Written by Michelle Cardillo Published on December 01, 2020

Reading Palms: A Beginner’s Guide

Reading Palms: A Beginner’s Guide

Palm reading can also be called chiromancy or palmistry, and it’s highly regarded as a divination practice. Its origins are not known specifically, but everyone believes that it started in ancient India and then spread throughout the nations from China and Tibet to Persia, Greece, and Egypt. Aristotle actually wrote about a palm reading in detail in De Historia Animalium, which was written about 2,500 years ago. He believed that the lines found in a human hand had reason and purpose.

Chiromancy chart with palm lines and mystic symbols

After the Middle Ages, palmistry seemed to fall out of favor. Still, in the 19th century, it had a monumental revival because interest grew for the occult. In fact, many chirological societies sprang up during this time to advance and promote the practice within the United Kingdom and the USA. Palm readers ended up getting global followers, including William John Warner, who was born in Dublin and known as Cheiro. By the middle of the 1900s, palmistry was integrated and part of American pop culture.

However, most people don’t know what palmistry is, how it works, or what it reveals. While every divination requires practice and study, the fundamentals of palm reading are easy to learn and understand. We’re going to learn about some of the more basic techniques and theory behind palm reading and give you tips to help you find a unique approach to the subject. When you can interpret it correctly, the future might lie within the palms of your hands – literally.

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The Functions of Palmistry

In a sense, palmistry is just the art of analyzing your hand’s physical features and interpreting your personality characteristics to predict what is going to happen in the future. The analyses for chiromancy are time-honored. Our ancient ancestors gazed up into the sky at night to determine what might happen on earth based on the movements of the planets. Just like that, palm readers can see how the hand features are going to connect within the great scheme of things. Generally, occult traditions have a basis within the esoteric axiom. If it happens above, it is going to be below, as well. Within the palmistry area, your palm is like a peek into the entire universe if you know how to read it.

Of course, each palmist develops their own interpretations of the various shapes and creases within the hand. It could be helpful to get familiar with the conventions of history to find out what’s applicable to almost any person who seeks answers. This person is often called the querent.

Getting Started

When you start your analysis, you should focus on the larger observations and then work your way into more detail. Many people have their own opinions about this, and they all tend to vary. For example, modern readers think that they should analyze the right and left hand both. Your dominant hand can reveal your character and personality naturally, and the dominant hand focuses on how those traits have been used by the person in practice. Together, they both show how a particular person is using their lives (good, evil, personal betterment, manipulation, etc.).

The first step is to take the required time necessary to make some observations for yourself about the querent’s hand. Hold it, cupping it in yours. Feel the texture of it – is the palm rough while the back of the hand is smooth? Does the person have dirty fingernails, or are they manicured? Regardless of what you feel or experience, it should not be overlooked when you’re practicing divination. Everything has a specific meaning, but it means knowing what to look for, being aware of it, and being intuitive. When you can add intuitiveness into the practice, you are going to find the right meaning within the smallest of details.

Now, you’re going to get familiar with the different hand shapes and how they correspond to the four elements (water, fire, air, and earth). This is an important step, and once you’ve mastered the elements within the various hand shapes, you can focus on the plains and mounts of a hand. You can also learn more about the regions that are going to correspond with major life events or areas within the lifetime. Plus, you can see the creases and lines and tell the story of the querent’s future. We’re going to go through every one of these things.

Four elements of nature

The Four Elements and Types of Hands

Within palmistry, there are four primary hand shapes, and each is connected to a different element. Within each element are associated traits that you can use to read the palm more effectively. While these four elements are also found in astrology, hand types don’t necessarily correspond with a particular astrological profile.

For example, if you’re reading a palm from an Aries sign, the hand shape might be that for the water sign. This can reveal that they have complexities within their personality that should be considered.

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Earth

An earth hand is one that has short fingers and a square palm. The hands are usually solid, firm, and fleshy. People who have earth hands are typically grounded, logical, and practical. Though they are reliable and secure, they can get consumed with the reality in the immediate present, which means they can’t plan for long-term achievements easily.

Fire

You can tell that someone has a fire hand by the short fingers and long palm. Such hands are often distinctive with the creases and have defined mounds. Those with fire hands are often industrious, confident, and passionate. They’re primarily driven by their desires and can be less empathetic and tactful when they’re having a bad day.

Air

People with air hands have long fingers and square palms. Generally, the knuckles protrude, and the fingers are boney and spindly. Such a hand shows that the individual is intellectually curious and has significant communication skills and analytical abilities. However, they’re distracted easily and can get edgy or anxious if they don’t stay stimulated.

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Water

Water hands are usually distinguished by long fingers and long palms. They’re soft when you touch them and might be clammy while showing a narrow appearance overall. These people are most in tune with their intuition, emotions, and psychic ability. They’re fueled by imagination and compassion, so they may be more creative in life. Plus, they are highly sensitive and often get their feelings hurt easily, which can cause intrapersonal stress.

An image of a palm reading palmistry

Mounts and Plains

Once you know the querent’s hand type, you can look at the natural topography of the palm. Fleshy areas are called mounts or plains, and they’re related to various life themes. For example, the classic mount focuses on the traditional planets in astrology. They include:

  • Mercury
  • Luna (the moon)
  • Apollo (the sun)
  • Venus
  • Jupiter
  • Mars
  • Saturn

When the mounts are slightly elevated and rounded, that means you’ve got attributes that are well-proportioned and balanced. Sunken mount areas can expose blind spots for the individual or regions where the qualities aren’t developed fully. If the mounts are very prominent, it can reveal certain dominant characteristics that are over-emphasized or exaggerated.

