Palmistry for All
by Cheiro
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Published, May, 1916

Twenty-second Impression

Made in the United States of America



There is no country in the world where the "study of character" is more indulged in than in the United States of America. During my many visits there I could not help remarking how even the "hardest headed" business men used any form of this study that they could get hold of to help them in their business dealings with other men and also in endeavouring to ascertain the character of their clerks and employees.

In looking over the records of my career I find that in the course of my visits to America I gave private lessons to the heads of two hundred and seventy business establishments in New York, one hundred and thirty-five in Boston, and three hundred and forty-two in Chicago.

All these men were large employers of labour and what they principally wanted was, to have some help beyond that of their own judgment in dealing with those with whom they came in contact in the regular course of their business careers. In no other country did I find the same interest taken in the study of character from a practical standpoint.

It is for this reason that I write a special Preface for this Edition, believing as I do that my American readers will appreciate the added information I may be able to give regarding the obtaining by a mere glance at a hand a quick grasp of the leading characteristics of the persons with whom they are thrown into contact, or for whatever reason they choose to make use of this study.

Everyone knows that "the face can wear a mask," that a person may be a good actor and put on a certain expression that may deceive even the best judgment.

But hands cannot change as the result of a mere effort to please; the character they express is the real nature of the individual—the true character that has been formed by heredity or that has grown up with the person by long years of habit.

The characteristics alluded to below are those which may be easily observed and which are aids to a rapid judgment of character and which I have never before been able to give to the public in such a concise way.

The more elaborate details concerning the ultimate success of the person one is talking to, their more intimate character and their future development will be found in their proper place, in the subsequent chapters.


The Fingers

Observe the fingers. If they look short and stumpy in proportion to the rest of the palm—one may be sure that the individual to whom they belong is of an animal nature, possessing coarse instincts, devoid of real intellectuality, and belonging to the lower order of humanity.

If the fingers and the palm appear equal in length, the owner belongs to a more cultured race. He has inherited from a more intellectual line of ancestors and for all work requiring intelligence and a higher mentality he or she could be depended on, whereas the first-mentioned type could not—no matter how well he might talk or advocate his own superiority.

If the fingers look unusually long and thin, and in this way out of proportion to the palm, the man or woman will err on the side of too much ideality and refinement and is not suited to business or work requiring "level headedness" and practicality. It would be useless, for example, to put such a person in charge of work-people or over work-rooms. His ideality and refinement would be thrown away in such positions, and even with the best will in the world he would be completely out of harmony with his surroundings.

Such a man, however, could be depended upon in all positions requiring personal mental work, research, science, literature, philosophy, educational work or, in fact, anything relating to the higher qualities of the mind.

If his fingers, in addition to their length, were also knotty or jointed (joints much pronounced), he could be depended on to a still greater extent for all work requiring great thoughtfulness, detail, and concentration of mind.

If, on the other hand, these long fingers were smooth jointed, he would, while having the same desire for ideality and for everything intellectual, be impulsive and inspirational, would lack a sense of detail and a love for detail in his own work, would be visionary, artistic, emotional. Such a person would be suited to artistic work, such as painting, making designs, models, etc., but could not be trusted to perform anything requiring detail, research or science, and would be utterly useless in any position where discipline or control of others were required.


Let us now observe the fingers separately from the rest of the hand.

The first finger is considered as the Dictator, the Lawgiver, the finger of Ambition, the Indicator, the Pointer, etc.

If this finger is unusually long and nearly equals the second, all these tendencies are extremely pronounced.

Therefore, if your employee has this finger long, you can safely entrust him with control over, and charge of others. You will be amazed how well he or she will make rules and regulations and see that they are obeyed; but beware, Mr. Employer, lest your first finger is short in proportion as that of your employee is long, for, if such be the case, you too will have "to toe the line" and you may find yourself in a very disagreeable position.

But let me give you a further warning: Should this man or woman have a first finger that is long and crooked, you will assuredly find out to your cost that the personal ambitions of such an individual are "crooked." Such an employee would be perfectly unscrupulous in finding out your secrets and getting you into his power.

If the second finger is straight and well shaped, its owner will be very serious, a little inclined to melancholy, but will pay due regard to whatever responsibilities with which he may be entrusted, but again beware if this finger is crooked. In this case the owner would be, however, more subject to what may be called "a crooked fate" than wilfully "wrong." Such people are, as a rule, the children of strange circumstances over which they seem to have no control. They are continually getting themselves into trouble and into false positions, but, I must admit, more by a strange fatality of things than by their own wilful actions. Nevertheless, such infelicities might be very unpleasant for their employer, especially if he has more heart than brains.

The third finger, if extremely long and straight, indicates an extraordinary desire for glory, celebrity, publicity and the like; and although this might be an extremely good quality in the case of an actor, preacher, politician or public man, it may be most undesirable if such a person is to occupy the position of a private secretary, or the confidential clerk to some family lawyer.

If this finger is crooked as well as very long, all the above qualities will be intensified and exaggerated. The love of spending money and fondness for show will also be more marked, the gambling tendencies very pronounced. No position involving the handling of money, should be entrusted to the possessor of such a finger.

The fourth, or little finger, if long (passing the nail joint of the third) is indicative of power of speech and subtlety in choice of language—the saying "to twist a person round one's little finger" originated from this very sign. Such people have a marvellous gift of speech, eloquence and flow of language, valuable gifts, of course, for orators and public persons, but not desirable qualities in a wife if a man is fond of sleep.

A short "little finger" denotes the reverse of the above. Such persons find the greatest difficulty in expressing what they want to say, but they can write better than speak and should be encouraged to do so.

These individuals have, however, not much power over others and the shorter the "little finger" is, the more timid and sensitive they are in the presence of strangers. If this finger is crooked, then these weaknesses are all the more emphasised, but if formed crooked and long the power of eloquence is also crooked. Such people will tell any "fairy tale" to suit their purpose—they are natural born liars and the position of President of the Ananias Club is their rightful inheritance.

The first and third fingers absolutely of equal length is the best sign of an equally balanced mind, but such a sign is rather rare to find.

When the fingers are very supple in the joints and turn backwards or outwards from the palm, it is an indication of a quick wit and clever brain; but such persons lack continuity of purpose. They have no "hold," as it were, on any one thing.

Fingers slightly curved inwards towards the palm, denote persons slow to grasp an idea, or a subject, but such people have retentive memories and "hold" or grip, as it were, any one thing they may take up.


The thumb is in itself more expressive of character than any other member of the hand. It was D'Arpentigny who wrote "the thumb individualises the man."

Medical science has proved that there is such a thing as a "thumb centre" in the brain and any pressure or disease in that part of the brain shows its effect in the thumb.

A large well-made thumb is the outward and visible sign of a strong-willed, determined person, be he man or woman.

The longer the thumb, the more the power of will rules the actions; the shorter the thumb, the more brute force and obstinacy sways the nature.

The shorter and more thick-set the nail phalange is, giving the appearance of a club, the more ungovernable is the person in his or her temper. Such people have no control over themselves and under the least opposition will fly into a blind rage of fury. This curious formation has been called the "Murderer's Thumb" because so many who have committed murder in a mad fit of passion have been found with this curious formation.

An employee with this class of thumb should never be given any position of authority over others, for he could not curb his ungovernable temper. He would also be absolutely unbalanced in his jealousy, and no woman who has the ambition to live to the usual "threescore-years-and-ten" should risk marriage to a man with one of these thumbs. But as "love is blind" it is useless, I know, to give advice in such a case.

The first joint or nail phalange of the thumb, when long and thin, denotes the opposite of the above characteristics. In such cases the person has the most absolute control over his temper, his will power is also strong but quick and unobtrusive, and in a firm, determined way people with such a thumb manage others and bend those around them to their purpose.

The second joint, if delicately shaped, almost "waist like," indicates tact, diplomacy, and gentleness, also subtlety in argument; but if this part of the thumb be full looking or equal in size to that of the nail phalange, it denotes the person who cares nothing for tact but who, on all occasions, will speak his mind plainly, and with brutal frankness.

