Your Fate is in Your Hands

finger-lengthYour middle finger (Saturn) is the ‘finger of fate’. It’s the balance wheel of your hand. It should always be the longest finger, although sometimes it may appear less long because the index and ring fingers are longer than average. Healthy Saturn types need to embrace structure, discipline, and focus. Harnessing these qualities is another story. Saturn is easily frustrated and often his own worst critic. Finding healthy outlets for all that persistence and will power are essential for maintaining a healthy life.

10.cancerMiddle finger types are loners who need alone time. Overdeveloped senses of responsibility, obligation, and guilt make them less inclined to marry than other types. They’re trust worthy, dependable, organized, efficient, and patient. They may also misspend their time feeling frustrated, pessimistic, self-critical, depressed, and fearful. Being overly responsible and perfectionistic are a formula for frustration and guilt. See how the strong middle finger in this hand magnetically draws the other fingers toward it. Lloyd Wilson is an incredible artist and artisan, confirmed bachelor, and very loyal friend. He worked as a night watchman for many years and devoured a wealth of art and literature in the process.

Middle-fingered folk are frequently tall, slender, and angular in appearance. Pure types have dark hair, large bones, stern features, and bland complexions. Their prevailing physical sense is smell. Many love string instruments and enjoy classical music with a tinge of sadness. Potential health problems include teeth, knees, ligaments, and hardening of arteries, rheumatism, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, and deafness in the left ear.

Donald RumsfeldWhen a middle finger leans towards the ring finger, you have an individual who is very private. When he’s feeling confined, controlled, or restricted, he gets cranky. Notice the curved middle finger on Donald Rumsfeld’s left hand. Calling him a curmudgeon is an understatement. Abraham Lincoln (Aquarius) and Clint Eastwood (Gemini) are quintessential Saturn types. Saturn dominates conservative business people, real estate tycoons, technical writers, craftsmen, therapists, night watchmen, master criminals, morticians, undertakers, and derelicts. Saturnians with dominant top phalanges and strong pinkie fingers lead the way in research, science, mathematics, and humor.

Do you have a dominant middle-fingered boss? Be sure to do your homework with a very sharp pencil. Precision, attention to detail, and realism are vital to achieving your goals. Don’t be late and don’t make excuses. Assume responsibility. Be pragmatic, objective, reliable, and dependable. You’ll avoid criticism and get praise as you earn it.

The middle finger is the finger of destiny where vision and delusion meet reality. No matter what else is happening in your hands, your middle finger forces you to face the facts. You must do what needs to be done. It’s always about taking responsibility and doing the work. Remedies for Saturn maladies are inherent in the challenges in and around the middle finger. Whether you take responsibility and do the work or not, your hands will show your truth. A grille (schmutz) is a bunch of lines crisscrossing under the middle finger. That’s a sure sign of a frustrated perfectionist or a procrastinator not doing what needs to be done. People with schmutz beneath their middle finger are their own worst critics. They must learn to lighten up, bite the proverbial bullet, and smell the roses. Over time the schmutz will clear and the affirmation will add momentum. Putting one foot in front of the other is the best medicine for letting go of inertia and frustration. Healthy intent and appropriate actions will eventually reduce or erase the grille. The healthiest people have the healthiest middle fingers.

This post was extracted from a much larger post on Capricorn.

Fingers and Planets

twelve hands

All palmists agree on the importance of the thumb. Although the thumb is a small body part, it takes up a huge space in the cerebral cortex of our brains. The thumb opposes our other four fingers, which has enabled our minds to develop. It’s the primary reason we have dominion over our ancestors, the apes. We’ve designed all of our tools from a pencil to the most sophisticated computer because of the placement of our thumbs. As our hands carry out the messages of our minds, our thoughts, feelings, and behavior are reflected in the morphology and topography of our hands.    

