Johnny Fincham
My Palmistry Book
Changing Hands
History of Hand Reading
The Fingers
(print patterns)
The Lines
Media Recommendations

Chirology, Palmistry, Hand Reading


• Simple Arch
• Ulna & Radial Loops
• Double Loop Composite
• Tented Arch
• Whorl
• Peacock's Eye

The Psychological Significance of Digital Dermatoglyphics

By Christopher Jones MA (Oxon)

The dermatoglyphic (lit.'skin-carvings') patterns of the hand are the intimate and private symbol of the individual. Although this is true of all the skin-ridge patterns on the surface of the hand as a whole, it is especially true of the digital dermatoglyphs, the fingerprints. Everybody knows that we each possess a unique set of fingerprints, a knowledge which is put to much use by police forces around the world, and moreover, that these patterns do not change. Their use as a means of identification shows how significant they are as an indicator of identity; their uniqueness shows how significant they are as a measure of individuality. Indeed, scientific research has confirmed that these patterns not only have a genetic significance but that they also betray certain distinctive psychological characteristics.

As unchanging and inherited patterns it is clear that our fingerprints are a set feature of consciousness. In a sense, they are the 'backdrop' or background features of the hand because they describe patterns of individual consciousness which are pre-set. The type of fingerprint pattern reveals the quality of consciousness inherent to that person and thus describes something of the fundamental characteristics of their of consciousness. As inherited patterns, they reveal certain inherent orientations, abilities or talents. In particular, they reveal a great deal about your personality and your psychological predispositions.

The location of the dermatoglyphic patterns on the top phalanges of the fingers can also be seen to be highly significant. The fingers are seen as manifestations of patterns of mind and in particular, they reveal psychological attitudes and orientations of consciousness. The top phalanges of the fingers are especially associated with intellectual and cerebral patterns of mind. Therefore, we can see that they are not only indicators of inherited psychological factors but also that they reveal something of the fixed parameters within which each of us conceives and conceptualises. They reveal something of how we think in that they reveal the conceptual and attitudinal framework within which our thinking is done. They are akin to what some psychologists refer to as our 'gestalt'.

It is important to remember here how 'behind the scenes' fingerprint patterns are - they are so much a part of how we perceive and experience the world that we ordinarily assume that everyone thinks in the same way we do. But of course this is not true and the differences that can be found between different people with regard to their fingerprint patterns reveals this. However, even though we may share the same fingerprint pattern type as many other people, and hence share the same type of reference frame, ultimately our psychological patterns are unique to us. Not even identical twins have identical fingerprint patterns! Our fingerprints therefore reveal something of our unique individuality. They form a crucial part of our individual identity and they thereby reveal both the style of our individuality and the manner in which this is expressed.

There are seven main types of fingerprint patterns: the ulna loop, the whorl, the simple arch, the double loop, the radial loop, the peacock's eye and the tented arch. These pattern types can be readily classified according to each of the four universal elements of Earth, Water, Fire, and Air. The use of the elements here will also enable us to define the psychological significance of these patterns with greater clarity.