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All You Need to Know About Palm Reading (How It Works)


Palmistry refers to the art of predicting the future through the study of one’s palms. This art is practiced all over the world, but it varies from one culture to the other. A person who practices this art is generally referred to as hand readers or chirologists.

Palmistry is viewed as pseudoscience by most academics due to lack of evidence of prediction made by the chirologist, and also due to lots of contradictions between different interpretations.

The origins of palm reading are not clear, but it may have its roots in ancient India from where it spread to other regions.

History of Palmistry

Ancient Palmistry

Palm reading is commonly practiced in many different regions on the Eurasian landmass. It is has been seen in practice in Indian, Chinese, Palestinian, and Babylonian cultures.

According to acupuncturist Yoshiaki Omura, palm reading has its roots in Hindu astrology, Roma fortune-tellers and also Chinese Ching(Yijing). Valmiki, Hindu sage, wrote a book thousands of years ago, comprising 567 stanzas which explained the teachings on male palmistry. 

Modern Palmistry

A notable person in the modern art of palmistry was William John Warner known by his nickname, Cheiro. He studied under Indian gurus and opened up a palmistry booth in London. Cheiro’s skills on palm reading were so popular that even skeptics and non-believers came in for appointments to have their hands read by the famous Cheiro.

In the 1880s, Edward Heron-Allen, an English polymath, published several books including, Palmistry- A Manual of Cheirosophy, a book that’s still in printing. Wiliam G. Berhan, in his book, The Laws of Scientific Hand Reading, tried to formulate some scientific basis for the art of palmistry. 

Techniques Used in Palm Reading

Palm reading aims to predict the future or to determine a person’s character by studying the palm of their hands. Here you’ll find an informative palm reading guide that will help you to learn more about this art either as an aspiring palm analyst or for casual reading. 

How to Decipher the Lines?

a) Choosing a Hand

In palm reading, it is believed that a male is born with the left hand, but accumulates the right hand throughout their life. As a female, you are born with the right hand, but throughout your life, you accumulate left hand.

Having said that; it is also possible to choose your dominant hand to be present/past life hand while the non-dominant hand will be your future life hand.

b) Identifying the Four Major Lines

1. Heart Line

It is studied from the pinkie finger to the index finger. This line is believed to show a person’s romantic perspectives, cardiac health, emotional stability, and depression. Basic interpretations include:

  • Beginning below the index finger- the person is content with love life.
  • Beginning from middle finger- the person is selfish in matters involving love.
  • Starting in the middle of the palm- the person falls in love easily
  • Straight and short- the person has little interest in romance
  • Touching the lifeline- the person is prone to getting his or her heart broken.
  • Long and curvy heart line- the person freely express emotions and feelings

2. Headline

It is used to study the person’s communication approach, thirst for knowledge, learning style, and intellectualism. The straight line is associated with a structured approach and practicality, while a curved line is linked with creativity. Basic interpretation includes:

  • Short headline – person prefers physical achievements over mental peace.
  • Curved sloping headline- a person is creative
  • Separated from lifeline-  adventurous and enthusiastic life

3. Lifeline

The line runs near the thumb and moves in an arc toward the wrist. It is believed to show a person’s general wellbeing, physical health and life changes such as relocation. You should be aware that its length is not associated with one’s length of life. Basic interpretation includes:

  • Run close to thumb- Often tired
  • Swoops around in a semicircle- strength, and enthusiasm

4. Fate Line

It involves the study of destiny. This line indicates how a person’s fate can be determined by factors beyond their control. It starts from the base of the palm.

How to Interpret Fingers and Hands?

Every shape is linked to certain character traits. The length is measured from the wrist to the bottom of the fingers. Basic interpretation includes:

  • Air- Rectangular or square-shaped palms with long fingers and in some cases protruding knuckles and dry skin. The person is talkative, social and witty.
  • Earth- Broad, squared shaped fingers and palms, thick skin and ruddy color. The person is practical, responsible and in some cases, materialistic.