Palmistry for Astrologers ~ Signs & Aspects

Planets, signs, aspects, and houses combine to reveal character, behavioral patterns, life cycles, timing, and a personal and collective psyche. Astrology is a science and art of infinite permutations, possibilities, and probabilities. Astrology and palmistry share the same planets and mythology. Correspondences can be hard to see because astrology shows us our potentials and hands show us what we’ve done, are doing, and are likely to do with our potentials. A sun, moon, ascendant, or stellium (conjunction of three or more planets in a house) can dominate a person’s psyche. In an astrology chart, you can see potentials. In hands, you see the choices a person has made, but not directly and only by degree. Judging is everything in palmistry. The tiniest change in a line over time can embody a huge change in a life. Any lack or excess of signs, planets, elements, or modalities will be revealed in the topography of our hands.

hand colors

No matter what the basic hand color, colors on the palm may vary from subtle shades of white, pink, red, and yellow to dark blue. Most palms are more colorful than most people realize. Red embodies too much pent up passion, frustration, anger, and rage. As pressure goes up, hands get hot. An unhealthy Mars overdoes everything. In the natal chart, look to Mars, Aries, and first house aspects to gain insight into opportunities and challenges that correspond to redness in the hands. Rosy pink is healthiest. A strong flow of blood pulses through a pink ball of thumb. Under the index finger (Jupiter), pink embodies a healthy ego and a positive relationship with Venus. Look to Sagittarius and Taurus and the second and ninth houses in a chart for more insight. White can be a lack of passion, energy, and clear intent. Saturn and Neptune’s relationship may provide insights and answers. When you see yellow (not from carrot juice), a person has a potentially pressing Saturn and/or Mercury issue.

what you do

One comment I often hear is “My hands are the way they are because of what I do”. Hardness, softness, roughness, smoothness, and calluses are formed by combining character with will power. You may have calluses because of what you do, but you do what you do because you were designed to do it (and many other possibilities).

Crooked fingers

Once you’ve established a basic character type, see what stands out. Does a finger lean, bend, crook, or twist? Is it long, short, fat, thin, strong, or weak? What’s most obvious ~ shapes of tips, knots, nails, stiffness, flexibility, consistency, elasticity, color, or texture? The hand above has obvious Saturn, Mercury, and Lunar (heel of hand) challenges.

flexibility

Hands and fingers can be so flexible they bend backward at every joint, or so stiff you can’t budge them with a nutcracker. Stiff fingered folk are extremely stubborn. Healthy elastic skin bounces back when pushed or pulled. People with too little elasticity must be encouraged to exercise regularly and build resistance to life’s knocks and hardships. Modality can be experienced in a handshake. I’ve shaken cool damp mashed potatoes (apathy) and been shaken by hot, rough, dry, hard, vice grips (control). Most of us compensate for our lack or overabundance of one thing or another. Too much or little of any planet, sign, house, or aspect can cause an imbalance that creates similar results.

brick and cotton balls

No matter what our hands say about us, we must still live our lives. Hard hands with stiff fingers fight change. Letting go will be a major life theme. Interpretations may be very different between astrology and hands. Soft hands and flexible fingers should embody dominant mutability in the natal chart. It may not. Softness does keep close company with rationalization, compartmentalization, and procrastination. Soft flexible hands need structure, discipline, focus, determination, and patience in order to build strong structures on solid foundations that support greater purpose and meaning.

coarse hands with baby hand

When judging the qualities of hands, it helps to think of extremes. Texture of skin can vary from the velvety softness of baby hands to the callused coarseness of a coal miner or farmer. You rarely see contrary qualities in the same hands, any more than you see opposite types attracted to one another. Debutantes don’t dine with ditch diggers.

gesture 2

We’re always communicating with our hands. Gesture reveals our conscious and subconscious minds in the here and now. The messages of our mouths may be very different than the messages of our hands. Hands never lie.

31. Skeletal

Finger lengths, proportions, knots, flexibility of joints, shapes of tips, and nails reveal our relationships to others and show how we manifest our potentials in our outer world.

lines

Four major lines (life, head, heart, and fate) deliver detailed data about our inner lives and outer circumstances. Lines begin somewhere, end somewhere, and display various qualities in-between. Depth, breadth, and textures of lines reveal elemental influences. Beginnings, endings, and directions of lines reveal how signs, planets, and aspects correspond to mind, emotion, career, and health. Markings on lines can reveal transits and timing. Select major planetary transits from Saturn to Pluto from your ephemeris that correspond to markings in the hand. You can time important transitions on lines. The above palm shows an airy head line that reveals indecisive thinking and a watery heart line that exposes confusion and ambiguity in emotion, especially during major life transitions like independence and menopause. I told her what she already knew and had been told by others ~ that she was a late bloomer and would become clearer, more decisive, and enjoy more intimacy, personal satisfaction, and fulfillment with age.

Next post ~ Planets and Fingers

Favorite Quotes from Palmistry

Note: out of focus images are single frames from videos or tiny originals

quotes 1a

“Each of us believes we are familiar with our own hands, and we tend to take them for granted and use them automatically. It is not until we examine our hands critically that we begin to appreciate the many interesting features that they actually possess.”

The Art of Hand Reading ~ Lori Reid ~ 1996

quotes 2

“To understand and analyze your own hands you must look at each component in turn: the shape and structure of the palm, the length and build of the fingers, the strength and flexibility of the thumb, the size and construction of the nails, the pattern and composition of the skin ridges, and the quality and formation of the lines in the palm.”                                                                                                                                                     Lori Reid ~ 1996

quotes 3

“Destiny in palmistry means choice, and the purpose of palmistry is to help you choose what you want, in accordance with what you have already become.”                                                                                             Palmistry the Whole View ~ Judith Hipskind ~ 1986

quotes 4

“Palmistry is an art which requires powers of deduction and a clear grasp of the nature of the hands themselves. As an extension of the brain, hands never reflect isolated or random traits, but rather the whole person: the spirit and motivation, the personal needs and temperament of every individual.”                                           Judith Hipskind ~1986

qoutes5

“Knowing your life purpose means being clear about your big picture: what your life has amounted to so far and where things are headed. More than a set of core values or a worthy goal, your life purpose is your right life, your reason for being. Finding and living your life purpose is the single most important thing you can ever do.”                       Richard Unger ~ LIFEPRINTS ~ Deciphering Your Life Purpose from Your Fingerprints

quotes 6

Diagram from William Benham ~ ‘How to Choose Vocations from the Hand’

“As an aid to the choice of profession, trade or occupation, it (palmistry) is extremely helpful. It shows what the “subject” is naturally most fitted for, and were it more often applied to this purpose, there would be fewer mistakes in launching a boy or a girl on the ocean of life. The talents and qualities most useful for a future career would be cultivated and much valuable time would be saved which is now wasted in teaching the child what will never be of any use to him, worrying his poor little brain with subjects he has really no aptitude for, and neglecting to develop the gifts he possesses.”                                                                                                                         E. Rene’ ~ Hands and How to Read Them

qoutes 7

“The expression of the eyes and face, to a great extent, is under the control of the individual. A man may assume an emotion he does not feel, but his hand betrays him when he is least conscious of it. To the student who seriously and diligently takes up this study, it is a wonderfully interesting and fascinating example of the marvelous intricacies in the workings of the human mind, and physical organism, showing how one acts upon the other.”                                                                                                                         E. Rene’

Reading Laura

“The hand is a jig-saw puzzle, you take bits and spread them out, you note their size and shape, and then you begin the all-important task of fitting them together within the circumference of that individual potentiality. The result should be a perfect picture of the individual, a picture that should show the most intimate physiological and psychological detail.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Hand Speaks ~ Noel Jaquin ~ 1973

 

qoutes 9

“My whole aim and object is to prove, or rather to enable you to prove for yourself, that the human hand betrays both intimate psychological processes and also the presence of disease in active or semi-active states.”                                        Noel Jaquin ~ 1973

qoutes 10

“Palmistry is the most fascinating art in the world. It is simple enough for anyone to learn the basics. You can gain an insight into the lives and characters of people you meet which will totally amaze them. Hand reading is an invaluable tool as well as a source of endless interest. If you care to study and become an expert, there is no limit to how much you can discover.”                                                                                                                                                                                             Andrew Fitzherbert ~The Palmist’s companion 1992

qoutes 11

“When we come to the practice of Palmistry, first of all, dear Student, let me entreat you to take your work in earnest; not only in your mind, but in your manner”.                                                                                                     Katharine St. Hill ~The Book of the Hand ~ 1974

favorite quotes

“Much nonsense still abounds, simply because real palmistry is not easy to practice”.                                                                    Fred Gettings ~ The Book of Palmistry ~ 1974

favorite quotes 2

“Certain it is that the vast literature relating to palmistry is very often contradictory, even about the most fundamental lines in the hand, with the result that the casual observer may be tempted to reject the hotchpotch of superstitions and half-truths as no longer applicable to the modern age.”