When the thumb looks as if it were "tied in" close to the hand, the person is timid, easily frightened by both people and circumstances, narrow-minded in his views, and miserly in his habits. It is a well-established fact that the thumbs of all misers are "tied in" and cramped-looking. It is perhaps this very fear of things and people that in the end makes them misers with their gold.

One need never waste one's time asking a person with one of these cramped-looking thumbs to do a favour, and may God help the business man or woman who ever gets into such a person's clutches!

A thumb with the nail joint supple (bending backwards or as it is also called "double jointed") indicates a character the exact opposite of that associated with the "tied in" thumb. Possessors of such a thumb are generous, adaptable to others, extravagant, and impetuous in their actions and decisions. They promise things quickly and are more often heard to say "Yes" than "No"; but if they have time for reflection, they very often go back on their promises.

Individuals having a "stiff-jointed" thumb, on the contrary, cannot easily adapt themselves to others. They are distant and more reserved with strangers. When asked to do a thing, they generally first say "No," but on reflection or when reasoned with, they often give in to the other and generally regret having done so. It is useless to oppose such people—if one cannot lead them, it is no use attempting to force them against their will.

This type has more self-control than the type of people with the "supple jointed" formation, and is not so generous or extravagant. Individuals of this group, however, make more reliable friends, so their friendship, though difficult to obtain, is generally worth having.

A thumb standing very far out from the hand (almost at right angles to the palm) is not a good sign for ordinary success. Such people go to extremes in everything they do and are generally fanatics in religion, social reform, or whatever line of thought occupies their attention.


Even in the simple act of shaking hands, one can form conclusions about character.

Beware of any man or woman whose hand seems to slip from yours when you grasp theirs in greeting. Such persons are deceptive and treacherous. They may smile at you with their lips, but instinctively they regard you as their prey and will only use you for their own object.

A soft, fat hand is the indication of an indolent and more or less lazy person.

A firm hand is the sign of an energetic, reliable nature.

A very thin hand denotes a restless energetic disposition, but one that is given to worry, and fretting and is generally discontented.

A thin hand that feels listless in one's grasp denotes a weak constitution that has only sufficient energy to live.

A cold, clammy hand is also a sign of poor health, but generally that of a very sensitive and nervous person.

A person who keeps his hands closed while talking, is distrustful in his nature, has little self-reliance and can seldom be relied on by others.

A man or woman who gives a good firm grasp of the hand, is self-confident, energetic, and generally reliable.

When all the fingers (especially if the fingers be long) are seen always clinging, sticking, as it were, or folding over one another it denotes very doubtful qualities in the nature of their possessor and a decided tendency towards thieving and general lack of moral principal.

Remember that the hands are the immediate servants or instruments of the brain. There are more motive and sensory nerves from the brain to the hand than to any other portion of the body and, whether sleeping or waking, they continually and unconsciously reflect the thought and character of the mind or soul of the individual.

It will, then, be seen from these observations that without looking at the lines of the hand, one may be able to obtain certain details of character that are more trustworthy than those given by the face, and that these rules, if followed, should be of the greatest assistance and value to people in all walks of life.

Many of these observations are further amplified in subsequent chapters of this work. There is not a single one of these rules that has not been proved by me in my long professional career, and knowing that they will bear the strictest inquiry and observation, it gives me pleasure now to offer them to the readers of the American Edition of Palmistry for All.




It was on July 21, 1894, that I had the honour of meeting Lord Kitchener and getting the autographed impression of his right hand, which I now publish for the first time as frontispiece to this volume. The day I had this interview, Lord Kitchener, or, as he was then, Major-General Kitchener, was at the War Office, and to take this impression had to use the paper on his table, and, strangely enough, the imprint of the War Office may be seen at the top of the second finger—in itself perhaps a premonition that he would one day be the controlling force of that great department.

Lord Kitchener was at that moment Sirdar of the Egyptian Army. He had returned to England to tender his resignation on account of some hostile criticism about "the Abbas affair," and so I took the opportunity of his being in England to ask him to allow me to add his hand to my collection, which even then included some of the most famous men and women of the day.

As Mr. T.P. O'Connor, in writing recently of Lord Kitchener, said: "One of his greatest qualities, at once useful and charming, is his accessibility. Anybody who has anything to say to him can approach him; anybody who has anything to teach him will find a ready and grateful learner."

My experience can indeed bear out the truth of this clear judgment of one of the leading traits in Lord Kitchener's character. That very year, 1894, was a notable one in his life; his strong-willed action over the Abbas affair was completely vindicated; he was made a K.C.M.G., and returned to Egypt with more power than ever.

Once in his presence he put me completely at my ease, and in a few moments he appeared to be deeply interested in observing the difference between the lines in his own clearly-marked palm and those in dozens of other impressions that I put before him.

He was then almost forty-four years of age, and I remember well how I explained the still higher positions and responsibilities that his path of Destiny mapped out before him. The heaviest and greatest of all would, I told him, be undertaken in his sixty-fourth year (1914), but how little either of us thought then that in that year the most terrible war of the century would have broken out.

Believing, as I do, in the Law of Periodicity playing as great a role in the lives of individuals as it does in nations, it is strange to notice that the same radix numbers that governed Lord Kitchener's career when he was planning out the Egyptian campaign, which resulted in his great victories of Atbara and Omdurman in 1896 and 1897, are exactly the same for him in 1914-1915, and 1916 gives again the same radix number that in 1898 saw him receive a vote of thanks from both Houses of Parliament, and a gift of L30,000 from the State.

From the standpoint of those interested in this strange study of hands, the accompanying impression of Lord Kitchener's cannot help but be regarded as of great importance. In it, the rules of Palmistry that I have given in the following pages are borne out in all their details.

Returning to the impression of this remarkable hand; even in shape alone one may read by the rules of this science the following clearly-marked characteristics:

Length of fingers—intellectuality (page 134), strong determination and will-power (chapter on the Thumb, page 127), mentality and firm determination of purpose (see Line of Head, page 17).

The remarkable Line of Fate running up the centre of the hand and turning towards the first finger, denotes ambition and domination over others (page 52).

The Line of Success and Fame, starting on the hand from the Line of Life and ascending to the base of the third finger, exactly coincides with the period in Lord Kitchener's career when he began to find recognition and success (page 63).

As in my larger work on this subject I published Gladstone's hand as a remarkable illustration of the truth that may be found in this study, so in this present work with the same confidence I give this illustration of Lord Kitchener's as another proof of character indicated in the shape and lines of the hand, and as it has been said so often that "Character is Destiny," so it is surely not illogical to point out that in following the rules laid down by this study one may obtain a clear idea of the destiny that the Character, Will, and Individuality trace out in advance—tracks, as it were, stretching far out into the distant future for the engine of purpose and achievement to find already laid and ready to be used at the "appointed time."

In conclusion, as I have now completely retired from all professional work, I may be allowed to point out that I am not publishing this book with the idea of seeking clients. I have no desire but to see this strange study taken up as a useful and practical means of obtaining an exact judgment of the character, qualities, and hidden tendencies that might otherwise be ignored.

I think that if all parents knew at least something of Palmistry, the vast majority of children would be more usefully trained and their proper tendencies developed.

It is often too late when a child discovers—and most probably by accident—some tendency or talent that had never been suspected by its parents.

It is no wonder that so few persons find their true vocations in the world, when it is remembered the random, haphazard way in which children are brought up—educated for the most part in some scholastic mill that grinds down all to the same dead level of mediocrity, and then turns them into the Army, the Church, or into trade.

If, on the contrary, all these studies that teach the understanding of character were more encouraged, parents would have less excuse for the supreme ignorance they now show as to the real nature of those children who hold them responsible for their entry into the battlefield of existence.

These same parents would lift up their voices in righteous indignation if soldiers were sent into battle untrained, without their proper equipment, and yet these same parents have never, in the whole course of their lives, made the simplest study of any one of those many subjects by which they could in knowing the nature of their child, have strengthened weak points in the fortress of character, or by developing some talent or gift, doubly armed him for his entry into the battle of life.