The thumb symbolizes our most valuable resources: willpower, logic, and ability to love. It’s essential to our well-being that these three very important qualities be balanced. Like our other fingers, a thumb has two joints and three segments known as phalanges. The top phalange represents will. The second or middle phalange represents logic and ability to reason. If the will segment is longer than logic, you frequently act before you think. If there’s more logic than will, you may figure whatever out, but then procrastinate. A tiny bit more logic than will keeps us in check. The bottom phalange is the ball of thumb, contained by the lifeline. The ball of thumb governs our capacity to love and have compassion and sympathy for others, to maintain significant relationships, to appreciate people, animals, nature, art, and music. If there’s not enough love and sympathy, all the logic in the world won’t matter.

Unlike our other four fingers, our thumb is not ruled by a single planet. It’s obvious that willpower, logic, and love contain all elements and modalities. You can assign a sun sign to any detail to gain more insight. A particular element or modality may be strengthened or weakened by the shape of the tip and / or fingerprint. For example, a spatulate tip with a whorl print adds cardinality and fire. A square tip with an arch print adds fixity and earth. A round or conical tip with a loop print adds mutability and air or water. Many combinations are possible. I’ve written several blog posts on the thumb: The Basics ~ A Parable ~ The Murderer’s Thumb ~ Generalities

Fingers and career

Once you’ve established a dominant element and modality for both hands, examine the fingers. The lengths and proportions of fingers, shapes of tips, knots, and nails reveal our relationships with others and what types of career and work we’re best suited for. How are your fingers spread? If they’re widely spaced, freedom is essential to doing things your way. If they’re held closely together you’re a team player, cautious at beginnings, and prefer not to make important decisions on your own.

 

Index FingerDominant index fingers (Jupiter) are long and stand independently from other fingers. A strong index fingered person prefers to partner. As ambitious types, they visualize their goals and then plan to accomplish them. As career minded individuals, they’re motivated by professionalism. They have natural leadership abilities that attract opportunities for them to manage. They’re drawn to others like themselves who are ambitious and proactive. Controlling behavior patterns, obsessive habits, being critical, judgmental, and indulging in too much good food and drink are weaknesses. Other flaws include false pride, gluttony, vanity, and bossiness. Dominant index fingered individuals must overcome their excesses by practicing moderation. Success comes more easily than most other types, but it still must be earned. Many successful judges, journalists, lawyers, politicians, producers, promoters, priests, speakers, salespeople, and the finest and worst chefs have dominant index fingers.

Basic hand shape will reveal whether the person is more adventurous, practical, thinking, or feeling. Shapes of tips, knots, nails, and fingerprints can dramatically modify any interpretation. You can assign an element and modality to any detail to gain more insight into the issue or challenge you’re addressing. Want to befriend a dominant index fingered person? Be honest, direct, proactive, and take pride in your career.

Many dominant index finger types are of medium height with generously proportioned bodies, wide chests, high foreheads, wide eyes, full faces, and wavy dark hair. Long index finger folk are naturally healthy types who may overindulge in rich exotic foods, luxurious desserts, and fine wines. It’s not a paradox that their physical sense is taste. The older they get, the higher the toll. Temptation knocks and Jupiter unlocks the door to eventual blood disorders, liver trouble, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and problems with hips, thighs, and throat. Many people believe short index fingers are connected to homosexuality. That’s not true. Here’s what I have to say on the subject.

10.cancerThe middle finger (Saturn) is the balance wheel of the hand. It should always be the longest finger, although it may appear shorter relative to index and / or ring fingers, which may be above average. Structure, discipline, and focus are needed. Harnessing these qualities is another story. Saturn is his own worst critic and easily frustrated. Finding healthy uses of will power is essential to having a healthy life. Dominant middle finger types are loners and need alone time. Less inclined to marry than other types, they’re dependable, organized, efficient, patient, and faithful. Their troubles begin with spending too much time feeling guilty, fearful, self-critical, frustrated, and depressed. Being overly responsible and perfectionistic is a recipe for depression, frustration, and fear. Notice how the strong middle finger in this photo magnetically draws the other fingers toward it. This man is an incredible artisan and a confirmed bachelor. He worked as a night watchman for many years.