Fred Gettings ~ The Book of Palmistry ~ 1974

qoutes 14

“The tragedy is that whilst there are very many different systems of palmistry- many truths by which we may arrive at an understanding of man through the hand – if they are used for the wrong purpose, then they are all quite wrong.”                                                                                                                                        Fred Gettings ~ The Book of Palmistry ~ 1974

qoutes 15

“Remember that the hands are the immediate servants and instruments of the brain. There are more motive and sensory nerves from the brain to the hand than to any other portion of the body and, whether sleeping or waking, they continually and unconsciously reflect the thought and character of the mind or soul of the individual.”                                                                                                                            Cheiro ~ Palmistry for All ~ a century ago

qoutes 16

“Let us approach this study with minds filled with its seriousness, for in no other way can we fully receive its benefits; and let us put aside forever the idea that its whole object is to tell a gushing maiden of her lovers.”                                                                                                                                  William Benham – The Laws of Scientific Hand Reading – 1900

qoutes 17

“Through the analysis of the hands, it can be determined what changes are necessary and would be beneficial in order to improve the character and disposition and thus make for a complete and more successful way of life. A person must recognize a weakness in order, by effort, to overcome it.”                                                                                                                                                                                                          William Benham 1900

qoutes 18

“It is possible to change anything in the hands including their shape… one must first have the desire to change in order to bring it about.”                                                                                                                                                                                  William Benham ~ 1900

qoutes 19

“God has placed signs in the hands of all the sons of all men, that all the sons of men may know his work” ~ THE OLD TESTAMENT ~ God is in your hands (no matter who ‘his’ is)

qoutes 20

It’s not what you see, but what you say and how you say it that matters…                                                                                                                                                   Mark Seltman

Palmistry for Astrologers ~ Truth vs Fiction

Your Life is in Your Hands

“How long will I live?”  “When will I die?”

We all die. Life is about quality, not quantity. No one can or should tell you when. I’ve seen very long life lines on people who have died young and short life lines on very old people. You’re very lucky if you have a strong full life line. No matter what your life line says, you can  exercise your thinking and free will and transform your circumstances.

Untitled-1 copy

FICTION ~ there’s no connection between astrology and palmistry

TRUTH ` Assuming a date, time, and place of birth is correct; natal astrology reveals positive and negative potentials, challenges, life cycles, patterns, habits, and timing. Hands reveal what we’ve done, do, and are likely to do with all of the above.

mark, joanna, and cassie as a newborn2

                                     FICTION ~ you can see when a person will marry,                                     how many children they’ll have, and what genders

TRUTH ~ accurately and consistently predicting partnerships and children is not a right use of palmistry. Behavior is predictable. It’s good to examine partnerships through that lens. A combination of hands, astrology, and tarot reveal a person’s basic potentials, and how they relate. Check out our marriage ‘You’ve Got’ ~   https://www.youtube.com/watch

mark speaking

FICTION ~ the left hand is the hand you read

TRUTH ~ hands must be read together. The hand you write with is your dominant hand. The other reveals your subconscious mind. Both morphology and topography of hands tell us who we are, what we have, what we’ve done, are doing, and are likely to do with what we have. As we change our thinking and circumstances, our dominant hand changes. The other hand changes less because inner space is harder to change.

mystic crosses

FICTION ~ mystic crosses are magical

TRUTH ~ Mystic crosses are independent X’s between head and heart lines. Many palmists will tell you that you’re mystical, psychic, blessed, gifted, or fated for greatness. Between ages 35 and 47, crosses symbolize the trials of mid-life. As people are searching for deeper meanings in their lives, they sometimes turn to esoteric sciences and arts for insights and answers. For those folks, an X is a mystic cross. For everyone else ~ they’re challenges and obstacles that need to be seen, figured out, and overcome.

past life myth

FICTION ~ you can see past lives in a hand

TRUTH ~ clients have told me that some palmist or other told them that a certain marking revealed they’d been a high priestess, witch burned at the stake, or other notable person in a past life. I can’t confirm or deny such pronouncements. They’re not from the science of palmistry. Hands are topographical maps of character with their corresponding propensities, probabilities, and possibilities in past, present, and future.

Fingers and careerFICTION ~ you can see a person’s career in their hands

TRUTH ~ No reader can consistently pinpoint career. Knowing a dominant type, modality, finger, phalanx, and print patterns gives enough information to see career potentials. I get lots of practice at corporate special events. People often say, “That’s what I always wanted to be” or “That’s what I studied in college”. They didn’t pursue it for practical or social reasons. The illustration is from William Benham’s book “How to Choose Vocations in the Hands” and shows some careers for the early 20th Century.

predicting the future 2

FICTION ~ you can accurately predict the future

TRUTH ~ you can accurately judge a person’s character and project that character and behavior into the past, present, and future. History frequently repeats itself. As people exercise their thinking and free will, their behavior patterns, habits, and destiny will be reflected in their hands. In my opinion, that’s the most important application of palmistry.

seeing hands in hands 2

FICTION ~ you can see other people in hands

TRUTH ~ you can only see the person whose hands you’re reading and how they relate to others. My calling as a quickie counselor includes role playing. When I look at hands, I can see who a person attracts, why, and what that person actually needs to be happy and fulfilled in relationships. I play different roles to help my clients define their boundaries, recognize their capabilities, and set realistic expectations.

great seal crystal ball

FICTION ~ you can see wealth in hands

TRUTH ~ you cannot see money in a hand. You can see potentials for finances and what a person values. I’ve read many hands of millionaires and billionaires. I expected to see a lot of practical and intuitive types with powerful index and strong pinky fingers. I did. I also saw deficient index and pinky fingers on individuals with challenging histories. They toiled ceaselessly with strength, courage, and dignity to overcome enormous odds and achieve success. Many had powerful wills (strong thumbs) forged by determination (bulging percussion) and tempered with virtue (healthy ball of thumb).

Head lines 3

 

 

FICTION ~ you can see what a person thinks in their hands

TRUTH ~ you can anticipate what a person may think when you understand how a person thinks. A head line starts somewhere, ends somewhere, and follows the path of mind between. Once you get a gestalt for a person, you can observe the processes of their mind while interpreting the directions and qualities of their head line and thinking.

heart lines 2

FICTION ~ you can know what a person feels from their hands

TRUTH ~ feeling is embodied in the morphology and topography of our hands. Once a basic type is known, you can judge that person’s feelings from the position, direction, and qualities of their heart line. The heart line is a path to how and why we feel what we feel. It’s easy for thinking types to analyze, rationalize, and compartmentalize feelings. Practical types hold back feelings when they interfere with what they must accomplish. Intuitive types hang on to inspiration and learn about feelings in hindsight. Heart lines that curve gently up from pinkie to index finger are sentimental and romantic. Bearers tend to see people and circumstances as they want them to be.

Purnima's palm print

FICTION ~ you can see unimportant events in hands

TRUTH ~ a hand is a small space for a whole life. A tiny change in a line can embody a huge change in a life. “Will I pass the test?” “Win the game?” “Get the girl?” People are incredulous when I tell them I don’t have a clue. I’m mind boggled when I ask them about their major relationship and career issues and they’re clueless.

timing on lines of hand

FICTION ~ you can see age in hands

TRUTH ~ many people are surprised when I don’t know their age. “How old are you?” I ask. “You don’t know?!!” they respond. I’ve seen young looking hands on the oldest and old looking hands on the youngest. Palmistry is a powerful path to truly knowing oneself and others. Judging accurate timing is nearly impossible without astrology.

My Palmistry Astrology and Tarot Practice

recent mark photo

I’m a full time professional palmist, astrologer, and tarot reader. I help clients examine their behaviors, strengths, weaknesses, talents, challenges, and current and major life issues. Many people want to hear one thing, but need to hear another. My job is to determine what a person needs to hear at a particular moment. I help my clients to gain clarity and to know and understand when it’s healthy to compromise and when it’s not. My mission is to give people a helping hand, their own.

There are many doors to knock on in NYC. I offer private consultations, special events, public speaking, small workshops, and creative writing. Much of my favorite work has come from having healthy working relationships with professionals who market public speaking, corporate special events, and private parties. Most of my income is from special events. A lot of valuable information can be shared in five minutes. I can read up to forty- eight people in four hours. I used to work exclusively for a dozen or so event, party, and meeting planners. I was attracted to the spectacular venues, lavish homes, and fantastic wealth. I’ve read many hundreds of mega-wealthy people and celebrities.