It is from this standpoint that I earnestly hope this study of hands may some day be taken up. It was from this standpoint that I interested such men as Gladstone, Professor Max Muller, of Oxford, Lord Russell, when he was Lord Chief Justice, King Edward VII., and many others too numerous to mention; and lastly, it is from the same standpoint that I have now written this book, which under the title of Palmistry for All, will, I hope, appeal to all classes, and cause such an interest in the Study of Character that, instead of such an art being left in the hands of a few, it will, on the contrary, become universally used for the benefit of all.


NOTE.—Cheiro retired from all professional work some time ago, and the public is therefore warned against persons pretending that they are the real "Cheiro," and endeavouring to pass themselves off as the author of his well-known works.






II. THE LINE OF HEAD OR THE INDICATIONS OF MENTALITY 8 The Line of Head and its Variations 10 The Line of Head joined to the Line of Life 16 The Line of Head separated from the Line of Life 19 The Line of Head and its Secondary Signs 22 Changes in the Line of Head 26 Crosses and Squares in connection with the Line of Head 30 Double Lines of Head 31 The Line of Head on the Seven Types of Hands 33



V. THE LINE OF DESTINY OR FATE 47 From the Line of Life 50 From the Wrist 50 From the Mount of the Moon 51 From the Middle of the Palm 55 Influence Lines to the Line of Fate 57 Double Lines of Fate 57

VI. THE LINE OF THE SUN OR SUCCESS 61 From the Line of Life 63 From the Line of Fate 63 From the Plain of Mars 63 From the Mount of the Moon 63 From the Line of Head 63 From the Line of Heart 63



THE LINE OF MARRIAGE: At the Base of the Fourth Finger 73 Influence Lines to the Fate Line 77 Influence Lines on Venus 79



XI. THE GIRDLE OF VENUS 88 The Ring of Saturn 90 The Bracelets 91

XII. THE LINE OF INTUITION 92 The Via Lasciva 93

XIII. LA CROIX MYSTIQUE 95 The Ring of Solomon 96










THE SEVEN TYPES OF HANDS: The Elementary 119 The Square 119 The Spatulate 121 The Philosophic 122 The Conic 124 The Psychic 125 The Mixed 126

II. THE THUMB 127 The Supple Jointed 128 The Firm Jointed 128 The First, Second and Third Phalange 131

III. THE FINGERS 133 Length of Fingers to one another 133 Smooth Jointed 135 Knotty Jointed 135

IV. THE NAILS 136 Long Nails 136 Short Nails 137 Flat Nails 138 Their Indications of Disease 139












Cheiro Frontispiece

The Lines of the Hand 1

Lord Kitchener's Hand 2


I. The Three Principal Positions for the Commencement of the Line of Head 11

II. The Line of Head joined to the Line of Life and its Terminations 18

III. The Line of Head separated from the Line of Life 20

IV. Islands on the Line of Head 24

V. More Variations of the Line of Head 27

VI. The Line of Head and Line of Heart running together 29

VII. Double Lines of Head, also Crosses and Squares 32

VIII. The Line of Life and Sections of Influences from the Mounts 37

IX. The Line of Life and its Variations 40

X. The Line of Life and Line of Mars 45

XI. The Line of Destiny and its Modifications 51

XII. The Line of Destiny and its Variations 53

XIII. The Line of Destiny and its Modifications 56

XIV. The Line of Destiny, Islands, and other Signs 59

XV. The Line of Sun and its Modifications 62

XVI. The Line of Heart and its Variations 68

XVII. The Line of Marriage 74

XVIII. Marriage Lines and Influence Lines which further help in denoting Marriage 78

XIX. The Line of Health 84

XX. The Girdle of Venus. The Ring of Saturn. The Bracelets. The Line of Intuition. The Via Lasciva 89

XXI. Travels, Voyages, Accidents, and Descending Lines from the Mounts 99

XXII. The Island, the Circle, the Spot, the Grille, the Star, and the Square 102

XXIII. Minor Marks and Signs 105

XXIV. Minor Marks and Signs 108

XXV. The Great Triangle and the Quadrangle 111

XXVI. Times and Dates of Principal Events 113



I. The Elementary Hand 120 The Square or Useful Hand 120 The Spatulate Hand 120 The Philosophic Hand 120

II. The Conic or Artistic Hand 123 The Psychic Hand 123 The Mixed Hand 123

III. Thumbs: The Clubbed Thumb 129 The Supple Jointed Thumb 129 The Firm Jointed Thumb 129 The Waist-Like Thumb 129 The Straight Thumb 129 The Elementary Thumb 129

IV. The Fingers: The Smooth 134 The Square 134 The Knotty 134

V. The Nails: Delicacy of Throat 137 Chest and Bronchial 137 Spinal Weakness 137 Weak Action of the Heart 137 Paralysis 137

VI. The Mounts of the Hand: The Mount of Venus 141 The Mount of Mars 141 The Mount of Jupiter 141 The Mount of Saturn 141 The Mount of the Sun 141 The Mount of Mercury 141 The Mount of the Moon 141

Palmistry for All




The success I had during the twenty-five years in which I was connected with this study was, I believe, chiefly owing to the fact that although my principal study was the lines and formation of hands, yet I did not confine myself alone to that particular page in the book of Nature. I endeavoured to study every phase of thought that can throw light on human life; consequently the very ridges of the skin, the hair found on the hands, all were used as a detective would use a clue to accumulate evidence. I found people were sceptical of such a study only because they had not the subject presented to them in a logical manner.

There are hundreds of facts connected with the hand that people have rarely, if ever, heard of, and I think it will not be out of place if I touch on them here. For instance, in regard to what are known as the corpuscles, Meissner, in 1853, proved that these little molecular substances were distributed in a peculiar manner in the hand itself. He found that in the tips of the fingers they were 108 to the square line, with 400 papillae; that they gave forth certain distinct crepitations, or vibrations, and that in the red lines of the hand they were most numerous and, strange to say, were found in straight individual rows in the lines of the palm. Experiments were made as to these vibrations, and it was proved that, after a little study, one could distinctly detect and recognise the crepitations in relation to each individual. They increased or decreased in every phase of health, thought, or excitement, and were extinct the moment death had mastered its victim. About twenty years later, experiments were made with a man in Paris, who had an abnormally acute sense of sound (Nature's compensation for want of sight, as he had been born blind). In a very short time this man could detect the slightest change or irregularity in these crepitations, and through the changes was able to tell with wonderful accuracy about how old a person was, and how near they were to illness, and even death.

The study of these corpuscles was also taken up by Sir Charles Bell, who, in 1874, demonstrated that each corpuscle contained the end of a nerve fibre, and was in immediate connection with the brain. This great specialist also demonstrated that every portion of the brain was in touch with the nerves of the hand and more particularly with the corpuscles found in the tips of the fingers and the lines of the hand.

The detection of criminals by taking impressions of the tips of the fingers and by thumb marks is now used by the police of almost every country, and thousands of criminals have been tracked down and identified by this means.

To-day, at Scotland Yard, is to be seen almost an entire library now devoted to books on this side of the subject and to the collections that the police have made, and yet, in my short time, I remember how the idea was scoffed at when Monsieur Bertillon and the French police first commenced the detection of criminals by this method. If the ignorant prejudice against a complete study of the hand were overcome, the police would be greatly assisted by studying the lines of the palm, and acquiring a knowledge of what these lines mean, especially as regards mentality and the inclination of the brain in one direction or another.

It is a well-known fact that, even if the skin be burned off the hands or removed by an acid, in a short time the lines will reappear exactly as they were before, and the same happens to the ridges or "spirals" in the skin of the inside tips of the fingers and thumb.

The scientific use of such a study could also be made invaluable in foreseeing tendencies towards insanity, etc.

