My Road to Redemption

Your Life is in Your Hands copy


It’s not easy to let go of old habits. It’s even harder to stay with the wrong habits for the wrong reasons. One advantage for me of being an ‘adaptable’ thinking type is that I can go with the flow. Major catastrophes in my life have had corresponding compensations. Being constantly forced to change my thinking and circumstances has illuminated my path to knowledge and wisdom and has also been my price for humility.

David and I had launched our custom furniture business wearing rose colored glasses. Overly-ambitious, under-capitalized, and with an abundance of talent and energy, we were ready to take on the world. Unfortunately, we failed to acknowledge the literal handwriting on our wall. We had recently signed the lease for a new work space, which we thought was absolutely perfect for us because of its fabulous location in NOHO, reasonable rent, and an electrical system that was already set up perfectly for our needs. We realized when we moved in, however, that the previous lessor of the space (a furniture maker) had painted his final message (above) in black enamel paint with a four-inch brush on the largest white surface in the shop. He died there alone, miserable, and suffering with lung cancer while tortuously fulfilling his final work obligations.

David and I were concerned about the implications of his message for our business. How could we exorcise his dark karma from our work space? We white washed over it several times, but somehow it managed to migrate through to the surface again and again. Then we installed a layer of sheetrock over it. Like placing a Band-Aid on a compound fracture, our repair made the new sheetrock a constant reminder of the tumultuous trials we were going through and how they were linked to the negative karmic energy that it concealed. As our business failed, it wasn’t the loss of money and credibility that was most painful for me. I’d experienced that before in my candle business. Someone who I loved was in desperate trouble and I felt helpless.

Just prior to the all too proverbial ‘shit hitting the fan’, David asked me to share “the most amazing experience of his life”. I had no idea what he was talking about or what kind of trouble he was in. He inspired me to take a toke of Crack and I did. I felt godlike for a moment, and then had the scariest headache of my life. I instantly acquired empathy for people who get migraines and swore off Crack for all eternity.

David never got the headache. He craved that first godlike experience with every desperate attempt to re-experience it. He became crazy for Crack and cursed by his addiction. He’d call me for money in the middle of the night, knowing that would make me even angrier at him and more miserable about my own career choices. I urgently wanted to help David, but I also needed to help myself and my family.

Design, management, and marketing were my turf. David had been in charge of production. He was an intuitive type and great at it. With his strong, healthy, and creative hands, he could craft or fix anything. Suddenly, I was doing it all. Our workers needed guidance to fulfill the work required to complete our production deadlines. I hadn’t had much actual experience being a foreman, furniture maker, or maintenance man. I was also inexperienced with creating jigs to help expedite production. David could effortlessly tell by the sounds in the shop if and when there was a problem.

Our landlord, suppliers, and clients were upset with us (an understatement). I was struggling to meet basic responsibilities and obligations. These circumstances made me bonkers and also attracted the corresponding compensations for this insanity into my life. The most valuable lesson I learned was – I didn’t have to go through this experience alone. Aside from Joanna, my family, and my close friends who are always there for me, I needed people who could help me manage my reality. I was blessed to find two.

Angelo KeithAngelo Keith rescued me in my time of need. He had been a friend of the former shop owner, having worked for him as a furniture maker. Angelo helped his friend die with as much grace and dignity as humanly possible.


Angelo heard about our (my) dilemma and showed up at the eleventh hour, asking me to put him to work. He had many of David’s skills and then some. Much older, wiser, and more experienced, he’d quip, “Jesus was a woodworker”. When you need character building experience resulting in eventual martyrdom or sainthood, be a woodworker. Angelo never mentioned financial remuneration, which was beyond total disaster. I’ll always treasure him for that. Joanna and I came to love his family, too.