Donald RumsfeldDominant middle-fingered folk are frequently tall, slender, and angular in appearance. Pure types have dark hair, large bones, stern features, and bland complexions. The prevailing physical sense is smell. Many Saturn types love string instruments and prefer classical music with a tinge of sadness. They eventually have problems with teeth, knees, ligaments, and hardening of arteries, rheumatism, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, or deafness in the left ear. When the middle finger leans toward the ring finger, you’ve got an individual with a very strong need for privacy. When he’s feeling confined, controlled, or restricted, he gets cranky. Notice the curved middle finger on Donald Rumsfeld’s left hand. There’s no doubt he’s a curmudgeon. Abraham Lincoln (Aquarius) and Clint Eastwood (Gemini) are quintessential Saturnians.

Many conservative business people, real estate moguls, writers, technical individuals, craftsmen, therapists, night watchmen, master criminals, morticians, undertakers, and derelicts are middle finger types. Powerful individuals with dominant top phalanges lead the way in research, science, mathematics, and humor.

Have a dominant middle-fingered boss? Do your homework with a very sharp pencil. Your precision, attention to detail, and realism are vital to achieving your goals. Don’t be late and don’t make excuses. Assume responsibility and be pragmatic, reliable, and dependable. You’ll avoid criticism and maybe even get some praise.

The middle finger is the finger of fate. It’s where illusion and delusion meet reality. No matter what else is happening in your hands, the middle finger forces you to face the facts. Then you have to do whatever needs to be done. It’s always about work on your part. The remedy for many maladies is inherent in the challenges in and around the middle finger. Whether you do the work or not, what you do will show in your hands. A grille (schmutz) is a bunch of lines crisscrossing in every direction under the middle finger and a sure sign of frustration resulting from too much perfectionism or not doing what needs to be done. People with schmutz below their middle finger are their own worst critics. They must lighten up, buckle down, and bite the proverbial bullet. Taking one step at a time is the best medicine for letting go of frustration. Healthy attitudes will in time reduce or erase the grille. Healthy people have strong healthy middle fingers.

8. GeminiRing finger types are happiest. Dominant index fingered folk are the most ambitious. Middle finger types are the most serious. The sun (Leo) finger is symbolized by Apollo, who hauls the sun across the sky each day in his chariot. Apollo types are attractive, brilliant, charming, graceful, artistic, and successful on the inside. Healthy dominant ring finger types are versatile, adaptable, creative, and expressive.

 

Being so brilliant with so many natural talents and abilities has a downside. It’s easy to be spread too thin (“jack of all trades”). Concern with outward appearances and being tempted by casual attractions is a waste of valuable time. They enjoy marriage, but have very high expectations of their mates that can lead to disappointment. So much solar energy makes them irresistible. Apollo types are healthy, medium height, naturally muscular, and athletic. Their dominant sense is sight. Physical weaknesses are heart problems, eyesight, and circulation. Dominant ring fingered people are lucky. They can trust their gut. When they take calculated risks, they often succeed. I’ve read the hands of many gamblers with very long ring fingers. Their biggest challenge is in knowing when to stop. Their optimism and idealism cloud reality. The most successful actors, artists, musicians, designers, and sales people have dominant ring fingers.

strong pinkyThis powerful pinky finger fits a communicative, curious, and quick-witted individual. Dominant pinky fingered people are bottom liners. As quick thinkers and excellent communicators, they’re well aware that if their presentation doesn’t add up, they won’t make the sale. They’re eternally childlike and cherish their freedom. In relationships, they love variety until they end up marrying someone like their mother or father. They love children and will bear any burden for family.

Hermes is the Greek god attributed to the pinky finger. Peter Pan (adolescence), Puck, Knight of Swords, Court Jester, Magician, Thoth, Loki, and Mercury are all Hermes. Clever tricksters can also be great communicators and potential archetypes of wisdom.

