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How to Read Hands and Palms (The Layman's Guide to Cheirology)

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An Easy Palmistry How-To Guide:

This guide is an INTRODUCTION to the art and science of Hand Analysis. While parts may initially appear over-simplified, these are the fundamentals and basics necessary to understand the more advanced techniques.

About the Layman's Guide

This lesson provides all the information you need to understand the basics of Hand Analysis.  By applying these techniques you will be able to interpret the unique advice of your own hands.

Please remember that this is original (and copyrighted) material.  Over 2 decades of work have gone into this, so please use the course only as it was intended - for personal growth and development. Permission to reprint (for non-commercial purposes only) can be made available upon written request.

I welcome any feedback or comments you have.
Send them to

Happy Learning
- Kenneth

Download a free eBook version of this Laymans Guide.

* The Layman's Guide to Cheirology *
*       Copyright 1998 - 2006      *
*      Kenneth A. Lagerstrom       *
*  All Material here is original   *
*   and protected by Copyright     *
*      ALL RIGHTS RESERVED         *


While the information here can be read quickly, it will take at least several days for you to absorb much of it. Send all the text files and graphics through your printer or word processor for easy reading.



Consider briefly what you know of Hand Analysis. If you're like most, you immediately think of Palm Reading and fortune-telling. Perhaps you also remembered how one of your children's hands move a certain way when they are lying to you. Maybe you already knew that the fingernails could detect several physical ailments. Did you know that the fingerprints can be used to detect genetic defects?

There are literally thousands of methods to interpret the hands, and each of these systems has one point in common: They are all Detail-Based. A Detail-Based analysis is any method of interpretation that searches for pre-determined markings or signs.

As you can easily see with a Detail-Based analysis, every possible combination of markings and their effects must first be known in order to perform a complete interpretation. Further, since the effects of the specific markings have been observed before, no room is given for personal change and growth.

For most professional Hand Analysts, a change comes into their methods usually when they have between 12-15 years experience in Detail-Based systems. Suddenly they begin to understand HOW the details interact with each other. They begin to understand the interpretation of markings they have never seen before. Almost overnight, their ability and accuracy increase exponentially. What has happened is that they began to use a Reference-Based technique instead of Detail-Based.

Fortunately, you do not have to study Detail-Based systems for over a decade just to develop your ability. By starting instead with Reference-Based analysis, you will be able to reach this 12-15 year plateau in under 12 months. Further, the details you learn will be UNDERSTOOD instead of just memorized.

Best of all, with Reference-Based analysis, you can start interpreting your hands almost immediately, with just a basic overview of Cheirology.



So what is Reference-Based analysis? Put simply, some characteristics on the hands will stand out more than others. Whatever trait you wish to interpret becomes the reference for analysis.

Now look at the front and back of both your hands. What 1 single trait stands out more than the rest? Now that you have a reference, what does it look like? Is it large or small? What color is it? Where on the hand does it appear? Is it temporary or permanent?

Any characteristic of the hands can be interpreted by answering these types of questions. This is the foundation of Reference-Based Analysis.



You will need to memorize this list of colors and their meaning:

  • Pink: Healthy, Optimistic, Vital.
  • Red: Anger, Temper, Acute, Inflamed.
  • Yellow: Bitter, Malicious, Jaundice.
  • Brown: Depression, Unforgiving, Chronic.
  • Black: Proud, Haughty, Moody, Vengeful.
  • White: Lifeless, Apathetic, Unmotivated.
  • Blue: Cold, Self-destructive, Isolated.


The Dominant hand gives detail about your present circumstances and the choices you have made. The Non-Dominant provides the background for the details of the Active hand.

Compare the size of your hands. One will be slightly larger than the other. The larger hand is your Active, or Dominant hand. The smaller is the Recessive, or Non-Dominant.

The palms supply detail from the owner's perspective. The back of the hand relates to the views of others.


The simplest divisions of the hands are the areas called "Mounts".

See Graphic Attachment - Mounts

The Mounts of the hands may be elevated, flat, or depressed. Elevated mounts show a physical, direct approach to the aspect represented by that mount. Depressed mounts denote a mental, or indirect approach to that aspect. Flat mounts show no real influence in the subject's life.

The Mount of Jupiter
Ambition, Ego, Drive for Power, Achievement, Leadership.

The Mount of Saturn
Serious, Intellectual, Somber, Moody, Scientific Investigation.

The Mount of Apollo
Brilliance, Creativity, Artistic, Beauty, Emotional Fulfillment.

The Mount of Mercury
Communications, Spirituality, Commerce.

The Mount of Venus
Passion, Lust, Desire, and other Raw Emotions.

