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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Palmistry - what is it and how does it work? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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jimtron
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I enjoyed discussing palmistry at another thread, but as was correctly pointed out, we were straying off topic. So I thought I'd start a new thread.

drwilson said:
Quote:
I would call palmistry a traditional means of gaining insight into a person's character, personality, and fate. It can be presented as entertainment without any claim to paranormal ability. It is not a "trick."

and

As entertainment, it works because someone gives you a small amount of money, you hold their hand and talk about their favorite subject: them. Most people can't get that from a spouse unless they are still on their honeymoon.

So what if I told you that you had a strong need to be liked by other people, and for them to admire you? That's true, isn't it? I could tell you a great deal more about yourself, but you'd have to pay me for a reading.

and

Traditional palmistry says that if you have this line or feature, you are this kind of a person as opposed to that kind. If you are asking for a scientific explanation, you already know that science does not accept traditional palmistry as anything other than folklore of no value. A person skilled at mentalism (applied psychology) who understands entertainment and likes talking to people can do very well at palmistry. By this I mean that clients are likely to be highly satisfied, and will not consider their money wasted. What more is there to know?


I understand that a mentalist or someone who understand psychology could give an entertaining reading that would satisfy the subject. I haven't ruled out that there is actually a relationship between palm lines and the future, or that palm lines can reveal something about a person. Is the palm line business genuine, or is that just a diversion from what's really happening? Does the palm have anything to do with "gaining insight into a person's character, personality, and fate."? If so, how does the palm reveal that insight?
procyonrising
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There is no known correlation between any lines of the hand and future events.

The palm in Palmistry serves as a point of focus, something for the sitter to reason, "this must be true because it's a part of me."

DrWilson's message was good; good enough to re-read.

Best,
James.
jimtron
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James:

Thanks for the response; I will re-read drwilson's comments.

By the way, before this gets moved to secret sessions--I'm not looking for magic or mentalism secrets here. I'm already familiar with cold reading and many mentalism techniques.
Ignore me...
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I am neither a shut-eye nor a hard-core disbeliever, but instead a "winkie," as John Riggs put it; I am pretty skeptical, but have seen some interesting things while working as a reader which make me not dismiss certain things out of hand.

The question of whether the lines of the hand correspond to particular times in a person's life, I couldn't say; I don't think such a correleation has been proven, as James notes. However, there are many hand characteristics (including hand lines) which speak about a person's health and such (diseases, genetic conditions, general health, great stress within the past 6 months or so, etc.), so I sometimes wonder about whether certain personality traits might not have some kind of reflection in the lines as well.

I'd be interested inthe results of a large-scale study of individuals, their personalities (self-reported, unfortunately, as most studies of such things are), their preferred activities and special talents, and their hands. I don't know of any that have been done by non-readers, and (call me a skeptic) I'd rather see a study from an uninvolved source...
ALEXANDRE
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Palmistry is the art of reading character through the shape of the hands, the formation of the mounts of the hands, fingers, and, most importantly, the lines and spurs in the palm.

Palmistry has enjoyed a fascinating history. It is believed to have been practiced in ancient India and China. Great heroes and Spiritual leaders (such as the Buddha) have been recognized through Palmistry.

The lines of the hand act as a sort of circuit board of the brain. Neurosurgeons tell us that these lines are caused by nerve endings in the palm. These nerves stem from the middle brain, where the two hemispheres join. Therefore, every thought you have, conscious and unconscious, is reflected in some way on your hand!

As your life and attitudes change, the lines of your hand will reflect the new patterns of your life. This can be observed by studying your own hand closely.

You may observe, over time, that your life line (the line that wraps around your thumb and across your palm) creeps across your palm as you experience dramatic changes in your life-style. The other lines of the hand change as well. It is important to remember that the lines change as your attitudes change, not vice-versa. The tail does not wag the dog in this case.

Palmistry is as much art as science; and art cannot be taught. If you resolve at the outset to be a good and ethical reader, the rest will naturally follow.


This is part of the introduction of my Palmistry eBook.
jimtron
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Ignore me said:
Quote:
However, there are many hand characteristics (including hand lines) which speak about a person's health and such (diseases, genetic conditions, general health, great stress within the past 6 months or so, etc.), so I sometimes wonder about whether certain personality traits might not have some kind of reflection in the lines as well.


I'd like to learn more about this; could you provide a specific example (about how hand characteristics speak about health and stress)? Or where I could read more about that--specifically how hand characteristics can reveal the person's health?

Alexandre said:
Quote:
The lines of the hand act as a sort of circuit board of the brain. Neurosurgeons tell us that these lines are caused by nerve endings in the palm. These nerves stem from the middle brain, where the two hemispheres join. Therefore, every thought you have, conscious and unconscious, is reflected in some way on your hand!


I asked on another thread about this; I'd really like to hear more about the neurological aspect of palmistry. Alexandre, may I ask what your source is for this (for: "Neurosurgeons tell us that these lines are caused by nerve endings in the palm"? I must admit I'm skeptical that "every thought you have...is reflected...on your hand," but I'm open minded and would certainly not rule it out. Does anyone know where I could learn more about the neurology aspect of palmistry, and how, specifically, thoughts can be reflected in one's hand?

