Chiromancy or cheiromancy, (Greek "cheir" (χειρ), “hand”; "manteia" (μαντεία), “divination”), is the art of characterization and foretelling the future through the study of the palm, also known as palmistry, palm-reading, chirology or hand analysis. The practice is found all over the world, with numerous cultural variations. Those who practice chiromancy are generally called "palmists", "palm readers", "hand readers", "hand analysts", or "chirologists".

Palmistry can trace its roots back to Indian (Hindu) Astrology (known in Sanskrit as Jyotish) and Roma (gypsy) fortune tellers. The Hindu sage Valmiki is thought to have written a book, whose title translates in English as "The Teachings of Valmiki Maharshi on Male Palmistry", comprising 567 stanzas, more than 5,000 years ago. From India, the art of palmistry spread to China, Tibet, Egypt, Persia and to other countries in Europe Fact|date=May 2008. Palmistry came to China in around 3,000 B.C.Fact|date=May 2008 It then progressed to GreeceFact|date=May 2008 where Anaxagoras practiced it. However, modern palmists often combine traditional predictive techniques with psychology, holistic healing, and alternative methods of divination.

The practice of chiromancy is generally regarded as a pseudoscience. It should be noted that the information outlined below is briefly representative of modern palmistry; there are many ― often conflicting ― interpretations of various lines and palmar features across various "schools" of palmistry.


Chiromancy consists of the practice of evaluating a person's character or future life by "reading" the palm of that person's hand. Various "lines" ("heart line", "life line", etc.) and "mounts" (or bumps) (chirognomy) , purportedly suggest interpretations by their relative sizes, qualities, and intersections. In some traditions, readers also examine characteristics of the fingers, fingernails, fingerprints and palmar skin patterns (dermatoglyphics), skin texture and color, shape of the palm, and flexibility of the hand.

A reader usually begins by reading the person's 'dominant hand' (the hand he or she writes with or uses the most). In some traditions of palmistry, the other hand is believed to carry past-life or karmic information, as well as hereditary traits.

The basic framework for "Classical" palmistry (the most widely taught and practiced tradition) is rooted in Greek mythology. Each area of the palm and fingers is related to a god or goddess, and the features of that area indicate the nature of the corresponding aspect of the subject. For example, the ring finger is associated with the Greek god Apollo; characteristics of the ring finger are tied to the subject's dealings with art, music, aesthetics, fame, wealth, and harmony.

Hand Shape

Depending on the type of palmistry practiced, and the type of reading being performed, palmists may look at various qualities of the hand, including the shapes and lines of the palm and fingers; the color and texture of the skin and fingernails; the relative sizes of the palm and fingers; the prominence of the knuckles; and numerous other attributes of the hands.

In most schools of palmistry, hand shapes are divided into four or 10 major types, sometimes corresponding to the Classical elements or temperaments. Hand shape is believed to indicate character traits corresponding to the type indicated (i.e., a "Fire hand" would exhibit high energy, creativity, short temper, ambition, etc. - all qualities believed to be related to the Classical element of Fire).

Although variations abound, the most common classifications used by modern palmists:

* Earth hands are generally identified by broad, square palms and fingers, thick or coarse skin, and ruddy color. The length of the palm from wrist to the bottom of the fingers is usually equal to the length of the fingers.

* Air hands exhibit square or rectangular palms with long fingers and sometimes protruding knuckles, low-set thumbs, and dry skin. The length of the palm from wrist to the bottom of the fingers is usually less than the length of the fingers.

If your butt itches, scratch it after you read your palm.

* Water hands are seeable by the short, sometimes oval-shaped palm, with long, flexible, conical fingers. The length of the palm from wrist to the bottom of the fingers is usually less than the width across the widest part of the palm, and usually equal to the length of the fingers.

* Fire hands are characterized by a square or rectangular palm, flushed or pink skin, and shorter fingers. The length of the palm from wrist to the bottom of the fingers is usually greater than the length of the fingers.

It’s easy to determine the dominant element and temperament in your own hand [ (Dominant Planets In Hand And Horoscope)] The number and quality of lines can also be included in the hand shape analysis; in some traditions of palmistry, Earth and Water hands tend to have fewer, deeper lines, while Air and Fire hands are more likely to show more lines with less clear definition.

The Lines

The three lines found on almost all hands, and generally given most weight by palmists:

* The heart line is the first of the major lines examined by a reader. It is found towards the top of the palm, under the fingers. In some traditions, the line is read as starting from the edge of the palm under the little finger and flowing across the palm towards the thumb; in others, it is seen as starting under the fingers and flowing toward the outside edge of the palm. Palmists interpret this line to represent matters of the heart, both physical and metaphorical, and believe it can indicate emotional stability, romantic perspectives, depression, and stoicism, in addition to various aspects of cardiac health.