After working the party scene for a couple of years, I began feeling annoyed with planners who took too much commission. Some made as much as I did. Many were paranoid and concerned that their clients would go around them to save money (and they do). Vendors like me are not permitted to give our full names or business cards to guests. I never bit the hand that fed me, but I did observe less scrupulous readers slipping cards to guests. When clients from parties track me down (it’s not hard) to quote on a job, I refer them back to the planners when I realize how they got to me.

I work with top magicians, caricaturists, make-up artists, comedians, musicians, clowns, DJ’s, and caterers. I charge a flat fee of $1000 for up to four hours. When I’m busiest, I feel like I’m not charging enough. Magicians can earn $500 per hour. Mentalists may be worth $5,000 ~ $50,000. A magician referred  me for an hour of work. “You can have me for four hours for the same price.” I told the client. “I know”, she replied. “I only need you for cocktail hour, but I hear you’re worth it.”

Most palmists are poverty conscious. They don’t value what they do enough and can’t see past practical matters. Many have day jobs where they work for peanuts. They’re thrilled to make $150/hr. I charge my clients the same or a bit less than planners charge for my services. I used to recommend other palmists and believed I had no competition. I learned many customers shop for price, not quality. Palmists I had referred to planners would sooner or later offer to discount the healthy fee I’d gotten  them and compete with me for my clients.

Fortunately, I have friends as well as business relationships. Most of my favorite clients, their guests, and other vendors love me and I love them. Click and scroll for reviews. I overheard a guest asking a magician “Is this real magic?” He was performing for the line of guests waiting for their five-minute hand reading with me. “No”, he said, “These are tricks. You need to see Mark for real magic.”

I mostly market myself these days. My favorite events are small and exclusive. I love reading people who know who they are and what they want and ask smart questions. They take what works and leave what doesn’t and do what they want. I work large events, but require a quiet space away from crowds and loud noise. I always ask potential clients what they want and expect from me. I don’t make psychic predictions, have answers, or have a need or desire to tell anyone what to do next.

The special event business is seasonal. I’m busiest in late spring and autumn. I refuse over a dozen prospects a week that aren’t right for me. I refer astrologers, numerologists, and tarot readers who I know and respect. My summer and winter are split between a week in NYC and three weeks in the country. When a party is confirmed, I call whoever has been waiting for a reading and cram a month’s worth of work into a week if I can. I’ll schedule up to a dozen private 1 ½ – 2 hour consultations. Most of my clients are willing to adapt to my schedule and needs.

I’ve read a lot of hands, charts, and cards over forty years. Hands are topographical maps of human character in past, present, and future. Priceless treasure is in plain sight, waiting to be discovered at the ends of our arms. Most people can learn to navigate their maps and chart their course. I use astrology to examine process. Tarot unveils the unseen. Meaningful dialogue unravels clarity from chaos. I’ve peered into myriad eyes and shared intimate stories as a counselor, five-minute best friend, bull-shit detector, and soothsayer for a huge diversity of individuals of all ages, genders, colors, cultures, and nationalities. I stopped counting at 50,000 many years ago.

For astrologers, my lunar north node conjunct Venus in Gemini symbolizes a push-pull between city and country life. I’m a communicator in the city. My country life is creative writing, mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, gardening, cooking, making things, reading, and loving nature, art, music, friends, and family.

country life

 

Professional Palmistry

Mark reading female client

Anyone who reads my blog knows I’m unhappy about the current state of palmistry. Most of the world still thinks palmistry is a gypsy fortunetelling scam. After 5,500 years, reading hands is completely misunderstood and casually misrepresented!  While natal astrology and numerology provide wonderful tools and systems for examining human nature and potentials, palmistry reveals what a person has actually done, is doing, and is likely to do with their potentials. Palmistry is the ultimate tool for knowing oneself and others. Sadly, few people know it.

There’s an alarming lack of good literature, palmistry schools, certification, teachers, students, professional counseling skills, public relations, marketing, and wisdom. Students of palmistry have come to me over the years for readings. Many want to impress me with their knowledge, but depress me with how little they know about what to do with what they’ve learned. Everyone has misread me. I attempt to tweak their knowledge and skills, but end up feeling that they should go back and start over. Palmistry teachers should begin class with counseling and work their way backwards to the details of the hands. It’s not what you see, but what you say and how you say it that matters in the final analysis.

Twenty-five years ago, I taught palmistry classes. I offered a series of ten three hour workshops for ten students for ten weeks. After learning that one of my former students had abused my #1 cardinal rule of counseling, I never taught another class. I had a bad feeling about him from the beginning and ignored my basic instincts. I thought I could help the man. Instead, I cultivated a monster. Here’s the story.

Here are a few truisms I’ve learned over forty years of practicing palmistry. Everyone has current and major life issues and challenges. Wise counsel is important whenever and wherever we can get it. We can all use a helping hand. People are impressionable.

I’ve overheard conversations between ‘readers’ and guests at parties that horrified me. I’ve observed self-appointed false prophets uttering absolutes, telling people what they want to hear, and making unknowable predictions. Thoughtlessly, for their own profit, they encourage sensitive seekers to create self-fulfilling prophecies from their fears.

A very vulnerable person once came to me for an astrological reading. She told me how a ‘famous palmist’ at a party had casually predicted she would have ‘seven years bad luck’. She tearfully told me, “I had seven years of bad luck.” Every time anything ‘bad’ happened, she thought of his prediction. She was a feeling type with an islanded short heart line and three prominent girdles of Venus. I wondered what would have happened if he had told her she need not worry because she will have good luck in the midst of her most difficult challenges and she will always bounce back and land on her feet.

People give readers too much power. Too many readers give themselves too much power. I can misinterpret some aspect of my client’s character and not be challenged because in their mind, my sterling reputation and specialized knowledge must make me right. Sometimes clients quip, “I learned more in an hour and a half with you than I did in six months with my psychiatrist”. Of course, that’s not true. Hand reading is prescriptive. It’s no substitute for therapy. Recognizing or understanding something intellectually is only a first step to working it out emotionally. Hands confirm and affirm what we know. Great readers are clear in intent, honest, frank, caring, and excellent bullshit detectors.

Mark reading male clientAll twelve types are predisposed to specific relationship, career, and health challenges. A timely reflection can catalyze a change in a person’s consciousness. A man stood in line for an hour at a special event for his five-minute reading. Something I said the year before had changed his life. I saw a natural talent for writing and encouraged him to take a writing class.

 

He procrastinated as I had suggested he might, took my insight to heart, exercised his thinking and free will, and was happy he did. “What else should I work on?” he asked. He wanted me to affirm what he already knew. On one level or another, no one can tell anyone anything they don’t already know. The esoteric meanings of astrology’s twelve houses are a lens through which hands reveal a person’s character, values, thinking, feelings, will power, health, relationship potentials, creativity, philosophy, purpose, dreams, and spirituality. Knowing ourselves helps us recognize our strengths and weaknesses and freely choose where and when we can and cannot compromise.

mark reading client 2I saw someone on the street whose hands I had read for five-minutes at some special event. She told me how many of the things I said had come true, even though I don’t make predictions. She shared current events as if I already knew them. I couldn’t even remember meeting her. I’d deleted her from my consciousness the moment I finished reading her. My mind can get cluttered. On a busy week, I examine hundreds of sets of hands. Every person is the most important person in the world for five minutes.

Here are my twelve cardinal rules for anyone who wants to learn palmistry from me.

Never predict anyone’s death

Practice what you preach

Look wisely and see clearly

Listen carefully and hear truthfully

Feel fully and freely

Think critically and creatively

Examine a multitude of hands

Ask abundant questions

Read, study, and do research

Cultivate a non-judgmental attitude

Proceed cautiously and lead with your heart

If you can’t be helpful or leave people feeling hopeful, don’t say anything at all

Palmistry for Astrologers ~ Four Elements

Hands never lie

Palmistry is the science and art of knowing self and other through a visual and tactile examination of hands. Our hands are topographical maps of our character in past, present, and future. Hands reveal our current and major life issues, talents, abilities, challenges, and the degrees to which we are fulfilling our potentials. Hands provide detailed information about our values, thinking, feelings, health, relationships, sexuality, creativity, philosophy, career, purpose, hopes, dreams, and spirituality. Palmistry is simple and fun. Everyone can learn to navigate their map and chart their course.

Astrology’s ‘house system’ offers a powerful framework for examining hands. Astrology uses planets, signs, aspects, and houses to symbolize human nature. Hand size, shape, and proportions disclose four basic elements and corresponding archetypes. Skin texture, elasticity, colors, hand consistency, and finger flexibility provides three modalities that explain how we take action, maintain the status quo, and adapt to changing conditions. Finger lengths and proportions, shapes of tips, knots, and nails, reveal how twelve unique types function in the world and communicate with others. Lines and gestures offer detailed information about our life choices and circumstances. The arts and crafts of interpretation and counseling require study and practice.

