with square palms and short fingers are logical, methodical, pragmatic, and make decisions based on objective reality. When fingers are longer than palms, THINKING or FEELING qualities dominate. Thinking types with square palms and long fingers are communicators who have to work hard to stay focused, disciplined, and structured and not spread themselves too thin. Feeling types with long palms and long fingers have to build trust in order to be comfortable with others. Large hands enjoy detail and organization. Small hands detest detail, are conceptual, and love big ideas. Small-handed folk need to delegate the detail work. Reading hands is like a Meyers Briggs personality test incarnate.

Speaking of details, every detail needs to be examined in the context of the whole and all other details at the same time. The danger in interpreting details out of context is in substituting one form of pre-determinism for another by reducing individuality to cookbook formulas. Most palmistry books do that. Every detail has meaning (even rings, scars, warts and birthmarks). Until you have determined the basic hand type, all details are superficial. The meaning of any detail can change depending on the question asked and the character of the individual. No matter what our circumstances, we still have plenty of free will to exercise our thinking, feelings, and actions. We cannot alter the past, but we can change our present and influence our futures.

Palmistry and Perception – Do homosexuals have shorter index fingers than heterosexuals?

Do homosexuals and lesbians have shorter index fingers than heterosexuals? According to a full-page article entitled “FINGERS TIP OFF HOMOSEXUALITY” first published in the New York Post on March 30, 2,000 the answer is “yes”. Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley surveyed 720 gay men at street fairs in San Francisco and determined that gay men had shorter index fingers than heterosexual men. In a second article on March 31st, the Post claimed this was “the most talked about story in the history of the New York Post”. They explained how larger amounts of male hormones in Mom’s womb linked short index fingers to gays and lesbians. Their theory also extended to ring fingers, “Homosexuals and lesbians have shorter index fingers than ring fingers.”

Predicting someone is gay from the length of his or her index finger is absurd. Sexual proclivities and appetites in general are reflected in the shapes, proportions, flexibility, elasticity, consistency, and colors of hands and fingers. Sexual behavior including seductiveness, passive/aggressiveness, and fetishes are reflected in the ball of the thumb, heart line, and pinky finger. Index fingers do not provide answers to questions of sexual orientation. I’ve examined many thousands of long-index-fingered gays and short-index-fingered straights at special events over the past thirty years. A preponderance of photographers, designers, architects, craftsmen, actors, performers, teachers, and salespeople has longer ring than index fingers.

Your index finger does say a lot about your character. Here is the long and short of index fingers. If your index finger is short (less than half way to the middle of the top phalange of the middle finger), you will have to work harder to achieve your goals than the long-index-fingered person. Your major challenge is learning to value yourself enough, to ask for what you’re worth. Too many short-index-fingered people received too little emotional support and encouragement while growing up. They were unable to be their authentic selves.

Plenty of successful individuals have short index fingers, however, nothing came easily to them. They earned every drop of what they achieved. What the Berkeley survey is saying, but doesn’t realize, is that the particular focus group of gay people they found at street fairs battle with issues of self-esteem. Perhaps a parent was unavailable physically or emotionally during their formative years. It’s no wonder so many gay people have short index fingers considering how confused, afraid, angry, and perverse western culture is concerning homosexuality.

I chose the photo of Mitt Romney to draw attention to and dispel one of many myths about palmistry. This particular myth is popular in the main stream because the scientific community has embraced and dubbed it “digit ratio theory.” You’ll find almost a half million results when you Google it. If you believe it, you can also assume that Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and George Bush are also gay as they have longer ring fingers than index fingers. The “digit ratio theory” doesn’t define homosexuality, but it does perpetuate stereotypes and prejudices in our culture.

Palmistry and Marriage

When I was thirty-eight years old I married Joanna, a twenty-six year old dancer. Joanna has an Aries sun, Gemini moon, and Taurus rising. Her square palms, widely spread flexible fingers, and low-set stiff-thumbs, along with head and life lines closely tied together at their start are the epitome of rebellious stubbornness. I affectionately call her “RamBull.”

I have a Gemini Sun, Taurus moon, and Scorpio rising. My square palms and widely spread, very flexible, long fingers reveal the versatility of my nature. I have to work extra hard not to get distracted – to be disciplined, structured, and focused. Joanna calls me “a piece of work in progress.”


Before I asked Joanna to marry me, I took a close look at her hands. Traditionally, most palmists look for conformation of marriage in three places in the hands: horizontal lines under the pinky finger, lines touching the life line within the ball of the thumb, and lines connecting to or branching from the fate line. This is a nebulous area of palmistry; marriage can be difficult to judge in terms of detail and timing. Joanna had one horizontal line under her pinky finger that indicated to me that she would commit to a life partner in her mid-thirties. I considered that maybe our timing was off and said so, “Your hands say that you won’t be ready to fully commit to a life partner until your mid-thirties.” She proceeded to tell me how palmistry was wrong and I was up to my eyeballs in bullshit.

