The art of reading our future
There are three lines which rule the palm of the hand: the life line, the head line and the heart line, and by studying them we can find out many details about our feelings and the future. It must be borne in mind that no two hands are equal or with the same lines. It is quite important to start a hand reading study after making a profile with information from the childhood and youth of the person and, if possible, to observe the palms of the father and mother.
According to the whole hand, analysing shapes and textures, chirology and palmistry distinguish four temperaments: nervous (imaginative, meticulous, very perfectionist, exaggerated, impressionable and very polyvalent people); bilious (slow, methodical, quite susceptible and with great tenacity and willingness); lymphatic (choleric but controlled, apathetic, calm, sensual); and sanguine (very lively, obsessive, with reflexes, resistant and protective people). Palm readers meticulously analyse the palm of the hand and one of the things they mostly bear in mind are the mounts, relating each one of them to a planet, and which are at the bottom of the fingers. The more bulky the mount, the more the qualities which have been given to the person by the planet it is named after, tending even to become defects. A sunken mount also indicates negative traits in the life of the person. The best thing is to have a normal mount, so the influence of the planets is just right.
Where does palmistry come from?
Like all divinatory arts, its history is very old and its origins are related to those of astronomy and mathematics. There is evidence that palmistry was practiced in India, Mesopotamia, Egypt, China and even among populations of pre-Columbian America. However, ancient palmistry was rather chirosophical: its aim was not to predict the future, but it had a mystical and often healing component. In the Vasishta, an ancient Vedic text dating back to 2000 B.C., this art is already mentioned, being «widespread and greatly respected». The Bible itself also quotes: «And it shall be as a sign on your hand and as a memorial before your eyes, so that the law of Yahve may be in your mouth. For with a strong hand Yahve has brought you out of Egypt. » (Exodus, 13-9); «He (Yahve) places his stamp on the hand of every man, that all men may know his work.» (Job, 37-7). In China, chiromantic texts prior to the fourth century B.C. have been found, which seem to refer to other much older ones, unfortunately lost.
Palmistry’s origins are eastern. It came to Europe through Classical Greece and had contacts with the East and especially with Egypt, as evidenced by some texts by Asistotle and his contemporaries. It was at that point when its divining aspect began, as the Greeks showed great inclination towards anything of an oracular nature. From there, the knowledge passed to Rome, which drank abundantly from Greek sources. The disintegration of the Roman Empire brought about the decline of the splendour achieved by ancient civilizations, giving way to the gloom of the Dark Ages. During the Middle-Ages, the Gypsies, that strange people of uncertain origin that spread throughout Europe on its travels, were virtually the only ones who kept palmistry alive, along with other arts as secret as they were forbidden by the strict and intolerant Catholic church of those times. Obviously, that brought about a deep degradation of the ancient science, which lost much, if not all of its mystical and philosophical nature, becoming a mere instrument of divination. We have to wait until the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries to see the rebirth of chirology. The first printed text – still preserved – about palmistry was published in 1475, although it is assumed it was written some decades before: Die Kunst Chiromantie, by Johann Hortlich. Thereafter, interest for this discipline gradually grew, not only at an esoteric level, but also and above all at a scientific level. Palmistry works dealing with its philosophical, medical and divinatory aspects begin to appear.
The Renaissance, with its interest in everything new and surprising, deals profusely with it, and even the Vatican press translates an ancient Greek text on the subject. The great occultists, such as Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa and his contemporary Paracelsus, deal with it as well. In the French court palmistry becomes fashionable, and even Napoleon is served by a famous palmist, Marie-Anne Le Normand.
In the nineteenth century, chirology acquires dignity when people begin to study it from a scientific point of view. Casimir D’Arpentigny, who was an officer in Napoleon’s army, is the most outstanding figure of this era, and is considered the creator of chirognomy; his work “Les mysteres de la main”, which appeared in 1859 with huge public success, lays the foundation of chirology as a science. Since then, the modern development of palmistry has followed different and parallel paths: on one hand, the “mystical” and fortune-telling palmistry; on the other, chirology or “scientific” palmistry. It was from chirology that, thanks to the pioneering work of Sir Francis Galton, the study of fingerprints arose, now widely used all over the world.
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