Alexandre, perhaps you could give an example of how you could look at someone's hand and determine something about their thoughts?

I agree that you can't teach someone to be an artist.

Thanks everyone for answering the annoying question guy!
Jay Elf
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Many beginners have asked about good texts on cold reading in Caf$B!&(B And many mentalists/readers have answered "Learn actual/real/legitimate system, not cold reading". I believe what they call actual systems like Tarot, Palmistry, and Astrology are hardly sciences. They are in a sense more like pseudo sciences. I think they are inspiratinal sources for readers, which are hardly sciences. They are almost nothing more than cold reading strategy.

What had confused me is the naming "actual/real/legitimate system", which somewhat lead beginners to misunderstanding.
Legitimate system, but pseudo science?
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Jay, regarding your comments and question regarding directing beginners to a system, perhaps it's because, even if one is a hard-core skeptic, using a "real" system allows one to learn and use a tested framework within which to connect to the client. Using a system also allows one to explore tangents that come up within the system. If one is merely claiming "heightened empathy" or some such thing, but doesn't have any grounding for moving beyond cold reading, then one has a harder time, ESPECIALLY if one is among the beginners you mention, who want to learn how to do readings. (Remember them?)

So, let's say you are talking about someone going to a reader for insight or advice. Which system would such a person be more likely to label as "real," or "actual," or "legitimate," the labelling of which is confusing you?

Tarot.
Astrology.
Cold reading.
Palmistry.

I just don't picture anyone jumping at the third choice. *laugh*

Does that help clarify the confusion regarding the labelling of something as an "actual/real/legitimate system?"

You are also mistaken on another point. A system is NOT "almost nothing more than cold reading strategy." Remember, many folks who use such systems are believers, and use the systems for THEMSELVES. Is it likely such a person is merely doing cold reading?

Instead of getting into a debate about science/pseudoscience (I've already acknowledged the woeful lack of good studies, and the importance of good test design, in this thread and others), I'll point out that most clients are looking for insight into their own lives, which is NOT the province of science. For the most part, these systems are NOT science, but they can function as great tools for gaining that sought after insight, which generally is related to the philosophical viewpoint (Why?) as opposed to the scientific viewpoint (How?).

One may not agree with people turning to such things as reading or religion for such insights, but that's the joy of having free will, and of living in a democratic country; one can do as one wants in one's personal life, including have a different opinion, as long as it doesn't harm another in an illegal way. As long as those opinions and actions aren't forcefully imposed on another, there shouldn't be any problem. Surely no one would want to have to forced to believe in something they disagreed with, would they? Or, if someone believes in something, that person shouldn't be forced to renounce those beliefs, should they?

That's what makes such an interesting dilemma for certain faiths in the US, in spite of what some spiritual leaders repeatedly claim: According to studies, religious/spiritual beliefs and activity are stronger than ever, which is good, but it isn't in a way in agreement with their particular belief system, which is bad. Isn't that ironic? *laugh*

Cheers!
drwilson
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"I'd like to learn more about this; could you provide a specific example (about how hand characteristics speak about health and stress)?"

Go here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=OMIM

Search on "dermatoglyphics."

You will find characteristic and well-known changes in the palm associated with Down Syndrome and other developmental disorders. You may also wish to search on "simian crease."

Here is a web page with links to many scientific studies of dermatoglyphics:

http://www.dse.nl/~frvc/handresearch/publications.htm

A google search on "dermatoglyphics" will produce a wealth of material.

As I pointed out before, none of this addresses whether traditional palmistry has any scientific basis. These studies establish that the development of the lines on the hand is a developmental process influenced by the same genetic factors that guide other aspects of development. Not surprisingly, some developmental defects are associated with specific and characteristic changes in dermatoglyphics.

You should still learn how to read palms. That way, you can go out and make some money without having to haul around any props.

Yours,

Paul
Mystician
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For what it's worth, my take on it is this (and this applies to all these things, from numerology to runes to tarot):
Palmistry itself is not an art, it's a psuedo-science.
The mastery of performing a palm reading however, is an art.

I make that distinction because one can embellish the (psuedo-science)system with not only a thorough knowledge of the technical aspects, but with interpretation and reading of the subject his/herself.
For example, this may or may not be part of classic palmistry, but if you see a hand that is thick skinned and heavily calloused, it's just common sense that the subject performs some kind of hard manual labor regularly. Conversely, smooth delicate hands convey the opposite, naturally. That's a really overly-simple example of course, but the art is in the detective work of reading people and using psychology; Sherlock Holmes would've been a fantastic reader of any of these systems !
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Parson Smith
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I lost my right hand in an accident.
Do I still have a future?
Peace,
Parson
Here kitty, kitty,kitty. Smile
+++a posse ad esse+++
Tom Cutts
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I see your future as only that which you have left... in your own mind.
Jay Elf
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Thanx for sharing your thoughts, Mr. Ignore me.