Angelo was like a one-man shop. He was as strong as an ox and as clever as a fox. He’d design jigs for doing tasks that never even occurred to me. He could lift a whole large upper cabinet with one hand and screw it to the wall with the other. I used to affectionately call him “Sumo”, short for Japanese wrestler. His hands were thinking type, like mine, with square palms and fairly long widely spread fingers. His palms were much thicker than mine and harder with tougher more calloused skin. Angelo had a strong ‘practical’ backup and was much more physical than me. Meanwhile, he had a first class mind. We’d walk in the woods together and blue-sky think in order to solve real problems. We’d construct unusual sculptures out of sticks and stones along the way. As a friend ‘in need’, I learned a lot from Angelo who was a friend ‘in deed’.

Glass, Metal, and Tabletop by Angelo Keith

Glass, Metal Work, and Tabletop by Angelo Keith

Angelo helped me cope with my challenges on the outside. I also needed help with my challenges on the inside. I decided to find the right psychotherapist to help me sort out my issues. I researched Freudians, Jungians, Reichians, and Adlerians. I eventually chose a Gestalt psychotherapist because my needs felt immediate. Because we’ve lost touch and I don’t have permission, I’ll call my therapist ‘Ian’, for all the ‘ians’ who I didn’t choose. I had a healthy childhood and had no desire to rehash my early experiences looking for clues and reasons for my current challenges. I was lucky and blessed to attract another unique fixed thinking type who would help me find my way back to being myself. As an adaptable thinking type, I tend to attract other thinking types. In astrology, Gemini is mutable, Libra is cardinal, and Aquarius is a fixed type.

Aquarius image

Angelo was both an Aquarius sun sign and a fixed thinking hand type. That combines his behavior with his psyche. People think that Aquarius is a water sign. They see a water bearer pouring water out of a jug, along with a symbol  that looks like waves. Aquarius is a thinking type. Water embodies unconscious and feeling. The water bearer is pouring ‘feeling’ out of the jug in favor of ‘thinking’. I relate well with Aquarians.

Once a week, I’d weave a melodramatic web of intrigue for Ian, hoping to receive his insight, understanding, and sympathy. When I’d finished, Ian would say, “So what else is new?”  He’d clean his nails or play with his new electronic gadget. Why didn’t he look into my eyes? Was he listening? How dare he waste my time and money? I was pissed and confronted him. That was the start of my healing.

Ian knew when to look into my eyes. I’d say “but”, he’d say “and”.  I’d say “can’t”, he’d say “don’t want to!” Ian noticed my every gesture and facial expression. I couldn’t get away with a thing. It soon occurred to me that maybe I was taking myself too seriously.

Ian’s unorthodox methods and clever techniques made me realize it was possible to throw a switch on the inside and change my attitude. His thinking type hands were a cross between mine and Angelo’s with square palms and long fingers held widely apart. My hands were very flexible while Ian’s were very stiff like Angelo’s. I was a “jack of all trades”. He was a “specialist”. One of many tasks Ian accomplished was to help me find focus and clarity in my thinking. Ian’s palms and fingers were thicker than mine, but softer and smoother than Angelo’s and his fingers were less knotty and fingertips more round. Ian’s strong will, determination, and focus was mental as opposed to physical. I doubt he ever made or fixed anything. I sought Ian’s friendship as well as his therapy. He was fascinated by my passion for reading hands.

As founder of an institute for Gestalt Psychology in NYC, Ian suggested that I enroll in an intermediate study group. I participated weekly for two years and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Psychology compliments metaphysics and provides a strong foundation for counseling. “It’s much easier to see than to know what to say about what you see”.

I learned to carefully listen and closely observe others from Ian. I also learned that it’s not what you see, but what you say and how you say it that matters in the final analysis.

I once asked Ian, “What do you say to your craziest clients?”  He told me, “I tell them to act normal or someone will come along and lock them up.” My fascination and curiosity about human character would soon lead me to exploring criminally insane people.

The Esoteric Power of the Sun


Solar Talisman MugOne dreary mid-winter day in 1998, I sat quietly drinking peppermint tea from a cobalt blue mug with a radiant orange and yellow sun surrounded by stars. It had been a gift for speaking at a National Council for Geocosmic Research (NCGR) educational conference for astrologers in NYC. The horoscope in the hands was my topic. I’d been a faculty member and resident palmist for over 20 years. I needed more sun energy in my life and decided to transform my sun mug into a talisman to help me acheive that goal.