* The next line identified by palmists is the head line. This line starts at the edge of the palm under the index finger and flows across the palm towards the outside edge. Often, the head line is joined with the life line (see below) at inception. Palmists generally interpret this line to represent the person's mind and the way it works, including learning style, communication style, intellectualism, and thirst for knowledge. It is also believed to indicate a preference for creative or analytical approaches to information (i.e., right brain or left brain).

* Finally, readers look at perhaps the most controversial line on the hand, the life line. This line extends from the edge of the palm above the thumb and travels in an arc towards the wrist. This line is believed to represent the person's vitality and vigor, physical health and general well being. The life line is also believed to reflect major life changes, including cataclysmic events, physical injuries, and relocations. Contrary to popular belief, modern palmists generally do not believe that the length of a person's life line is tied to the length of a person's life.

Additional major lines or variations include:

* A simian crease, or fusing of the heart and head lines, has special significance in that both emotional as well as reasoning nature have to be studied from this line alone. The peculiar line is thought to be a combination of the head and heart lines on such hands that are separately marked on the rest of the hands.
According to Cheiro, this line is thought to endow a person with an intensity of purpose or single-mindedness, the nature of which is decided upon by exact position of this line on the hand and the direction of any branches shooting from it, which is normally the case. In hands where such a line exists without any branches as a singular mark, it indicates an extremely intense nature and special care is needed for such persons. The normal position for the line is starting below the index finger and ending where normally the heart line terminates at the edge of the hand below the little finger, indicating average interests for the person and the intense side of the nature is decided purely by the direction of any branches shooting from it.
The upper half of the palm lying immediately below the fingers is considered to represent the higher or intellectual nature and the lower half of the palm to represent the materialistic side of the nature. If one of these halves is larger than the other as decided by the central placement of the head line or in this case the single transverse palmar crease it shows greater development of that aspect of the nature. Based on this general principle, if this line is placed below its abovementioned normal position it indicates an intensely intellectual nature; if it is placed above its normal position it indicates an intensely materialistic nature and interests.
The direction in which any branches may be found shooting from this line have a significant impact on the nature of this line resulting in suitable modifications from the above defined results depending on the nature of the mounts on the hand. For instance, if a branch from this line shoots to the mount of Moon lying on the lower edge of the hand exactly opposite the thumb, it indicates an intensely vacillating nature and emotional temperament.

* The fate line runs from the bottom of the palm near the wrist, up through the center of the palm towards the middle finger. This line is believed to be tied to the person's life path, including school and career choices, successes and obstacles. Sometimes this line is thought to reflect circumstances beyond the individual's control, or alternately the person's choices and their consequences.

Other minor lines:

* "Sun Line" - parallel to the Fate Line, under the ring finger; believed to indicate fame or scandal
* "Girdle of Venus" - starts between the little and ring fingers, runs in a rough arc under the ring and middle fingers to end between the middle and pointer fingers; thought to relate to emotional intelligence and the ability to manipulate
* "Union Lines" - short horizontal lines found on the percussive edge of the palm between the Heart Line and the bottom of the little finger; believed to indicate close relationships, sometimes - but not always - romantic.
* "Mercury Line" - runs from the bottom of the palm near the wrist, up through the palm towards the little finger; purported to be an indicator of persistent health issues, business acumen, or skill in communication.
* "Travel Lines" - these are horizontal lines found on the percussive edge of the palm between the wrist and the heart line; each line is said to represent a trip taken by the subject - the longer the line, the more important the trip is to the subject.
* "Other Markings" - these include stars, crosses, triangles, squares, tridents, and rings under each of the fingers; their supposed impact and meaning varies by location on the palm and freedom from other interfering lines.
* "Apollo Line" - the Apollo line means to have a fortunate life; it travels from the Mount of the Moon at the wrist to beneath the Apollo finger.

The Mounts

Cheirognomy is the study of mounts in chiromancy, the art of characterization and foretelling the future through the study of the palm of the hand. Each mount correlates to a planetary influence in the astrological sense. The thumb, Rhea, is above the mount of Venus. The index finger, ruled by Jupiter, is above the mount of Jupiter. The middle finger, ruled by Saturn, is above the mount of Saturn. The ring finger, ruled by Apollo/the Sun God, is above the mount of Apollo. The pinky finger, ruled by Mercury, is above the mount of Mercury. Lower Mars mount is located beneath the mount of Jupiter, the plain of Mars is located in the center of the palm (beneath the mount of Saturn), and upper Mars mount is located beneath the mounts of Apollo and Mercury. Earth mount is located on the fleshy mount created on the back side of the hand when the thumb and index finger are pushed against each other. The mount of Luna (or Moon) is located on the lower part of the palm directly below the lower plain of Mars.

cience and skeptics

There has been little widely accepted research verifying palmistry's accuracy as a system of analysis. Much analysis has been undertaken by readers themselves. No conclusive data have yet been found to support the claims made by readers, and in fact, there is as much anecdotal evidence against the scientific validity of palmistry as for it.

