The Seer's Guide To Seeing

written by Professor Wessex

A beginner's guide to the many-faceted field of divination.

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Chapter 4

 Palmistry, also known as chiromancy, is a facet of Divination that involves determining an individual's character and foretelling the future through the study of his or her palm. It is a practice that is ingrained in the history of various cultures all throughout the Wizarding World in varying forms. Techniques of interpretation differ from culture to culture, as well as from reader to reader. The practice of chiromancy is not the most precise magical art, and, as with many subjects within Divination, relies upon the dedication, effort and instinct of the palm reader. With careful study, any magical student can develop the skills necessary to evaluate someone's character and future from a cursory palm reading with moderate success, however, those with the true sight or a legacy of seer blood in their ancestry may interpret and predict from a subject's palm with greater accuracy.

  The art of palmistry had its origins in multiple regions across Europe and Asia, particularly within groups in India, Tibet, China, Ancient Israel, Babylonia and others. Ancient palmistry is believed to have found its roots in the practices of Hindu astrology, Chinese Yijing, and Gypsy fortune tellers. Each of these sections of ancient palmistry have since branched out, spreading across countries and continents, and evolved, through the practice being molded to each acquiring culture's teachings, to the form of modern palmistry we know today. Like all magical arts, palmistry is a subject that continues to develop as individual readers study and discover new techniques and facets to the palm. From it's unique origins, palmistry made it's way to Greece where it was practiced by Anaxagoras and studied in greater depth by Aristotle, who provided his findings from a treatise found on an altar of Hermes to Alexander the Great. It was Alexander the Great who put the magical art of palm reading to a more practical use by delving into the hidden depths of his officers' personalities through careful analysis and interpretation of the lines on their hands. Aristotle believed that a man's palm lines held greater significance than random forms. With a sharp eye and magical ability, a palm reader would be able to look into a man's past, present and future and discover a life path and fundamental characterization as unique and complex as that man's palm print. From the history of the use of palmistry, Alexander the Great, along with Aristotle and Hippocrates, made the laws and popular practice of palmistry what they are today. As the practice of palmistry spread, it unintentionally crossed over into the Muggle world. The Catholic church suppressed the art, considering it a pagan superstition in the Middle Ages. During the Renaissance, palmistry was labeled as one of seven forbidden arts. In present times, imprints of the practice can still be found in the Muggle world, but true chiromancy has become a more guarded practice.

  Palm readers, which are also referred to at times as palmists or chirologists, develop their own personal techniques to reading palms through continued practice and instinctual cues. A keen eye, strong inherent aptitude and committed study are all required to develop a personal technique that allows for accurate and effective interpretation of a palm. Magical students must hone their ability to clear their minds and rely on their instincts. The first step in learning these techniques is to learn and understand the parts of the palm and their associated significance. The main features of the palm include various lines and mounts. The most important lines, or grooves in the palm, are the Life, Heart, and Head lines, which can be seen in the below image. Mounts are bumps in the palm and are denoted by names of Gods and Goddess—for example, Jupiter and Apollo also depicted in an image below. The lines and mounts are interpreted by the reader in regards to their size and length, curvature, depth, other qualities and when and where they intersect with other lines. Analysis of other features of the hand can also factor into a palm reading. Those features may include the individual fingers and their qualities, skin patterns of the palm, the texture and coloring of the palm, shape of the hand or the flexibility of hand and fingers. It is at the discretion of the individual palm reader to determine which features are significant to a subject's reading. Ignoring a facet of the palm or including it in the reading can have a considerable impact on the accuracy and detail of a reading.

 The palm reader’s first step in a reading is choosing which hand of the subject to be read. This choice, like most choices regarding interpretation in palmistry, is generally dependent on the instinct of the reader, however, it is common practice to read the dominant hand of the subject. Right handed subjects are often read by their right hand, and left handed subjects by their left. Beliefs about the significance of each hand are varied. Some believe that the dominant hand displays the subject's conscious mind and accordingly the other would show the subconscious mind. Others believe that the dominant hand tells the present and future, while the other hand shows inherited traits or a subject's past life and karmic condition. Another defined possibility is that the left displays a subject's potential while the right is already realized personality. A consistent theme in many differing views is that the left hand shows the subject's foundation, whether it is hereditary characteristics he or she was born with or traits transposed from past life incarnations, and the right is the subject's current and to be properties. This seems to be determined with the thought in mind that a majority of subjects will be right handed. It could be concluded then that for a left handed subject many of these beliefs would be reversed. Again, the choice of hand for a reading depends upon the reader's instinct and experience. Any strong feeling toward a specific hand should be the most important indication of which hand to read.