Whether you’re using astrology or palmistry, you must first understand the gestalt of a person before proceeding to details. Until a natal chart is understood, adding outer planets, asteroids, and man-made points to horoscopes provides endless combinations, permutations, and possibilities. It’s the same with hands. Every detail means something, but getting bogged down in details confuses the basic issues. Every detail must be examined in the context of the whole and all other details at the same time. All questions are in every detail and every detail is in all answers.

It’s best to progress from issues to details, rather than details to issues. Details provide valuable insight into a person, but the meaning of any detail can change depending on the question asked and a person’s character. The danger in interpreting details out of context is in substituting one form of pre-determinism for another by reducing individuality to cookbook formulas. Many astrology and most palmistry books do that.

All hand details have meaning, even rings, scars, warts, and birthmarks. Until you’ve determined a person’s basic character, however, the details are superficial. No matter what our socio-economic background is, we can choose to exercise our free will and modify our thinking, feelings, and actions. We cannot alter our past, but we can change our present and influence our future. Our hands change as our thinking and circumstances change.

Hands are like a Meyers Briggs personality test incarnate. When you know a basic type and their corresponding challenges, you also understand what they need. Large hands enjoy detail and organization. Small hands hate detail and love big ideas. Small handed folk must learn to delegate detail work to avoid frustration, boredom, and impatience.

Shapes and proportions of hands reveal one of four basic types

four types

INTUITIVE

2. leo

Rectangular palms ~ Short fingers. These highly spirited and enthusiastic individuals dislike details, need to grasp the whole picture, pride themselves on their honesty, and require a lot of freedom to express their true selves naturally. They’re easily bored when life gets mundane or routine. They need to feel inspired and passionate and cultivate clear vision and enduring patience. They enjoy taking chances when they’re inspired, and become impatient, restless, and bored when they’re not. As extroverted, very busy, objective, independent thinkers, they must learn to set clear goals to accomplish clear objectives. They’re frequently accused of being opinionated because their point of view is so very important. Communicating clearly and effectively is a must. In order to flourish and blossom, intuitive types must learn to trust their intuition, behave responsibly, act naturally in relationships, and express themselves creatively.

PRACTICAL

5.Taurus

 Square palms ~ short fingers ~ developed bottom knots. Skin ridge patterns are coarsest of the four types. Pure types have few peripheral lines in their palms and few interruptions on the head, heart, and life lines. Square fingertips and arch fingerprints are often seen, along with stiffness in joints of fingers and thumb. Work dominates their life. They’re logical, methodical, pragmatic, and make decisions based on objective reality. As the most responsible, reliable, dependable, pragmatic and objective of all types, they have an innate understanding of how the world works. They trust what they can see and feel, not inspirations, ideas, or intuitions. They can become so involved in practical matters that any imagination or abstract ability is limited. They must be careful not to get addicted to routine and order. Their biggest challenges are learning to trust their gut and let go of circumstances beyond their control. Driven by their physical senses, they love their homes, yards, cars, family life, friendships, and food.

THINKING

8. Gemini

Square palms ~ long fingers ~ widely spread. Thinking types love the idea stage of development before projects materialize. They can detach themselves from mundane reality and gain objectivity and a fresh perspective on almost anything. They overvalue the intellect and downplay emotion. Most social of all types, they’ll acknowledge your point of view, even if they don’t agree with you. Capable of plenty of analysis, detail, and research, they’d rather be free of mundane realities. Often accused of being impractical dreamers, not much new happens without them. They often spread themselves too thin because they’re interested in everything. They’re easily distracted, scattered, and resist remaining focused, disciplined, and structured. Uncultivated types are infamous for being fickle, nervous, restless, superficial, and unreliable.

FEELING

10.cancer

Long rectangular palms ~ long fingers ~ held closely. Most intuitive, empathic, and sensitive of all types, feeling types live in a world of deep emotions. They’re hardest of the four basic types to understand because they hide their true selves. Most are very vulnerable and have a strong need to feel protected and secure. They embrace detail, structure, and organization to help them feel more stable. Feeling types avoid emotional confrontation whenever possible. Feelings are an integral part of their decision-making process. Naturally cautious, they must learn to allow others to earn their trust. When trust is earned, loyalties run deep. Feeling types get along best with other feeling types and with practical types who are responsible, reliable, and dependable. It’s challenging for feeling types to trust intuitive and thinking types. They’re afraid they’ll get stuck with the emotional fallout when idealism, enthusiasm, and interest wane and they do.

Stay tuned for the three modalities as seen in the hands…

Palmistry for Astrologers

Sun

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 symbolizes and examines relationships between the cycles of celestial bodies and life on earth. Every moment in time and space has an exclusive signature. Symbolic patterns synchronize with life experience and personality patterns.

I studied astrology for several years before I began learning palmistry. Initially, I found astrology to be 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 natal 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 planned to have a natural childbirth. After 24 hours in labor; the obstetrician finally cut me out to save her life. My mom believed that she remembered my birth time correctly, but her memory was different from my birth certificate, which I ended up using to construct my horoscope. I later rectified my chart, which had changed by six minutes.

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

The value of reading hands lies in its capacity to help us easily identify our personality traits and motivations. By understanding our natural strengths and weaknesses, we can transform our negative thought patterns into positive behavioral patterns. The beauty of reading hands is that as our thinking and circumstances change, so do our hands.

Once we pinpoint our strengths and weaknesses, we can alter our thinking, exercise our free will, and those changes will reveal themselves in our hands over time. As we influence our destiny, we can observe our successes and failures reflected in the mirrors of our hands. While other symbolic systems such as astrology and numerology show potential challenges and talents, hands show what we are actually doing with our potentials.

Astrology and palmistry share the same mythology. Those same Greek and Roman gods are still alive and well inside and outside of us. As Joseph Campbell once said, “Oedipus crosses 42nd Street”. Hands contain both physical and celestial DNA. Planetary symbols are alchemical keys to unlocking knowledge and wisdom.

Western Hand diagram

Our Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars are labeled personal planets. They symbolize the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious aspects of our individual psyches. Here’s an oversimplified generalization: Sun (ring finger) expresses father and spirit. Moon (heel of hand) relates to mother and feelings. Mercury (pinky finger) concerns siblings, thinking, and communications, Venus (ball of thumb) reveals our aesthetics, love and appreciation, and intimate relationships, and Mars (mid palm from thumb to percussion) is about libido, aggression, physical strength, and resistance.

Jupiter and Saturn are considered social planets. Jupiter (index finger) reflects ambition, self-esteem, philosophy, and spirituality. Saturn (middle and hopefully always longest finger) is the balance wheel of the hand. A healthy Saturn provides a solid foundation of structure, purpose, and wisdom. An unhealthy Saturn (extremely long, knotty, crooked middle finger with grilled lines underneath is one example) symbolizes perfectionism, frustration, moodiness, and depression. The native needs to become more structured, disciplined, focused, and work harder as a remedy for their negative qualities. That’s hard.

Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are transpersonal planets. As they orbit our sun very slowly and change zodiacal signs, they form exact geometric astronomical relationships with personal planets, each other, and various celestial bodies and zodiacal points in the cosmos that mirror our shifting paradigms and transformation from the status quo.

Outer planets symbolize mass psychology and reveal powerful changes in the collective unconscious. They disclose generational influences that affect individuals in personal ways depending on their placement and relationships with personal planets in a natal horoscope. Many modern palmistry books tell you that the outer planets can be located and interpreted directly in the hands. I’ve tried, but not found this to be true. Outer planetary influence can be seen as reflected in the collective qualities in hands. For example, if a person is erratic and unpredictable, or maybe they’re an inventive genius, Uranus is strong. If they’re addictive, escapist, or visionary, Neptune is strong. Highly sexual, secretive, controlling, and obsessive folks have strong Pluto. My plan is to share the outer planetary generational changes as I examine individual signs and hands.

mark seltman rt handI have Scorpio rising. Jupiter in Scorpio in my first house is a singleton in the bottom hemisphere of my horoscope. Saturn and Pluto closely straddle my Leo midheaven.  My Gemini Sun is conjunct Uranus and Venus is conjunct my North Node in my Gemini eighth house. You’d think my hands would be Scorpion, but instead, they’re Gemini with square palms and widely spread long flexible fingers. That’s not to say I’m not Plutonian. I am, but not in the ways I behave.

Sometimes clients are very different than I expected from examining their horoscope. Imagine their chart is dominated by mutable water or air and there’s not a drop of earth. I expect them to float through the door. Instead, an extremely grounded person walks in. When I look at their hands and see lots of earth and no mutability, air, or water, their astrology begins to make more sense. They’ve compensated in their life for whatever they lack in their astrological symbolism. Ocassionally, a challenging aspect from a transiting outer planet impels them to come for a consultation.

