The art of fortune-telling is as complex as it is varied. Very often it starts off by analyzing a person’s character and traits and then goes on identify the probable ups and downs he/she may face in life. Then again very often two different forms of fortune-telling may have very closely related fields of study or even the same subject matter but with different areas of focus. The study of the human hand is a case in the point. While the study of the lines of the palm as a way of predicting the future is known as chiromancy, the study of the hand in general is known as Chirognomy.
Chirognomy is the study of the size and shape of the human hand, fingers, fingernails as well as the texture of the skin. The term is derived from the Greek words, ‘Chiro’ meaning hand and ‘gnomonia’, meaning judging which together means the art of judging character from the shape and appearance of hands. As far as the term is concerned, the focus of Chirognomy seems to be on it being a form of study rather than a method of divination. And yet since Chirognomy is used to deduce the character and traits of a person, it can also be a useful way of foretelling the choices and experiences he/she may face in future.
Though the history of chirognomy can be traced to the beginnings of palmistry in ancient India, China and from there to European civilizations, one of the most important names in the development of chirognomy is that of a Frenchman, Captain Casimir Stanislas D'Arpentigny. He was probably the first person to formulate of a system of hand-shape classification and accordingly delineated six basic types of hands among the male population, the spatulate, the conic and the square, based primarily on the fingertip shapes, the knotty and the psychic, based primarily on the quality of the fingers, and the elementary, based on the overall crudity and width of both the palm and the lines. His observations and researches formed the basis of his only written work, 'La Chirognomie' of 1839.
One of the most important areas of study of Chirognomy is the shape of the hand which includes the shape of both the palm as well as fingers. Thus a square-shaped palm with short fingers would indicate an industrious and practical nature while the same shape of palm with long fingers would mark a more intellectual and punctual personality who is given to rationalizing everything. The shape of a hand composed of a long palm with short fingers denotes a person who is intuitive, active and quick-thinking. However a person who sports both a long palm as well as long fingers is likely to possess a fertile imagination and high creativity but is also likely to be moody and excessively emotional.
One of the areas in the study of hands which is common to both chirognomy as well as chiromancy is the analysis of the ‘mounts’. These refer to the raised spots like fleshy lumps that appear on the hand, roughly at the base of each finger and thumb. In general, hand readers believe that the larger the mounts, the stronger the characteristic signified by the particular mount in the person. According to some of the common principles of chirognomy, the mount of Jupiter is associated with religion and pride, the mount of Venus with love, the mount of Saturn with morbidity and serious-mindedness, the mount of Apollo with artistic talent, the mount of Mercury with inventiveness, the mount of Moon with imagination, the Upper and lower mount of Mars with courage and aggressive tendencies in conjunction with other qualifying marks.
A highly important aspect of chirognomy is the study of fingers. According to experts, not only is each finger imbued with certain symbolism but in fact each finger is divided into three sections and each section has its own meanings depending on the finger in question. The five fingers of the hand are divided into the Jupiter finger, the Saturn finger, the Apollo finger, the Mercury finger and Venus or the thumb which denote respectively, leadership, business, creativity, communication and love.
At the same time a finger cannot be studied in isolation but must be analyzed in relation to the others in order to arrive at a true picture of the subject’s personality. Thus if the Jupiter finger of a person is shorter than his/her Saturn finger, then he/she will be a late starter in life. Even the spaces between the fingers is important since large gap between the Jupiter and Saturn fingers signals a tendency to overspend while the same between the Apollo and Mercury fingers indicates that the person needs adequate freedom and personal space. Along with the length of the fingers – long ones indicate consistency and strive towards perfection while short ones signify energy and action – the type of fingers is also important in determining the character of a person. Thus the square type indicates that the person is prudent and careful while narrow types signify aesthetics or impulsiveness. Also a person with indistinguishable knuckles is believed to be hasty while those with clearly-defined knuckles are considered to be thoughtful and intellectual.
Then again each person has a dominant hand which is usually the one with which he/she writes. This hand will continue to add more lines as a way of recording the events and changes that he/she continues to undergo during a lifetime. The other hand is usually considered to signify the traits that a person was born with. Thus the left hand of a right-handed person reveals inborn characteristics while the right hand marks the way he/she has developed over time. The converse is true of the left-handed person.
In order to get the most precise reading of a personality it is best to use chirognomy and chiromancy as supplementary studies. If in a person the line of brain is long and clear as well as faultless on the elementary hand, it does not signify quick intellect or fertile memory. However If the same brain line is present in a conical hand then it definitely denotes a high efficient brain with photographic memory. Again if someone has clubbed thumb in the elementary hand then it denotes a tendency towards aggression and even brutality. But if the same kind of thumb is present in a conical, square or a philosophic palm then the person is more likely to use his or her will power in constructive manner.
In all these ways, chirognomy appears to be more a study of a personality rather than a way of predicting his/her future. However, with the help of chirognomy - just as in the case of chiromancy - an expert can not only perceive the main trends of personality development but accordingly point out as to what can be expected to happen in future.