I felt inspired and rummaged around for an appropriate mug shot of myself. After cutting out my face, I carefully glued it to the center of the sun. Over that I applied several layers of crystal clear film. As I burnished down the edges, I imagined myself as Apollo, the Greek Sun God. When I finished, I raised the cup in my left hand to observe my handiwork. The phone rang. I picked it up with my right hand. “Hello, I’m the Public Program Coordinator for the National Design Museum. We’re curating a major Solar Energy Exhibition in June and are wondering if you’d be interested in conducting the Lecture / Workshop series on the symbolism of the sun?”

I almost fell out of my chair. I’d experienced synchronicity, but this seemed impossible. How could a talisman work that quickly? Confidently, I replied, “You’ve come to the right place.” The magic of the sun had materialized the moment I combined the esoteric power of the sun with my clear desire, intent, and action. My life instantly became sunnier.

Speaking of mugs, back in the early ‘80’s, a manufacturer of drinking mugs asked me to design a collection of astrology mugs for upstairs department stores like Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s. The six masculine sun signs were printed in 24 carat gold and six feminine signs in platinum. Customers loved the mugs, but began returning them soon after they were damaged in the dishwasher, even though they had been merchandised as ‘wash by hand’ only. My collection was discontinued despite my unrequited pleas to the manufacturer to try again with dishwasher safe inks.

Astrology Mug Collection

Hex SignA talisman is anything (including a simple piece of paper) with a scribble on it that’s symbolic of something you want to impress on your psyche to create change or reinforce something that needs to be strengthened. Amulets and hex signs are solar symbols used for protection. You see a lot of Amish hex signs blessing barns and homes and protecting livestock from harm.

These are some of the sun’s many correspondences. The sun in Leo (July 23 – August 23) rules the fifth house of the natural horoscope. The Sun’s day is Sunday. The Sun’s hour is noon. Gemstones besides diamonds that the sun rules are amber and topaz. In Kabala, Tiphareth corresponds to the Sun and the number six, which balances the tree of life. The Crown Chakrah is ruled by the sun. The heart is the organ ruled by the sun. Solar archetypes exist in every culture: GREEK – Apollo and Hercules, JUDAIC – Samson, EGYPTIAN – Osiris, AFRICAN – Anansi, INDIAN – Narasimha, HINDU –Vishnu, PERSION – Mithra, JAPANESE – Amaterasu, NORSE – Odin, IRISH – Lugh, and   ARTHURIAN – Percival. The Lion King and Goldilocks are solar fairy tales. Lots of Leos are myths in their own minds. Musical links for the sun are the key of C and most instruments. Solar trees are citrus, walnut, bay, and palm. Solar herbs, plants, and scents are sun flower, yellow poppy, saffron, marigold, cinnamon, pepper, peony, musk, honey, frankincense, rice, and all aromatic herbs. Aroma of Frankincense (Christ and the Nativity) when used in ritual magic brings good health, wealth, success, acclaim, mental clarity, fearlessness, confidence, and spiritual awakening. Gold and diamonds worn on a ring finger are marriage magic. Pyrite, fool’s gold, eases anxiety, frustration, and depression. Pyrite is wise man’s gold when charged with clear vision and pure intention to attract wealth, boost self-esteem, aid communications, and enhance appreciation.

It’s best to create your own talisman. The more tuned you are to your intent, the more powerful your talisman will be. The more esoteric correspondences you use, the more potent the talisman’s effect will be. After my mug experience, I was inspired to create a  small metalworking shop where I could make talismans to my heart’s content. Specific metals, minerals, and gems are incorporated for specific purposes on specific months, days, and times of day. Everything matters. Even facing the right direction, smelling the right incense, and hearing the right musical vibration while you’re creating your talisman can enhance its potency. I made the four talismans below for myself.