I’ve learned not to depend on a person’s natal horoscope to observe their character. Learning palmistry with astrology has helped me to understand both better. Astrology is especially helpful in confirming and affirming what I see in a person’s hands and can provide additional information about a person’s behavioral patterns, timing, and life cycles. I use numerology and tarot to get at things I can’t see using astrology and palmistry.

A majority of modern palmistry books agree that there are seven or eight basic archetypes that can be seen in the hands. I’ve applied an astrological framework to palmistry to identify and define twelve basic character types. Western astrology and palmistry share the same Greek and Roman gods. The combinations, permutations, and probabilities of their relationships are always and forever being acted out in our individual lives. Humanity is one huge dysfunctional family and each of us is a member.

People ask, “Does astrology rule your life?” No, it doesn’t. “Do you use astrology to plan your activities?” When my symbolism fits, that’s wonderful. When it doesn’t, I consider the best and worst that can happen.I usually ask myself “Is what I want possible? What’s the best outcome I can envision?”   Then Imake an informed decision, and take action. Thanks to hindsight, I get to see how and why my choices have or haven’t worked out and how that fits with my symbolism.

“Do you read your own hands?” Definitely! It’s not easy to be objective about oneself. I meditate on my hands for clarity and insight. Self-scrutiny and vigilance are endless and eternal. Knowing myself helps me be myself.

Hillary Clinton natal - progressions - transitsA natal horoscope is a unique map of the positions of planets in the heavens at the specific time and place of a birth. Expert astrologers offer accurate and in depth perspectives of our personalities, possibilities, probabilities, and prospects. Emperors, kings, presidents, dictators, philosophers, mystics, scholars, and artists throughout history have used astrology (and still do) to understand and influence world events.

Astrology empowers us by giving us a menu of life’s choices. Countries and inanimate objects have sun signs. A Cancer sun will forever symbolize a signing of a Declaration of Independence. The exact date, time, and place of a corporation’s first trade (IPO) symbolize its partnership with the public. Even thoughts, feelings, ideas, and questions with accurate birth dates, times, and places have astrological lives of their own. Many applications are available because astrology is a symbolic system.

Natal astrology examines character, patterns, and life cycles. Astrological progressions map psycho-sociological patterns of past, present, and future.  Astrological synastry examines the symmetry between two or more horoscopes. Medical astrology analyzes the physiology and psychology of health and illness. Political, economic, and mundane astrology focus on natural and manmade challenges such as floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, wars, economic and plane crashes. Meteorological astrology researches weather patterns. Horary and electional astrology answer particular questions and establish specific times to initiate action. Excellent astrology books, educational opportunities, charting services, and sophisticated state-of-the-art interpretive astrological software are readily available to all. I wish the same were true for palmistry, which is even older than astrology.

NY Stock Exchange 2015 - 2025

NY Stock Exchange – outer planetary transits 2015-2025

 

In my next blog post, I’ll introduce astrology’s four elements as four basic hand types:

 

Aries and Hands

aries2

You don’t have to have an Aries sun sign to be an Aries. Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are intuitive types with long rectangular palms and short fingers. Aries hands are similar but different from Leo and Sag hands. Large reddish puffy bumps bulge where Aries thumb meets his hand. More fully-developed percussions (under pinky finger) are firm and consistent. Strong pink elastic skin quickly springs to a normal state when pushed or pulled. Pink energizes. Red pressurizes. Red skin may reflect too much energy, anger, and passion. Aries head and life lines are separated at their beginnings on pure types. Wider gaps symbolize more independent, freedom loving, and rebellious individuals. When head and life lines are closely intertwined, they reveal more inertia and a stronger need to be appreciated. Pure Leos have closely connected head and life lines.

It’s easy to get along with intuitive types if you agree with them. Thinking types fan the flames of intuitive inspiration. Practical types can be pragmatic devil’s advocates. You’ll find them everywhere. Feeling types distrust intuitive optimism and idealism because they’re the ones who get stuck with the emotional baggage when passion wanes.

feeling for consistency and elasticity

Aries are the most adventurous of all types. Passion is contagious and optimism eternal. As natural heroes and inspired risk takers, they never run out of doors to knock on. They don’t take rejection personally. Ready and willing to compete with anyone at any time and place, these autonomous freedom lovers hate criticism and detest bureaucrats. Aries types with very low set thumbs have been designed to champion underdogs and quest for holy grails. They crusade relentlessly until their objectives are realized. Rising for worthy causes brings deep personal satisfaction and fulfillment.

As a conceptual thinker, Aries hates details. Once he gets bogged down in mundane tasks like paperwork or bookkeeping, he becomes bored, restless, and impatient and drives everyone around him crazy. He’s easily frustrated, so it’s best to stay out of his way if you can’t help him. His most important challenges are having patience, trusting his intuition, setting sensible goals, and building sound structures on solid foundations. Many famous actors, politicians, religious leaders, military leaders, business executives, surgeons, salesmen, soldiers, policemen, firemen, butchers, and barbers have Aries hands.

marsMars, the Roman god of war, is symbolized by an erect penis. Mars was an invincible warrior and lusty lover. His strong athletic body, dominant chest, and rock hard head are built to match his testosterone and inner strength. Aries aren’t called rams for nothing. Aries’ dark side can be controlling, manipulative, argumentative, angry, jealous, hateful, cruel, violent, and vengeful. Everyone has Aries in his or her symbolism.

Aries has amazing resilience and an innate ability to bounce back and land on their feet. A strong sense of inner strength and courage combines with dogged determination and powerful persistence to make them formidable foes. Aries conquers procrastination, overcomes inertia, and embraces action. Potential physical problems include accidents, fevers, headaches, inflammations, and high blood pressure.

Aries progeny are heroes such as King Theseus of Athens, Jason and the Argonauts, Joan of Arc, Robin Hood, and Aladdin, the orphaned son of the king of thieves, a handsome adolescent street rat and diamond in the rough destined to become a prince. Aries rules Energy and War. Sagittarius and Jupiter rule Philosophy, Publicity, Publishing, and Politics. Pisces and Jupiter rule Spirituality and Religion. Billions of individuals are manipulated and controlled by energy, war, politics, and religion.

Al GoreAl Gore initiated a quest for the Golden Fleece. Al and his Argonauts bagged the coveted Nobel Peace Prize, inspiring masses of minds to question the hazards of Global Warming. His intuitive hands reveal a persuasive personality. Al’s Sun in Aries, with Mars, Saturn, and Pluto in Leo provide abundant inspiration and motivation to help Al transform his world. Al’s Jupiter in Sagittarius provides plenty of money and an ability to sell anything to anyone. Al must pour his inspiration and passion into the essence of his vision.

Al’s rectangular hands, short fingers, and long index finger reveal his ambition and egocentricity. As a conceptual thinker, Al loves the idea part of the process. His greatest strength is his ability to see the whole picture. He has no time, aptitude, or patience for details. Once he knows what he must do, he acquires the facts to make the case for his cause. As a man of great influence and privilege, Al must always remain aware of his own personal footprint and consciously practice what he preaches.

Colin PowellU.S. ex-Secretary of State, ex-General Colin Powell is a pure Aries with his Sun and Mercury in Aries (April 5, 1937). His rectangular palms, short fingers, and widely separated life and head lines are the embodiment of King Theseus of Athens. Theseus escorted Jason on his quest for the Golden Fleece. He 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. He believed he could make a real difference, but ended up being goldenly fleeced by the Bush administration. As our Emperor pulled his threads over our eyes, he was proudly cloaked in Colin Powell’s noble charisma, flawless credibility, and ethical principles on the front lines of international diplomacy. Colin Powell’s largest battles are yet to come as he approaches the end of his life and wages war between his personal loyalties and his virtue, honesty, integrity, and dignity. As a true hero, he must cleanse his legacy by shining the blinding light of absolute truth on the many shades of gray in his life.

barack-obama-left-hand-gesturePresident Barack Obama is a Leo with a Gemini Moon and Aquarius rising. His rectangular palms, short fingers, and separated head and life lines embody Aries ability to overcome inertia and create momentum. Barack’s hands are narrower and less meaty than most Aries hands. You can see from the calluses under his fingers that he stays fit. He’s a warrior of ideas and ideals who takes calculated risks. The top phalange of his middle finger crooks slightly toward the ring finger and expresses a powerful desire and need for perfection and personal space. His developed sense of responsibility (unlike his predecessor) impels Barack to choose duty over leisure. The small bottom phalange on his pinky reveals that he’s not motivated by money. Freedom, family, and righteous moral causes drive him.

How I Lost my Sanity 4

Two patients were in the art room. One warily tucked in a corner, the other a pretty twenty something African-American woman quietly cutting paper with a child’s scissors.

I gently mused out loud. “You look so healthy and normal. Why are you here?”

“My psychiatrist tells me it’s because I feel no remorse for what I did.”

“What did you do?”