Sir Thomas Browne, in his Religio Medici, after referring to Physiognomy, says:

"Now there are besides these characters in our faces certain mystical figures in our hands, which I dare not call mere dashes, strokes a la volee or at random, because delineated by a pencil that never works in vain, and hereof I take more particular notice because I carry that in mine own hand which I could never read nor discover in another."

But prejudice is a hard thing to combat, and, in consequence, a study which could render untold aid to humanity has been neglected in modern times. Yet it cannot be denied that this strange study was practised and followed by some of the greatest teachers and students of other civilisations.

Whether or no these ancient philosophers were more enlightened than we are has long been a question of dispute, but the one point and the most important one which has been admitted is, that in those days the greatest study of mankind was man. It is, therefore, reasonable to suppose that their conclusions are more likely to be correct than those of an age like our own—famous chiefly for its implements of destruction, its warships, its dynamite, and its cannon.

This study of hands can be traced back to the very earliest, most enlightened forms of civilisation. It has been practised by the greatest minds in all those civilisations, minds that have left their mental philosophies and their monuments for us to marvel at. India, China, Persia, Egypt, Rome—all in their study of mankind have placed the greatest store in their study of the hand.

During my stay in India, I was permitted by some Brahmans (descendants of the Joshi Caste, famous from time immemorial for their knowledge in occult subjects) with whom it was my good fortune to become intimately acquainted, to examine and make extracts from an extraordinary book on this subject which they regarded as almost sacred, and which belonged to the great past of the now despised Hindustan.

As the wisdom of the Hindus spread far and wide across the earth, so the theories and ideas about this study spread and were practised in other countries. Similar to the way in which religion suits itself to the conditions of the country in which it is propagated, so has it divided itself into various systems. It is, however, to the days of the Greek civilisation that we owe the present clear and lucid form of the study. The Greek civilisation has, in many ways, been considered the highest and most intellectual in the world, and here it is that Palmistry or Cheiromancy (from the Greek [Greek: cheir], the hand) grew and found favour in the eyes of those who have given us laws and philosophies that we employ to-day and whose works are taught in all our leading colleges and schools.

It is a well-known and undisputed fact that the philosopher Anaxagoras not only taught but practised this study. We also find that Hispanus discovered on an altar dedicated to Hermes a book on Cheiromancy, written in gold letters, which he sent as a present to Alexander the Great, as "a study worthy of the attention of an elevated and enquiring mind." Instead of it being followed by the "weak-minded," we find, on the contrary, that it numbered amongst its disciples such men of learning as Aristotle, Pliny, Paracelsus, Cardamis, Albertus Magnus, the Emperor Augustus, and many others of note.

This brings us down to the period when the power of the Church was beginning to be felt outside the domain and jurisdiction of religion. It is said that the early Fathers were jealous of the influence of this old-world science. Whether this be true or not, we find that it was bitterly denounced and persecuted by the early Church. It has always been, that the history of any dominant creed or sect is the history of opposition to knowledge, unless that knowledge come through it. This study, therefore, the offspring of "pagans and heathens," was not even given a trial. It was denounced as sorcery and witchcraft; the devil was conjured up as the father of all such students, and the result was that through this bitter persecution, the study was outlawed, and fell into the hands of vagrants, tramps, and gipsies. In spite of this persecution it is interesting and significant to notice that almost the first book ever printed was a work on Palmistry, Die Kunst Ciromantia, printed in Augsburg, in the year 1475.

In examining this subject it will be found that in the study of mankind it came to be recognised that, as there was a natural position on the face for the nose, eyes, lips, etc., so also on the hand was there a natural position for what is known as the Line of Head, Line of Life, and so on. If these were found in some unnatural position they would equally be the indications of unnatural tendencies. It doubtless took years of study to name these lines and marks, but it must be remembered that this curious study is more ancient than any other in the world.

In the original Hebrew of the Book of Job (chap. xxxvii., ver. 7), we find these significant words: "God caused signs or seals on the hands of all the sons of men, that the sons of men might know their works."

As the student of anatomy can build up the entire system from the examination of a single bone, so may a person by a careful study of an important member of the body such as the hand, apart from anything superstitious or even mystical, build up the entire action of the system and trace every effect back to its cause.

To-day the science of the present is coming to the rescue of the so-called superstition of the past. All over the world scientists are little by little sweeping aside prejudice and beginning to study occult questions. Perhaps the "whys and wherefores" of such things may one of these days be as easily explained as are those wireless waves of electricity that carry messages from land to land.



The object of the following chapters is to give clear and unmistakable instruction on the lines and markings of the hands, both from the student's standpoint and from that of the general reader. This is not usually the course adopted in books printed on this subject which have to appeal to a general public.

During my twenty-five years' professional experience in England, America, and other countries, I have carefully noted down the questions that are not answered in books published on this subject. I have also recorded what are the difficulties that arise in the minds of those students who meet this, that, or the other mark or line and search in vain for some explanation as to its meanings. I may add that there is not a single point on which I give information that has not been proved by me from probably thousands of cases that have come before me during my own professional experience.

As regards illustrations, I have endeavoured to make these of the simplest and clearest kind possible. I have every confidence that if they are carefully studied, no student can fail to grasp this subject in a masterful manner, and that whoever acts upon the advice I give in these pages, cannot fail to become successful as an interpreter of this study.

In all my work I regard the Line of Head (page 11) or the Line of Mentality as the most important sign that can be found in the hand.

A Line of Head is like the needle in the compass, without a true knowledge of which it is impossible to grasp the "direction of the subject." I have seen more mistakes caused by a lack of grasp of this point than by anything else.

I have seen, for example, many students make the mistake of paying great attention to what looked like a good Line of Sun or Success, and, at the same time, not noticing a weak, badly formed Line of Head, which contradicted the promise of success given by the various lines. If, on the other hand, the student had first noticed the Line of Head, he would have been able to tell the subject that the promise of success was not backed up by the intelligence or the mentality.

As regards the future being foreshadowed, it has been demonstrated that the brain is always growing, changing, increasing, or diminishing. These changes commence years before the effect is shown by the thoughts or actions of the individual. A boy ten years old may at that point commence a development which will not be felt until he is thirty, and then it may change his whole life and career. As this development commences at ten, even at that age it has affected certain nerves, and they in their turn have already affected the Line of Head—a full twenty years before the point of change or action has been reached. It therefore follows that the future may be seen and told by a careful examination of the hand which, as Aristotle has said, is the "organ of all organs, the active agent of the passive powers of the entire system."


The Line of Head (page 11), or indication of the Mentality of the subject, must in all cases be considered as the most important line on the hand. The greatest attention should be paid to it, so as to obtain a clear grasp of the Mentality under consideration.

The two hands must be carefully compared—the left showing the inherited tendencies, the right the developed or cultivated qualities. The slightest change or deviation in the markings from the left to the right should be carefully noted down or remembered.

The direction or the termination or end of the line should, above all, be distinctly noted, for the all-important reason that this shows the direction that the Mentality is inclined to develop towards. For example, if found with the end of the line sloping downwards in the left hand, and having become straight or lying across the palm in the right—the student is safe in concluding that the subject has not been able to follow his natural bent, but by the force of circumstances has been obliged to make himself more practical, to study business methods, and to have undertaken a training towards practicality and level-headedness in order to rise equal to the circumstances that he found himself forced to meet.

In this way the student obtains an insight into the earlier conditions of the life under examination that is invaluable, especially when there is, as will be found in many cases, no Line of Destiny visible in the early years.

If, on the contrary, the Line of Head is found exactly in the same position on the right hand as on the left, or even very nearly so, the student can be sure that there was little or no strain in the early years, but that the subject had easy conditions which were favourable, and which allowed him to develop his natural bent of Mentality.

If, however, it is found that the left hand shows a forked ending to the Line of Head, namely, one end sloping downwards and the other end straight, or nearly so, and that the right hand shows only the straight line, then the student may decide that the subject inherited from the parents two natures, the imaginative and the practical, and that he chose to develop the latter, either in the direction of business or science.

