Welcome! My name is Professor Swithun, and I am your new professor of Divination here at Hogwarts is Here. Professor Cattercorn formerly led this course; therefore, you will find references to her in Years Two through Five. You may notice some minor edits here and there, but rest assured that you will not be held responsible for any of these small changes on your assignments and exams. I will strive to keep this transition as cohesive as possible. I have exciting plans for Years Six and Seven! I’m working hard to have Year Six prepared and published as soon as possible.


My lovely group of PAs and I are happy to answer any questions or concerns about the course. If you have a question about grading, please send an owl that includes the grade ID for that assignment and why you are appealing. Please be respectful (and remember that we are all volunteers!)


If you have any areas of interest related to Divination that you’d like to learn more about in the upcoming curriculum, now is your chance to voice your ideas! I love to hear from students, and questions, constructive comments, and suggestions are all welcome. My office door is always open to accept owls.


See you in class!


(updated 01/18/2022)

Lesson 4) Chirognomy

The students, now accustomed to not knowing what their Divination professor is going to do, cautiously enter the Divination lounge.  True to expectation, they are greeted by a unique sight. Many of the posters of hands from last week are gone, with only four left. Professor Cattercorn is nowhere to be seen, but the students take their seats and look at the posters.  Each poster has a hand, each one different from the others, but what stands out the most is what’s on the hands.  Each poster has a corresponding elemental symbol that emits a faint glow to it.  They are able to identify a flame for fire, a typhoon for wind, a drop of liquid for water, and a small pebble for earth.  In sync with the chiming of the bell to mark the start of the lesson, Professor Cattercorn appears from behind a bookcase, letting it close behind her.

Welcome back, class! I hope that you all did well with the assignments from last lesson. The study that we are going to delve into today is an offshoot of palmistry called chirognomy. Before we proceed any further, I would like to mention that this particular variation of palmistry is mainly focused on characterization of a person rather than reading their future. However, if you are clever enough and truly possess the Inner Eye, characterizing an individual correctly will allow you to see what their past or future holds with a little more clarity. More, 
never underestimate the gift of being able to properly identify a person's characteristics when trying to properly sort through their futures. Chirognomy is a form of divination, also called chiromancy or simply hand reading, in which the shape of the whole hand is taken into consideration. It doesn’t concern itself with the lines on the palm, like the broader topic of palmistry, but instead the length, shape, thickness, and texture of one’s hand.

Elementary, My Dear
One of the first steps of this art is to assign the hand you are studying into one of four groups named after the elements. Let us take each of the four main types of hands below, break them down, and examine them in order to differentiate. Take a look at your own palm and ask yourself the following questions: Do you have long or short fingers? What shape is your palm? Is your palm long or short? Using the included images and short descriptions below, please examine your own hand and determine which description fits best.

  1. Air - Long fingers, square palms
  2. Earth - Short fingers, square palms
  3. Fire - Short fingers, long palms
  4. Water - Long fingers, rectangular palms

Now that you’ve hopefully ascertained which type correlates to your own hands, let’s take a look at what your hand says about you! I will also give astrological associations, but please do keep in mind that just because a specific type of hand has an astrological association does not mean that only those who fall under that association can possess that type of hand.

People who possess air hands are typically ruled by their emotions and feelings. Socially speaking, those with air hands are great communicators and logical thinkers. They analyze situations in depth and are very intuitive people who typically have an interest in the psychic realm. The downside to those who possess this particular type of hand is that they often dwell on things to the point where they will stress themselves out.
Astrological Associations: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius

It is commonly held that those who possess the earth hands like to get their hands dirty. They are oftentimes adventurous and like to spend time outdoors enjoying nature. These persons often have a very down to earth approach to life and are stable and dependable in relationships. The downside of these types of hands is that those who possess them are often impatient, stubborn, and quick tempered.
Astrological Associations: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

Those who possess fire hands are often the life of the party. They are very outgoing and do not lack social skills. Knowing how to draw a crowd, people flock to be around them. They tend to burn out quickly if things aren’t going their way and can get quite defensive. Tread carefully, because their mood can flip in an instant. Those with fire hands are often extremely impatient individuals as well.
Astrological Associations: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

Those who possess water hands are typically very sensitive in nature. Similar to air hands, they are often ruled by their emotions when they allow their feelings to dictate their life without letting their mind think things through logically. They often excel in the arts such as music, entertainment, and painting. Situations with intense conflicts often cause feelings of stress to rise up, which these individuals find difficult to handle.
Astrological Associations: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Got You Wrapped Around My Finger
Most of you are familiar with the names of each finger, but let us see what each of these fingers can tell us about a person's characteristics.  We will be discussing the length of each finger first, starting with the little finger to the thumb, as depicted in the picture to the left. It is important to note that with the finger sizes, I will give a brief description of what to expect in individuals who possess a long or short finger of each type. If they are average sized, the person falls somewhere in between the two descriptions. Keep in mind that there are no absolute, concrete averages to go by. Over time, and with practice, you will recognize the length of male and female fingers more easily.  You may also come to realize that what constitutes a long finger for a male may be different for females, as there are several differences between the hands of males and females, including size!