“I killed my roommate. I chopped her body up in the bathtub and flushed as much of her as I could down the toilet. The rest I put in black plastic garbage bags in a dumpster.”

“Did you think you would get away with that?”

“I didn’t think at all. I got the idea watching TV.”

“And you don’t feel badly about what you did?”

“I guess I’m sorry for her family. The girl is dead. There’s nothing I can do about that!”

Mary told me she grew up in a large family with no privacy. She applied for a single room at college, but had to have a roommate. Enduring a year, Mary applied again, but her roommate got it. Mary lost control of her mind and heart and eliminated the problem.

I was glad I’d survived the bog of bureaucratic bullshit. Many strange stories unfolded over the next several months. Every day promised fresh adventure. I was yearning to examine everyone’s hands, but didn’t. I couldn’t wait for astonishing tales and amazing artwork. Many patients had artistic talent. There were even a few professional artists in the group. I supported everyone’s creativity, going above and beyond the call of duty to acquire special materials and supplies for them to work with.

The first patient I bonded with was a refined and cultivated woman in her mid to late fifties. The circumstances that led to Betsey’s hapless and senseless captivity were bizarre. She lived on Treasure Island, a wealthy seaside community near Purgatory. Betsey ran an art gallery, was a gossip columnist in a local paper, and loved to garden. She was an active member of the local gardening community.

A Purgatory lawyer of considerable power purchased Betsey’s adjoining land and let it flourish with weeds and branches that draped sloppily onto her property. Her neighbor‘s lack of landscaping annoyed the hell out of Betsey. One very vexing afternoon, Betsey threatened to chop off every leaf hanging over her domain. Betsey grabbed her axe and severed every limb and brush extending over the line. She was calmly recuperating on her porch, when suddenly and unexpectedly, she was frightened by several police officers in plain clothes who marched aggressively through her gate.

Betsey picked up her axe and attempted to chase them away. The next thing she knew, she was sedated in a psychiatric hospital for further evaluation. Her neighbor had pulled some strings and managed to have her temporarily committed. That’s when extremely serious problems began for Betsey. She got so agitated that Thorazine was mandated and administered. Betsey had a bad reaction to the Thorazine and was rushed to a local hospital where her spleen had to be removed.

Betsey was not a criminal. Nor was she crazy. A series of unfortunate events led to her becoming caught in ‘The System’. Although Betsey had great character references and her son pleaded fervently for her release, no one seemed able to help her. Betsey’s attitude remained positive and optimistic, however, her mental and physical health continued to deteriorate while she lost three productive years of her life.

Everyone admired Betsey. I was the self-appointed president of her fan club. She could draw, paint, and sculpt. She won several patient art awards. Betsey was a positive role model for everyone. She was editor and illustrator of the patient newspaper, The Scene. Betsey also created signage for activities and events. I got special permissions for her to do creative seamstress work. I purchased (with my $) supplies like needles, threads, and unique fabrics for her to experiment with.

Love bug tarantulaBetsey designed lifelike stuffed insects, while planting the seeds of success in my mind. She inspired me to imagine a patient run cottage industry within the confines of our hospital that could serve sheltered workshops in a variety of social / medical networks. We could be their source for design and marketing.

green hand print with poster paintI became braver each day as I talked to patients about their lives. I wasn’t able to divulge or indulge my avocation, but I did begin to look as closely as I could at hands. I made crude prints with poster paint. I assumed that madness would show up in obvious aberrations of their hand morphology and topography. It rarely did, although there were many unusual hands. I saw a lot of frustration, anger, fear, and an uncanny clarity in their thinking. They only saw one solution to their problem, never considering the consequences.

 

I wouldn’t have predicted from their hands that most of these people would end up committed to mental institutions. Many patients lacked peripheral lines. They were more psychotic and less neurotic than the wounded egos and superegos that cared for them. Many of us have repressed rage, confused minds, and constipated emotions. The healthiest among us harness our strengths, choose our attitudes and actions, and embrace whatever challenges we meet on our path to becoming healthier.

Club ThumbI expected to see more, but saw only one club (murderer’s) thumb in the whole patient population. This guy was like Shrek. Motivated by his passions, he totally lacked impulse control. Another patient’s hands were so soft and supple that his bones felt barely attached. He had no energy, enthusiasm, or desire for anything. I observed a psychotic’s skin that was blood red with repressed rage. Other patient hands were so stiff you couldn’t flex their joints with a nut-cracker. These individuals were trapped, inside and out. I saw schizophrenic hands with two opposing sets of lines in each hand. I imagined two lost souls; opposites, suffering, struggling, and striving to find themselves through him.

Betsy and I loved the symbolism of the Tarot. We consulted the cards many times with many questions. Although we rarely heard what we wanted to hear, we always affirmed what we already knew. I collected birth dates, times, and places, but didn’t explain why.

Most artwork and poetry in The Scene came from the art room. The patient newspaper was a venue for creative expression for patients and staff. It offered hospital news and provided space for patients to express their concerns and share their creativity. It was an important venue because it provided an outlet for frustration, anger, and depression. We spent too way much time complaining and blaming our problems on ‘The System’ and each other. I appointed myself spiritual ambassador and diplomatic good sense maker. Our real enemies were our bad habits, bureaucracy, and time. We were a team whether we chose ‘to be or not to be’.

One patient who infected my psyche with doubt was a young black man in his early thirties who grew up in abusive foster homes. A gentle kindness lie beneath the surface of Fred’s blade sculpted façade. Fred was involved in violence, but it wasn’t knife fights and gang warfare that got him locked up. It was unrequited love. Fred obsessed over an innocent teenage girl who was allegedly taken from him by an older man Fred described as an `abusive maniac’. Fred created realistic ‘WANTED DEAD or ALIVE’ posters of the maniac and posted them all over town, offering a phony ten thousand dollar reward. Fred didn’t realize he was creating evidence that would end him in the looney bin.

Fred 2Fred’s large feminine hands, rectangular palms, long slender knotty fingers, and conical fingertips embody a ‘feeling’ type. It’s a great combo for cultivating intuition, being empathic, making and appreciating art, being good at research, organizing, and paying attention to detail. Fred’s long head line sloped into the heel of his hand, revealing a vivid imagination and rich fantasy life. Fred could copy anything perfectly. He could have been a master forger. I cheered his abilities and encouraged him to draw from real life. I convinced his treatment team and security on his ward to let him have pencils and paper and to allow him to draw with supervision when he asked for them.

political satireFred began a private sketch book. He amassed forty or fifty sketches and drawings in the first month that he showed to no one. I asked to see them. Reluctantly, Fred showed them to me. I was blown away. Several political caricatures like the one on the left were at the beginning. What stunned me were realistic pictures of staff sexually abusing patients. Patients were pleasuring staff in the sickest possible ways. Security, therapists, and patients were having bizarre sex using objects of pleasure and pain. Could they be that crazy? Can they get away it?

 

 

Fred certainly had a vivid imagination. There was no way he could have witnessed what he was portraying. I wondered if Fred’s friends were telling him their stories. He let me copy a few drawings. I contemplated the veracity of Fred’s artwork and shared it with Dolores. Betraying Fred’s trust was my greatest blunder and biggest regret. Dolores showed Fred’s drawings to the cabinet. Fred fought fiercely as his drawings and supplies were confiscated. It broke my heart to see him reduced to a drug induced stupor, an artistic genius, never to create (during my tenure) again. I felt responsible and couldn’t stop thinking about it.

My second Mary was a high functioning extremely troubled patient. Mary believed she was Satan’s child, a bad seed. Mary said she was three when she first unsuccessfully tried to poison her sister. Then she failed to drown her in the bathtub. A few years later, she tied her to a tree in a lightning storm, hoping she’d be electrocuted. Mary’s staunch Catholic parents enrolled her in a devout fundamentalist Catholic school where they hoped to save her. Mary predictably became more twisted. At sixteen, Mary set a nun on fire and carved her to death with a broken bottle, saying, “The Devil made me do it”.

Mary's devilWhile residing in maximum security, Mary had etched (using a nail file) `666′ in the skin of her arms and legs. She also scratched and carved it into furniture. Mary produced many a dark artwork. I took her drawings home every chance I got. I was learning that it’s not what you do, but what you get away with and how you get away with it that matters.

 

susan atkin's handI don’t often see frightening hands, but Mary’s were scary. Her very stiff fingers curled inward like Susan Atkin’s (Charles Manson) creepy hands on the left. Mary’s skin was hard, dry, coarse, and reddish. She chewed her nails relentlessly, leaving them red, raw, and sore. Mary was self-critical to the theme of total self-hatred. I wished I could help her let go of her irrational terror, but Mary’s soul was hardboiled from a hellish reality of having to grow up in everyone else’s fundamentalist hypocrisy and insanity.