In such a case, the student may state with confidence that the parents of the subject were decidedly opposite in their characteristics. If the line has become straight in the right hand the subject takes more after the side that was practical.

In the case of boys or men it must be remembered that they will take more after their mother's mental peculiarities, and in the case of girls or women that they more generally take after the mental qualities of the father.

On a man's left hand that has the forked ending with the upper end straight, or nearly so, the student can state that the mother was the more practical of the parents. If on the right hand the same mark has become clearest the man developed, followed, or cultivated the mental qualities of the mother more than those of the father. When reading a woman's hand the reverse will apply.

If, on the contrary, the lower line was the more developed on the right hand, then the subject, if a man, had developed the imaginative or artistic qualities of the mother, and vice versa if the subject be a girl or a woman.

When the Line of Head looks light or faint on the left, and strong and clear on the right, the student can safely state that the subject did not inherit any strong mental bent from either parent, but has cultivated and developed his own mentality.

In such a case the subject has been a hard mental student, and has become mentally superior to his or her parents. This is often found in the case of "self-made" men or women, who have had little or no education in their early life or in their home, but who from an innate love of education developed themselves mentally. Such a sign would speak volumes for the will power and ambition of the subject under examination.

If the Line of Head is lighter and poorer on the right hand than on the left, the student can state that the subject has not made the most of his opportunities mentally, and that he has not, and never will, equal the brain power and education of his or her parents.

In such a case one may also be sure that the subject has not a very strong will power—at least mentally—although he might be very obstinate by nature, which will be seen from the quality exhibited by the nail phalange of the thumb (page 129).

A poor or non-developed Line of Head in the right hand of any man or woman is also the indication of a lack of purpose or ambition—there being no ambition where a want of mental desire and development is so distinctly shown.

A clean cut deep Line of Head is a more powerful sign of mentality than when the line is very broad, or lying, as it were, merely on the surface of the palm.

A wide broad line shows less concentration and a more vacillating changeable nature. This rule applies with equal truth to all the lines on the palm.

Broad, coarse-looking lines are more a constitutional sign than a mental indication. They are often found in cases where the subject leads a robust outdoor life, and those who have developed the physical side of their nature more than the mental.

Great brain workers usually have thin, fine, clean-looking lines, and especially that of the Line of Head.

It will thus be seen that by observation the student will be enabled to class the sort of life led by the person under examination. No matter how intellectual a man or woman may look, the lines on the hand will indicate whether or not they have developed their intellectuality. In this way it will be seen that a study of the hand becomes a far more accurate guide than the study of the face. Many men and women may have handsome, intellectual faces and yet prefer sport or outdoor life to any mental pursuit or exercise.

Turning from an examination of the direction of ending of the Line of Head, the student must next examine the indications of the beginnings of this important Line. For example, the Line of Head may commence in three distinct different ways.

(1) From inside the Line of Life (1-1, Plate I.). (2) Joined to the Line of Life (2-2, Plate I.). (3) And outside the Line of Life (3-3, Plate I.).

The first is the most uncertain of all. It denotes an over-sensitive, over-cautious, timid person. It also indicates a highly nervous, easily excited individual, one who has little control over himself or his temper, who is easily put out over trifles, and liable to do the most erratic things, or fly off at a tangent when irritated. Such people are always in trouble, generally fighting or quarrelling with those about them and over things that are of no consequence. They are likewise so easily wounded in their feelings, that even a look or an imagined slight will put them out of humour or upset them for days.

If this Line of Head farther out in the palm become straight, it denotes that the subject will, later, by the development of his intelligence largely overcome this failing of over-sensitiveness. If the line slope much or bend down towards the wrist or on to the Mount of Luna (the Mount of Imagination), then the subject will become still worse with his advancing years. If the Line of Head is also poorly marked, or with "hairlines" from it, it is often the indication of some form of insanity which is likely to cause the subject to be placed under restraint in later life.

If, with this latter indication, the student also finds all the upward main lines, such as the Line of Destiny, etc., fading out past the middle of the palm, the indication of insanity and restraint becomes all the more certain.

This class of Head Line is largely found in cases where the subject is naturally inclined towards drink and intemperance of every description.

Even in cases where there are good lines running up the palm, it will usually be found that the subject gives way to occasional fits of intemperance or the desire for drugs. The qualities of the fiery Mount of Mars, from which such a Line of Head starts inside the Life Line, is largely the cause of the peculiarities above indicated. The opposite Mount of Mars (page 141) on the side of the hand, on the contrary, gives mental control, so that even when the Line of Head runs out straight on the palm it partakes of this "Mental Mars" quality, and so denotes that later on in years the subject with such a Line of Head will be able to develop mental control. The sloping Line of Head, however, would denote that the subject allows himself to turn, as it were, away from mental control, and so lets the earlier tendencies become his master.

This point alone is worthy of the consideration of all parents, and if observed by them would do much to help such children to develop mental control over themselves. The accompanying plates show this formation of the Line of Head in all its variations.


The position of this line indicates in all cases a highly sensitive disposition, which inclines towards the side of caution and also lacks self-confidence (2-2, Plate I.). Even the cleverest people with this sign seem to rein themselves in too tightly, and are always inclined to undervalue their capabilities and talents.

When, with the same indication, the line is also sloping slightly downwards, the sensitiveness is still more increased. This form is largely found on the hands of artists, painters, and those who even in other walks of life have the sensitive artistic temperament, even though it may not have been developed to a larger extent. If, on the contrary, the Line of Head joined to the Line of Life runs straight out across the hand towards the mental Mount of Mars (2-2, Plate I.), the subject, though still extremely sensitive, has got greater courage of his opinions. Such people do not get credit for being as highly sensitive as do the other people with the line sloping downwards towards the Mount of Imagination. The straighter the Head Line is found, the subject can be more relied on to carry out his determination, and often these highly sensitive and even nervous people are found doing very determined work in connection with some battle for principle or for right which they believe it their moral duty to carry out. If this class of Line of Head, however, go very far across the hand and straight on to the Mental Mount of Mars, it indicates an extremely strong-willed determined person who has the power to hide his sensitiveness and nervousness and stake everything for what he believes his duty to carry out.

The difference in the observation of these two distinct classes of individuals, namely, those with the Line of Head joined but sloping, and the Line of Head joined and straight across the hand, has caused many exponents of this study to make great mistakes in the judgment of their subject. When, as is very often the case, the Line of Head is forked (3-3, Plate II.), also when joined and when these forked lines are equal to one another, especially in cases where the Line of Head is joined to the Line of Life showing the sensitive temperament, this forked mark often indicates a certain want of decision. The subject is inclined to balance too much between the two qualities of brain, the practical and the imaginative. As to what they should do for the best, in such cases it is always wise to advise the subject to act according to first impulse either in dealing with practical or imaginative things. By so doing they employ, as it were, the intuition of the brain, and by using it do not waver and vacillate by too much reasoning over the question or endeavouring to see both sides of it at once. When the sloping Line of Head has a gentle curve downwards towards the Mount of the Moon (1-1, Plate II.), distinct control over the imagination is indicated. The student will then know that the subject simply uses his imagination when he wishes to do so instead of being controlled by it. But the contrary is the case when the line bends too far down this Mount (4-4, Plate II.). In this case the subject is the slave of his imagination and generally does erratic and peculiar things or can only work in moods of the moment. People of this latter class seldom, if ever, produce the great results in the world of art or imagination as do those who have the line simply curving downwards into this Mount.

When the Line of the Head bends completely down and turns with a curve, as it were, under the base of the Mount of Luna (5-5, Plate II.), the tendency is to extreme morbid imaginings and such extreme sensitiveness, that people on whose hands it is found generally separate themselves from the rest of their fellows, and either retire from the world altogether and live a solitary life or else make their exit by the gate of suicide. The latter is, in fact, generally the ending of such lives. Their extreme sensitiveness evidently renders life for them almost unbearable. But this formation must not be confounded with the Line of Head curving downwards through the upper part of the Mount (4-4, Plate II.). In this latter case, it can even descend as far down as the wrist itself, and, unless it has an island or star at the end of the line, there is not the danger of suicide. In all such cases, however, there is extreme imagination, extreme sensibility, and a tendency to melancholy and morbidness, but there is no indication of the brain breaking down under strain as there is in the other case of what is known as the distinct tendency for self-murder.


