People have always been fascinated by their hands. Since the days of Greek and Roman antiquity, palm reading was a part of society, and scholars like Aristotle worked with chiromancy ("cheir" = Greek hand and "manteia" = Greek divination). Palm reading was an integral part of the occult sciences.
However, the first written records on this subject were mainly from the 12th century onwards. At that time, there was already a close connection to astrology, which is still evident today in the techniques and systems of palmistry.
In the Middle Ages, palmistry was practiced by all social views. Predicting the future was mainly practiced by traveling folk and became an attraction at fairs. But members of the upper class also often sought the advice of palm readers and astrologers.
The medieval writings mainly examined the connections between the individual constitution of the hands and its relationship to the person's character. A particularly important work is "The Book of All Forbidden Arts" by the German physician Johannes Hartlieb, who discussed chiromancy in the book, among other things.
The connection between astrology and palmistry, which is still recognizable today, became closer in the course of the Middle Ages.
With the beginning of the Renaissance and the scientific growth in the late 14th and early 15th centuries, medicine became increasingly concerned with the various manifestations of the hands. Doctors were particularly interested in using the various shapes and lines of the hands to deduce a person's state of health and possible illnesses. Fortune-telling with the help of the hands shifted mainly to the fairs during this period but continued to be pursued by some, albeit few, scholars.
During the 19th century, palmistry became increasingly popular. Even rulers like Napoleon I are said to have consulted a palm reader.
Today, a distinction is made between chiromancy, the art of divination, and chirology. While the former involves making predictions about the future, chirology tends to avoid future predictions. This form of palmistry is more concerned with recognizing the character traits of a person and is intended to be a valuable aid in making life decisions. Chirosophy combines both forms of palmistry. However, the boundaries are rather vague and there are smooth transitions between the different methods.
How can one read the palm?
The left hand is usually used for interpretation. The left hand represents the unconscious and reveals the predispositions a person has had since birth. The right hand shows how a person's life has gone so far and what the person has done with his or her predispositions. Left-handed people use the other hand for interpretation.
The entire external appearance of the hand is used for interpretation, including the size and shape of the hand, finger shape, and finger size.
A short index finger, for example, indicates that the person has less ambition, while a long index finger reveals an ambitious person. If the index finger is thick, it means the person is sensual.
The lines in the hand can also be analyzed. The most significant lines are the life line, head line, heart line, Apollo line, and Saturn line, but there are other, secondary lines as well. The life line stands for vitality and energy. If the life line is clearly visible, solid, and unbroken, it indicates a very healthy and energetic person. But if it is partially weak or interrupted, the person is struggling with some phases of life that may cost him a lot of energy. By the way, the life line can't tell you how long you will live. Instead of a short life span, a short life line indicates a person who needs a lot of relaxation and rest. Meditation could be a good way to recharge.
The head line stands for reason. If it is weak or broken, it indicates a person who prefers to take action rather than sit and brood. A pronounced head line reveals an intellectual person. As the name again suggests, the heart line stands for feeling. If it runs clearly and distinctly, the person is very emotional.
The various elevations of the palm (mountains) are also included in palmistry. Here you can see the close connection between palmistry and astrology. These elevations are called Mercury Mountain, Apollo Mountain, Saturn Mountain, and Jupiter Mountain, and they can all be seen just below the fingers. Below the thumb sits the Venus Mountain, next to it is the Moon Mountain, and between the Moon and Mercury Mountains is the Mars Mountain. The plain that forms between the elevations is called the Mars Plain.
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