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Before we get started, let's just get one thing out of the way: The practice of palm reading has not been proven in any way, shape, or form to carry any scientific or truthful weight when it comes to intrinsic evaluation or predictions. But in a time where there’s so much going on in the news and so many forms of media to take in, looking inwards with palmistry can be a nice change of pace. While the exact origins of palm reading is unknown, it’s been practiced in various cultures for thousands of years. And these days, it’s pretty popular.
Whether you’re looking for a new party trick or you’re on the hunt for a fun activity to do with friends during a low-key hangout, knowing how to palm read is a good skill to have in your back pocket. To help you learn more about it, we spoke with Helene Saucedo, an Atlanta-based palm reader and author of Handful of Stars: A Palmistry Guidebook and Hand-printing Kit. Ahead, Saucedo's complete guide to palm reading for beginners.
Meet the Expert
Helene Saucedo is an Atlanta-based palm reader and the author of Handful of Stars: A Palmistry Guidebook and Hand-printing Kit.
What Is Palm Reading?
Palmistry (also known as chiromancy or chirosophy) allows you to gather insight into someone’s life path and personality by analyzing the characteristics of their hands, Saucedo explains. It’s kind of similar to astrology in that it is a tool of self reflection, but it’s not like gazing into a crystal ball to see how your entire life will play out.
“Contrary to popular belief, modern palm reading is not fortune telling, and does not predict when someone is going to die,” she says. You may be bummed to learn you won’t be able to use palm reading to predict the future, but it’s still a pretty interesting skill. And anyone can learn it—this isn’t a practice reserved solely for psychics, mystics, and palmistry experts. In fact, there are plenty of articles, guides, and books that you can learn from, making palm reading accessible to nearly anyone who’s interested.
“I believe the magic is in our bodies, not in outside 'psychic' sources,” Saucedo says. “It is a visual art that can be learned and supported by ones intuition.”
Reading Your Palm Lines
Learning about the lines of your hand is pretty fascinating, especially because everyone’s palm is different. There are four major lines on your hand—each is analyzed by its depth, shape, length, and markings to represent the four separate parts of ourselves, Saucedo says. You'll need a professional palm reader to fully analyze the details of each line's characteristics and purported meanings, but here are some basic rules of thumb you can follow when conducting your own palm reading:
- The Heart Line: "The heart line is our emotional self," says Saucedo. According to Your Chinese Astrology, a short heart line tends to signal narcissism or self-centeredness, while a long heart line indicates you more likely wear your heart on your sleeve. Straight lines supposedly suggest stability, affability, and approachability, while love lines that curve upward suggest you're strong at communicating your love. (Meanwhile, love lines that curve downward can supposedly indicate you feel uneasy in relationships, which can give your partner that uneasy feeling as well.)
- The Head Line: Per Saucedo, the head line represents the mental self. In the world of palmistry, longer head lines (meaning the line extends all the way from under your index finger to under your pinky finger) suggest mental clarity and reasoning skills. A shorter line suggests the opposite, suggesting you could be hasty, indecisive, and impulsive when it comes to your decision-making.
- The Life Line: "The life line is our vitality," says Saucedo. The idea is that the longer and more pronounced the life line, the more full of life you are. Meanwhile, shorter life lines purportedly mean you can be more prone to illness (reminder, there is zero scientific evidence to back this up, and medical professionals don't believe palm lines give insights to illnesses). A curved line is said to indicate high-energy levels, while a straight line is meant to signify that you tire more quickly and require more alone time.
- The Fate Line: "Represents how safe, or taken care of, we feel in the world.” As a general rule of thumb, Your Chinese Astrology says that the deeper and longer your fate line, the more successful your career.
These are the four major lines, but some palm readers also place emphasis on the sun line (also called the Apollo line), which purportedly signials "capability, talent, and popularity which may lead to success."
Reading Your Hand Shape
In the practice of palmistry, palm shape provides insight into personality characteristics and typically correlates with the four elements: fire, air, earth, and water, Saucedo says. Each of these elements represents a different personality profile. To assess hand shape, you’ll want to look at the proportion of the palm in relation to the fingers.
- Fire hands: Notable for a long palm with short fingers, these personalities are restless, anxious, and warm.
- Water hands: Characterized by a long palm with long fingers, water hands are are sensitive, empathic, and emotional.
- Air hands: Tend to feature a square or rectangular palm with long fingers, and have personalities that are adaptable, intellectual, and curious.
- Earth hands: Feature a square palm with short fingers, and tend to be grounded, practical, and a realist.
Keep in mind that hand type doesn’t always correspond with your astrological profile—you may be a water sign according to astrology, but your hand shape may indicate you’re an earth sign. Duality is absolutely okay here.
Reading Your Palm Mounts
The mounts of your hand are the fleshy parts that sit beneath your fingers and form a circle of sorts around the palm. Along with the palm’s lines, the mounts form the basics of traditional palm reading, Saucedo says. The idea is that based on the mounts that your hand has (a person can have one, multiple, or all of the mounts), you can infer certain things about yourself.
“Mounts, short for mountains, are judged by holding the hand up to eye level and noticing which stand taller,” she explains. “A person can have one dominant mount, or all eight.” The mounts are named for Greek and Roman gods and represent their archetypes. Here’s what you need to know about each:
- Mount of Jupiter: This mount sits at the base of the pointer finger and is associated with the leader archetype.
- Mount of Saturn: This mount sits at the base of the middle finger and is associated with the scholar archetype.
- Mount of Apollo: This mount sits at the base of the fourth finger/ring finger and is associated with the creator archetype.
- Mount of Mercury: This mount sits at the base of the pinky finger and is associated with the speaker archetype.
- Mount of Upper Mars: This mount is located between the first finger and thumb, and is also associated with the warrior archetype.
- Mount of Lower Mars: This mount is located an inch below the pinky finger and is associated with the warrior archetype.
- Mount of Venus: This mount sits at the base of the thumb and is associated with the lover archetype.
- Mount of Luna: This mount sits beneath the pinky but down by the wrist rather than at the top of the palm near the fingers. It is associated with the spiritualist archetype.