The Line of Head is more frequently found connected with than separated from the Line of Life. When the space is not very wide (3-3, Plate I.), it is an excellent mark to have, giving independence of thought, quickness of judgment, and a certain mental daring that is invaluable in fighting the battle of life. When the Line of Head is at the same time lying fairly straight across the palm, such individuals have an immense power over others, but their capabilities are always more distinctly shown if they should in any form go in for some kind of public life. People possessing this mark are rather less "hard students" than those with the Line of Head and Line of Life joined together, but they have such brilliancy and quickness of thought that they seem to see in a flash that which takes the other class hard work to attain. But these people with the "open Line of Head" must, above all things, have purpose in their life. Without purpose they are rather like a ship drifting on an idle sea. They may spend their life in an aimless way unless "the call" comes to them or the tide of ambition turns their way and carries them onward.

The same class of line but sloping is the more uncertain of the two characters, because the person is still more inclined to work only by moods. If the mood or the desire does not come, such people, although always brilliant and clever, may often waste their lives doing nothing.

Those people with the Line of Head "open" and ascending slightly upwards towards or on to the Mental Mount of Mars (3-3, Plate III.), are self-appointed leaders, organizers of any public movement. They will sacrifice everything, home, affection, and all ties for what they believe is their public duty in connection with the work that they have undertaken.

The Line of Head very open and separate from the Line of Life denotes a character with too little caution or sensitiveness (4-4, Plate III.). The subject will go to the opposite extreme of him with the Line of Head and Line of Life joined. When the space is very wide it denotes excessive impetuosity and lack of continuity of purpose, a person who pushes himself forward on all occasions, a great desire for notoriety and one continually changing his plans as far as the world is concerned. When this line is excessively open or separate from the Line of Life, the brain seems to be an extremely excitable one. The subject suffers greatly from excessive blood to the head, mental hysteria, sleeplessness, and all things that affect the brain. If the Line of Head is badly formed with islands, or a broad line with breaks and hair lines (1-1, Plate IV.), it is just as much a mark of another form of insanity as the Line of Head curving downwards at the wrist, but with the line mentioned the type is inclined to be morbid with a tendency to suicide.

This other Line of Head with islands indicates the character that will be more likely to be excitable and fly into a temper and kill other people. A Line of Head not too widely separated and either one end of it commencing on the Mount of Jupiter, or with its main branch from the Mount of Jupiter (4-4, Plate III.), is one of the most brilliant marks of all. The student must, however, carefully establish this difference of the Line of Head in his own mind, as well as the termination or the ending of this line. Once he has these two points firmly established, he has gained the great keynote to this subject. When once this part is mastered, he has a sure foundation to work on.

My next remarks will relate to the minor marks and their meaning, and to islands or breaks on or in the Line of Head.


What are known as "islands" in the Line of Head are very important, especially if they are considered both in relation to the age at which they occur, and also in relation to the mentality itself.

In the first place the principal rule the student must bear in mind is, that islands must be considered as showing a weakness in any line wherever they may be found, and are to be considered unfortunate signs.

On the Line of Head when found in the form of a continuous chain (1-1, Plate IV.), all through the line, they denote mental weakness, but generally produced by ill-health which more immediately affects the brain.

Such mental weakness or "brain illness," if found with nails showing very small "moons" or none at all, denotes an anaemic condition of the blood that affects the brain, a low condition of vitality and bad circulation, which seems to starve the brain of blood and prevents such people from making any continuous effort in regard to study or will power, and causes them to act in an erratic fashion.

If at the same time the Line of Head is seen placed very high on the hand, this sign is worse still in its meaning, and such subjects are inclined to be "half mad" in periods.

When the Line of Head is widely separated from the Line of Life, then this chain formation of islands is still more accentuated and more difficult to cure. Such subjects have periods of mental excitability which it seems impossible for them to control, and in such moments they are liable to fly off at a tangent and commit mad or rash acts, but acts generally dangerous to other people.

When, however, the Line of Head is very sloping (2-2, Plate IV.), with this formation of islands the subject is inclined to have fits of depression and melancholy, during which he is likely to shrink away from people or make an attempt against his own life. "Suicide while temporarily insane" is the verdict of the jury in such cases.

Another important point of consideration in relation to the islands in the Line of Head, is to note their position on the line itself, or under what finger they make their appearance. When these islands are found at the commencement of the line under the first finger or Mount of Jupiter (3, Plate IV.), it will be found that the subject in early life was delicate mentally, and displayed no energy of will; no desire to study, was listless and without ambition.

Under the second finger on the Mount of Saturn (4, Plate IV.), the subject, on the contrary, is inclined to suffer from severe headaches, morbidness, melancholy, and a tendency for inflammation, especially at the base of the head.

If the line looks weak or frays into little hair lines from this point out, it shows that the subject will never recover thoroughly from this malady.

Under the third finger, the Mount of Sun (5, Plate IV.), an island shows a very curious fact, namely that the person is inclined to suffer from weakness of the eyes and short-sight. If many of these islands are marked it generally foreshadows a still greater tendency to blindness and weakness of the sight.

Islands under the fourth finger, the Mount of Mercury (6, Plate IV.), and the extremity of the Head Line denote weakness of the brain in old age, and a highly nervous worrying disposition. If very badly marked they denote that in the latter part of life the subject may be disposed to insanity proceeding from a worrying disposition, and often from the overstraining of the mental faculties. It will thus be seen that every portion of this remarkable line may be divided into sections to obtain marvellous detail in making predictions for the future.

This line can further be divided, showing with considerable clearness the ages at which troubles or changes in the mentality may be expected.

Under the first finger the period of the life indicated is the first 21 years, the second period contains another section of the three 7's, and lasts until 42 years of age; the third period of 7's which will be found under the third finger indicates the section from 49 to 63, and the fourth section which takes in the remainder of the hand, under the fourth finger, stands for the period from 70 up to the end.


Another extremely interesting point in studying the Line of Head is to take notice of certain changes in its position, or lines either dropping or rising from it, which will also be found to give very remarkable information. For example: if a sloping Line of Head at any point in its track seems to curve or slightly bend upwards (1-1, Plate V.), it indicates that about that period of the person's life some unusual strain will be forced upon him. If this curved line is clearly marked and not interfered with by things that look like blotches in it, the person, although of a completely opposite turn of mind to the practical, will yet rise superior to the occasion, and for the time being will develop a practical or business-like way of looking at things which may even be the very reverse of the nature.

If, however, instead of the curve or bend a fine line is seen leaving the Head Line in an upward direction (2-2, Plate V.), that period will leave a definite mark on the subject's entire character for the remainder of his life. In some cases these fine lines will, after a few years, appear to develop more strongly, and may even become a kind of second Head Line. This would denote that the person continues to cultivate the practical side of his nature that was at that period called into existence.

If one were examining a straight Line of Head and noticed a curve downward or a fine line growing downwards from it (3-3, Plate V.), the natural interpretation of such a mark would be that at that date in the person's career he had become less practical, or for the time being developed the more imaginative qualities of the mentality. In this latter case, curiously enough, it often denotes that the person had at that period of his life become more wealthy or prosperous, and so he was able to develop the artistic side of his nature. It is logical to assume that he could only have done this if the strain in the practical battle had been lessened about that time, but this must only be presumed if, at about the same date, the Sun Line (Plate XV.) were seen clearly marked or suddenly appearing on the hand, then the student can be positive in assuming that at that date greater ease and comfort came into the subject's life and he consequently turned to the more imaginative side of existence.

If the Line of Head itself should curve upward, especially at the end towards the fourth finger or Mount of Mercury (4-4, Plate V.), it denotes almost without exception that the longer the person lives the more his desire for money and his determination to possess it will become stronger every year.