 

 

Mary had a huge crush on me. She was the first to arrive at the art room and the last to leave. I felt a little nauseous when I was alone with her. Even though I was repulsed, I always smiled and acted nice. One day, Mary generously offered to give me a quickie blow-job under my desk. I imagined Fred’s drawings and how easy it would be to become one of his vignettes. Then I thought about all of the abusive shepherds who physically and spiritually rape the lambs they were entrusted to protect. Did the terror of shame, guilt, and disgrace trigger their erotic fantasies? Was the fear of being caught a turn on? When did the Devil sow the seeds of evil so deep within their psyches?

Mary was hovering over me and monopolizing my attention. I got abrupt and impatient with her. The dark rings beneath her eyes began darkening as Mary began feeling rejected. When Mary left, Satan was hard at work, preparing her for evil that night on her ward. It was a full moon. The staff on her ward should have been more vigilant. They’re not lunatic asylums for nothing. After stealing the ‘six’ and ‘nine’ balls from the pool table, Mary loaded them in a black wool sock and nearly beat a new patient to death while she slept. The woman was there for a few days for psychiatric evaluation. Mary said she didn’t like the way the woman looked at her. I imagined she’d think twice before shoplifting again. I felt guilty and responsible. I should have said something.

Gene was the most incredible artist in the hospital. He’d been a successful commercial artist and advertising executive. Scuttlebutt was he’d created some of those TV ads that everyone loves to remember. Gene was unique. He lived like a celebrity on his ward. His private room, the only one, was outfitted with his own furniture, library, audio tape collection, and state of art stereo system, Bose headphones, and a grizzly bear rug.

Gene could have been free if he had wanted freedom and behaved accordingly. I tried to make good sense to Gene and convince him to become an active member of the real world. Gene made his own good sense. He had little interest in worldly freedom. He was free to love his literature, music, and art. I felt a bit jealous of his inner freedom.

A dark satanic aura shrouded Gene. His angry facial expressions and aggressive body language told a tale of uncontrollable rage from a horrible childhood. Gene was hostile. Everything about him screamed, “Stay away from me!” In a jealous fury, Gene slit his girlfriend’s throat from ear to ear. She not only survived, but didn’t press charges, then forgave him. But Gene couldn’t forgive himself. He told me he’d do it again.

Gene's portrait of meGene was the patient Dolores caught in the art supply closet with Janice. Gene and I had many philosophical discussions and co-created several artworks that I still cherish along with this life size pastel portrait which he drew of me. I think he very subtly captures my dark side.

Benny was Gene’s buddy. He was a strong fit black man in his early thirties. Benny’s phobia of homosexuality drove the former transit policeman to a bar full of gay men one late night with an automatic weapon. After freebasing crack, Benny slaughtered eight men.

Benny was uncooperative. He came up bi-yearly for forensic review. He believed he’d be set free one day, but was always rejected. One staff psychologist told me there was a ‘secret’ agenda to never let him go. It was in everyone’s best interest to humor him. If he found out, he’d lose hope, become violent, and need to be permanently medicated.

Jesus ChristMany patients were named after biblical figures and famous people. There were dozens of patients named Mary, Faith, Angel, Grace, and Hope. Whatever their parents had hoped, the reverse happened. Jesus Jefferson was double trouble. Jesus was Puerto Rican. He was the angriest patient in the hospital. Rejected countless times by forensic committees, Jesus had nothing left to lose. Everyone including staff steered clear of him.

 

Jesus had thrown his girlfriend, 3 year old child, and dog from a 17th story window. They died instantly when they hit the ground. Jesus had no remorse and never spoke of the incident. I had a fantasy that Jesus could be a powerful production manager in a patient run manufacturing business. Two staff psychologists agreed with me, but Jesus was too unpredictable and angry to ever be given any real opportunity to have responsibility.

There was never a dull day in the art room. The handsome young patient, just admitted, had cut his mother’s heart out and ate it with her favorite fork and knife on her favorite plate while reclining in her favorite chair. Another man was found combing his mother’s hair on her mantel piece, weeks after he had cut her head off. The entire residence was laden with lunatics and addicts who’d committed violent acts under the influence of rage and/or drugs. Schizophrenics, sociopaths, psychotics, and pathological liars flourished. One sociopath managed to have a Rolls Royce delivered to the hospital entrance as a result of conversations he had with a dealer from a pay phone in the hall of his ward.

If only I could put all of this talent to good use…

Author’s note: This is fiction set in the mid-eighties. Calling my protagonists ‘Patients’ is politically incorrect. ‘Clients’ and ‘Residents’ are used with less negative connotations and implications. For the record, I don’t call sick people ‘crazy’ or ‘lunatics’ in real life. My artwork has been altered and fabricated by me to fit my story.

Stay tuned as I get to know more patients and prepare to teach vocational classes.

Cancer and Hands – Search for Mother

Cancer

four archetypes

Cancer is a feeling type. Feeling types have the strongest potential of the four basic types for expressing their highest spiritual nature. They’re intuitive, empathic, sensitive, and very aware of the needs of others. They can be very hard to understand because they tend to hide their true selves. They take cover in their shells when you try to pry into their private lives. They’re cautious because they feel deeply vulnerable. Cancer types must learn to be frank and direct, rather than wield tact and diplomacy to avoid emotional confrontation. Avoiding confrontation doesn’t mean they won’t cultivate intimacy wherever and whenever they can. Cancer feelings can swing from loving and devoted to secretive and reclusive to obsessive and fearful. When Cancer types are feeling controlled or confined, they can become dark and moody. They need to feel protected and secure before they can fully trust. Once trust is earned, loyalties run deep. Healthy family ties and close friendships nourish their naturally nurturing natures. Having organization, structure, and detail helps them feel more stable and secure.

Healthy types have no problem expressing love, compassion, sympathy, and devotion. They communicate best with other feeling types and feel safe with practical types who are responsible, reliable, and dependable. Feeling types are thinking and intuitive type challenged. They’re nervous they’ll be left holding the psychic garbage bag and forced to deal with the emotional fallout when idealism, optimism, enthusiasm, and logic wane, and they do. Having acute consciousness of one’s own emotional needs is essential.

Pure types tend to be internally secretive and externally ambitious at the same time. They’ll work extremely hard as long as income matches output. That income provides food, family security, and fertile ground for their roots and resourceful imaginations.

Demeter is the Greek earth goddess of grain and the harvest. I chose her to represent Cancer and water because she’s a powerful mother. Cancer mothers (not all) are thought to be controlling and overprotective of their children. When Pluto abducted Persephone, Demeter exercised her mother power over all the gods, goddesses, and mankind by creating winter (death of flora) for the months that Persephone is with Pluto.

Feeling handYou don’t have to have a Cancer sun to have Cancer hands and behavior. Rectangular palms and long fingers (often held closely together) indicate dominant feeling types. Healthy Cancer hands are firm in consistency and moderate in flexibility with pink elastic skin. Joints are less stiff than Scorpion and less flexible than Piscean types. Healthy types have a firm sincere handshake. More lines add more sensitivity. Head and life lines may separate at their beginnings. Long head lines gently slope downward toward well-developed heels of the hands while long heart lines gracefully curve upward toward the index finger. I’ve observed a lot of round or conical fingertips with long nails and a majority of loop fingerprints, but not enough to generalize.

Lloyd Wilson

“You’ve got to play to lose”

Kennywood memoriesForty-one years ago, this moment was captured in a photo booth at Kennywood Amusement Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Lloyd and I met while employed part time at a metal, plastics, and woodworking machine shop where we fabricated preschool children’s learning thingamajigs. We made toys for ourselves on our own time. We were about to graduate from different colleges. I’d become an industrial designer. Lloyd would continue to be an artist. We were actually a couple of Peter Pans on our way to Neverland.

 

Once upon a time, we hitchhiked to a local auto drive-away place, surveyed some pins on a map, and impulsively decided to drive a brand new black Cadillac Fleetwood limousine from Pittsburgh to Miami Beach. We had three days to get there. With a lot of caffeine and humor, we made it in twenty-four hours. We visited Lloyd’s older sister when we arrived, pretending we were successful entrepreneurs. While we were out shooting skeet and racing go-carts at the local track, Lloyd’s sister thoughtfully washed our laundry for us. We came home to find our ragged underwear and socks hanging on her clothes line. The jig was up. Then we drove the Caddy to the beach in search of horny females, but didn’t enchant any.

Lloyd would say to me, “People who tell the truth don’t need to have good memories”. I’d reply, “We may be bastards, but at least we’re honest”. Fifty years of friendship have witnessed many challenging lessons in humility for us. We delayed our outer world from harmonizing with our inner world by always choosing to learn the hard way. There were no shortcuts. We had to finally let go of our need to be more and greater than we were.

