Sandalwood. Yes, that’s what I’m smelling.
I look lazily around the crowded room, filled with crystals and mystical nick-knacks, and the smoke from several incense sticks standing upright in a crystal holder at the center of a round table swirls about my head. A woman in flowing garb, a galaxy of colors ranging from peacock blue and lavender to chartreuse and hot pink, sits at the table, tugging at its ratty cloth with absent fingers, settling in for her next reading. I’m told to clear my mind and extend my arm, placing my hand palm up in front of her.
Her calloused hands take mine and her eyes squint as she runs the tip of a finger along the ley lines crisscrossing my palm. She’s likely in her 50’s, her hair is grey and kept in a tightly braided plat that falls over one shoulder. She’s wearing Birkenstocks and she smells faintly of sweat and, oddly enough, oranges and trout.
She smiles, cradling my palm like a newborn and sitting back, closing her eyes and tilting her head backward, causing the old chair she’s sitting in to creak and groan. The seconds tick past.
After a few minutes, I laugh out of unease. It’s been quiet for far too long and I am far too awkward and odd to allow the silence to stand. “You know,” I chuckle. “I’ve been told by other palm readers that my lifeline doesn’t show longevity.”
Her head snaps up. She blinks. “Most who practice palmistry believe the lifeline has very little to do with longevity. Rather, it’s the combination of heart, head, and lifelines together. Only read the lifeline itself and you aren’t getting the whole story.” She bites her lip, once again tracing the lines, a look of deep concentration settling on her face. “Your story, my dear, has only just begun.”
Hello ODD Balls, and welcome back to the first episode of Season 6 of The ODDentity Podcast, your weekly foray into the weird, wonky, and sometimes downright spooky.
This week, I’ll be talking about the practice of palmistry, its origins, and one of the more famous palmists, Chiro (kairo). Palmistry has a long and interesting history and is still practiced today. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find an outdoor carnival or Halloween party that didn’t feature some type of fortune-telling or palmistry.
Before we get started, I wanted to let you all in on what’s been happening behind the scenes. Since its inception, originating as the Haunt Heads Podcast, the Odd Pod has developed a faithful following of listeners from all over the world. I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for their continued support and for letting others know about this odd little cast. My email inbox has been filling up with questions about when I’d be releasing a new episode and suggestions for future topics.
The past couple of months have been a little hectic and filled with much uncertainty so I appreciate your sticking with me while I took a little break. Truthfully, I’m sure we’re all a little exhausted both physically and emotionally because of the world we’re currently living in. I don’t like to get political on this podcast as you all know, but I did want to give a shout out to all those in support of and marching with members from the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s important that we are all able to be respected and valued as human beings. As MLK once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Truer words have never been spoken. I stand with Black Lives Matter and support them wholeheartedly. As a white woman, I will never know the types of discrimination and hate that people of color have to endure, but I’m sure as hell not going to sit idly by. We are all brothers and sisters. We are all equal. I want to make sure I’m standing on the right side of history. I know that I am. I hope that you are, too.
I’d also like to take a moment to give a shout out to several of my podcasting pals on Instagram. If you’re not already subscribing, these are some great suggestions for further listening. They range in topics from nerdcore and manga to current events and classic conversation about the weird and mundane.
The Mr. Know It All Podcast
Made In the ’90s
The Nerd Lounge
The Area 81 Podcast
The JB Show
The Brochillians Podcast
Chit Chats w/Professor V
3 Little Blerds
A Shot of Facts Podcast
The Grownup-ish Podcast
I Got Problems Podcast
Ready or Not Radio
Mastermind Team’s Robcast
Bar Study Podcast
The Tragedy Academy
These Dudes Right Here Podcast
Special shoutout to the Black Label Podcast Studio
All awesome pods and all worth a listen! Time to expand your listening horizons and mash subscribe on some new ear candy. You’ll be glad you did! Listening numbers have been down all across the board due to this pandemic (people aren’t listening during their morning commute to work and it shows) and we could use your help.
You might notice a difference in this episode. I’ve found a couple of affiliates that I’ll be promoting. You might hear 1-2 ads per episode, but I’ll try to keep them short and sweet so they don’t take too much away from the show itself. Seriously, though, I was super picky when finding affiliates so the products I’m advertising are ones I use AND love. I’d never advertise something I didn’t believe in or think was generally awesome.
