Cheiromancy is a way of fortune telling by studying the palm. A combination of two Greek words – Cheir, meaning hand; and manteia, meaning divination – cheiromancy is commonly known as palmistry, and also as palm reading, chirology, or hand analysis. The practitioners of Cheiromancy are known as cheiromancers, as well as palmists, palm readers, or chirologists.
The practice has been prevalent across all cultures, and is known to predate Christianity, itself. The ancient Hindus, Greeks, and Christians all believed in cheiromancy, and the esteemed scientists, philosophers, and those on whom rested the thoughts of the times, such as Aristotle, Pliny, Paracelsus, Albertus Magnus, Anaxagorus, Hispanus, Cardamis, among others, including Emperor Augustus followed this art of divination.
Though dismissed as a pseudo-science, cheiromancy is a science, and not an arbitrary system. It has laid out principles based on empirical evidence and shrewd observation, and it may have certain inaccuracies.
The practice of modern cheiromancy, or palmistry, can be taken back to its origins to the mystics of India, and the fortunetellers of ancient Rome. The earliest known records of cheiromancy are found in the ancient scriptures of India. Cheiromancy, though later ostracized by Christianity, has found mention in the Bible – in the Book of Exodus.
Modern cheiromancers, often, combine their traditional techniques with holistic healing, and other alternate methods of divination. Chinese palmistry also has its roots in cheiromancy, but they have developed their own interpretations.
The Techniques Of Cheiromancy
Various schools of palmistry exist, and their interpretations of the lines and the features of the palm may vary. The practice of cheiromancy involves reading the palm of a person’s hand to evaluate his future life, as well as his character. The relative sizes, qualities, and the intersections of ‘lines’ and the ‘mounts’ suggest interpretations to the cheiromancer.
Certain cheiromancers consider the shape of the palm, its skin texture, color, the flexibility of the hand, the characteristics of the fingers, fingernails, among others, before arriving at the interpretations. Usually the dominant hand of the querent is read – the hand he uses the most, or writes with. According to certain traditions, the other hand is considered to represent events of the past life, hereditary traits, or karmic information.
Cheiromancers start by analyzing the shape of the hand. This requires a lot of experience, and the breadth and length of the hand provides the cheiromancers with the initial indications.
The breadth of the hand has to do with meetings, and symbolizes concrete and material being on earth. It indicates the abundance of substance. The more broad the hand, the more it supports the force of creation. The length of the hand symbolizes the polarity between matter and spirit. It also indicates the development of the consciousness.
The Most Famous Cheiromancer
One of the most well known names in cheiromancy during the late 19th century and the 20th century was Cheiro, who was born in Ireland as William John Warner, and also styled himself as Count Louis Hamon. He was very adept in cheiromancy; and the rich, the famous, and the royal of the late 19th century sought his skills. His books on palmistry, today, are the basis of the art of cheiromancy.