The Murderer’s Thumb
The club thumb is known in palmistry books as the “murderer’s thumb”. I’ve examined the hands of many murderers (criminally insane) and have seen only one club thumb among them. A violent act committed by a club-thumbed person is rarely premeditated. It’s an act of uncontrollable rage and unbridled passion. It symbolizes an inflexible nature, with potentially explosive results in difficult situations. Loving and peaceful individuals can also have club thumbs.
Early in my career, I examined a set of hands that had two club thumbs, a simian line on the dominant hand (head and heart line combined) and four phalanges (instead of three) on the little finger of the dominant hand. I considered what to say to my client. His simian line symbolized a constant battle between head and heart, an inability to verbalize feelings, tremendous focus of energy in the moment, an eternal restlessness, and constant soul searching. I didn’t have a clue what the four phalanges on the little finger stood for.
I decided to stick my toe in the water before jumping in. “I wouldn’t want to make you angry at me” I said cautiously. “Oh, I never get angry. You can ask anyone. I’m the nicest person in the world”. That’s incredible, I thought. “You must be a very evolved person to have overcome the obstacles I see in your hands,” I replied. He agreed that he was very evolved. I didn’t have to be a palmist to see that he was repressing a ton of rage. Approaching half a ton, he had to turn sideways to get through my door. Cautiously, I explained the challenging implications of what I saw as the dark side of his symbolism. His response was total shock and disbelief. I decided that avoiding the subject of rage was the best path to take from that point on. The rest of our time was spent discussing his creativity, healing abilities, and spirituality. I came to understand that his unique pinky finger represented deafness in one ear (hearing attributed to pinky) and sexual abuse in early childhood (little finger is related to sexuality). His sexually perverted uncle molested him, while his weak and ineffectual mother pretended not to notice.
My ignorance and inexperience made me squirm with this client. I felt relieved when he left. About six months later, he called “You know, you were right about me. I wasn’t ready to hear it. I have a lot of rage. As a matter of fact, I can kill with thoughts. No really, I really can kill with thoughts. Can I come see you again?” Oy, I thought. “I don’t really think I can help you,” I told him. “Perhaps a psychotherapist is a better choice.” He said he planned to see a shrink, but wanted to connect with me since I stimulated his awareness. I saw him regularly for several years after that. He lost a couple of hundred pounds and was in his first intimate relationship. The owner of this set of hands was destined for a lifetime of obstacles and conflicts about ‘right use of his will’.