The Mount of Mars Positive
Physical Courage, Martial Spirit, Aggression.

The Mount of Mars Negative
Mental Courage, Inner Strength, Resistance.

The Mount of Luna
Imagination, Reproduction, Fear, Sexuality.



Example 1

The Mount of Jupiter is elevated dark red.

Mount of Jupiter = Ambition, Ego, Leadership, Power.
Elevated = Outward action and projection of influence.
Dark Red = Anger, Temper.

Now simply transpose...

The ((Mount of Jupiter)) is ((elevated)) ((dark red)).
The ((Ego/Ambitions)) is ((acting on)) ((anger)).

So we know that a large red Mount of Jupiter means that the actions taken to further the ambitions are based on anger and temper.

Example 2

The Mount of Saturn is depressed black.

Mount of Saturn = Serious, Moody, Intellectual.
Depressed = Mental, Indirect.
Black = Proud, Haughty, Unforgiving, Vengeful.

Again we simply transpose...

The ((Mount of Saturn)) is ((Depressed)) ((Black)).
The ((Intellect)) is ((thinking about)) ((Pride/Revenge)).

So we know that a depressed black Mount of Saturn means that the thoughts have turned to pride and revenge.

Now apply this technique to each of the mounts on your hands.
1) Which mount is it?
2) Is the mount elevated, flat, or depressed?
3) What color is the mount?



See Graphic Attachment - Lines

The optimum appearance of the lines is to be clean, deep, light red in color, and with no apparent breaks or other markings. Any deviation from this optimum tells of difficulties in the area of life represented by that particular line.

The Line of Head
The Line of Head reveals the basic mentality, cognitive abilities, and insanity. Abnormalities on this line show periods of mental stress and/or brain conditions.

The Line of Heart
Also called the Mensal, this line shows the strength and condition of the heart, and the basis for emotional relationships. Abnormalities tell of emotional difficulties.

The Line of Life
The Life Line indicates the Vitality or "Life Force" of the individual. Irregularities show a weakening of this vitality.

The Line of Mars
Also called the Inner Life Line, the Line of Mars does not appear on all hands. When present, it adds strength to the Life Line, allowing the subject to overcome apparently insurmountable odds.

The Line of Fate
Sometimes called the "Career Line" or "Destiny Line", the Line of Fate reveals not only the major events and occupation of the individual, but also the strength of their belief in (or denial of) pre-destination and fate.

The Line of Health
Each Line of Health reveals a different ailment afflicting the person. It is common to find up to 5 Health Lines on the hand, but it is best if this line is not present.

The Line of Success
Also called the Line of Apollo, this line tells of brilliance. When present, the creative drive of the individual will assist them greatly in furthering their ambitions.

The Line of Marriage
The Line of Marriage does not show the actual ceremony of marriage, but indicates a very strong emotional bond to another person. Most people have between 1-3 marriage lines on their hands.

Now read the color of each line on your own hands - Just transpose like before.

Example: ((Pale White)) ((Line of Heart)) =
((Apathetic/Lifeless)) ((Emotions))



Each finger reveals different aspects as follows:

  • Index Finger - Ambition/Career - Ego
  • Middle Finger - The Mind/Money - Super Ego
  • Ring Finger - Emotions - Personna
  • Baby Finger - Communications/Spirituality - Id/Libido
  • The Thumb - Willpower and Control


The length of the fingers shows the individual's patience and ability to carry out tedious tasks. Short fingers are found on people with grandiose dreams, but not the patience to complete the tasks required. Long fingers show a love of detail, but often to the exclusion of the "Big Picture".

Also important to note is the length of the fingers in relation to one another. The first comparison to make is the length of the index to ring finger. If the index finger is noticeably longer than the ring finger, this indicates that the subject has a "Me First" attitude, and is a natural leader.

With the ring finger at least a quarter inch longer than the index, these are the technicians. Able to understand both people and machines, these subjects will not take the lead unless they must, being content to be the power behind the throne.

For the baby finger, we look to how low-set the base is. The normal placement is approximately a quarter inch below the level of the other fingers. This shows a normal degree of self-confidence. With the base of the baby finger more than a quarter inch below, the person had a very insecure childhood, with the lack of confidence carrying on through to adult life. In the case of the high-set finger, this indicates a confident and secure childhood, again carrying on to adulthood.


A straight finger shows straightforward views and actions pertaining to the aspects of that finger. Any twisting or bending tells that the views and actions of that aspect have been consciously altered. When one finger leans into another, the aspects of the bent finger have not followed a "normal" course. The aspects of the straight finger support the leaning one.

