Palm reading, otherwise known as palmistry or chiromancy, is something that's practiced all over the world. It has its roots in Indian astrology and Roman fortune-telling.[1] The objective is to evaluate a person's character or future by studying the palm of their hand. Whether you're an aspiring palm reader or you're just looking for a fun way to pass the time and impress your friends, even you can learn to gain insight just by holding someone's hand.



Deciphering the Lines

Blank hands.jpg
Hands #2.jpg
Hands #3.jpg
Hands #4.jpg

Begins below the middle finger - selfish when it comes to love

Hands #6.jpg

Straight and short - less interest in romance

Hands #8.jpg

Long and curvy - freely expresses emotions and feelings

Hands #10.jpg

Wavy - many relationships and lovers, absence of serious relationships

Hands #12.jpg

Broken line - emotional trauma

Hands #14.jpg
Hands #15.jpg

Curved, sloping line - creativity

Hands #17.jpg

Wavy line - short attention span

Hands #19.jpg

Straight line - thinks realistically

Hands #21.jpg

Broken head line - inconsistencies in thought

Hands #23.jpg
Hands #24.jpg

Curvy - plenty of energy

Hands #26.jpg

Short and shallow - manipulated by others

Hands #28.jpg

Straight and close to the edge of the palm - cautious when it comes to relationships

Hands #30.jpg

Circle in line indicates - hospitalized or injured

Hands #32.jpg
Hands #33.jpg

Breaks and changes of direction - prone to many changes in life from external forces

Hands #35.jpg

Joins with the life line around in the middle - signifies a point at which one's interests must be surrendered to those of others

1. Choose a hand. In palmistry, it is thought that:

  • For females, the right hand is what you're born with, and left is what you've accumulated throughout your life.

  • For males, it is the other way around. The left hand is what you're born with, and the right is what you've accumulated throughout your life.

  • That being said, you can also choose whichever hand is dominant to be your present/past life hand (the non-dominant hand would then be your future life hand).

    • There are different schools of thought on the matter. Some say the left-hand shows potential and what could be -- not necessarily what will be. And a difference in the hands could mean one is or is about to take action when it comes to their lives, changing it.[2]

2. Identify the four major lines. There may be breaks in them or they may be short, but at least three of them are there.

  • (1) The heart line

  • (2) The head line

  • (3) The life line

  • (4) The fate line (only some people have this).

3. Interpret the heart line. This line can be read in either direction (from the pinkie finger to the index finger or vice versa) depending on the tradition being followed. It's believed to indicate emotional stability, romantic perspectives, depression, and cardiac health. The basic interpretations are as follows:

Begins below the index finger - content with love life

Hands #5.jpg

Begins in the middle - falls in love easily

Hands #7.jpg

Touches life line - heart is broken easily

Hands #9.jpg

Straight and parallel to the head line - good handle on emotions

Hands #11.jpg

Circle on the line - sadness or depression

Hands #13.jpg

Smaller lines crossing through heart line - emotional trauma

4. Examine the head line. This represents a person's learning style, communication approach, intellectualism, and thirst for knowledge. A curved line is associated with creativity and spontaneity, while a straight line is linked with practicality and a structured approach. The basic interpretations are as follows:

  • Short line - prefers physical achievements over mental ones

Hands #16.jpg

Separated from life line - adventure, enthusiasm for life

Hands #18.jpg

Deep, long line - thinking is clear and focused

Hands #20.jpg

Donuts or cross in head line - emotional crisis

Hands #22.jpg

Multiple crosses through head line - momentous decisions

5. Evaluate the life line. This begins near the thumb and travels in an arc towards the wrist. It reflects physical health, general well-being, and major life changes (for example, cataclysmic events, physical injuries, and relocation). Its length is not associated with length of life. The basic interpretations are as follows:

  • Runs close to thumb - often tired

Hands #25.jpg

Long, deep - vitality

Hands #27.jpg

Swoops around in a semicircle - strength, and enthusiasm

Hands #29.jpg

Multiple life lines - extra vitality

Hands #31.jpg

Break - sudden change in lifestyle

6. Study the fate line. This is also known as the line of destiny, and it indicates the degree to which a person's life is affected by external circumstances beyond their control. It begins at the base of the palm. The basic interpretations are as follows:

  • Deep line - strongly controlled by fate

Hands #34.jpg

Starts joined to life line - self-made individual; develops aspirations early on

Hands #36.jpg

Starts at base of the thumb and crosses life line - support offered by family and friends.



Interpreting the Hands, Fingers, etc.


