Western palmistry (I): the shape of the hand.


After a quick review of the development of palmistry, for this article, aimed at Western Palmistry, we will take an overview of the most notable characteristics of this palmistry, which, first of all, seeks to know the person about whom the story will tell. future. Here we will find a physiognomic and purely deductive basis, and a series of data that come from the medieval esoteric tradition, in turn embedded in pagan, Semitic and Oriental culture.

The way to start the scrutiny is to see the hands open upwards, relaxed, separated from each other and with the fingers extended naturally, without forcing them. This allows a first vision of the person's predisposition: the tremor or firmness of his hands, or his initiative through the extension of the fingers. It allows the most expert to obtain a complete vision about the length or thickness of the fingers, or the general proportion of the hand, carrying out a first classification by type, as will be seen below. And an important piece of information, originating from the written principles of palmistry, which is what is considered directly linked: the wrist-hand relationship, from which a general idea about the vital power of the individual was extracted, something that is reflected in the analyzes about the joints in general (and in this specific case, in the fingers).

Palmistry analyzes for its purposes different things, which are sometimes related to each other when developing the history of the individual. Here are the main elements:

-The left hand and the right hand.As in other tricks, the hands have different importance. For example, in the tarot, there are those who consider that the cards should be chosen with the right hand if you are married and the left if you are single, however, this could change in countries where the alliance is placed in the reverse hand; There are also those who think that this depends on whether you are right-handed or left-handed. Something similar happens in palmistry. It is usually taken as a "norm" that the left hand is the hand that describes our "original" being, pure, and that the right hand shows the changes to which we have been subjected, that is, that a character could appear in the left hand. open in a very cold person, which should be shown in the right hand, together with the situations that have caused this apparent discrepancy. Also, this is closely linked to the dominant hand and the off hand: a left-hander could show his version modified by circumstances in his left hand and his more personal version in the right.

In addition to this, there are active and passive traits, with the right being active, dominant, "masculine", and the left passive, maternal, "feminine". This not only has interpretative connotations, but there are those who consider that they directly show the inheritance of our parents.All this knowledge, posed in this way, would serve to distinguish two different interests: if you want to know about the past and the present, you should choose the hand that shows us the altered characteristics, the circumstances, that is, the dominant hand (left for left-handed, right for right-handed); if you want to know the future, you would have to read the original or pure hand (the left for right-handers and the right for left-handers).

-The consistency and flexibility of the hand.

This is shared with chirognomy. By simple deduction, the dominant hand will be the most affected. In this section the back of the hand is considered to be more accurate for reading than the palm. A delicate skin would indicate a refined spirit, and a rough skin someone coarser. Since combination skin is common, it is possible to detect a characteristic to a greater extent and thus deduce the inclinations. The palms in this case would not serve the same, since it is considered that they will be more affected by daily work if they are manual, which on the other hand would serve to identify them. The first impression in a handshake shares similarities with chirognomic and chirmantic analyses: if a hand is firm to the point of being considered rigid, it will say the same about the personality of its master, or if a hand is soft and manageable, indicating the fickleness of the individual, being a hand that shows stability the determinant of an equally balanced person.

-The shape of the hand.

The hand has always been held by a general set, as a single entity. Here enter the so-called, according to some schools, three worlds of palmistry: intelligence, whose indications are found in the fingers; the material world, in the upper half of the hand, from the base of the fingers; and the world of passion, in the lower half of the hand. The shape of the hand is taken in the way it is extended: if the fingers extend to the maximum, intelligence will be predominant; if the middle part of the hand is shown to a greater extent, it will be the material world and its attributions that make a dent in the individual; if the lower area, close to the wrist, prevails, we would be talking about a passionate being, in other contexts, carnal. The surface of these areas will determine the roughness or delicacy of the aspects in which it predominates. Similarly, palmists believe that both their interest and potential employment can be deducted at this point. If two worlds are developed at the same time, presumably both characteristics will merge, however, one will always cause, in the search for balance, a loss of morale, spirit or will.

-The elements.

Before entering the field of mountains, planets, and other astrological connotations, the hands still have an elementary classification, also according to their extended form. There are two currents for the organization of these hands: one, more traditional, classifies them as spatulate, square, conical and sharp, something that would be very close to the study of the general shape of the hand that we saw in the previous point. However, this classification seems to have fallen into disuse among certain palmists, considering the impossibility of these fixed rates. So that progressively it has been adapted to a division between the fingers of the hand and the palm to take a general consideration, which took the names of the four natural elements. The squared hands, with a wide palm, and with a similar length between fingers and palm, are considered to belong to the Earth element. They are considered firm, stable, solid but somewhat carefree and extroverted people. When the hand is rather elongated and so are the fingers, then it is said that they are of the Water element, and that unlike the previous one, they are introverted, give great importance to the emotional part and are creative, to the point of being unable to focus. When the palm is square and wide but the fingers are short, it is said that it belongs to the Fire element. They have a strong emotional component, although a bit uncontrolled and variable. From the short palm and long fingers it is said that they are of the Air element, with an ethereal personality, sociable but that they go around things a lot.

-The palm of the hand.

After these considerations, the importance given to the palm of the hand and the fingers may have been seen, which in turn are considered independent entities when carrying out an analysis. Thin and flaccid palms are said to be short-sighted people, although sometimes this may be due to shyness and not to a lethargy of personality. Depending on the length of your fingers, it would be said if your willpower is undermined by circumstances (short) or if, on the contrary, you are in a comfortable position that allows such inactivity (long). If it is extremely soft to the touch, a lazy personality would be deduced. In the opposite case, if it were a thick palm, and also with a certain elevation, it is considered that it is a person with certain brutish and direct airs, although the levels of aggressiveness would vary depending on the length of their fingers, the longer, better able to control their impulses. If it were an elastic palm but one that easily recovers its shape, it would be a person who, perceiving impressions from the outside, tries to act accordingly, to a certain extent, by mirroring. It is said that an undermined palm, that is, with sunken areas, would provide specific information about those lines on which it was located.The color of the palm also has its own interpretation: a very white palm would belong to a cold, dry person, while a reddish or red palm would indicate a very passionate and accessible person. Color variations in this regard would reveal one or more aspects of the person.

Regardless of whether these ideas are respected or not, some points can be deduced that are based on the purely cultural. The size, color, shape or firmness meet undeniable cultural standards of similarity with other ways of expressing feelings and personalities. Deducing whether a person is more open or closed based on the way we show our hand does not require excessive knowledge, it is a mixture of pure intuition and social correctness. Likewise, hands with worn palms clearly denote manual work, without the need for any kind of gift or special knowledge to which this deduction can be attributed. But following this vision, we would approach chirognomy and pure deductive observation, and we would end up leaving the study of the motivations of palmistry, which is the topic that falls within the content of our webpage.

Pietro Viktor Carracedo Ahumada - pietrocarracedo@gmail.com

-Caro Baroja, J. Historia de la fisiognómica. El rostro y el carácter. Ediciones Istmo, Madrid, 1988
-Fadh. T. La divination árabe. Études religieuses, sociologiques et folkloriques sur le milieu natif de l'Islam. E.J. Brill, Leiden, 1966
-Lawrence-Mathers, A., Escobar Vargas, C. Magic and Medieval Society. Routledge, London & NY, 2014.
-Servier J.(ed.) Diccionario crítico del esoterismo. Akal, 2006

Related posts:
> History of Palmistry (notes)
> Mudras. Introduction. Jñana Mudra and Kubera Mudra.
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