As you can see, ‘Grounding’ is a bit beat up. I wear it often because I need a lot of grounding. It works for me because I created it with the clear intent of becoming whole, centered, and peaceful. Copper represents Venus and earth and is grounded in practical reality. Silver symbolizes feelings and emotion. Gold promotes clear thinking, passion, intuition, and inspiration. Square shapes within circles add structure, discipline, and focus. Circles within circles help center, inspire, and empassion. The rest is the quest.

‘Energizing’ is solid bronze with an opal in the center. There was a huge crack in the casting. I almost chucked it, but decided the crack was like a bolt of lightning and an important pathway from the outside of the circle to the opal. When I finished polishing the talisman, it felt perfect for me and my purpose.

‘Strengthening’ was created on a picture-perfect day in May (Taurus). Horns remind me to be determined and persistent. This talisman helps me think with my head and feel with my heart. Being mainly bronze, it’s a blending of copper, tin, zinc, and lead. Alchemically, it blends Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn in order to balance ambition and compassion with order and action. A solid foundation helps a healthy framework become a powerful structure.

‘Centering’ consists of circles within circles, heart (copper) surrounded by mind (gold) and emotion (silver). Six small outer circles within two large inner circles represent masculine (gold) and feminine (silver) principles and twelve aspects of my character I must balance: behavior, values, thinking, feelings, will power, health, relationships, creativity, philosophy, purpose, hopes and dreams, and spirituality.

In case you’re not convinced of the power of the sun, let’s look at how religions, politics, governments, dictatorships, and corporations use the power of the sun to magnetize and mesmerize the masses with their ideologies, products, and services.


Circular logos and iconic names like $tarbucks are no coincidence

Solar Symbols 2

Solar Symbols 3

Solar symbols 4

A Decision Forever Changed our Lives

People often ask how palmistry affects my daily life. The answer is always and forever. When I began searching for self-knowledge, it was easy to look at my hands and find excuses or rationalizations for being or not being certain ways. I’d think, ‘No wonder I’m distracted’. I’d rationalize, ‘I can’t say no because of my highly flexible thumbs’. I’d analyze and compartmentalize my weaknesses, faults, and bad behaviors. Years of counseling others made me realize that I can change my behavior and my hands will also change over time (my dominant thumb has become inflexible). As I practice what I preach, my hands affirm, confirm, and inform me about what decisions I need to make and actions I need to take to achieve a healthy balance between my thinking, feelings, and lifestyle.

mark, joanna, and cassie as a newborn2Twenty-two years ago, Joanna and I made a decision because of the hands of our new born daughter. I was 45. Joanna was 33. Cassie’s hands revealed that she’d face future challenges that compelled us to intervene from the get go. We committed ourselves to doing whatever was required to help our child gracefully rise to her life’s challenges and overcome her obstacles.

We proactively addressed the hurdles we saw in Cassie’s hands. Her very short index finger symbolized that she’d battle with her self-esteem and spirituality. Her short heart line indicated that she’d be serious and private, wouldn’t trust others, and would have a very hard time verbalizing her feelings. The close connection at the beginning of her head and life lines ensured she’d take everything personally and have a strong need for our approval. We appreciated her and made sure that we never took her for granted. We were careful never to patronize her, but praised her initiative and accomplishments. We never responded to anger with anger. We gave her space when she needed it and helped when she asked for it. Space was hard because we lived in a closet. We listened to her and encouraged her to listen to us. Had we been impatient, over critical, controlling, or judgmental, Cassie would have turned out very differently. Sure, we made mistakes, but we did our best to help her unfold as who she wanted and needed to be. As my friend Mikey Lutin says, “It’s easy to forgive your parents after you’ve screwed up your own kids”.

An abundance of wonderful qualities accompanied Cassie’s challenges. Her inventive mind, natural empathy, and brutal sense of honesty made her a critical thinker and a natural bullshit detector. She’s analytical, has a fertile creative imagination, a razor sharp intuition, and a love of adventure. She’s persistent and determined to face her obstacles. Even though she’s a serious minded person, she has a unique dry sense of humor and her friends love her. Her dominant index finger and heart line have both grown longer and stronger.