If the Line of Head apparently partly leaves its natural place, which will be seen by an examination of the left hand, and completely rises as it were to the Line of Heart (5-5, Plate V.), the person will develop an enormous fixity of purpose for some one desire. He will apparently and deliberately control the affectionate side of his nature by his will power, and will stick at nothing to obtain the realisation of whatever his desire may be. If this mark is found on a square thick-set material looking hand, it is a foregone conclusion that the subject has set his determination on some material object, such as wealth, and he will stop at nothing, even crime, in carrying out his aim. If this mark is found on a long hand the object of the ambition is certain to be connected with intellectual power over people and absolute determination to accomplish whatever the purpose of the career may be.

This mark must not be confounded with one clear line running across the hand from side to side (Plate VI.), because in this case the Line of Head has not risen out of its position, but simply denotes tremendous intensity of character, for good or evil as the case may be; such a person would exhibit great power of concentration, and if he concentrated his mentality on any purpose he would unite with it his heart nature. But if he had set his heart or affections on any person, he would unite with that desire the whole force of his mental nature. In this case it is as if these two sides of the mentality, the sentimental and the mental, were linked or in some way united together. Such persons I have always found possess greater intensity of purpose than any other, but I have never found it a very happy mark to possess.

In the first place, this peculiar type of person appears to be so rare in life that he seems to have no companions and for that reason has always the feeling of being intensely lonely and isolated from others. He is usually also in every way super-sensitive and easily wounded in his feelings. I have seldom found these people successful, unless when acting alone, but if linked with others by partnership in business, etc., they seem to feel their personality cramped, and the partnership as a rule seldom results happily. In considering this, the student must carefully observe whether this one line across the hand lies across the centre where the Head Line would naturally be, or whether it lies higher up towards the base of the fingers where the Heart Line is generally found. If the former case, one may be sure that it is a question of head and mentality and very little heart; but if the latter, it is a question of more intensity of feeling emotion and affection than of mental intensity.


Small, sharply-defined crosses in any position just over or touching the Line of Head are generally signs of accidents to the Head itself.

Under Jupiter (1, Plate VII.), they usually are brought about by blows caused generally by the subject's desire to rule and to be too dogmatic or tyrannical.

Under Saturn (2, Plate VII.), crosses indicate injuries to the head from accidents by animals, blows by treachery, mine explosions, etc., and generally relate to accidents of a treacherous nature.

Under the Mount of the Sun (3, Plate VII.), these crosses have been found to relate to accidents to the head from sudden falls, such as the subject striking his head by falling, concussion of the brain, etc.

Under the Mount of Mercury (4, Plate VII.), these sharply defined crosses relate to injuries to the head due to accidents generally produced by scientific experiments or some hazardous business venture.

Small defined squares touching the Line of Head (5, Plate VII.), are in all cases signs of preservation, and they relate to the particular qualities of the Mount of the hand under which they are found. (See chapter on Mounts, page 140.)


Double Lines of Head (6-6, Plate VII.), are as rarely found as are cases of the single line right across the hand. In all cases where the Double Line of Head stands out distinct and clear as two separate lines, the object will be found to have a dual mentality. He is usually capable of an enormous amount of mental work and is of that class of people who carry out two separate mental lives with success. It is often found with one line joined to the Line of Life and the other rising from the Mount of Jupiter; if such is the case, the interpretation would be that one side of the nature is extremely sensitive and cautious, while the other is self-confident with a great desire to rule or enforce its mental ideas on the world.

Although such a sign as the Double Line of Head gives a remarkable degree of mentality, yet I have always found it a more successful sign to find one clear Line of Head well marked on the hand than the two Lines of Head in any of their positions.

Another form of the Double Line of Head (7-7, Plate VII.), is one where the main line seems to separate about the middle of the hand, and where one branch goes across the hand and the other descends towards the Mount of the Moon. In such a case we get the double mental personality, but one which is more under the control of the will of the subject, whereas the two double distinct lines denote that the two mental personalities seem to act independently one from the other.

It has been considered by many ancient authorities that the Double Line of Head, when found with two distinct lines, is a sign of the inheritance of great riches or power. I have generally found, however, that what it means is, that although the financial results of such a person's life may be either great wealth or power, yet he may inherit it from his mental right and not from his birth right.


There are seven distinct types of hands, bearing in their own way more or less relationship to the Seven Races of Humanity (page 118).

These seven types of hands are as follows:

I.—The Elementary or Lowest type. II.—The Square, also called the Useful or Practical. III.—The Spatulate or Active. IV.—The Philosophic. V.—The Conic or Artistic. VI.—The Psychic or Idealistic. VII.—The Mixed Hand.

As a rule the Line of Head is generally found in accordance with the type of hand on which it is seen, namely, lying straight or what is called "level-headed" on the Square-looking or Practical hand; or sloping, and thus indicating the more imaginative qualities on the Philosophic, Conic, or Psychic types.

Consequently, if it be found on a hand in what may be called opposition to its class, such a Line of Head immediately possesses a greater significance.

For example, if a sloping Line of Mentality were seen on the Square or Practical hand, it would indicate that though the bases of that man or woman's thoughts and plans were of the practical kind, yet they possessed a far greater power of imagination than any casual observer would at first sight give them credit for.

On the contrary, if the Line of Head were found straight or level on the Spatulate, Philosophic, Conic, or Psychic types, it would denote that the person in question was usually level-headed and practical, even in their highest dreams of philosophy or idealistic creations.

On the Elementary hand the Line of Head is usually found short, straight, and coarse-looking, often nothing more than a short deep-set furrow. Consequently, if found long and clear, it would indicate a superior mental development in a coarse brutal or animal nature.

If in a Square-looking hand the Line of Head were found sloping instead of long and straight, it would denote an unusual development of the artistic and imaginative qualities, but always with the practical and logical basis for its support.

On the Spatulate hand the natural indication of the Line of Head is long, clear and sloping, but if found straight or level it would indicate a practical development of the brain endeavouring to set off the active energy and originality indicated by the Spatulate formation.

On the Philosophic type, the hand of the thinker and philosopher, the usual position of the Line of Mentality is long and sloping, but if found straight or level it indicates a mental development of the logical and practical qualities which might not be expected in such a class or type.

The same rules hold good with the Conic and Psychic, but with what is called the Mixed type, the best Line of Head to find would be one, long straight and level-looking, because this class, being a mixture as it were of all the others, would require a practical or level-headed mentality to hold its own amid the mixture of tendencies which the last type personifies.



The Line of Life is that line which runs round the base of the thumb and lies directly over a large blood-vessel called the great Palmer Arch (1-1, Plate VIII.). This blood-vessel is more directly connected with the heart, stomach, and vital organs which may have given use to its term "The Vital," as used by the ancients.

It is reasonable to assume that it is this intimate connection with the vital organs of the body which enables it to foretell the length of life from natural causes.

If the student will bear this in mind it will make clear and plain to him many difficulties in connection with predictions as to health and disease, and he will follow more easily the following explanations.

The first rules to master are, that to be normal the Line of Life should be long, clearly marked, and without any irregularities or breaks of any kind. Such a formation would indicate length of life, vitality, freedom from illness, and strength of constitution (1-1, Plate VIII.).

Bearing the first observation in mind it will be noticed that as the Line of Life represents the stomach and the vital organs, when well marked the stomach and digestion must necessarily be in a good condition.

When made up of little pieces or linked like a chain, it is a certain sign of poor health, weak stomach and lack of vitality.

At this point I must ask the most careful attention to the following rules—which no other book on the subject contains, and which I have not published in any of my other writings, viz.: as the Line of Life seems in every sense to be the representative on the hand of the body or trunk of the man—so the position of these breaks, marks, links, or islands denotes the portion of the body most affected.

Before we go further I must also impress on the student to grasp the fact that every line or sign on the hand plays a dual role. By one of their roles these lines indicate the disease the person is most liable to for the entire run of the life, and in another role these lines indicate the date when the illness will reach its greatest gravity.