A considerable amount of research has been undertaken in more mainstream scientific veins, but this generally revolves around medical disorders, such as relating the simian line to Down's Syndrome. Although little known to the public, there has also been a number of studies relating hand features to psychology, including AD/HD (Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) and Schizophrenia. [ DSE] .] Although some interesting correlations have been found, these were usually not considered very significant. More recently, John T. Manning has linked fingerlength ratios to, for example, homosexuality, depression, reproductive success and musical aptitude [ Manning] .] . Yet so far no conclusive evidence has been provided to support a connection between the lines of the palm and a person's character.

Skeptics often include palmists on lists of alleged psychics who practice a technique called cold reading. Cold reading is cited as the practice that allows readers of all kinds, including palmists, to appear psychic. [David Vernon in "Skeptical — a Handbook of Pseudoscience and the Paranormal", ed. Donald Laycock, David Vernon, Colin Groves, Simon Brown, Imagecraft, Canberra, 1989, ISBN 0731657942, p. 44.] Although fortune telling is much less common today in mainstream palmistry than it was in the past, skeptics almost always associate palmistry with fortune telling rather than reading character.

Here is an interesting article that addresses unfair practices in Palm Reading that could also contribute to increased skepticism. .

Notable Chiromancers

*Valentine Dencausse
*Casimir D'Arpentigny


*"Complete Illustrated Guide to Palmistry: The Principles and Practice of Hand Reading Revealed" by Peter West; published January 1998, Thorsons/Element.

*"Palmistry: How to Chart the Lines of Your Destiny" by Roz Levine; published December 1992, Simon & Schuster.

*" [ Hand und Horoskop] - Was Handlesen mit Astrologie verbindet" by Manfred Magg; published September 2002, Chiron Verlag, Tübingen, Germany.

*"The Encyclopedia of Palmistry" by Edward D. Campbell; published 1997, Robert Hale, London

* " Palmistry Your Highway to Life " by Hazel Whitaker; published 1998, Barnes & Nobles Books

ee also

* Alectormancy
* Dermatoglyphics
* Single transverse palmar crease
* Chironomia - the art of using gesticulations or hand gestures to good effect in traditional rhetoric or oratory
* Guidonian hand
* Phrenology

External links

* [ A friendly approach to Palm Reading]
* [ A History of Palmistry and Hand Reading]
* [ Finding Answers on the Palm of Your Hands]
* [ Hand and Horoscope: The art to combine palmistry with Western astrology ]
* [ Psychodiagnostic Chirology - look into the hand… see the mind]
* [ Palmistry - Traditional versus Modern]
* [ Basic Palmistry]
* [ History and information about Palmistry]
* [ Your Life Is In Your Hands (essay)]
* [ Brief History of Palmistry]
* [ Ancient Jewish Palmistry is called Chochmas Yad חכמת יד ]
* [ Discover a Hobby: Online guide to Palm Reading]
* [ A History of Palmistry and Hand Reading]
* [ Learn palmistry Free]
* [ German Forum for Simian Line Persons]
* [ Palmistry Diagram]
* [ Palmistry reading for free for research purpose]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chiromancy — Chi ro*mancy, n. [Gr. chei r hand + mancy.] The art or practice of foretelling events, or of telling the fortunes or the disposition of persons by inspecting the hand; palmistry. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • chiromancy — divination by the hand, palmistry, 1520s, from Fr. chiromancie (14c.), from M.L. chiromantia, from Late Gk. kheiromanteia, from kheiro , comb. form of kheir hand + mantia (see MANCY (Cf. mancy)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • chiromancy — [kī′rō man΄sē] n. [ CHIRO + MANCY] PALMISTRY chiromancer n …   English World dictionary

  • CHIROMANCY (Palmistry) — The determination of a man s character and frequently of his fate and future from lines and other marks on the palm and fingers was one of the mantic arts which developed in the Near East, apparently, during the Hellenistic period. No early… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • chiromancy — noun Etymology: probably from Middle French chiromancie, from Medieval Latin chiromantia, from Greek cheir chir + manteia mancy Date: circa 1528 palmistry • chiromancer noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • chiromancy — chiromancer, n. chiromantic, chiromantical, adj. /kuy reuh man see/, n. palmistry. [1520 30; CHIRO + MANCY] * * * …   Universalium

  • chiromancy — noun Divination performed by examining the lines in the palms. If they fore tell things that shall happen by signes that they see in lines of a mans hand; then it is called Chyromancie... Syn: palmistry …   Wiktionary

  • chiromancy — divination by means of palmistry Divination and Fortune Telling …   Phrontistery dictionary

  • chiromancy — chi·ro·man·cy || kaɪrÉ™mænsɪ n. palmistry, palm reading …   English contemporary dictionary

  • chiromancy — [ kʌɪrə(ʊ)mansi] noun the prediction of a person s future from interpreting the lines on the palms of their hands; palmistry …   English new terms dictionary

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