Last but not least, a new issue of Corvus Review is available for download at www.corev.ink. Scroll down to the “Issues” section. The most recent installment is at the bottom of the list. Lots of talented folks this time around and it’s free to download!
Apologies for all the updates this week! I promise there will be MUCH less housekeeping next week.
And now…on with the show!
The history of palmistry or chiromancy can be separated into two categories, ancient and modern palmistry.
“Ancient Palmistry is a practice common to many different places on the Eurasian landmass; it has been practised in the cultures of India, Nepal, Tibet, China, Persia, Sumeria, Palestine and Babylonia.
The acupuncturist Yoshiaki Omura describes its roots in Hindu astrology (known in Sanskrit as jyotish), Chinese Yijing (I Ching), and Roma fortune tellers. Several thousand years ago, the Hindu sage Valmiki is thought to have written a book comprising 567 stanzas, the title of which translates in English as The Teachings of Valmiki Maharshi on Male Palmistry. From India, the art of palmistry spread to China, Tibet, Egypt, Persia and to other countries in Europe.
From India, palmistry progressed to Greece where Anaxagoras practiced it. Aristotle (384–322 B.C.E.) discovered a treatise on the subject of palmistry on an altar of Hermes, which he then presented to Alexander the Great (356–323 B.C.E.), who took great interest in examining the character of his officers by analyzing the lines on their hands.
During the Middle Ages the art of palmistry was actively suppressed by the Catholic Church as pagan superstition. In Renaissance magic, palmistry (known as “chiromancy”) was classified as one of the seven “forbidden arts”, along with necromancy, geomancy, aeromancy, pyromancy, hydromancy, and scapulimancy.
Palmistry experienced a revival in the modern era starting with Captain Casimir Stanislas D’Arpentigny’s publication La Chirognomie in 1839. The Chirological Society of Great Britain was founded in London by Katharine St. Hill in 1889 with the stated aim to advance and systematise the art of palmistry and to prevent charlatans from abusing the art. Edgar de Valcourt-Vermont (Comte C. de Saint-Germain) founded the American Chirological Society in 1897.
A pivotal figure in the modern palmistry movement was the Irish William John Warner, known by his sobriquet, Cheiro. After studying under gurus in India, he set up a palmistry practice in London and enjoyed a wide following of famous clients from around the world, including famous celebrities like Mark Twain, W. T. Stead, Sarah Bernhardt, Mata Hari, Oscar Wilde, Grover Cleveland, Thomas Edison, the Prince of Wales, General Kitchener, William Ewart Gladstone, and Joseph Chamberlain. So popular was Cheiro as a “society palmist” that even those who were not believers in the occult had their hands read by him. The skeptical Mark Twain wrote in Cheiro’s visitor’s book that he had “…exposed my character to me with humiliating accuracy.”
Chiromancy is the practice of evaluating the character of an individual or their future by “reading” that person’s palm. It’s essentially a method of reading lines (heart line, lifeline, etc.) and mounts, sometimes called bumps. This particular aspect of palm reading is called Chirognomy. Other aspects of the palm such as the shape and length of the fingers, fingernails, fingerprints, skin patterns, color, the shape of the palm, and overall flexibility of the hand are also considered. One hand represents the unconscious mind while the other, the individual’s dominant hand (writing hand), represents the conscious mind. The reader will generally begin with the dominant hand though some palmists will examine the non-dominant hand as it is sometimes believed to carry hereditary traits. This preference ultimately depends on the palmist’s cosmological beliefs.
What is considered to be “classical” palmistry, the kind most widely taught and practiced, is said to have roots in Greek mythology, and each section of the palm, fingers, and features relate in some way to a god or goddess. The ring finger is commonly associated with Apollo and might be tied to a person’s associations with music, art, fame, or wealth. It is also a possibility that palmistry originated in the Sanatan Dharma or Indic Civilization and then was carried over to the Greeks. Cheiro himself had stated that his knowledge of palmistry was attained in the Indian village, Konkan.
Hand shape can also affect a reading depending on the type of palmistry being practiced. In fact, in most schools of palmistry, various hand shapes are separated into anywhere from 4 to 11 major types.
The most common classifications used by modern palmists (and variations are many and dependent on the palmist themselves) are:
Earth: palms are broad and square. Fingers are thick and the skin is coarse. The length of the palm is usually equal to the length of the fingers.
Water: palms are long and sometimes oval-shaped. Long, flexible fingers. The length of the palm is less than the width across the widest section of the palm and usually equal to the length of the fingers.