One of the simplest features observed with a subject's palm is the hand shape. In regards to hand shape, a subject's hand can be classified as one of the shape types that reflect individual personality traits. There have been historical writings that refer to as many as eleven different types of hand shape, but this text only focuses on four major categories of hand shape—each identifying with a corresponding element and temperament. Whether a hand fits the categories of Earth, Air, Water or Fire hands is based upon a hand's shape, length, color, texture, and finger qualities. These are all aspects that can be noted with quick observation of a subject's hand. It is not as detail oriented as the reading and interpretation of individual lines, but the information learned from hand shape can be just as helpful and important as that which is gleaned from the individual lines and mounts. The qualities of each elemental hand type can depict the fundamentals of a subjects personality and internal character.

  Earth hands are usually broad with the palm forming a square shape. The skin on Earth hands can be thick or coarse. Coloring is often ruddy or reddish in hue. The length of the palm, from wrist to the base of the fingers, is often equal to the length of the fingers. The lines on Earth hands are usually fewer in number, but are deeper and more clearly defined. Subjects with Earth hands are often seen as strong and reliable—a stabilizing force in their actions and their relationships. In excess, this quality can lead to stubbornness and a fear of taking risk or accepting change. There is a focus on endurance and persistence in subjects in this element. Every force needs to be tempered though, and an accurate reading can help a subject in that regard.

  Air hands are often rectangular or square in shape and the skin is often dry. Fingers on an Air hand are long with knuckles that might protrude. Thumbs are low set on the hand. Like Earth hands, the length of the palm is most times equal the length of fingers. The lines on Air hands are often greater in number but not as deep as those on Earth and Water hands. Subjects with Air hands are often intellectual and versatile. They can see differences as assets, not as a means for judgment. These qualities in excess can lead to a subject viewing emotions through an intellectual lens—observing rather than feeling the emotions. While subjects are often tolerant, adaptable and able to accomplish many tasks in tandem, their weakness can reside in a perceived lack of emotion or an overactive mind. Harmony among the heart and mind are needed for a peaceful existence. A reader who accurately identifies a subject as an Air hand, can help them see the necessity of allowing both the mind to think and the heart to feel.

  Water hands are unique in their elongated and almost oval shape. Fingers are usually long, flexible and curved. On a water hand, the length of the palm is most often less than the width of the palm at its widest point. Like Earth hands, there are fewer, deeper lines on these palms. Subjects with Water hands are often sensitive, nurturing and compassionate. They rely on the fluidity of their emotions to guide them. Like the rise and fall of water, subjects with Water hands are influenced by the highs and lows of their emotions. In the highs, these subjects can be highly empathetic and allow their good feelings to engage and nurture others. In their lows, these subjects can be overly emotional, overly protective and possessive of those they care about. These subjects seek calming serenity and an accurate classification can help them adapt with better ease to the changing tides of their emotions.

  Fire hands are also usually square or rectangular in shape, leaving the true identifiers of the categories to finger quality, color and texture. Skin on a Fire hand is often flushed or pink in color. Fingers are shorter than the hands of the other elements. This allows for the length of the palm to be greater than the length of the fingers. Similar to Air hands, Fire hands often have lines in greater numbers with less clear definition. Subjects with Fire hands are more likely to exhibit traits of high energy and passion. These subjects can be highly creative, spontaneous and ambitious. They can also be short tempered, impulsive and reckless. Understanding the two sides to this personality type can allow a reader to aid the subject in finding balance within his or her character.

 Beyond hand shape and classification, the more in depth analysis of the palm can begin, starting with the three major lines. Moving from the base of the fingers down to the wrist, the first major line that we come to is the Heart line. The Heart line can reveal the emotional life of the subject. The matters of the heart, love and attraction can be found represented in the subject's heart line. It is found below the fingers near the top of the palm, as seen in a previous image. It can be read starting from either direction depending upon the school of palmistry and the reader. The heart line provides insight into the emotional aspects of a subjects personality and mindset, and when interpreted successfully by a palm reader can unveil how emotions will be acted out and upon in the subject's lifetime. Predicting a subject's emotional path using the heart line is a common request in a reading. The quality, depth, length and curvature of the line can indicate a subject's emotional attitude toward love and intimate relationships— for example, whether they fall in love easily or are more resistant to emotional attachment. A simple quality to the heart line is whether it is curved or straight. Subjects with curved heart lines are often more active, aggressive and demonstrative in romance. Alternatively, subjects with straight heart lines are the opposite: passive, receptive and thought orientated in romance. There are many other qualities to study in the heart line, but for now we will move on to the next line down on the palm.