We married despite palmistry. Joanna is twelve years younger, which makes us ‘the boars’ at Chinese New Years parties. When Joanna was thirty-three and I was forty-five, Cassie was born. We team worked like never before to be the best parents we could be. When Cassie was two years old, Joanna said to me, “Do you remember when you told me that I wouldn’t truly commit to a soul mate until I was in my mid-thirties and I said you were crazy?” I nodded.“You were right.” Palmistry doesn’t always show external events accurately as much as symbolizing internal changes.

Marriage preferences, propensities, and potentials will be discussed in more depth when we get to individual character types. Speaking of nebulous areas of palmistry, our daughter Cassie didn’t appear in my hands until after she was born.

Palmistry and Relationships

Relationships are my all time favorite application of palmistry. Counseling couples can be challenging, however, as some couples don’t see or don’t want to see their issues. Although I can instantly see where compromise is possible and where it’s not, many couples may not be ready to face the unvarnished truths of their relationship. Choosing safe is a lot easier than choosing satisfying for them.

One woman with square hands and long fingers, a Thinking type, who I read at an event told me as I examined her hands that “she was so very happy” because she had “the best husband in the world.” Her hands told a different tale, the story of Sleeping Beauty waiting to be awakened by her prince. Her very supple thumbs, inwardly curving pinky finger, and the end of her heart line dipping down to touch her headline indicated to me that she was avoiding confrontation. Instead of being honest about her feelings, she was rationalizing and compartmentalizing while desperately trying to be the person she thought everyone else wanted and needed her to be. I addressed her issues and confirmed that her dad had been overcritical, controlling, and emotionally absent during her formative years. She had been programmed to “act nice” in an attempt to make the peace and please everyone around her. “Be yourself”, I advised.

A few minutes later, her prince charming sat down. He had rectangular palms and short fingers, an Intuitive type, her polar opposite, but they were not necessarily an incompatible combination. He told me that he was having an affair with another woman and was thinking of leaving his wife. I asked why he hadn’t informed her of his feelings. “It’s impossible. She sees what she wants to see. I feel guilty for deceiving her and angry for having to. I’ve lost respect for both of us. Betraying her naive trust makes me hate myself.” “Tell her the truth”, I suggested. It appears that Sleeping Beauty was soon to be rudely awakened. She and Prince Charming might not have found themselves in this predicament had they dealt with their issues sooner. If only they had known how to read hands while they lovingly held each other’s.

That same evening, another couple sat down. He had long palms and long, stiff, knotty fingers, a Feeling type. She had small very flexible hands, short fingers, and smooth joints, an Intuitive type. He was a control freak. She was a freedom lover. He was extremely practical and methodical. She was creative and spontaneous. His jealousy and possessiveness would eventually drive her nuts. They sat soberly while I spoke about compromise, trust, and learning to partner more and better. The rest of the evening, he became my shadow, a walking testimonial, saying to everyone, “My wife loves this guy.” At the end of the party, she came up and told me that I might have helped save their marriage.

Palmistry and Health

In the days before computerized medical diagnosis, doctors used their intuition, tasted a patient’s urine, looked into their eyes, inspected their tongue, and examined their hands to diagnose illness. Dozens of illnesses can be diagnosed from fingernails alone, which are considered windows to a person’s health. Some health problems which can be seen in a person’s nails are: anemia, malnutrition, thyroid disease, diseases of the liver, heart, lungs, and colon, chronic respiratory disease, lymphatic problems, diabetes, carpal tunnel syndrome, Raynaud’s disease, high blood pressure, psoriasis, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcers, sickle cell anemia, and Hodgkin’s disease. Some stress related diseases and cancers can be detected in the fingerprints and skin ridge patterns (dermatoglyphics). Lines in the hands can indicate conditions of the heart, brain, kidneys, liver, stomach, and sexual systems.

I always ask female clients before coming for a consultation to remove their nail polish so that I can observe the color and texture of their nails, which protect the delicate nerve centers in their fingertips. When nerve centers are operating in a healthy way, nails appear smooth textured, pink, and clear. When nerve centers are impaired, this leaves an impression on the nail texture and color that must be read accordingly. A very fine and healthy person will tend to have fine and healthy nails, while a coarse person will have coarse or fluted (vertical ridges) nails. The more the nails appear to be fluted, the more the nervous system is affected. Fluting naturally occurs more with aging. People with Type A personalities tend to have large moons. Small moons are normal, while No moons often correspond to low blood pressure or a slower metabolism.  If I see a serious potential health problem, I’m always careful not to alarm my client. I suggest that they consult their doctor.

