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


The Earth Line
The Water Line
The Fire Line
The Air Line

Many people assume reading the lines is all palmistry consists of, understanding little of all the other points one must take into consideration . The lines mean little outside the context of the hand they're situated on.

The lines are rivers of energy, or chi , moving through various organs and areas of consciousness. Each main line has an elementary quality, which reflects a particular form of energetic current within a person.

The lines of the palm form between the ninth and eleventh weeks of gestation and change slowly and subtly throughout one's lifetime. Consequently, it's advisable to have your hand re-read annually as the patterns change.

If the hand shape and fingerprints form the fixed, genetic and unchanging potentials of a person, the lines are the individual's expression of that potential.

There are four major lines and these are usually present in some rudimentary form in everyone.

Illustration of the major lines

There are also usually, but by no means necessarily, other minor lines present.

A few principles will make it easy to interpret and understand the lines.

Crudely speaking, a major line which is broken, weakly defined, full of islands or interrupted by lots of crossing lines will function poorly, where a clear, bold line will function well. The flow of the lines should ideally be like that of a free-flowing river, unimpeded by islands, blocks and breaks. Straight, red lines are strong torrents of energy, showing a person direct and perhaps unsubtle in their activities, where curved, faint lines are indicative of a more delicate and considered character.

The major lines should be roughly balanced in strength. If any line stands out as substantially stronger, this should ideally be the Earth line. If not – the person currently ‘dwells' too much in some non-physical aspect of themselves and their lives may be somewhat out of balance. For instance, if the Water line is very strong and deep, while all the other lines are faint, then physical energy and stability (Earth line), goals (Fire line) and mental clarity (Air line) are currently at the mercy of the emotional state.

Lines can also be too long or too short. If a major line crosses the palm from side-to-side or top-to-bottom, this creates a intense, obsessive personality.

If a line's very short, not moving more than halfway across the palm, a person will have a limited range in that area.

The lines are influenced by the area of the palm they're on and the digit they point towards.

Lines record the individual's interpretation of events. This is a big idea to swallow but, ultimately, it means there's no absolute objective truth out there. For instance, two children in the same family can experience the divorce of their parents, yet record the experience differently in the lines of their hands.

A fascinating aspect of the lines is that they reflect their characteristics both momentarily and chronologically. This is to say that a bar, break or island on a line is indicative not only of an event occurring at a particular time in the bearer's life, but also there's a moment-to-moment blip in their consciousness presently.

For example: a large island at the end of the Air line reflects not only a stressful and incoherent mental process in the latter years of the bearer's life (this can signify a likeliihood of age-induced dementia) but this sign also indicates stress and incoherence in their thinking processes currently .

As a general principle, the higher the marking physically on the palm itself – the more idealised and abstract is the energy moving within the line and the more it relates to higher functions and higher parts of the body. For example: a line above the Water line, near the fingers, is linked to fantasy and escapism and is associated with the head physically. Small lines here often indicate a tendency to experience migraines.

The base of the Earth line at the bottom of the palm relates to the sense of place and grounding and, physically, to the sphincter.

Lines or branches of lines that reach upwards towards the fingers are expressive of optimism, idealism and positive attitudes and events.

Lines or branches of lines that plunge downwards are linked to a sense of ‘holding on', depression, loss, draining energy and negative events.

A break in a line shows an interruption in a person's life. If the two parts of the line overlap, they'll move quickly into new experiences; if there's a large gap with no overlap, they'll ceases to function in the area represented by the line and, for the period of the gap, they'll be particularly vulnerable to breakdown and illness.

Always check the quality of a line after a break. If the line becomes clearer, the experience will eventually prove beneficial.

Islands in a line indicate an inability to cope with a situation, confusion and stress.

Forked lines indicate diversity. Often one branch is stronger and this is the dominant pattern.

Little bar lines cutting across important lines represent exterior obstacles.

Island Break Fork Bar

Where there are an enormous number of lines all over the hand, there's mental hyperactivity, lots of fleeting responses and impressions, and, just possibly, neurosis. This is known as a ‘full hand'. Such a person would be highly-strung, complex and sophisticated but easily overloaded, stressed and liable to exhaustion.

Where there are very few lines on the palm, the personality lacks complexity. They're focused within mental boundaries and habits and are concrete about what they know. They like to be direct and unambiguous, plain and straightforward in dress, manner and thinking.

A ‘full' hand

Each line is best understood through its interpretative metaphor.

The way to think of this line is as a root . It curves around the Venus mount, embedding itself into the base of the palm, creating stability for the branches of personality (represented by the other main lines) to thrive and express themselves; drawing energy (chi), nourishment and vitality into the body, establishing a sense of security.

The earth line indicates our fundamental sense of being able to support ourselves, our family, roots, inner security and sense of place. It records by breaks and islands any severe shock to our system and stability.

A less than complete earth line (that doesn't run from the top to the bottom of the thumb ball, shows a highly mobile person who's unrooted. They are insecure, unstable and highly variable in thier energy levels. They don't know where they stand on important issues and don't know where their roots are. They will, however, be highly adaptable.

The Water line is like a river of receptivity that allows feeling, intuition, empathy, emotional response and ideals to flow within a person. Its course runs from the percussion edge under the little finger towards the thumb side. The longer and deeper the line, the more intensely the emotions rule our natures. If the line is short (not going more than half - way across the palm) and frail, one would tend to feel robotic, remote from others and be unaware of the feelings. A water line that crosses the palm side-to-side is a giver with a big heart that has a compulsion to respond to others and who can't say 'no'.

This is the most variable of the main lines and is more often than not only partially present. Its individuality makes it very revealing in interpretation. It's quite common for this line not to develop at all until well after adolescence.

This line acts as a ‘Firewall', creating a sense of character and defining our personal goals. It makes us resistant to outside influences. It forms a burning pathway delineating our personal choices in life, defining goals, lifestyle, habits, personal values and loyalties from all the possibilities and distractions society bombards us with. If there is no fire line present on a palm, the person doesn't know who they truly are; they haven't 'found themselves' and are unsure of their goals and character. A window cleaner with a good Fire line will be much more content with their lot than a merchant banker without a Fire line. You could say that a clear Fire line means one knows who one is and what one's values are.

The Air line is the key to a person's personality as it illustrates the way the person conceives and communicates. A straight air line thinks straight; they tend to be founf on people that are logical, unsentimental and level-headed. A bent line thinks more subjectively, intuitively and personally. A straight air line makes a person pragmatic and keen on 'the facts' and logical systems. A bent air line understands that all is a matter of perspective. Generally, very bent air lines make people likely to be withdrawn and to prefer darkness, deep thoughts and artistic experiences..

The metaphor to use for this line is a light beam. Notice how often we use this image for mental qualities – ‘she's a bright spark', ‘it came in a flash', indeed, we say that gaining wisdom is the process of becoming en light ened.

The longer this line extends across the palm, the further mentally one illuminates the darkness of possibilities and the more that is taken into consideration in any decision. Long lines (ending under the antenna finger) take a long view of things. Short lines are much more focused on their immediate situation and are much better at applied ideas. Clear, straight, air lines are found on highly effective characters and weak, poorly-formed air lines are found on timid, chaotic -minded folk.