Air: Square or rectangular palms, long fingers, and low-set thumbs. The length of the palm from the wrist to the bottom of the fingers is usually equal to the length of the fingers.
Fire: Square or rectangular palm with shorter fingers, Length of the palm from the wrist to the bottom of the fingers is usually greater than the length of the fingers.
Earth and water hands have fewer lines and those that are present are deeper while air and fire hands have more lines but those lines have less definition.
My old deodorant just wasn’t cutting it anymore. I was constantly itchy and frequently had rashes under my arms. Then I switched to Lume. In case you were wondering, everything they say in the cute advertisements with the French lady you’ve seen is TRUE. Lume is a natural deodorant for underarms and private parts that’s clinically proven to last up to 48 hours. I can now go almost 72 hours without reapplication. I also use Lume on my feet and they have a line of soap, lotion, and wipes to satisfy all your stink suppression needs! Lume was invented by an OBGYN, is safe for any external use, is made without aluminum, baking soda, or fragrance oils so it’s safe for even the most sensitive skin, but Lume still smells pleasant even without fragrance oils. I’m partial to Juniper Berry and Clean Tangerine myself, but there’s also Jasmine Rose, Silver Spruce, Lavender Sage, Coconut Crush, and Unscented.
Right now, Lume is offering free first-class shipping via USPS on orders of $20 or more and there’s always a scent-sational sale on their site! (See what I did there?) And, as a bonus, if you buy using my link, you’ll be automatically entered to win a FREE Lume product EVERY WEEK! So, head on over to the Lume website via the link in the show notes and take Lume out for a spin. Lume. For everyone’s pits and stinky bits.
BUY LUME HERE! https://bit.ly/2BTUUSL
Now that we’ve ascertained the four types of palms, let’s take a closer look at the lines marking your palm.
The heart line represents love and attraction and would be the first major line inspected by your palm reader. It is found at the top of the palm and arches slightly downward from your pointer finger to your pinkie. This line represents your emotional life and therefore will offer a look into what the subject will act out or act upon in their emotional life. It’s claimed that the heart line can show intimate relationships and how those relationships will play out. For example, a “chained” heart line (your heard line has a bunch of little lines striking through it) points to a flirtatious attitude and means the individual will fall in love easily. It’s also said that this line is affiliated with heart health and all those little lines could be an indication of high blood pressure. Better cut down on those pork rinds.
The head line travels across your palm and is the line that begins between your thumb and pointer finger and extends toward the outside edge. It is often joined with the lifeline (we’ll talk about that in a minute) where it begins. Palmists see this line as a window into the mind and the way it works. It can relay information like communication style, intellect, and a preference for creative or analytical approaches (right vs. left brain) to life.
The lifeline is the most controversial as it’s believed to represent vitality, physical health, and general wellbeing. It also reflects major life events like physical injuries and relocations. Modern palmists don’t necessarily believe that the lifeline is tied to the length of a person’s life. If that’s true, I’m living on borrowed time.
The combined length of these lines strung together is also said to have meaning. If the length is longer than the person’s foot, they may be overbearing whereas a shorter line would indicate someone who gives in too easily. A relatively equal length suggests someone who is well balanced. My lines combined are definitely on the shorter side.
” Additional major lines or variations include: A simian crease, or fusing of the heart and head lines, has special significance since this single line must be read to infer details about a subject’s emotional and reasoning nature. According to Cheiro, this line is thought to endow a person with an intensity of purpose or single-mindedness, the nature of which is decided upon by the exact position of this line on the hand and the direction of any branches shooting from it. In hands where such a line exists without any branches as a singular mark, it is taken to indicate an extremely intense nature, and special care is needed for such persons.
The normal position for the simian crease is starting below the index finger and ending where normally the heart line terminates at the edge of the hand below the little finger. The upper part of the palm lying immediately below the fingers is considered to represent the higher or intellectual nature and the lower part of the palm to represent the materialistic side of the nature. If one of these parts is larger than the other, as decided by the central placement of the simian crease, it shows greater development of that aspect of the nature.
Based on this general principle, if the simian crease is placed below its normal position it indicates an intensely intellectual nature. If it is placed above its normal position it indicates an intensely materialistic nature and interests. The direction in which any branches may be found shooting from this line are used to infer more details about the subject’s temperament.
The fate line runs from the bottom of the palm near the wrist, up through the center of the palm towards the middle finger. This line is believed to be tied to the person’s life path, including school and career choices, successes and obstacles. Sometimes this line is thought to reflect circumstances beyond the individual’s control, or alternately the person’s choices and their consequences.