I want to share what our decision meant and how it changed our lives. Our first major challenge was in the financial arena. Our overhead was dramatically increasing while our income was rapidly dwindling. Joanna was a part time dance teacher and needed to take several months off. I was an industrial designer, hand reader, and part time adjunct college professor. I assumed my clients would see me when it was convenient for me. Not so. I passed on many good prospects because of bad timing. At first, I continued to see private clients in our small apartment, which was quickly becoming a large playpen. I had to find new directions for my career. Other at-home fathers had home businesses that included computer consulting, programming, editing, and word processing. Some dads were caring for other children as well as their own, pet sitting, or party planning. Our conversations often centered on downsizing and cutting overhead.

couple smallI decided it was best to work with special event planners. I’d pay a hefty commission, but I’d only have to sell myself once. My revitalized career entailed performing as a hand reader, astrologer, and tarot reader at parties. On my non-commited nights, I made house calls and wrote articles at home. I arranged all of my work for when Joanna was with Cassie. When an important job conflicted with both of our schedules, we’d ask Cassie’s grandparents or a fellow parent for help.

Being an “at-home dad” was far more challenging than I had anticipated. It’s a whole lot easier to drop your kid off at day care and go to work. Initially, I had minor challenges with chores such as diapering, bathing, dressing, fussiness, tiredness, and hunger. My greatest challenge was feeding. Cassie was an avid nurser. She often refused a bottle, even when it contained her own mother’s milk. There were many occasions on which I wished I had breasts. When a baby is really distressed, she wants the comfort of her mommy, no matter how connected she is with daddy.

It wasn’t until Cassie was two years old that I realized what it felt like to be a single parent. Joanna had always buffered me by being with Cassie in the early mornings, evenings, and weekends. Cassie and I took a trip to the country by ourselves for five days. We had a fabulous time, but her constant need for attention drained me. After five days, I felt exhausted. That short experience deepened my acceptance of teamwork in parenting, strengthened our marriage, and enhanced Joanna’s and my desire to share equally and go the extra mile.

A constant source of annoyance for me was societal stereotyping. Being out with Cassie, people would say “Oh, you’re babysitting today” or “Are you her Grandpa?” I’d reply, “No, I’m her daddy and a primary caregiver”. People assumed I did this because I was unemployed or unable to make a living. Few considered that I chose this path because I actually wished to spend the best hours of the day enjoying my child. Fortunately, I wasn’t alone. I met other middle aged fathers with children in the park.

My ideal day consisted of cleaning, organizing, and beautifying our home, and shopping for fresh food so that I could serve a hot delicious and nutritious meal at dinnertime when Joanna returned from work. Between chores, Cassie and I would work on art projects, bake gingerbread cookies, read stories, and watch kid’s movies.

Pippi smallIt’s amazing how hard it was to find healthy female protagonists. There were so many damsels in distress and princesses trying to turn frogs or beasts into princes. We discovered Pippi Longstocking, Harriet the Spy, Matilda, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, and Tatterhood, but we ended up making up our own heroines much of the time. Cassie and I went on weekly expeditions to museums, galleries, libraries, book stores, botanical gardens, wildlife centers, parks, and beaches. I wouldn’t trade that time for all the Chi in China.



When Cassie was five years old she said to me, “Dad, you’re a wise man, but you could be a lot wiser”. I replied, “On yea, how?” “Talk less and listen more.” I knew that the time had come for me to focus on my own career again. Cassie and I still have our adventures. This photo of us was taken in North Harbor Maine a couple of years ago.
dad & cassie small

If you’re interested in learning more on this topic, you should check out these links:
“You’ve Got Mark Seltman and Joanna Brotman” – AOL Huffington Post
“Nature vs Nurture” – Youtube
“Palmistry and Marriage” – Blog entry
“Palmistry and Children” – Blog entry

A Client Too Clever For His Own Good

Athena types are the best negotiators of all twelve basic archetypes. They strive for balance, idolize harmony, dread discord, and are often indecisive as a result. They usually get their way, even when they’re being aggressive, indirect, or imprecise. They’re very clever, wielding tact and diplomacy like a Samurai swordsman, even though they’d prefer to be frank and direct. They’re idealistic, romantic, and refined in appearance. Aesthetics are important to them. Dressed in chic designer clothing, they’ll take clients out to trendy restaurants. You’ll rarely catch sight of them in a greasy spoon. Their dark side sometimes treads the thin line between honesty and ethics. Maybe they know something important that could kill a deal, but fail to mention it. Unscrupulous lawyers who are Athena types can bend any law to serve their clients best interests. Legal, political, publishing, marketing, public relations, higher education, and entertainment fields are bursting at the seams with Athena types.