Lloyd’s slender rectangular palms and long fingers harmonize with his Cancer sun, which is conjunct my Mercury. His Gemini ascendant harmonizes with my Gemini sun. Lloyd’s head and life lines are tightly intertwined at their beginnings and reveal his desire to feel appreciated. He was a sensitive child who needed love and support, but didn’t  get any. Lloyd tried hard to fix his broken parents, but they were too sick to give him approval and appreciation. Instead, they judged, criticized, and abused him. Lloyd can survive without anyone’s approval, but he thrives on appreciation. He’ll give his friends the shirt off his back, but they had better not take him for granted. Lloyd has literally given me the shirt off his back in my moment of need. I was on my way to an important meeting and got a nasty stain on my shirt. Before I could blink, Lloyd took off his shirt and traded with me.

Lloyd’s a quick thinker and extremely clever with words. Soon after we met, he was on the TV word show “Jeopardy”. When the host asked, “What do you do Mister Wilson?”  Lloyd replied, “I’m a sculptor”. “What kind of sculpture do you make?” Not having a quick easy explanation for his broad eclectic mind and artwork, Lloyd sized up the marketing opportunity and responded in his deep resonant voice, “Expensive Sculpture”.

Lloyd with sculptures

Lloyd didn’t get much nurturing as a child. He developed his quick wit and sense of humor while trying to avoid extreme physical abuse. When his mother was happy, Lloyd was safe. When she was unhappy, she’d incite Lloyd’s rage filled father to hurt him. Lloyd’s mother committed suicide, his father was committed to a mental institution, and his beautiful sister, who I’d met in Florida with her two young children, great husband, and apparently idyllic life, suddenly and unexpectedly blew her head off with a shotgun.

flexible thumbLloyd’s very flexible thumbs symbolize his ability to adapt to the most horrible of circumstances. They also embody his generosity of heart and spirit. It’s very hard for Lloyd to say “NO”. He probably doesn’t realize it, but the gold ring on the bottom middle finger of Lloyd’s unconscious hand symbolizes his need to have clear boundaries, be frugal, and not give everything away.

 

 

Cancers are collectors. Some stockpile food in case of shortage or emergency. Lloyd collects art books, literature (he’s the most well-read person I know), religious art, art supplies, tools, and clothing. When wealthy people die, their families donate their clothing to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Lloyd has a keen eye for the finest designer clothing as he picks through the merchandise. He’s a master bargain hunter. I call him my personal dresser. We wear the same sizes. Lloyd chooses suits, coats, and jackets with me in mind. He has gifted me with suits worth thousands of dollars that he paid ten or fifteen dollars for. Many have never been worn.

Lloyd Wilson is Pittsburgh’s best kept secret because he loves his anonymity. His artwork reveals a magical spirit, but few will ever get to know it. Lloyd personifies Cancer’s best qualities. He’s supportive, sympathetic, receptive, reflective, intuitive, imaginative, and extremely devoted to friends and family.  It’s no surprise he’s my best friend.

USA PRESIDENTIAL HISTORY

Mission Accomplished?

Mission Accomplished?

There have been four US Presidents born under the sign of Cancer. The most recent and worst (in my opinion) President in history was George W Bush. His intuitive hands and personality match his Leo ascendant. George manifested the worst qualities of Cancer and Leo in his presidential intentions and actions. Here’s my rant I featured him in.

 

There were three previous Cancer Presidents. It’s interesting to look at the similarities.

John Quincy AdamsLike George W. Bush vs. Al Gore, the 6th President, John Quincy Adams finished second in the popular vote behind General Andrew Jackson. No one had a sizable majority. The choice was put before the House of Representatives. The House Speaker, Henry Clay, swung the election to Adams. When Adams appointed Clay as Secretary of State, the Jackson followers cried, “Corrupt bargain”.

Unlike Bush, Adams was not re-installed. Here’s a quote on Adams by W.H. Littleton. “Of all the men whom it was ever my lot to accost and to waste civilities upon, he was the most doggedly and systematically repulsive. With a vinegar aspect, cotton in his leathern ears, and hatred in his heart, he sat… like a bulldog among spaniels”.

Calvin CooledgeThe 30th President, Calvin Coolidge, shared his (July 4) birthday with the US Declaration of Independence. His most famous characteristic, “holding his tongue”, earned him the title, “Silent Cal”. Two infamous sayings of his were, “If you don’t say anything, you won’t be called on to repeat it” and “The business of America is business”.  William Allen White described him, “He was an economic fatalist with a God given inertia. He knew nothing and refused to learn”. “He was weaned on a pickle” declared Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Gerald FordThe 38th President, Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr., didn’t learn that he had been adopted until he was seventeen years old. His wife Betty performed the domestic chores because Gerry wouldn’t lift a finger around the house.   As Speaker of the other house, Ford passionately pleaded for escalation of the war in Vietnam. He urged members to “unleash devastating air and sea power”.

Ford launched an unsuccessful crusade to impeach liberal Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas as a favor to his buddy Richard Nixon. Ford ultimately granted Nixon a “full complete and absolute pardon” for all his crimes relating to the Watergate scandal. Ford also blamed the democrats for the disastrous rate of inflation and warned that electing more democrats would “jeopardize world peace”. He admitted that he almost never read books, but did find time to watch football on TV. Here are a few quotes from some of his celebrated critics.

“I cannot dislike him personally — he’s cordial and gracious. But he’s consistently wrong and consistency is a virtue of small minds. He’s never proposed a constructive solution to anything”.  Congressman Robert Drinan

Lyndon Johnson accused Ford of “playing too much football with his helmet off”. “Jerry’s the only man I ever knew who can’t walk and chew gum at the same time”.

“Ford isn’t a bad man, but he’s dumb—dumb. He shouldn’t be dumb either. He went to school just like everybody else”.  Reverend Duncan Littlefair

The important thing is that men should have a purpose in life… it should be something useful, something good

Dalai LamaIn contrast to George W Bush, the Dalai Lama is “the reborn soul of Buddha” and Nobel Prize winning pacifist. In Greek mythology, Orpheus was a singer, priest, healer, poet, and musician who could charm anyone. Orpheus enchanted Pluto into letting him enter the collective unconscious to retrieve his beloved Eurydice. In a moment of weakness, Orpheus looked back at death after being warned not to by Pluto. Orpheus lost Eurydice. He symbolizes the wounded healer who can heal others but not himself. The Dalai Lama was forced to flee Tibet in 1959. He lived as a “simple monk” in a remote corner of Northern India. His lifetime goals are to promote peace and love in the world and return to Tibet. You can bet whatever we owe China that it won’t happen anytime soon.

Pluto glyphAs the planet Pluto (god of sex, death, and transformation) transited the sign of Cancer from 1913 to 1938, partisan politics, nationalism, and isolationism transformed the world. World War I ended. World War II began. In 1913, President Wilson pressed a button in the White House that blew up the Gamboa Dike resulting in the destruction of the Isthmus of Panama. That action transformed travel by sea by creating a canal between oceans. Wilson legislated the Carter-Owen Bill that established a Federal Reserve System that transformed the strangle hold on the nation’s currency and credit system by banks.

Daylight Saving Time transformed the nation’s clocks. Transcontinental telephone service transformed international communications. World communications and atomic energy were developed. NBC became the first Nationwide Broadcasting Company. Wall Street prospered from the war while soldiers earning $16 per month died in the trenches. President Wilson established a lottery style draft promoting patriotism, while Congress passed the Espionage Act fining draft dodgers $10,000 and imposing a twenty-year jail sentence. No child was left behind.

Everyone was encouraged to “Do your bit”. Liberty Bonds and wheatless-meatless days were promoted. By the end of 1919, the Influenza pandemic had peaked causing over half a million deaths while almost one quarter of the nation’s population were sick. Prohibition banned liquor for all U.S. citizens. A huge black market and bootlegging industry began to thrive. Black leader Marcus Garvey organized The Empire of Africa that attracted over 500,000 followers. He led the largest mass exodus of Blacks in U.S. history. There was little sense of brotherhood.

Great SealIn 1929, doubt, fear, and panic upset the stock market which faced its darkest hour and most difficult crisis in history. Traditional foundations of home and family transformed. People born during this period spent much of their lives taking care of family. Parents with overdeveloped guilt and obligation trips motivated children of this generation to become dropouts and runaways.

Bikini bottomAs the planet Uranus transited the sign of Cancer from 1949 to1955, Mothers stopped staying at home and went to work. Women began wearing the “bikini”, a fashionable French bathing suit. ‘I Love Lucy’, a comical show about a housewife and Cuban bandleader husband became the most popular show on TV. Ranch houses and basement playrooms became popular. The subconscious mind was explored in psychology.  People born between 1949 and 1955 with Uranus in Cancer may be oversensitive and easily hurt by irrational fears, or they may be rational, aware, and strong by choice.

Stay tuned for LEO – Search for Father…