Hello, all.
First of all, I practice reading and love reading people.
IMHO, there are no "legitimate" systems unless systems have complete scientific proof. So if you have learned what they call a "legitimate" system, that means you just only have learned the rule of a game. You can never know precisely people's futures by the "legitimate" system.

To make matters worse, you can devise your own system. Because "legitimate" systems have no scientific backgrounds. They are just historical games. That's why there are numerous idiotic looking fortune tellings all over the world.

You can do readings by using psychology, cold reading skills, and detective skills.

However, I love tarot and palm readings. Sometimes I ask myself what is tarot reading all about? I have been unable to find the answer.
ALEXANDRE
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Quote:
On 2005-10-20 08:52, Jay Elf wrote:
Sometimes I ask myself what is tarot reading all about? I have been unable to find the answer.


A tarot reading is somewhat of a game that gives you some insight into yourself and makes you look at things in a way that you otherwise wouldn't. Apart from that, it is what you want it to be....
drwilson
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I think what we mean by "legitimate" systems here is that these are established systems with a long history, with many people familiar with them. "Legitimate" systems include cartomancy with Tarot or playing cards, palmistry, runestones, scrying with crystal balls, bowls of water, and black mirrors. There are many more obscure systems like reading the cracks formed in a tortoise shell when you poke it with a hot iron, teas leaves, and so on.

A friend of mine told me of a psychic entertainer that he knew who had a bag with a bunch of different found objects: an old foreign coin, a stone from a river, a jewel, a feather, all things that he had collected that had meaning to him. He would cast these onto a cloth, and read the patterns and juxtapositions of the objects while telling the stories of each object. These must have been wonderful, powerful readings. This system was rooted in other systems in which items are cast and patterns are read, but it was very individualistic. Sometimes in a reading, he would give one of the objects to the client, then find a replacement object after the reading.

Speaking only for myself, when I use the term "legitimate" in reference to a fortune telling system here, I don't mean that it is scientific, that is, has resulted from the testing of specific hypotheses by experiment and analysis. I only mean that it is familiar to many people. I think that the made-up reading system that I described above would be terrific in the hands of the right person (such as the fellow who made it up!), and would have the added value of distinguishing that reader from a long line of Tarot readers at a psychic fair.

Peace and Abundance to All,

Paul
Jay Elf
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Dear Alexandre,
Thank you for your answer.


Dear drwilson,
Thank you for your post. I enjoyed.
ehands
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I ordered a lot of books a year ago hoping to find that 'Palm Readers' had distilled the latest understandings from medical diagnosticians and synthesized those of intertainment value (as opposed to rare genetic disorders) with clues the valid and still current clues accumulated from centuries of gypsy fortune telling and the insights of cold-readers. The books I bought were modern compendiums, well-written for the most part, but full of astrologic and psychologic terminology and concepts that I had no interest in. I no more than glanced at any of them. Thankfully, this thread reminds me of those misinformed purchases. I will assemble a list this weekend and post them on the >>Books and Lecture for Sale or Trade << area.

Be forewarned, however, if the books I'll offer answer the types of questions that Jay Elf and I have, those answers are buried in too much astrology, psychology, and performance art for my taste.

If anyone can reference more sources of information (like DrWilson has) that are built on real science or on careful observations like Sherlock Holmes would note (e.g., carpenters have broad index 3rd phalange of the index finger from years of grasping ...), please post them. And there is an example of what turned me off: these books would have referred not to the ‘3rd phalange of the index finger,’ but to something like the ‘Jupiter’s alpha prome .’
"Oh look, we have created enchantment." Blanche DuBois
Mike Baxter
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Quote:
ehands wrote:
these [palmistry] books would have referred not to the ‘3rd phalange of the index finger,’ but to something like the ‘Jupiter’s alpha prome .’


Agree entirely. I have to use memory techniques wherever possible: JSAM stands for (from first to little finger) Jupiter, Saturn, Apollo, Mercury. Additional aids are used for the mounts, etc.

Mike (an unbeliever!)
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Agree entirely. I have to use memory techniques wherever possible: JSAM stands for (from first to little finger) Jupiter, Saturn, Apollo, Mercury. Additional aids are used for the mounts, etc.
Mike (an unbeliever!)


How do you remember JSAM though ?
I would think of it like this - the space program in reverse chronological order.
Starting with the pinky, the Mercury missions, then the Apollo missions, followed by Saturn V rockets (concurrent actually), and lastly, the Jupiter - the flying saucer in "Lost in Space" (set in the future).. Smile
but overall , that just strikes me as ridiculous.
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ehands
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It is a well-established, if not an inevitable, tradition that professions create their own private argot (secret lingo) partly for exclusivity, party for clairity. Maybe we shouldn't be too hard on mentalists, especially since their clients are particularly prone to being impressed with superficialities. I want the least effort method that gets good results, so am dissappointed when I try to tap into their collected wisdom by buying a book without buying into the whole serious membership.
"Oh look, we have created enchantment." Blanche DuBois
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