Even an attorney of moderate talent can postpone doomsday year after year, for the system of appeals that pervades American jurisprudence amounts to a legalistic wheel of fortune, a game of chance, somewhat fixed in favor of the criminal, that the participants play interminably.”    Truman Capote

One day many years ago, a powerful Athena type came to me for a reading. I’ll call him Athen in honor of Athena. I greeted Athen in my t-shirt and jeans. He was dressed in an expensive designer suit and tie. Athen was an expert creator of business plans and a major player in money markets. He was in a league with Michael Milken and Ivan Boesky. Athen seemed totally out of place consulting a palmist in an east village tenement apartment. He called because of a glowing referral from a friend of his who had attended one of my hand reading lectures.

Athen’s modus operandi was to find floundering companies and create compelling new products or services for them. In exchange for writing a first class business plan, Athen would receive a nominal fee and substantial stock options. The company would soon appear to be a fabulous investment opportunity. Athen would help them peddle enough preferred non-voting stock to begin implementing his new concepts. As his business plans took form, the company’s stock would become more valuable. Unless there was a substantial retainer, however, Athen wouldn’t stick around to implement his concepts and help navigate management through the churning rapids of dramatic changes taking place within the company structure. Instead, Athen would sell off large chunks of his stock and then in a twinkle, he was on to the next concept and project. Several of the companies that Athen attempted to revive ultimately failed, but Athen always prospered.

Athen explained that he was embroiled in a mid-eight-figure fiasco concerning securities fraud. The IRS was the monkey on his back and he needed strategies for the best ways to proceed. Even though Athen and I resided in totally different worlds, we immediately hit it off. Cultivated thinking types can bounce ideas off of each other for hours. Our bond was archetypal from the get go. Athen was Pinocchio and I was Jiminy Cricket. Like Pinocchio, Athen was smart but surprisingly naïve. Jiminy appeared because Pinocchio lacked a conscience. It’s common in business to be legal and unethical or immoral at the same time. If Athen were to put his nose in the wrong place, it might grow and get chopped off, and that’s exactly what was happening. Athen offered me a financial retainer to be his “Jiminy Cricket”. I declined Athen’s offer, but accepted payments and gifts from him in exchange for my time and advice. I used astrology to examine Athen’s timing and patterns. Tarot cards were employed to gain better insight into specific relationships.

AthenAthen’s square palm and long fingers symbolize a thinking type. He has a long unobstructed straight headline and a long straight and strong pinkie finger. The long bottom phalange is great for commerce. Athen was inherently an honest and caring person. He was ambitious (strong index finger) and hardworking, but blinded by his desire and need for power, wealth, and freedom. You can see from the separation between his head and life lines that Athen doesn’t lack initiative. He also doesn’t really care much what most others think of him. I decided that the best way to communicate with Athen was to be direct and make practical good sense. Communicating with Athen was like playing a game of mental monopoly. His long graceful heart line extends to his index finger and represents a romantic and sentimental feeling nature. You can see from the vertical lines in the ball of his thumb that Athen is deeply committed to his family and friends. I tried appealing to his inherently compassionate nature. Does the world really need another greasy french fry, addictive alcoholic beverage, or violent virtual video game? Couldn’t the same time, resources, and effort be used to make healthier products and services? I’d ask, “Why can’t your products be more expensive so as to exploit less unfortunate people along the way?” I encouraged Athen to design and promote healthy sensible products (like Paul Newman) and give as much of the profit as possible to specific charitable causes. Athen said he loved that idea, but rationalized how he needed to be more financially substantial before giving money away. I disagreed.