  The Head line is found below the heart line and runs near the center of the palm. The Head line does not represent a subject's intelligence, but rather how he or she thinks. Readers can use this line to interpret a subject's mental qualities, including the way they learn and communicate as well as how they approach information and knowledge. The length of the Head line is an indicator of a subject's method of thinking. Short Head lines are often found on the hands of those who think simple and are straight to the point. Conversely, a long Head line can represent a person who thinks everything through with great care extensively. The shape and definition of the head line can also reveal a great deal about a subject's thought process and mental features. For now, we will continue to the final of the three major lines.

  The Life line is the line of most importance in palmistry, as it can reveal the most about a subject's past, present and future. Most assume that the Life line is an exact measure of a person's length of life, but even the greatest of seers cannot predict with perfect accuracy how long a person will live. There are omens and symbols that can predict grave events in a person's life, but where a subject's Life line ends on his or her palm is not going to provide a written in stone, definite prediction of how old he or she is going to live to be. Instead, it is the strong belief of palmists that the Life line represents the quality of life a subject will live rather than the duration of life. The placement and curvature of the Life line on a subject's palm can reflect his or hers vitality and energy in life. Lines that fall near the thumb are usually representative of a subject with low vigor in life and who are often fatigued with weakness and low energy. Life lines that curve widely reflect subjects who live high energy lives full of vitality. Careful study of the Life line and its branches can unearth a rich understanding of the subject's life path and requires clear focus of the palm reader. If all other lines were disregarded, this line could foretell such wide and varying events that it deserves the respect of even the most amateur of reader when interpreting its significance.

  Each of these three major lines can be read to learn about a subject's life from childhood to old age by viewing the lines into sections corresponding to each stage of life. Small lines that sprout from each major line can represent major events in that aspect of the subject's life—lines off the Heart life representing relationships or lines off the Life line representing major life changes or life changing events. Breaks and turns in the lines can be noted and interpreted at the will of the reader. When all of these qualities are used in tandem with readings of the minor lines, the scope of the reading widens.

 Other lines on the palm are not always used in readings, but are used at the reader’s discretion depending on the length and depth of the reading. The minor lines carry importance as much as the major lines, but it is the instinct of the reader that determines which are the most influential lines for a subject's reading. The minor lines work in unison with the major lines to support and elaborate on the information learned from them. One of the minor lines is the Fate line, seen labeled number seven on the image to the right. The Fate line is believed to be directly linked with the subject's life path and events in the subject's past and future, however, it is also believed to be related to what occurs outside of the subject's control rather than their intentional choices. Absence of a Fate line or a line that is not well defined can indicate a subject's whose life has a tendency to shift constantly, susceptible to change at all turns. The Sun line, number five on diagram to the right, runs beside the Fate line and is considered to be related to events involving fame and scandal. The Girdle of Venus, number four on the diagram to the right, can reveal a subject's emotional intelligence or their inherent ability to manipulate. The Mercury line, number six on the diagram to the right, is related to a subject's skill in communication. There are also many marking and shapes that can be seen on the palm, which are unique to each subject, but perhaps one of the most interesting of those is La Croix Mystique. La Croix Mystique is a cross or x shape that can be seen in the space on the palm between the Heart and Head lines, seen in the diagram to the left. This marking is representative of a strong, natural inclination toward psychic magical arts. All of the greatest and acclaimed seers have born this marking on their palms. Those who carry this marking may take to all aspects of Divination, palmistry included. All of the lines and characteristics of the palm are complex and can take extended individual study to fully realize the divine potential that resides in the palm.

Study and interpretation of lines in depth will be covered in greater detail in later editions. The qualities discussed previously in this chapter are only one or two possible observations for each line. It was the purpose of this chapter to introduce the magical student to the basics and fundamental practices and components of palmistry. As the student grows and develops their skills in the art of palm reading, they will be able to learn and interpret more complex and unique palms. They will be able to combine what they learn from each line, mount and feature of the palm to provide a full and insightful picture of the subject's character and future life. Those with the true sight and the patience and dedication required to extensively explore a subject's palm for greater meaning will create a truly rewarding experience that is not only insightful for the subject, but also for the student themself.

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