Early family dynamic can be observed in the way the pinky is set on the hands. When it’s short or low set, trust is a major issue. Many women with very low set pinkies have told me that they have trouble having orgasms. Their real challenge is in trusting themselves and others enough to have real intimacy. A pinky finger emphasizes technical, language, and family, in addition to sexual potentials. Hermes’ dominant physical sense is hearing. Hermes prefers musical instruments that require dexterity.

Finger length

The pinky finger is normally the shortest finger. To determine whether the pinky is considered long or short, look to where it lines up with the ring finger. When the tip of the pinky finger is above the crease between the first and second phalange of the ring finger, it’s considered long. When the pinky finger is shorter than that crease in the ring finger, it’s considered short. Hermes was the shortest of the gods. A dominant pinky fingered person tends to be short in stature. His or her body and face are slender, with expressive hands, dark hair, and penetrating eyes with crow’s feet in the corners. Ed Harris is a great example. Pinky fingered folk are youthful looking with men frequently having thin beards. Johnny Depp is a Mercurial type. Mercurial types are androgynous. Many (they may not know or admit it) are bi-sexual. David Bowie was Mercurial. Michael Jackson (Peter Pan) actually lived in his very own Neverland.

Health issues center around the nervous and bronchial systems. Problems with headaches, thyroid glands, memory loss, and speech impediments are common. Healthy types can be intuitive geniuses and great judges of character. Their liabilities are trickiness, fickleness, nervousness, restlessness, and superficiality. People preaching on soapboxes, pickpockets, and successful con artists have dominant pinkies (most inwardly curving). Mercury types make great lawyers, doctors, orators, writers, engineers, teachers, accountants, bankers, shopkeepers, and magicians. I work at special events with famous magicians. These amazing tricksters are very Mercurial. They surprise and astound by deceiving the eye and mind through sleight of hand. Hermes leads the way in science, law, medicine, writing, and banking.

George Tenet

Is this man telling the truth?

The chirological equivalent of Pinocchio’s nose is a deeply inwardly curving pinky finger. If your pinky finger is curved inwardly, you typically hate confrontation and spend too much time behaving in ways that work. You’ve spent so much of your life acting and bending the truth that you aren’t even aware you’re doing it. Most curved pinky fingered people learn early in life that “nice” works. Their biggest challenge is that “nice” ends up becoming safe instead of satisfying. Curved pinky fingered people are peacemakers. They try to fix other people and circumstances. If you’re one of these people, be yourself and not who you think everyone else wants and needs you to be.

Pinky ringGold and diamond rings are often found on the pinky finger of acquisitive people. Pinky rings can symbolize the sublimation of sexual energies in order to achieve something requiring a lot of energy. I once examined a group of fifty young men and women, all born into wealthy families in the 80′s. Considering the prosperity of the period, it seemed a paradox to me that every single one of them had an obviously short phalange on the bottom segment of the little finger of his or her dominant hand. The bottom phalange represents the material world. Money will never be a motivation for this group’s career choices. Family issues and personal values will drive these individuals.

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

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.

Palmistry for Astrologers ~ Three Modalities

hand with symbols

Traditional palmistry identifies seven basic archetypes based on seven planetary places in the hands. Even the newest palmistry books promulgate traditional methods and impart obsolete knowledge derived from centuries of unoriginal thinking. Palmistry and astrology need each other. Astrology establishes twelve basic archetypes based on combinations of four elements and three modalities. Palmistry has embraced the four elements, but has ignored the three modalities. Learning to judge modalities in hands is challenging, but absolutely necessary.

The devil is in the details and there are many levels of details. No matter what your archetype and lines say about you, modality modifies interpretation. Knowing a modality is fundamental to knowing a person. If your hands are hard and fingers are stiff, you’ll fight change with every molecule in your psyche. Getting started and letting go will be major life challenges. People whose hands are soft and fingers are very supple and flexible are challenged to be disciplined, structured, and focused. Major life issues include avoiding distraction and saying ‘No’. Mutable types must be more patient and persistent in order to build strong structures on solid foundations that support greater purpose and meaning.

four types

Modalities separate traditional palmistry from modern palmistry. I discussed the four elements in a previous blog post. Multiplying four elements by three modalities gives twelve unique character types. Anyone who knows astrology agrees that sun signs are distinctly different from one another. Palmistry represents the same twelve types and shares the same mythology. The greatest challenge is seeing the modalities and judging the degrees to which they’re affecting the elements. That takes practice.

twelve hands

                      Four Elements         Cardinal               Fixed               Mutable

Here’s a brief generalized description of how to see the three modalities in the hands.

FlashCardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. Solstices and equinoxes are changes of seasons. Aries (spring), Libra (fall), Cancer (summer), and Capricorn (winter) are new beginnings. Cardinal types have boundless energy and enthusiasm when they’re feeling inspired and passionate. Powerful ambition blends with magnetic natures to impel action and achieve goals. They’re best at starting things and not so good at finishing them. When the work becomes mundane or routine, impatience, intolerance, and impulsiveness is imminent.

‘Pure’ types have enthusiastic handshakes, openly held fingers, low set thumbs, and resilient pink elastic skin. Their head and life lines are frequently separate where the thumb joins the hand. I frequently see one or more conical or spatulate fingertips and multiple whorl fingerprints on cardinal types. Flash Rosenberg is an initiator, a great friend, Guggenheim award winning visual artist, profuse performance artist, professional photographer, prolific writer, and artist in residence for ‘LIVE from the NY Public library’. Check out her remarkable live drawing and direction: IMAGINE: How Creativity Works – http://vimeo.com/38798735

Dr. BryksMid-seasons embody fixity. Taurus (mid-spring), Leo (mid-summer), Scorpio (mid-fall), and Aquarius (mid-winter) are fixed signs. Fixed types maintain, support, and nourish what exists. They’re logical and practical. You can depend on them. They say what they do and do what they say. Their greatest challenge is to see the proverbial handwriting on the wall and then accept and embrace change.

They have firm honest handshakes. Their hands and fingers are stiffer than cardinal and mutable types. Large stiff thumbs embody abundant will, supported by dogged determination, and sustained by relentless persistence. Square shape fingertips and developed second knots represent an organized, practical, responsible, reliable, and dependable nature. Cautious types hold fingers closely together and are better team players. Fixed head and life lines are often intertwined at their beginnings. I’ve observed multiple arch finger prints on fixed hands. Procrastination can be a substantial problem.

Dr. Bryks is my dentist. He’s a great craftsman and a compassionate, competent, and caring person with a huge ball of thumb. Full ball of thumb people are givers and lovers of home, food, comfort, nature, children, beauty, and art. It’s hard for them to say “No”. Dr. Bryks appreciates everyone. He hums his favorite melodies as he mines for decay in my teeth. If someone has to dig around in my mouth, I’m glad it’s Dr. Bryks.

self for three modalitiesGemini (late-spring), Virgo (late-summer), Sagittarius (late-fall), and Pisces (late-winter) are mutable signs. They represent changeability. Mutable types generally have warm handshakes that convey honesty and sincerity (which may not be the whole truth). They’re clever, hate conflict, and work hard to avoid confrontation while employing the fine art of tact and diplomacy. Mutable types have the most openly held, flexible, and elastic hands and fingers of all three modalities. My open hands and strong straight pinkies are saying I have nothing to hide (although I hold many others’ secrets).

Cardinal types create, fixed types maintain, and mutable types communicate. Mutable does what cardinal and fixed don’t do or don’t want to do. As a mutable type, I love language and words. Anyone reading my blog knows I’ve chosen to speak for one of the most esoteric and obscure subjects on the planet. I hope to shift the false paradigm of palmistry as a gypsy fortune-telling scam (before I kick the impending bucket). As an expert on hands and a clear communicator, my mission is to give everyone a helping hand, their own. Priceless treasure waits to be discovered at the ends of our arms.

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…

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.