“More expensive, more grease”, Athen would say. More cost means more time and money spent romanticizing and glamorizing a product or service. He explained that selling less and making more money is a great idea, but not easy or cheap. Why do consumers pay so much more for caffeine at $tar- Bucks?  What makes a person buy an expensive designer brand name when they can get the same exact generic item for less? According to Athen, “It’s the grease”.

Sometimes a revolutionary new idea, product, or service is created and protected. Some products miraculously become generic and incredibly profitable. Most new products and services are fashionable variations on existing themes. Athen offered brilliant business strategies for projects that seemed likely to happen if well executed. It was easy to see who would benefit from Athen’s plans and who wouldn’t.

Cream always rises to the top. That’s where Athen resided, but every scheme where someone is making heaps of money means others are being deceived or exploited. Unfortunately, at the bottom of every barrel are poor people scraping for pennies. Laws that protect masses of ordinary people are created long after the reason for them has been abused. It’s no secret that Philip Morris has always known that cigarette smoking was unhealthy. They used the same legal system that Truman Capote talks about at the start of this story to shirk their responsibilities and justify their actions.

Jiminy Cricket guided Pinocchio who eventually found truth and became a “real boy”.  Athen and I weren’t so lucky. Athen ended up losing everything, but in typical Athen style, he started over with fresh ideas, enthusiasm, and a dollop of grease.  He’s still wheeling and dealing. Pinocchio and Jiminy keep in touch, but no longer collaborate.

My Plan for Palmistry

hold up hands 2

Your hands are a topographical map of your character in past, present, and future.
You can navigate your map and chart your course.

Everyone has hands. Reading hands is simple and fun. After 5500 years, it’s time for the science and art of palmistry to be reborn, initiating new opportunities for people to interact, communicate, and get to know one another.

Palmistry is a powerful path to self-consciousness. The value of palmistry is in its capacity to quickly identify basic character and behavior. The beauty of palmistry is that hands change as a person’s thinking and circumstances change. The tiniest change in a line can symbolize a huge change in a life. You can observe your successes and failures reflected in the mirrors of your hands over time.

Unfortunately, modern palmistry is still relegated to the realms of gypsy fortune-telling scams and disreputable storefronts adorned with red neon hands. Palmistry writings remain buried among the worst selling inventory of astrology, tarot, and occult divination books, hidden on the bottom corner shelf of the metaphysical section in major bookstores. Most palmistry books are cookbooks filled with inaccurate information and inadequate illustrations cloaked in esoteric and technical jargon. It’s extremely difficult to find a palmistry book that’s readable, let alone enjoyable. The main reason palmistry is unpopular is that there’s no spokesperson.

After thousands of years in existence, astrology began to enter mass consciousness in 1968 after Linda Goodman wrote Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs (over 100,000,000 copies in print). Linda single-handedly set mass-market astrology in motion by offering practical information in compelling and fun ways. Suddenly, everyone was asking, “What’s your sun sign?” Sun sign columns began appearing in consumer magazines and newspapers worldwide. Ironically, while astrology symbolizes potential character, talents, and challenges, hands reveal true character and what we are doing with our talents and challenges.

Palmistry must be propelled toward a tipping point. In order to educate, I’ll be required to simplify complex ideas at first, and build nuanced understanding as reader’s comprehension of concepts develops. As with any pedagogical process, readers must be exposed to key basic elements before going more in-depth, and then the relationship between these elements can be explored, leading finally to the ability to synthesize and make meaning. To this end, I’ve written Real Palmistry. I’ll try to stay electronic for as long as possible (many people ask, “When are you going to turn your e-book into a real book?”). A few trees may have to be sacrificed to get more people to look at their own and each other’s hands.

My plan is to give everyone a helping hand, their own. I promise to maintain my integrity and dignity in the process. Hopefully, “Let me see your hands” will be a new catchphrase for the 21st Century. The following is a partial list of strategies and venues which I am using to promote palmistry. If you have any thoughts, ideas, suggestions, insights, or advice, please feel free to comment.