Spaces Between Fingers

The amount of space between the fingers also tells us much about the subject.

A large space between the thumb and the hand shows a strong-willed individual. When the thumb falls inside the hand, the will is broken. Compare the left and right hands to see if this is an accustomed feeling or a new experience.

Between the index and middle fingers, a large space tells of a person whose actions will be different from others. Their Ego and ambitions do not need to rely on hard facts.

The space between the middle and ring fingers shows the logic, common sense, and planning for the future. A wide space indicates little concern for the future and for monetary issues, while a narrow space tells of a preoccupation with finances and logical planning.

When the baby finger is widely separated from the hand, the subject thinks in a way uniquely their own (way out in "left field"). A narrow space shows thoughts which conform to the "normal".

The Thumb

The thumbs reveal the sense of self, and the ways in which we control ourselves and our environment. The keyword for the thumb is "Control".

The tip segment of the thumb, or First Phalanx, shows the strength of will and how it is used. The longer and wider this phalanx, the more domineering the individual. (Control of others).

The middle segment, or Second Phalanx, reveals the logic and cognitive ability. This segment is considered developed when it has a "waisted" appearance, narrow in the middle. A developed middle segment shows a well developed mind. (Control of thoughts).

The Third Segment is found within the Mount of Venus. It is not a Phalanx, but is in fact the First Metacarpal. This segment shows how the individual uses (or denies) their lusts and passions. (Control of desire).


Knuckles are either smooth or knotted. Smooth knuckles indicates that the mind shifts easily from one topic to another. Knotted knuckled individuals cannot easily stop thinking about any unfinished project or idea, and love adding detail to their work. Knotted knuckles will tend to finish every project, while smooth knuckles will not.



The color of the nails and the size of the small "moons" on each nail identify the quality of the blood circulation and oxygen level of the bloodstream.

As the "moons" disappear, the circulation has become weaker.

Any color other than pink usually signifies a problem from toxins in the blood.

Reading the Fingernails

One of the many things our fingernails reveal is the state of our Nervous System. As our efficiency at dealing with stress deteriorates, the nails will follow this progression:

  1. Smooth
  2. White Spots
  3. Coarse
  4. Fluted (vertical ridges)
  5. Turned back at tip (dish-shaped)
  6. Cross Trenches (horizontal pits, holes, or trenches)
  7. Brittle
Among the 10 nails, most people have conditions from two different categories, showing a transition stage between the conditions indicated. Once you have found the category(ies), check the interpretations below.

The methods of dealing with stress are so effective that health actually improves with each new change.

Insufficient time has been taken to recover from previous stresses, and the Nervous System is showing its first warning signs.

The stresses in life have become more frequent and harder to deal with. Mineral deficiencies are present.

The pattern of denial has become a habit, and life has turned into a constant series of aggravations and traumas. Neglecting the need for recovery at this stage will result in debility from severe illnesses or accidents.

Illnesses caused by stress and worry have become common. At this stage, spinal weakness becomes a problem.

A state of dis-ease has become normal. Cross trenches are often brought on by the death of a loved one.

The body has been abused to the point where it has begun systematically shutting down.



See Graphic Attachment - Fingerprints

There are only four basic Dermatoglyphic patterns you need to be concerned with: The Whorl (or Swirl), the Arch, the Loop, and the Triradius. All other markings are merely combinations and variations of these four patterns.

Each person will have a Whorl, Arch, or Loop on each fingertip (the fingerprints), a Triradius on the Mount of Luna and beneath each finger, and most will also have two other Whorls or Loops elsewhere on the hand. Patterns can also be found on the second and third phalanges of each finger.

The Whorl
The Whorl can be a Spiral, a Bulls-eye, or a Double Loop. Whorls are points of intensification, and should be noted whenever they appear.

The Arch
This pattern can appear as a Flat Arch, or a Tented Arch. Pay special attention to any Arch which rises very high.

The Loop
Loops can rise towards the fingertips, or fall towards the wrist. The Common Loop moves towards the thumb, while the Radial Loop (Reverse Loop) moves towards the percussion side of the hand.

The Triradius
The Triradius (also called the "Delta")can be used to pinpoint the exact center of each mount. The Mounts can then be seen as Centered, Leaning, or Displaced.


The three types of Whorls are the Spiral, the Bulls-eye, and the Double Whorl (also called the Double Loop). The Spiral and Bulls-eye prints are quite similar in their interpretations, the latter giving slightly more focus. Anywhere on the hand the Whorls highlight and emphasize that particular region, making it an area of focus in the subject's life.

