Friday, January 18, 2013

Fun Friday Facts #60: Palmistry Edition

The other day I was thinking about this time back when I lived in an RV and I met this dude in Oregon who tried to read my palm. Apparently, my palm says that I hate my parents. I told him, “That’s not true, I only hate one of my parents.” But seriously, though, I think that’s a pretty safe guess to make about someone whose life choices include “live in an RV.” Here are some facts about palmistry, which is also known as chiromancy, which sounds a lot cooler.

It has been used to pick people up since 1594.

1) Chiromancy (which is what I’m calling it from now on because it sounds like something Gandalf would do, probably after blowing too many smoke rings) apparently, originates from India, China, Tibet, Persia, or Europe. Thanks for clearing that up, Wikipedia.

One of the first books on chiromancy, “The Teachings of Valmiki Maharshi on Male Palmistry,” was written by, you guessed it, the sage Valmiki Maharshi. It contained 567 stanzas, cause prose hadn’t been invented yet. That’s not even a joke, I’m pretty sure the Greeks invented prose. It’s said that chiromancy spread from ancient India to those other places I mentioned, and finally to Greece where Artistotle, Hippocrates and Alexander the Great popularized it, in prose form.

2) According to this dubious website, the shape of one’s hands and the lines on one’s palm are subject to change without notice.

I've never heard of such a thing.

Also, the guy offers long-distance palm readings; you need only email him pictures of your hands.

3) As the guy in Oregon who told me I hate my parents also explained that the left and right hands each have their own significance. The left hand symbolizes the inner person, or “who you really are,” as he explained it, and the right hand symbolizes the outer person, or “who you pretend to be.” He may have then told me I was a pushover and I may have responded by spitting on him.

"That's my girl."

I’m not quite sure he had that right. According to Wikipedia, my favorite source of information when it doesn’t really matter, the left hand represents the natural, spiritual self or the “yin” side of the personality, and the right hand represents the active, objective self, or the “yang” side of the personality, which is influenced by one’s education, experience and environment. So, they are both “who you really are.” Except they’re not, because NONE OF THIS IS REAL, but let’s just keep playing along.

We play so well together,don't we?

4) Chiromancers (I love that word!) consider several different aspects of the hand when doing a palm reading, including its shape. The shape of the hand is believed to reveal the person’s basic character, usually in a way that corresponds to the classical four elements, earth, air, water and fire. The Wikipedia article has a lengthy explanation of the different hand types that somehow describes all four of them as being either broad, or square, or both broad and square. This article has some rather amusing illustrations of the different types of hands, as well as a fifth type, the “mixed” hand.

5) There are, of course, several lines on the palm, unless you’re me, in which case, there are several hundred lines on your palm. As far as I can tell, I have about three life lines. I don’t know if that means I’m immortal, but I’m not going to put it to the test.

Normal people who aren’t freaks have five to seven distinct hand lines, as pictured here:

1: Life Line; 2: Head Line; 3: Heart Line; 4: Girdle of Venus, whatever that is; 5: Sun Line, also don’t know what that is; 6: Mercury Line, again, not explained; 7: Fate Line, self-explanatory, I guess.

It’s also possible to have a combined head and heart line, known as a single transverse palmar crease or, in old-timey insensitive language, a simian crease. This baby has one:

The simian crease does not mean you are a monkey (it’s called that because monkey hands look this way, I guess). It supposedly indicates an “intensity of purpose and single mindedness.”

6) There are also several “mounts,” or bumps, on the palm which, it would seem, add various layers of significance to the hundreds of lines on my freakish palm (I’ve now been staring at my own palms for the better part of two hours. You’re welcome.) and to the other lines on the normal, non-freakish palm that I assume you have. This palm has been labeled for your edification:

Each of the seven mounts relates to a different planetary influence. Sounds legit.

Across the top, you’ve got Jupiter, Saturn, Apollo (the Sun), and Mercury; across the middle, you’ve got the “Mars galaxy,” which consists of Mars positive, the Plain of Mars, and Mars negative. Across the bottom you’ve got Venus, Neptune and Luna, or the Moon. They stand for:

  • Luna: creativity, perception, sensory awareness and imagination.
  • Venus: sexual and physical health, beauty, and sensuality (I’ve got a big one of these, he he he).
  • Mars negative: physical energy (as in, general levels of, I’m assuming).
  • Mars positive: mental energy.
  • Jupiter: ambition, leadership, confidence, and justice.
  • Saturn: discernment, wisdom, coordination.
  • Mercury: communication, spontaneity, intuition.
  • Neptune: emotional sensitivity.
  • Plain of Mars: general enthusiasm, excitement and “passions” (code for “angriness”).
According to this website, I have an “unlucky, hollow palm,” which means that I am “lacking in enthusiasm” and that I “shall succeed in draining the energy of others when in their company” because I “lack the sparks that define a scintillating and vibrant personality.” So that’s what my fucking problem is – I HAVE A HOLLOW PALM. MYSTERY SOLVED.

There’s also a whole page of stuff explaining why all the tiny lines on my hands mean I’m fucked.