To explain carefully this strange phenomenon of nature, I have divided this line into sections (see Plate VIII.), and although I am not writing on astrology in these pages, yet all believers in that science may be interested to find how wonderfully these twin sciences agree when the comparison is pointed out by an impartial observer such as I claim to be.

In Plate VIII. are shown the Sections of the Line of Life with their various tendencies divided by the mounts at the base of the fingers. This will materially assist the student to comprehend their significance and, together with the influence of the month of birth as set out in the chapters on the Mounts of the Hand (page 140), will enable him to obtain an accuracy on all matters relating to health, diseases, and dangers to the life that up till now has never been attained.

We will now proceed to consider the details as regards the Line of Life itself.


It is very important at the outset to consider the qualities of this very important line. In some hands it is broad and shallow on the surface of the hand, in others it is deep and fine; the appearance of this line is very often deceptive, and leads students astray when they have not had their attention called to its appearance.

The broad, shallow Line of Life often leads people to suppose that it is a sign of a very healthy, robust constitution; but, on the contrary, such an indication is not nearly as good a sign as a clear, thin, deep line. The broad Life Line seems to belong to people who have more robust animal strength, whereas the finer line relates to people who have more nerve or will-force. Under any strain of ill-health, it is the finer line that will hold out, whereas the broad-looking line has not the same resisting force.

Very broad lines on the hand denote more muscular strength than will power, and I cannot impress this difference too strongly on the minds of my readers. If the line is made of chain formation (1-1, Plate IX.), it is a sure sign of a tendency to bad health, and especially so if the hand be soft. The same marks on a hard, firm hand would not indicate as much delicacy, because hard, firm hands denote in themselves a robust constitution.

Another important point to consider is, whether the Line of Life goes straight up to the side of the Mount of Venus and narrows that Mount (2-2, Plate IX.), or whether it forms a well-defined curve or semicircle out into the palm (3-3, Plate IX.). In the first case it indicates a naturally more delicate constitution, and less force of animal magnetism. This explanation will be readily understood by readers when I again call their attention to the fact that one of the most important blood-vessels going from the body to the hand is called the Great Palmer Arch, which carries the blood up to the hand towards the root of the thumb, and carries the circulation back on the other side of the Arch almost underneath the Line of Life. It will, therefore, be seen that people who have a weaker constitution are more likely to have this Great Palmer Arch narrower in construction than those who have a robust constitution and strong circulation of the blood. This is the reason why, when the Mount of Venus is large and wide on the hand, it gives rise to the idea that it indicates a more passionate animal nature than when this mount is thin and narrow.

While speaking on this particular point, I must also call attention to the fact that when the Line of Head is curved downwards instead of running straight across the palm, that it seems to be more attracted to the qualities indicated by the Mount of Venus and gives more to the imaginative, romantic nature, showing a greater tendency to fall in love, than with people who possess the Line of Head running straight across the hand, as if it were not attracted to the qualities indicated by the Mount of Venus. It will thus be seen that every point of this study bearing on character can be reasoned out from a logical standpoint. This places the study upon a higher foundation than when it is considered purely from the superstitious standpoint with which it has so long been associated.

If the Line of Life is seen to rise high on the hand towards the Mount of Jupiter (4-4, Plate IX.), the subject has more control over himself, and his life is more governed by the ambitious side of his nature. When, however, the Line of Life rises lower down on the palm, more from the Mount of Mars (5-5, Plate IX.), it gives less control over the temper. When this sign is noticed, especially in the case of young persons, it will be found that they are more quarrelsome, more disobedient, and have less ambition in connection with their studies.


When the Line of Life is found with a number of ascending lines, even if they are small, it denotes a life of greater energy; and the dates at which these lines ascend from the Line of Life may always be considered points at which the subject has made a particular effort towards whatever may have been the special purpose of his destiny at that moment. When these lines are seen ascending towards or on the Mount of Jupiter (1-1, Plate X.), it indicates the desire and ambition to rise in life, especially in some way that would give the subject control or authority over others. If one of the lines be found partly arrested or stopped at the Line of Head (2-2, Plate X.), it indicates that the subject has by some mental error of judgment or stupidity, broken or prevented the effort, which started well, from reaching a successful termination. If one of these lines reaches and stops at the Line of Heart, it indicates that the affections have, or will, interfere with the subject's special effort in whatever direction this line indicates. If one of these lines crosses and joins the line of Fate (3-3, Plate X.), it indicates and gives two distinct dates which are very curious in their meaning. The first date it gives is when this line leaves the Line of Life on its way towards the Line of Fate. The date of this start towards the Line of Fate will be given on the Line of Fate itself, right opposite where this line begins to grow from the Line of Life. This mark will denote that the subject has made a determined effort at that moment in his career to make his own destiny, and to break free from the circumstances or people that surround him or tie him down.

It is always a successful sign when this line is found to join the Line of Fate, especially if the Line of Fate looks stronger at or about this point of the junction.

The second date is given at the period in the Line of Life when one is reading down the Line of Life itself. The singular point about this is that a repetition of circumstances will be found to occur in the destiny. Suppose, for example, one saw this line going towards the Fate Line at twenty-six years of age—a circumstance or repetition of the occurrence will be found to occur at almost double that age, namely, fifty-two years of age, which would give a more or less exact date of this occurrence when reading the Line of Life. As an illustration to help the reader I may say that I have generally found that this mark will indicate that the subject has, in the first instance, broken free from some tie at an early date, and that a similar occurrence will take place at the second date, viz., late in life, when again the subject seems to break free from some tie, and goes out more into the world for himself.

This curious sign very often helps in deciding matters as regards marriage. The man, or woman, will apparently assert his independence more, and leave the ties of home life, and again go out in the world and fight the battle for himself, as he did in the earlier part of his existence, when he probably left his parents' influence and forged ahead for himself.

When the ascending line is seen crossing over towards the Mount of Saturn, and running as an independent line not joined to the Line of Fate (6, Plate X.), it will be found that the subject has carried out a kind of second fate. The date when this line left the Line of Life will give the first date of its commencement, i.e., opposite it on the Fate Line. If the line be a good one it would give its second date when reading down the Line of Life, where, if the line were good, it carried out this second fate to a successful culmination.



What is called the Line of Mars is that line that is found only on some hands encircling the Mount of Venus and inside the Line of Life.

This Line, which rises on the Mount of Mars, from which it derives its name, when found clear and strong appears to back up and reinforce the Line of Life (4-4, Plate X.). It indicates great vitality, power of resistance to illness and disease, and is not found on all hands.

It is an excellent sign on the hands of soldiers, or in connection with all persons who follow a dangerous calling.

All breaks or bad marks indicated on the Line of Life are minimized on the hands that have this Inner Life Line, or Line of Mars.

As its name implies, in character it denotes a robust and rather fighting disposition, a person naturally inclined to rush into dangers and quarrels, and if deeply marked and reddish in colour it increases all indications of accidents and dangers shown on other parts of the hand.

When a branch seems to shoot off from this line and runs on to the Mount of Luna (5-5, Plate X.), it foreshadows restlessness and an intense craving for excitement. With a weak-looking Line of Mentality it is a sure sign of a craving for drink and intemperance of all kinds, and at the point where it breaks through the Line of Life, it generally indicates death brought on by the intemperance this mark foreshadows.

It is generally found on short, thick-set square hands or short hands, but when found on a long, thin, and narrow palm, it indicates great vitality and resistance to disease, a nervous, highly-strung, and rather irritable disposition.

Any broken Life Line with this Line of Mars behind it may indicate great danger of death where the break appears, but a danger that will be overcome through the vitality indicated by this Inner Life Line or Line of Mars.



The Line of Destiny, otherwise called the Line of Fate (1-1, Plate XI.) is naturally one of the most important of the principal lines of the hand.

Although one may never be able to explain why it is, this line undoubtedly appears to indicate at least the main events of one's career.

It may be found on the hand even at the moment of birth, clearly indicating the class of Fate or Destiny that lies in the far distant future before the individual.

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