How I lost my Sanity 2

fingerprintMy first few days of work were about rules, regulations, and self-defense. There were many more don’ts than do’s. We (newest recruits) were sworn to secrecy, fingerprinted, and instilled with awkward feelings of mistrust. Orientation was designed to help new staff members understand the organizational goals, policies, and procedures affecting job safety, security, performance, and delivery of care. Mainly, we filled out forms, questionnaires, surveys, and evaluations. We were briefed on the nature, structure, and policies of the facility. We learned about patient rights and privileges, rights and privileges of staff, and hospital policy.

The largest portion of hospital staff were security called SHTA’s. They accompanied patients to every activity. I attended life safety training with them: CPR, First-Aid, and Management of Violent Patient Behavior (MVPB). A violent person could `go off’ and all we could do was to defend ourselves. We weren’t permitted to be aggressive. We were taught Judo style moves by serious martial artists and laughed heartily as we fell, flipped each other on gym mats, and got to know each other. We were encouraged to nickname one another to help us connect. Based on obvious personal peculiarities our nicknames stuck. There was `Skinny’, `Luscious Lips’, `Gigolo’, and `Tortoise’. I was `Smiley’. Forever after, we addressed each other by our nicknames.

Fighting with patients was a scary idea. Despite my comprehensive training in self-defense, I envisioned myself grabbing the nearest chair and clobbering a violent patient over the head in a crisis. I’d be instantly fired and then indicted on criminal charges. Fortunately for everyone, most of the furniture was anchored to the floor or walls with specially designed hardware to prevent that kind of violence.

When I wasn’t watching over my shoulder for violent patients, I was cautioned to be on the lookout for ‘bacterial pathogens’ which cause disease. A lot of patients have hygiene problems and are unhealthy. Samplings are taken regularly from surfaces around the hospital in order to monitor disease. There were patients with AIDS. In 1986, that was scary! What if a patient with AIDS bit a staff member? We were briefed extensively on care and prevention. This job began to seem more than a little risky.

How I lost my sanity 2.1I stationed myself ten feet inside the locked entry to the Rehab department. As I waited to meet the patients, I pressed my back against a wall and fiddled anxiously with my fingers. My stomach grumpily complained. When the door finally opened, the most motley crew nature had ever assembled meandered in, looking like animated R. Crumb characters. Many had deranged looks in their eyes. They were so whacky that I felt like laughing. I imagined many had been given massive doses of thorazine. I was seeing my first twenty of over one hundred fifty violent criminals. I couldn’t wait to find out who had done what. I’d heard that there were a few notorious celebrities in the mix, but didn’t obseve any yet.

keys to the looney binI was given a photo I.D. that I had to wear at all times and keys for areas I had access to within the hospital. Keys were given upon entering the hospital and deposited before leaving. Patients observed me with glaring gazes, furtive glances, and random glimpses. I knew they saw me as one more ‘keeper of the keys’ who was trying to figure them out, discipline, or rehabilitate them. One thing for sure, I wasn’t one of them (yet).

I was directed to sit in on patient activities, assist rehab staff, and familiarize myself with patients. The first few days were uneventful. Important goals were getting the patients to brush their teeth, comb their hair, and to try not to be generally disgusting. Another important goal was to get them to stay awake and participate in activities such as art, music, education classes, and exercise. There were no interesting conversations yet.

The rehab staff consisted of nine members. Dolores was Director of Rehab Services. I was right about her. She was caring, but ineffective. She couldn’t say ‘no’ to anyone. She let me serve my half-time position by working two ten-hour days while the hospital’s needs would have been better served if my time were spread over three days.

My `other half’ was a furniture maker and restorer named Billy. Billy was tall, thin, and very bony. He looked like a scruffy middle aged Abraham Lincoln. Billy was one of the hardest working, enthusiastic, and idealistic persons I’d ever met. Like me, he’d never had ‘a job’. An eccentric renegade from societal rules and regulations, Billy maintained a furniture restoration and refinishing business. Like me, Billy had a hidden agenda. His was unselfish and equally unrealistic. He believed that he could actually rehabilitate these crazies and turn them into functioning members of society.