The Pinky (or Little Finger)
People with a longer pinky finger will typically be quick on the uptake, be your smooth talkers, and do well in all social events. Unrelatedly, those who possess the shorter pinky finger are typically more immature in the way they handle situations, specifically when it comes to emotionally charged circumstances.

The Ring Finger
Those with long ring fingers are often drawn to traditionally creative pursuits, or work well with their hands. They might enjoy a number of hobbies in the fine arts including painting, playing instruments, and writing, among others. Possessing a short ring finger is extremely uncommon, but typically just means the opposite of having a long ring finger. It is important to note that there are varying degrees of finger length. As such, whilst it is uncommon to have a very small ring finger, there can be different points on a spectrum!

The Middle Finger
A longer than normal middle finger indicates hard workers who do anything they can to get ahead in life. When someone criticizes their work or work ethic, they take it to heart. On the other hand, those with shorter middle fingers are somewhat lazy. Interestingly enough, a shorter middle finger can also indicate people who are typically absent-minded.

The Index Finger (or Pointer Finger)
Individuals with long index fingers are who you rely on in a time of crisis. They are very strong-willed and are often in management-style positions, as they love being successful. They can master whatever they set their minds to and are quite confident people. Those with a shorter index finger most often steer clear of high stress jobs, opting for entry-level positions, which prevents them from controlling other people and helps them feel less anxious.

The Thumb
Lastly, we have the thumb. Those with a longer than average thumb tend to be more blunt and in your face. They can have quite forceful or domineering personalities.  If they put their mind to it, they know how to manipulate others and can use this to their advantage. If the thumb is not only long but also narrow, this represents that the individual wants to succeed. Small-thumbed folk, as you might guess, tend toward the opposite end of that spectrum.

Hand Size
With the fingers out of the way, let us move on to the size of the hand in general. Take a look at your own hand, or a hand of someone near you. Is the hand big or small? Also take note of the individual's biological sex.  You may notice a contrast between the different sexes’ hand sizes, and these must be taken into consideration when performing readings. Often, but not always, females will have smaller hands than their male counterparts. The average size of a male’s hand is 18.9 centimeters (or 7.4 inches) whereas the average female hand is roughly 17.2 centimeters (6.8 inches) in size. Please keep this small difference in mind while making your calculations.

From these measurements, we can assume that anything above average will be considered large and anything below the average of either sex will be considered small. Despite those assumptions, allow for a 5 centimeter (.2 inch) difference before jumping from “average” to “large” or “small”. This is all, of course, assuming that you wish to use a ruler. In truth,  most seers do not use one and we read based on our own judgment. However, good judgement comes from practice. So read as many hands as you can and do not be afraid to practice judging the size of a hand and then checking your estimation with a ruler while you are starting out. However, this is best reserved for when practicing on family, friends, or classmates, as it does marr the atmosphere a bit to pull out a ruler in the middle of a more professional reading!

Large Hands
Individuals who possess larger hands tend to be willing to help out. They are typically very reliable people who can multitask fairly well, or be working towards multiple goals at the same time. Given the nickname “gentle giants,” these individuals are usually the friendliest of the lot and mild mannered.

Average Hands
As practical individuals, people with average hands are well-balanced in their lives and can possess qualities of both large and small-handed individuals. They know when to pursue a certain thing or to let it drop. They are level-headed and usually weigh the options of the goals before going after them.

Small Hands
Small handed individuals also have a very strong desire to achieve their goals. However, for various reasons (be they self-made roadblocks or externally generated challenges), it typically takes these individuals a very long time to achieve what they have set out to do. Fortunately, they usually do achieve their goals in the end!

And with that, we will wrap up our lesson today. I hope you enjoyed learning about the hand as much as I have enjoyed teaching about it. We aren’t quite off of the topic yet, though, as next lesson we will be discussing fingertips and onychomancy, or divination involving the finger nails. We will also be doing midterms next lesson, so make sure that you take plenty of notes and study them. Please practice on yourself and your friends. For today’s assignment, I have a quiz, naturally. Until next time, fair fortune!

Original lesson written by Professor Otto Umbridge
Image credits here and here

In Year Four of Divination, we will be exploring the various methods of physical divination. Enter, and discover more than you thought possible from one glance at the person across the room.
Course Prerequisites:
  • DIV-301

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