1. Social Networking: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest
2. Online Media: youtube, vimeo, fashion magazines
3. Consumer magazines
4. Blogging, books
5. Teleseminars, Webinars, podcasts, virtual book tours (to be created)
6. Network TV

If you’ve been reading my blog or have read my book, you know that you can ask your hands questions like: Who am I? What do I value? What do I think? How do I feel? How do I best use my will power? How can I be healthier? How’s my marriage? How can I be more creative? What’s my philosophy? What’s my purpose?  How can I be more spiritual? What’s next?

I’ve begun sharing Real Palmistry Stories in my blog, which will eventually become a book. Anyone interested in being featured can send me a hi-res photo of themselves (like the one above), their age, and questions like “What can I do to…?” “How can I…?”

Please don’t ask, “What’s going to happen?”, “Will I be famous?” or “Will I win the lotto?” Avoid questions with “Yes” or “No” answers. Include relevant background information relating to the question.

Priceless knowledge and insight await you in plain sight at the ends of your arms. Knowing yourself places your free will and destiny exactly where they belong, back in your own hands.

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 Feeling

Feeling types have long rectangular palms and long fingers, which (unlike this photo) are frequently held closely together. As the most intuitive, empathic, and sensitive of all types, feeling types live deep in the world of their emotions. They’re the hardest of the four basic archetypes to understand because they hide their true selves by avoiding emotional confrontation. Because they’re very vulnerable, they need to feel protected and secure. Having structure, organization, and detail makes them feel more stable. Feelings are an integral part of their decision-making process. They’re cautious and must learn to trust others. Once trust is earned, their loyalties run deep. They get along best with other Feeling types and with Sensation types who are the most practical, responsible, reliable, and dependable of all types. It’s not easy for Feeling types to trust Intuitive and Thinking types. They’re afraid they’ll be stuck dealing with the emotional fallout when idealism, enthusiasm, and interest wane (and they do.)

No matter which of the four basic types you are, everyone has a feeling function. Most palmists observe a person’s emotional health in the qualities and directions of their heart line. A heart line begins under the pinky finger and extends across the hand toward the index finger. The line itself can have many qualities (heart line in illustration is chained.) Qualities of lines will be discussed in future blog entries. Heart lines may extend gracefully toward the index finger, curve up towards the middle finger, or dip down towards the head line (illustration shows all three.) If the line extends upward between the index and middle fingers, it symbolizes that the person is reticent to verbalize their feelings. It’s much easier for the owner of this line to show affection or anger than talk about their emotions. The long graceful heart line extending to the index finger is romantic and idealistic. People with these heart lines tend to see their potential partners and lovers more as they’d like them to be than how they really are. Talking about feelings is important to people with long heart lines. They’re not ‘hop in the sack’ types, so a little candlelight and flowers go a long way to warming them up. As sentimental beings, they frequently cry during predictable old movies. A person with a heart line that dips down to touch their head line needs to be in control of their feelings. These people analyze, rationalize, and compartmentalize their feelings instead of verbalize them. No matter how good the physical chemistry is, the analyzer and the romantic don’t make a particularly good long-term match as partners.

Many lines in the palm of a hand indicate a person with a lot of nervous energy. I usually suggest they stay away from caffeinated beverages. They wake up wired and easily tire from too much emotion. It takes very little to make them overwrought. Being extremely sensitive and naturally empathic  makes them a magnet for strays and fixer-uppers. When you see a hand like this, don’t begin by picking away at details. These people are very impressionable. They may hear the worst, even if you didn’t say it. Whatever you say, they’ll probably never forget it. Be constructive and helpful. I always say something to leave them feeling hopeful.

Each of the four basic archetypes (Intuitive, Sensation, Thinking, and Feeling) can be broken down into three specific character types by determining whether they’re better at initiating, maintaining, or adapting. The Feeling type can be broken down into the Nurturer, the Lover, and the Believer. I’ll begin discussing specific character types in the future when I’ve finished generalizing about basic palmistry.