The Double Whorl is perhaps the most misunderstood of all Dermatoglyphic markings. In general, interpret the Double Whorl as you would the other Whorls, but because it is made up of two interconnected loops, there is one major difference: Until the personality is developed there will be a strong tendency towards exaggeration, manipulation, and subversive actions in the area of life indicated. For example, a person with the Double Loop on both thumbs is likely in early life to use deceit to help assert their will over others. Owners of this print gravitate towards dramatic careers, and with daily effort can easily attain great renoun.

Whorls on the Fingerprints

Index Finger - "Gift of Perception". Individuals with this print are virtually impossible to deceive or lie to. As a result, they generally lead very unhappy childhoods. They see only too clearly the deceptions and facades put on by others, including their own parents.

Middle Finger - "Gift of Organization". Owners of this print will see categories and relationships which escape most others. They will categorize people and events as specific "types". They are very curious, and enjoy uncovering or investigating "secrets".

Ring Finger - "Gift of Discernment". This is the ability to spot flaws in any plan, design, concept, or person. A strong tendency towards perfectionism, especially in their own work. These are the people who cannot tolerate a picture hanging slightly crooked.

Baby Finger - "Gift of Communication". Although usually self-conscious and reserved, these subjects have the gift of eloquence with the written and spoken word. Natural orators, they have the ability to move and inspire others with the power of their voice. An interesting charateristic of this placement is the subject's spiritual views. They will NEVER follow the dogma of any religion, but have their own unique philosophy in which they are extremely confident.

Thumb Print - "Gift of Willpower". This print reveals a natural leader with a strong ability to command others. They will dominate any situation with their inherent mesmerizing ability. There is a strong tendency towards dictatorial or totalitarian views, especially with their children.

Common Loop

The most common type of fingerprint is the Common Loop (also called the Ulnar Loop). This print reveals the ability to draw on ideas from many sources, and blend them into a unique style.

The Loop reveals a natural "Follower". The desire to lead others is often present, but NOT the ability. Apply the meaning of the Loop to whatever region in which it is found.

Radial Loop

A looped print entering and leaving from the thumb side of the hand is called the Radial Loop (sometimes called the Reverse Loop, or Inventor's Loop). While the Common Loop shows the blending of other styles, the Radial Loop reveals the ability to create an entirely new style or system. These people have keen visual memories, able to recall not only images, but also the actions and emotions which accompanied these images. As with all other markings, the Radial Loop applies to whatever area or finger on which it is found.

Radial Loop on the Fingerprints:

Index Finger - Someone who will express their Ego in a unique way. This single print on the dominant hand reveals that self-employment is the only route to personal fulfillment.

Middle Finger - One who uses their mind in a way uniquely their own. These are the great inventors, and are highly creative, also having the ability to control their own autonomic systems (heartbeat, digestion, etc.) with their mind.

Ring Finger - A person who creates their own emotions and emotional responses. Others can never truly understand these individuals, since one cannot understand emotions or responses that will never be experienced. As a result of this, these people never feel that they "fit in" with society, but their lives are governed by the constant attempt. Fear and loneliness issues must be overcome to attain fulfillment.

Baby Finger - Extremely rare. This print indicates someone who creates their own religious and spiritual views. This would not be a blend of other philosophies, which is most common, but would be a religion based on entirely new concepts.

The Arched Print

The Arched Print denotes traditional values and high morals. In almost every case, the moral values are due to some "past" which the subject is ashamed of. People with this print find it difficult to view their own negative traits, and to understand that the "past" which they look upon with distain or shame was merely an experience needed for the personality to develop fully. The Flat Arch follows tradition with little independent thought, while the Tented Arch reveals a depth of intellect.

Arches on the Fingerprints

Index Finger - One who has traditional views regarding their own ambitions, career, and leadership. They believe they must work hard to make money, save this money, and invest in their future. These people's "pasts" are in areas such as promiscuity and low self-esteem (suicidal tendencies, eating disorders, and other forms of self-abuse).

Middle Finger - Traditional values regarding the mind. For these people, education is the only way to success. Their "pasts" are in areas such as drug abuse and the manipulation of others.

Ring Finger - Traditional values pertaining to the emotions (men don't cry, etc.). Their "past" is their previous lack of emotional stability.

Baby Finger - Traditional values regarding communication, religion, and sex. These are the only people who will truly follow the dogma of any specific religion, without modifying it to their own standards. Their "past" is their promiscuity or lack of spirituality, but only because of the perceived "staining" of the soul.

Thumb - Traditional values in regards to the passions and willpower. Even after the personality has developed, there is still a strong tendency towards domineering attitudes. The "past" for these people is when they fell prey to their passions and desires, with little thought to the future repercussions.