1. Determine the hand shape. Each hand shape is associated with certain character traits. The length of the palm is measured from the wrist to the bottom of the fingers. The basic interpretations are as follows:

  • Earth - broad, square palms and fingers, thick or coarse skin, and ruddy color; length of the palm equals length of fingers

    • Solid values and energy, sometimes stubborn

    • Practical and responsible, sometimes materialistic

    • Work with their hands, comfortable with the tangible

  • Air - square or rectangular palms with long fingers and sometimes protruding knuckles, low-set thumbs, and dry skin; length of the palm less than length of fingers

    • Sociable, talkative and witty

    • Can be shallow, spiteful and cold

    • Comfortable with the mental and the intangible

    • Does things in different and radical ways

  • Water - long, sometimes oval-shaped palm, with long, flexible, conical fingers; length of the palm equals the length of fingers but is less than the width across the widest part of the palm.

    • Creative, perceptive and sympathetic

    • Can be moody, emotional and inhibited

    • Introverts

    • Do things quietly and intuitively.

  • Fire - square or rectangular palm, flushed or pink skin, and shorter fingers; length of the palm is greater than length of fingers

    • Spontaneous, enthusiastic and optimistic

    • Sometimes egoistic, impulsive and insensitive

    • Extroverts

    • Do things boldly and instinctively.

Hand mounts.jpg

2. Look at the mounts. That's what the fleshy bit below your fingers are called, on the opposite side of your knuckle. To make them visible, cup your hand just a bit. Which one is the largest?

  • A high Venus mount (the one under your thumb) indicates a predisposition for hedonism, promiscuity, and the need for instant gratification. A non-existent Venus mount indicates little interest in family matters.

  • The mount under your index finger is called the Jupiter mount. If this is well-developed, it means you are dominant, possibly self-centered, and aggressive. A lack of one means you lack confidence.

  • Under your middle finger is the Saturn mount. A high mount shows you're stubborn, cynical, and prone to depression. If it is low, it's an indicator of superficiality and disorganization.

  • The Sun mount is under your ring finger. You're quick-tempered, extravagant, and prideful if you have a high Sun mount. A low Sun mount means you lack imagination.

  • The Mercury mount is under your pinkie. If it's protruding, you talk too much. A low mount means the opposite -- you're shy.

  • None of this is based on science. And your hands are known to change throughout time. Don't take any of it too seriously!

Finger size.jpg

3. Examine the hand and finger size. Relative to the size of the body, some say that small hands are active and don't dwell on thinking about what to do. Large hands are on those who are contemplative and slow to action.

  • Remember, this is relative to the body. If you're 8 feet (2.4 m) tall (2.4 m), you're going to have bigger hands than a 4-year-old. It's all proportional.

  • What's more, long fingers may be an indicator of anxiety, in addition to being well-mannered, good-looking, and delicate. Short fingers are found on those who are impatient, highly-sexed, and creative.

  • Long fingernails, on the other hand, mean you're kind and a good secret-keeper. Short fingernails mean you're critical and sarcastic. If they're almond-shaped, you're sweet and diplomatic.


  • Accept that palm reading is not always accurate. The fate of your life and your decisions should not be influenced by fortune-telling; rather, your own efforts and fortitude are what really help you to succeed in life.

  • Don't judge others while reading their palms!

  • Make sure the lighting in the area you are planning to read palms is good because trying to do it in the dark makes it difficult to get a good read.

  • Find your child line. Make a fist with your right hand. Look on the outer side of your hand, near the pinky. The number of lines you have will be the number of children you produce (the line connecting the finger to the hand does not count as a child line). Of course, personal choice, birth control and success or failure to hitch up with someone will also have more concrete reasons to do with how many children you end up having.

  • Don't believe everything. You can make your own decision, no matter what.

  • The deeper the fate line (if you have one) is a good estimate of how long you live.

  • Don't concern yourself with the thinner and shallower lines. Only follow the main four that are deepest. Getting involved with the other lines could lead to unwanted confusion. Leave these lines for a professional.

  • Don't read other people's palms when your not supposed to because it can influence your own fortune.

  • Note the texture of the hand, front and back. Soft hands signify sensitivity and refinement, while rough hands signify a coarse temperament.

  • Since palm lines change as you progress through life, palm reading is seen by many as an opportunity to reveal what's already happened, but not as a way of predicting the future.


  • If you're going to do read someone else's palms, keep it light. Don't make any dark predictions that will make people worry about their lives; you're no more "in-the-know" than any other person is. No-one is really confident about palm reading, so don't make predictions that influence others to harm themselves in any way or ruin their lives.

  • Remember that palm reading is for entertainment purposes and there is no substantiated evidence of a correlation between palm features and psychological traits.