BillyBilly’s ‘feeling hands’ had rectangular palms and long fingers. A general hardness and stiffness in his fingers, along with his knotty joints added to his need to control his physical and mental life. His especially long middle fingers bent towards the top of his ring fingers. As an oversensitive perfectionist with an overdeveloped sense of responsibility, obligation, and guilt, Billy would spend endless hours thinking about what actions he would take next.

 

Insane SantaBilly and I tried to set mutual goals, but my hidden agenda clashed with his. Billy wanted to turn patients into furniture restorers. I wanted to help, but I wanted private time with patients. Billy committed to creating a sheltered wood working shop. I committed to offering design classes to higher functioning patients. I’d also help Billy set up a workshop that would serve the entire patient population. I named the picture on the left ‘Insane Santa’. I’m sitting on Billy’s lap making fun of our Xmas celebration.

ZandorThe Rehab staff was a smorgasbord of affirmative action. Zandor was rehabilitation counselor and second in command. He was Estonian. Zandor should have had Dolores’s job, but management didn’t want a person they couldn’t control in that position. Zandor’s ‘thinking hands’ were complemented by his strong handshake, firm elastic skin, long straight fingers, square tips, and open and frank nails. Zandor had also been abused by too many years in state service. He had a grievance pending against the Public Employees Union for their obvious discrimination against him. Despite unfavorable circumstances, Zandor always presented himself with pride, integrity, and dignity. We quickly became comrades.

BruceBruce (Luscious Lips) arrived at the same time as Billy and me. His meaty practical hands had square palms and short square fingers that were soft and supple with dominant plump third phalanges. His head and life lines were tied together at their beginnings. He was a Taurus type and a huge procrastinator. Bruce was in charge of recreation. He’d served state social service agencies throughout his entire work experience. Sweet and mild mannered, his desire to make a real difference had dulled from too many years of compliancy to authority, rules, and regulations. Bruce had gone as high as he could in institutional politics. He was caring and attentive with the patients, but seemed depressed and resigned to mediocrity the rest of the time. The only times Bruce revealed real passion and genuine enthusiasm was when we talked about gourmet food or going fishing together.

BarbaraBarbara was the school teacher on our team. Her goal was to help as many patients as possible reach high school equivalency. She was a large boned middle aged Afro-American woman and a very kind person. I don’t remember her hands except for her large broad nails and the sparse clear lines engraved in her palms. Barbara had spent many years in state service. She was one of a few who managed to maintain a sense of humor and a life outside of her work. She complained the least of any full time staff member and always kept her cool. Once during English class, one of the male patients pulled out his huge erect penis and started jerking off. Barbara walked over, looked straight in his eyes and without raising her voice calmly said “please excuse yourself and go to the bathroom”. He did. I wished I could have read her report about it.

Bob was the librarian. He reminded me of a Spam and Velveeta cheese on Wonder bread sandwich. Bob was a real life Walter Mitty. He was helpful when asked, but most of the time, gazed into the distance under thick lensed wire rimmed glasses. Whenever I think of him, I can still feel his cool damp mashed potato hand shake that confirmed his total lack of will power, energy, and enthusiasm.

Andrew was art therapist when I arrived. The only thing I recall about him is that he sent his estranged daughter a gross of condoms for her sixteenth birthday. He quipped in his southern drawl, “If she’s going to do it, might as well be safe.” The newest art therapist was Janice. Janice was an unsuccessfully aging frustrated artist in need of a steady income. There was a frequent staff turnover of art therapists.

MayaMaya was recreational therapist. She was young, very private, and a very athletic Afro-American woman. Maya managed sports activities and the patient newspaper, the Scene. Staff liked Maya. Patients loved her. Her powerful ‘intuitive hands‘ were well suited for sports like football, soccer, and wrestling. Everyone thought Maya was gay, but that was nobody’s business.

 

I was a card carrying member of a band of misfits in search of a fit. On the whole, I liked the rehab staff and felt like I was becoming part of a team. I looked forward to our working together and began to imagine that we might actually make a real difference…

Stay tuned as I prepare to meet the patients…