Stress depletes calcium in the body, which shows up in the form of white flecks in the nails. Wherever you see flecks, apply both a time and stress factor to the meaning of that particular finger. A nail takes approximately six months to grow out.  If you see white flecks in the middle of the nail on a person’s middle finger, it’s likely that three months ago they may have experienced a stressful situation in their career or work. If the white fleck is on the very tip of the index finger, then about six months ago, they may have experienced a blow to their self-esteem.

Many health problems are natural predispositions of specific character types. Understand the type and you will understand the corresponding potential health challenges. People with square palms and long fingers (Thinking types) have potential problems with their nervous system, bronchial system, and thyroid gland, as well as issues with memory loss, headaches, speech impediments, and respiratory difficulties. Those with square palms and short fingers (Sensation types) can have trouble with skin, teeth, knees, ligaments, deafness, rheumatism, gout, paralysis, hardening of the arteries, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins. Individuals with rectangular palms and short fingers (Intuitive types) are generally healthy types, but prone to blood disorders, liver trouble, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, heart failure, and problems with hips, thighs, throat, and head injuries. Some of their greatest challenges result from overindulging in food and drink. Folks with rectangular palms and long fingers (Feeling types) may have stomach and colon problems, reproductive issues, venereal diseases, challenges with bodily fluids, and foot problems. Health will be covered in more depth in future blog entries as we delve into the twelve specific character types.


Palmistry and Will Power (part 4)

Thumb Generalities

How is your thumb set on your hand?  Is it high, medium, or low set?  Higher set thumbs like Wilbur’s indicate less adaptable minds that can be cautious, reticent in thinking, and self-centered. High set thumbs are frequently carried close to the hand. They tend to show a lack of trust, secretiveness, and unresponsiveness.


Medium set thumbs like Billy’s are well balanced, sensible, and reasonable. These hard working dependable folk set achievable goals, which they methodically chip away at. They’re steady workers and reliable friends.



Low set thumbs belong to generous, independent, and freedom loving individuals. Very low set thumbs like William’s belong to a rebel who goes looking for an underdog or good cause to support. Others may have their freedom, but they’d better give him his.



Ever see a thumb that’s thick and shapeless like the end of a piece of sausage?  What does your common sense tell you? Is that person reasonable, tactful, diplomatic, and refined? No, they’re usually coarse, tactless, dense, lack mental agility, and are crude in their reasoning and passions. Most people with sausage-like thumbs have little interest in what others think. What about a broad well shaped thumb?  These individuals are strong and determined and have abundant physical energy and stamina. At times, they can be aggressive or blunt. What if a thumb is shapely and column-like in appearance? A strong will, tact, and refinement rule the person. What if the thumb looks like a paddle with a broad tip and a waisted (narrowing at center) second phalanx? These people have a lot of mental determination, backed up by strong tact and diplomacy and can persuade others with refined logic. Sometimes, the tip of a thumb looks as though it was smashed or flattened. This is known as the ‘nervous’ thumb, obviously indicating a nervous temperament and lack of a balanced energy.

Let’s consider the shape of the tip of the thumb. The four most common shapes are conical, round, square, and spatulate. The conical thumb (Wilbur) is cone-like in appearance. It belongs to an idealistic, impulsive, and somewhat impressionable individual who loves beauty and backs down in confrontational situations because his will is softened by a conical shaped tip. A round tip balances idealism with the practicality.  Square tips (Billy) are the most practical of all. Squareness adds common sense, reliability, and dependability. A spatulate tip (William) belongs to a strong willed action-oriented individual who loves his independence, originality, and unconventionality.

Is a thumb stiff?  Slightly flexible? Highly flexible? Very stiff thumbs feel like they’ll break before they bend.  Stiff thumbs represent stubborn, persistent, determined individuals who may also be cautious, economical, and resolute. Jealousy and possessiveness are nasty stiff-thumbed habits that cause unnecessary suffering. Supple thumbed people, on the other hand, are adaptable, sympathetic, generous, and versatile. They’d love to be extreme, outrageous, and extravagant. They’d make great philanthropists if they could only figure out how to hold on to money. They tend to ask too little for themselves and don’t know how to say “no.”  Distractions are normal for supple thumbed folks. They tend to spread themselves too thin, becoming the proverbial “jack of all trades, master of none”.  I encourage supple thumbed people to embrace focus, discipline, and structure. It’s like prescribing bad tasting medicine. Many people with highly flexible thumbs, fingers, and hands have spent their life resenting obligation, avoiding responsibility, rebelling against authority, living in fantasy, self-medicating, or when all else fails, adapting to their obligations and responsibilities.