Palmistry, Chirology or Cheirology
Chirology is the study of the hand. It involves looking at all aspects of the hand – handshape, finger length and shape, the thumb, nails, knuckles, skin texture, flexibility, fingerprints, and the patterns, lines and markings on the palm – assessing and interpreting these features, like putting together the pieces of a jigsaw, to give an in-depth view of all aspects of the individual.
The exact origins of chirology are unknown. Although it is thought that various ancient cultures studied hands, such as Egyptians, Babylonians, Chinese, Greeks etc, there is no real evidence of this. The earliest known writings on hands are Indian Vedic scriptures from 2000 B.C.
It is only in the last hundred years or so that a serious interest in hands has grown, with scientific research into subjects such as dermatoglyphics (fingerprints) and genetics, moving away from ‘fortune telling’ and prediction to a more accurate and useful understanding of what hands can reveal about people, their health, character, habits, interests, skills, psychology, etc.
No one knows how or why chirology works – but it does! The hand has more nerve endings than any other part of the body. If your hands were proportioned according to the number of nerve endings, they’d be the size of beach umbrellas. With so much neural activity in such a small part of the body, hands are obviously special.
The patterns on the hand can be likened to a coded computer print-out of the individual, and the hand reader’s job is to crack this code.
Frequently Asked Questions
Aren’t the lines on the palm just creases formed by hand movement?
No. The lines form in the hand of the foetus at 9-11 weeks of gestation, before the hand is capable of muscular movement. There are lines in places where the hand doesn’t fold. People who do manual work involving a lot of hand movement often have very few lines. Compare the lines to the creases on the elbow and you will see they are very different.
Can you predict my future?
Although the fingerprints never change, the palmar lines and markings change throughout life. Surely, if our future was mapped out for us, the lines would stay the same. When looking at a hand we see the person as they are NOW, bringing their past with them and sowing seeds for their future, but any prediction from the hand is only potential. It’s not set in stone – we all have free will to make choices which will affect our future and alter our fate.
Can you tell me how many children or marriages I will have?
The relationship and child lines date back to C15th palmistry and are no longer considered to be reliable. Any prediction about children or marriage from the hand shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
Can you tell how long I will live from my lifeline?
No, this line does not foretell length of life, so don’t worry if you think you have a short lifeline! It tells us a lot about your health, energy and lifestyle.
Do you look at the right or left hand?
You have to study both hands. In traditional palmistry, if you are right handed, they say the left is what the gods gave you, the right is what you do with it. The hand you write with is your active, dominant hand and reflects the conscious you, your public face, the way you are developing. The other hand is the passive or minor hand and is more about the inner you, the subconscious, your private face, the person you have developed from.
What is the difference between palmistry and hand analysis?
Palmistry and hand analysis are different ways of looking at hands, each with their own approach and symbolism. Traditional palmistry is based on the planetary symbolism, with the fingers and other parts of the hand being named after planets. Traditional palmistry includes many predictions, specific markings having specific meanings.
Many thanks to Kiera & Anna, who have contributed this introduction to Cheirology.