Palm Reading

Kelli Fox

Are you interested in becoming a palm reader? Perhaps you’re serious about the art and science of palmistry, or maybe you just want to entertain your friends at parties. Either way, in learning to read palms, you will be continuing a tradition that dates back thousands of years to Hindu astrology, Roma fortune-tellers and the Chinese I Ching.

Also known as chiromancy, palmistry involves inspecting and interpreting the palm of the hand in order to derive information about an individual’s character, their past and their future. This ancient art has many strands and variations across cultures, but all traditions involve reading the major lines that run across the palm of the hand. Certain traditions also include examining and interpreting other features of the hand, including the fingernails, skin color and texture, shape of the palm and fingers, and more.

Modern palmistry is based on a combination of traditional techniques and divination, and most palm readers look at both a person’s dominant hand and their non-dominant hand during a reading. The non-dominant hand is said to carry the gifts, challenges and traits the person was born with, while the dominant hand is said to show what the person has done with them. In short, the non-dominant hand reveals potential, while the dominant hand reveals how that potential has been realized or manifested.

Again, however, there are many different variations and strands of tradition. Some palmists read the left hand for insight into the person’s past, their inner life and their inborn traits, and the right hand for a view of their education, social environment and life experience. Still another variation is based on gender: For males, as above, the left hand represents inborn traits, and the right represents life experience; for females, it is reversed. Ultimately, it is up to each individual palm reader to determine, based on experience, preference and intuition, which palm to read and for which traits.
The three main lines interpreted in a palm reading are as follows:

1. The heart line runs across the top of the palm under the fingers, starting from the outer edge of the palm (beneath the little finger) and ending somewhere beneath the middle or index finger. This line represents the person’s emotional life, including their love relationships.
If the heart line...
· is gridded or chained (contains small crosses or circles): The person is likely to be nervous and high-strung, passionate and creative, and wears their emotions on their sleeves.
· ends below the index finger: The person is content with their love life.
· ends below the middle finger: The person is selfish in love.
· ends between the index and middle fingers: The person falls in love easily and often.
· is short and straight: The person is not very interested in love affairs or matters of the heart.

2. The head line runs from the inner edge of the palm (between the index finger and thumb), across the palm toward the outer edge. This line runs below the heart line. (In the case of someone with a single palmar crease, that single line is interpreted as both the heart and head lines.) The head line represents the person’s mind — their communication and intellect, and how they pursue knowledge.
If the head line...
· is long and deep: The person is a clear, focused thinker.
· is short: The person values physical accomplishments over intellectual ones.
· is straight: The person is a realistic thinker.
· curves or slopes: The person is creative.
· is wavy or broken: The person may have a short attention span or be mercurial in their thought patterns.

3. The life line runs from the inner edge of the palm (between the index finger and the thumb), along the thumb and down the center of the palm to the wrist. The beginning of this line is often joined with the head line, but not always. This line represents the person’s physical health and vigor, and can also indicate major life changes, such as a move, an injury or illness, or a traumatic event.
If the life line...
· is long and deep: The person possesses great vitality.
· is short and shallow: The person may be easily manipulated or taken advantage of.
· swoops down in an arc: The person is enthusiastic and physically vigorous.
· is straight, running closer to the thumb: The person is reserved in relationships, and may suffer from fatigue.
· broken: The person may experience a sudden change in lifestyle or circumstance.

Some people, but not all, possess a fourth important line — the fate line, also known as the line of destiny. This line runs from the bottom of the palm, near the wrist, upward through the center of the palm, toward the middle or index finger. This line represents the person’s life path — their choices and obstacles, the successes and problems they create, and the ones that occur beyond their control.
If the fate line...
· contains many breaks and changes in direction: The person will undergo many life changes that are beyond their control.
· is joined with the life line at the base of the palm: The person is largely in charge of their own destiny.
· is deep: The person is largely controlled by fate.

Some modern palmists also derive information from the shape of the palm and fingers themselves. Palm and finger shapes are divided into four main categories that correspond with the classical elements of astrology — Fire, Earth, Air and Water. Following are descriptions of each of these palmistry categories and their corresponding personality attributes:
· Fire hands have squarish palms and fingers that are shorter than the length of the palms, when the palms are measured from wrist to base of the fingers. The skin may be flushed or pink. People with Fire hands tend to be spontaneous, bold, energetic and creative, and may also be short-tempered or insensitive.
· Earth hands have broad, square palms and similar fingers that are of equal length to the palms. The skin may be thick and ruddy in color. People with Earth hands are grounded, determined, hardworking and sometimes stubborn, and are driven by their values.
· Air hands have square or rectangular palms with longer fingers. The knuckles may be large and the skin may be dry. People with Air hands are talkative, sociable, intellectual and full of ideas — sometimes radical ones.
· Water hands have fingers that are longer than the palm, which may be narrow and oval-shaped. People with Water hands are emotionally nurturing, intuitive and sometimes intense, and may be moody or secretive as well.

These are the basics of palmistry. As you practice this art over time, you should begin to notice trends among palms and readings that will help you develop your own reading style. Even if you use palmistry for entertainment value only, you will still learn a great deal about others’ personalities, challenges and life experiences. And all you have to do to gain this invaluable insight is hold their hand!

Leave a comment


  1. Wayne on October 11, 2018 at 3:59 am

    Very interesting article, Kelli. Thank you!

  2. Pamela Lee on December 3, 2018 at 4:56 am

    I enjoyed the article, as palmistry has been an interest for decades… The portion concerning the singular head/heart line, was of special interest… In my experience, those who have this configuration, are of one mind, in that they are either all head or all heart… As you may well imagine, either can be problematic…???

  3. Pamela Lee on July 16, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    I have delved into palmistry since the 79’s and it is still a difficult science…Having said that…Those who possess the singular line for head and heart are of particular interest to me…I recently was watching President Trump as he was speaking and at the flash of his palm, believe this is a trait of his…If anyone has pictures of his palm, I would be interested in seeing them…Many thanks…🌿🌿🌿

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