When the arched print is found on both the index and middle fingers, there is great depth of intellect. While sometimes appearing slow to grasp concepts, this is due to the subject desiring a complete understanding, instead of just a superficial grasp of the knowledge.

Now re-read this section and see how we have used our same transposing technique for fingerprint interpretation.


Cuts on the hands show where the person has sustained minor psychological harm.

Broken Fingers

Broken bones indicate severe damage to the psychological aspect represented by the finger - ie. broken ego (index finger).

Blocks and Advancements
Any horizontal mark is considered a "block", while any vertical mark is considered an "advancement". Blocks are traits or events which in some way inhibit the person from achieving what they desire. Advancements are traits or events which propel the individual to further develop their personality.

Spots identify chronic and accute ailments within the body. Spots may be White, Red, Blue, Brown, or Black. The darker the marking, the more serious the affliction.




The position of the thumb shows us the subject's current strength of will. We look to see how far away from the rest of the hand the thumb is held, making special note of cases where it has fallen inside the hand, or is held rigid at a 90 degree angle.

Any time the thumb has fallen inside the hand, the individual's will has been broken. Their words and actions are not their own, but have been imposed upon them by another. At these times the subject must be handled gently, for they are likely to react to outside stimuli with anger or open hostility.

If you find your own thumb showing a broken will, review your recent thoughts and actions to see where you have "given up". These patterns in ourselves can be difficult to spot at first, because we are acting in exactly the "correct" way in which we have been programmed.

In cases where the thumb is spread to its maximum angle and held so firm that it quivers, the subject has completely lost control of their temper, and will strike out violently at anything they feel stands in their way. As long as the thumb holds this position, no amount of reason or negotiation will have any effect on them.


The second knuckle of the thumb reveals how the subject uses or suppresses their anger and temper. This knuckle can have a very pronounced enlargement, or can be completely smooth without any noticeable "bump". The larger the size of the knuckle, the more volitile the temper.

When the knuckle runs smooth without any noticeable enlargement, this reveals that the anger does a "slow burn". Slow to build, this type of temper pattern will grow gradually over a period of years before finally exploding. Once the anger is released, it is quite venomous and non-physical. The subject will resort to whatever they feel is necessary to "even the score", using non-direct methods such as poison or vehicular assault to obtain their revenge.

If the knuckle is very enlarged, the opposite is indicated. The temper is physical, direct, quick to build, quick to blow, and just as quickly the anger is released. Due to the potential for extreme violence, these subjects have learned how to suppress their strong anger, and turn it inwards upon themselves. The result of withholding this rage is their common feelings of depression and isolation.


A spinal curvature is indicated when one nail, instead of being straight, curves in towards the fingertip. Use the following list to identify the actual location of the misalignment:

  • Thumbnail - Cervical Vertebrae 1 & 2 (First two bones of the neck)
  • Index Fingernail - Cervical Vertebrae 3 - 7 (Neck to shoulder blades)
  • Middle Fingernail - Thoracic Vertebrae 1 - 12 (Shoulder blades to mid-back)
  • Ring Fingernail - Lumbar Vertebrae 1 - 4 (Mid-back to pelvis)
  • Baby Fingernail - Sacrum and Coccyx (Pelvis and tailbone)


Imbalances in the Glands can be identified from lines upon the fingertips. Strong diagonal lines or the "Grille" formation found on any fingertip reveals a glandular problem. The deeper the lines, the more severe the condition.

Each fingertip relates to a different gland as follows:

  • Index Fingertip - Pituitary Gland
  • Middle Fingertip - Adrenal Glands
  • Ring Fingertip - Thymus Gland
  • Baby Fingertip - Thyroid Gland
In cases where the grille formation is found on all fingertips, the most common causes are Menopause, or an adverse reaction to pharmaceutical birth control (The Pill).


Some hand positions show a constructive mental outlook, while other positions reveal a destructive mental focus. The most destructive hand position is when the index finger alone is extended. Most often the finger is pointed at another person, and is "waved" or "shaken" at them.

The Index Finger represents the Ego. By extending only the one finger and waving it about, the subject is using only self-centered, egotistical thought patterns and behavior.



You are now well-versed in the technique of Referenced-Based analysis. Armed with this information, you can continue to discover new details. Be certain to use the transposing you have learned in order to fully understand each new fact. Continue on now with these "secrets" of Hand Analysis, or check out the new Holistic Cheirology™ certification course.

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© Copyright 1998-2007 Red Phoenix Productions. All Rights Reserved. Written by Kenneth A. Lagerstrom