Chiromancy and Astrology

As we have seen, interconnections between astrology and chiromancy have been made from relatively early on in the history of chiromancy and hand readers have often made extensive use of astrological symbolism in the practice of their art. This is not so surprising given that astrology was one of the main frames of reference through which the world was perceived in this whole period and any subject that could utilise astrological principles was ipso facto sufficiently justified.

As the astrological dictum 'As above so below' suggests, man was viewed as a reflection of the universe and the universe was seen to be reflected in man. Hence astrology was the study of the macrocosmic view of man, whereas chiromancy and physiognomy were the particular study of each individual man as the microcosmic reflection of that macrocosm. Although it is obvious that the two were seen as complementary aspects of the same study, ever since they were first brought together in the writings of the late fourteenth/early fifteenth century, what is quite surprising is that they generally remained as two quite different arts and distinctive practices until well into the sixteenth century. For all through this time, despite the exhortations of men like John Indagine, very little was done by way of integrating the two studies together. It was not until the late sixteenth century and the writings of Johannes Rothmann that any concerted attempts were made to unify them as one coherent art.

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