Jupiter

Jupiter is found at the base of your index finger, above Inner Mars’ mount. It symbolizes leadership, confidence, and ambition. Often, it can reveal a connection for the spiritual realm, as well as divine aptitudes.

Saturn

Saturn is found at the base of your middle finger. It can correspond with responsibility, wisdom, and fortitude. Generally, it shows a person’s integrity and how they understand the downs and ups within their life.

Apollo

Apollo is found underneath the ring finger and gets its name from the classical antiquity of the sun god. For palmistry, this area of the hand focuses on a person’s essence, optimism, and vitality. The zodiac signs can expose a person’s innate spirits, and Apollo shows happiness, success, and artistic inclination.

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Mercury

Mercury is found under the pinky finger and is connected to intelligence and communication. It’s also linked to adaptability, wit, social skills, and how well a person is resourceful and strategic.

Luna

Luna was named after an ancient Roman goddess, and it symbolizes intuition, imagination, and psychic abilities. It’s found toward the lower part of the palm by the pinky and can reveal a person’s compassion and empathy. Though the moon focuses on darkness, this mount considers the insight they found within magic(k).

Venus

Venus is generally found at the base of the thumb and is primarily linked to attraction, sensuality, and love. This zone shows natural magnetism and how well a person can connect on an emotional level. Passion, indulgence, and sexuality are all parts of this region.

Inner, Outer, and Plains of Mars

Mars covers extensive ground in palmistry. It’s named for the god of war (Roman), so it tends to represent temperament, aggression, and resilience. Lower or Inner Mars is found above the thumb and often symbolizes bold tenacity and physical strength. Outer or Upper Mars can represent emotional bravery and perseverance. Then, you’ve got the Plain of Marks, which is found in the lower center of your palm. It focuses on the Inner and Outer versions and sees how they balance. Because this part is often flat, the significance of this area is determined by the lines that occupy the section.

The Lines

As you focus on palmistry, you probably imagine a mystic who traces the hand creases in a poorly lit room. This stereotype might be dated just a bit, but it’s not off-base. The creases and folds of a palm are referred to as lines, and they can be used to predict what might occur in the future and form a narrative.

The meanings of the different lines get determined by their depth, curvature, and length. No two palms are exactly the same, so context is essential here. Determine where each line starts/ends, the mounts that it crosses, and where creases tend to intersect. Intuition is what fuels the analysis here, so there’s no reason not to get creative. If you’re not sure, ask the querent some questions. You’re a palm reader instead of a mind reader. When you know their history, you can offer better insight into their situation by applying observations to their real-life situation.

Head

The mind is going to play a significant role in shaping your destiny. The head line focuses more on intellectual pursuits and curiosities. It’s found in the center of your palm, and it can reveal the lessons that life is trying to teach us. The line’s depth tends to correspond with the complexity of the person’s mental pursuits while its length reveals how many topics they are going to explore. Wavy lines mean progressive thinking, and straight lines can be considered a more traditional approach. If there are breaks within the line, it can show you mental strife or epiphanies and monumental breakthroughs.

Heart

The heart line is located right above the head line and is the highest line on the palm going horizontally. It’s sometimes called the love line, and this crease focuses on all heart matters, such as friendship, romance, commitment, and sexuality. Once you’ve identified it, see whether it starts at the middle or index finger. When the heart line begins at the index finger, it reveals that relationships are content. When it starts at the middle finger, it can signal restlessness.

Of course, the depth of the line is also significant and focuses on interpersonal relationships within the querent’s life. The length focuses on the time spent as a couple with someone else. Long lines can represent longer partnerships. Forks and breaks in this line can suggest transformative bonds, multiple lovers, or cheating.

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Life

Generally, people see a short life line and ultimately believe you’re going to die young. They might indicate that it is going to be within a week or year. This turns people away from palmistry and other divination practices.

When you’re reading someone’s palm, you must be ethical. Unless you are highly trained and ensure that you have the querent’s consent, it’s not appropriate to predict their death. It induces anxiety and fear, but it is also very inaccurate. The crease is designed to focus on your journey and not your death. It’s found under the head line and reveals vitality, zest, and experiences. The depth of this line can suggest a richness of the experience or how others might influence your path. Shorter lines can mean autonomy and independence.

Fate

The fate line is sometimes called the line of destiny, and it’s a vertical crease at the center of your palm. It reveals – to an extent – how a person’s life is going to be influenced by various circumstances that are out of their control. Our palms are going to evolve throughout our lives, but this is the line that transforms most often. When you’re right in the middle of a shift (professional or personal), take a glance at the fate line. It might have changed. Generally, palmists hold the belief that an itchy hand signals change.

Sun

The sun line is also called Apollo’s line, and it’s that vertical create found at the pinky side of your palm. It focuses on fame, legacy, and image. It can vary significantly in position, depth, and length. Since it sits alongside the fate line, it can show when and how a person’s prominence is based on external events that they can’t control. If the fate and sun line aren’t close together, the person’s legacy is likely built independently of any outside influences.

Tie It Together

Palmistry isn’t a cut-and-dry practice that is going to provide fixed answers. You are going to have to learn all of the meanings for hand shapes, plains, lines, and mounts while letting intuition start to guide you. This helps you form specific interpretation patterns for yourself. Your hands are going to change throughout your lifetime, and everyone has the ability to steer themselves into a new and different destiny than what was read. At best, palmistry is a great way to develop the insights people need to illuminate the journey ahead.

About the author

Michelle Cardillo
Michelle Cardillo
Michelle Cardillo
Michelle is an all-things-psychic enthusiast: from tarot readings to esoteric forms of psychic reading, she researched and tried any available reading online and live. Her hobbies include reading romantic novels and volunteering in a local cat rescue organization.