The mounts in palmistry:
Jupiter, Saturn, Apollo, Mercury, Mars positive, Mars negative, plain of Mars, Luna mount, Neptune mount, Venus mount
Other minor lines:
- Sun line: Parallel to the Fate Line, under the ring finger; believed to indicate fame or scandal
- Girdle of Venus: Starts between the little and ring fingers, runs in a rough arc under the ring and middle fingers to end between the middle and pointer fingers; thought to relate to emotional intelligence and the ability to manipulate
- Union lines: Short horizontal lines found on the percussive edge of the palm between the Heart Line and the bottom of the little finger; believed to indicate close relationships, sometimes—but not always—romantic.
- Mercury line: Runs from the bottom of the palm near the wrist, up through the palm towards the little finger; purported to be an indicator of persistent health issues, business acumen, or skill in communication.
- Travel lines: These are horizontal lines found on the percussive edge of the palm between the wrist and the heart line; each line is said to represent a trip taken by the subject—the longer the line, the more important the trip is to the subject.
- Other markings: These include stars, crosses, triangles, squares, tridents, and rings under each of the fingers; their supposed impact and meaning varies by location on the palm and freedom from other interfering lines.
- “Apollo line”: The Apollo line is said to represent a fortunate life; it travels from the Mount of the Moon at the wrist to beneath the Apollo finger.”
I’m keen on protein powders that give me a little extra boost. There are mornings when I just can’t get up and eat a huge breakfast, so I make a protein shake instead and the powders I got from Unico Nutrition hit the spot.
There are so many delicious flavors. Vanilla Ice Cream Milkshake, Ooey Gooey Frosted Cinnamon Roll, Spoonful of Peanut Butter with Chocolate, Aunt Judy’s Banana Cream Pie, Molten Chocolate Lava Shake, Cookies ‘n Cream Dream, and Candy Shop Caramel Squares. They even have Birthday Cake Cupcake with Rainbow Sprinkles.
Unico protein powder for women and men is the perfect guilt-free indulgence. Use the low carb protein shakes for faster recovery after workouts, healthier snacking, or even as a meal replacement. The powder itself is so fine that it blends seamlessly into milkshakes and mixes for baked goods and Unico has a bunch of recipes on their website for delicious donuts and keto-friendly cinnamon rolls (to name a few)!
Unico’s everyday wellness supplements help replenish essential nutrients and help you live your best life. Trim down and tone up with Unico’s best-in-class supplements for weight loss, carefully formulated with five patented, all-natural ingredients to help you achieve your healthiest physique. Conquer your workout with pre-workout boosters. Branch Chain Amino Acids supplements help you push longer during your workout, and also dramatically help recovery. Tip: the Blue Frost Yumino tastes just like blue Gatorade!
Right now, listeners of The ODDentity Podcast can save $20 on their purchase at uniconutrition.com! Just head on over to their website and use code ODDENTITY at checkout.
Say goodbye to chalky, tasteless protein powders and supplements that fall flat and say hello to Unico Nutrition. It’s like a bunch of unicorns are having a rave in your mouth. Seriously.
Now, let’s get to know Cheiro as he was more famously called, and learn a little bit about his palmistry dealings.
In Palmistry for All, Cheiro included a special intro for American readers.
“There is no country in the world where the “study of character” is more indulged in than in the United States of America. During my many visits there I could not help remarking how even the “hardest headed” businessmen used any form of this study that they could get hold of to help them in their business dealings with other men and also in endeavoring to ascertain the character of their clerks and employees.
In looking over the records of my career I find that in the course of my visits to America I gave private lessons to the heads of two hundred and seventy business establishments in New York, one hundred and thirty-five in Boston, and three hundred and forty-two in Chicago.
All these men were large employers of labour and what they principally wanted was, to have some help beyond that of their own judgment in dealing with those with whom they came in contact in the regular course of their business careers. In no other country did I find the same interest taken in the study of character from a practical standpoint.
It is for this reason that I write a special Preface for this Edition, believing as I do that my American[Pg iv] readers will appreciate the added information I may be able to give regarding the obtaining by a mere glance at a hand a quick grasp of the leading characteristics of the persons with whom they are thrown into contact, or for whatever reason they choose to make use of this study.
Everyone knows that “the face can wear a mask,” that a person may be a good actor and put on a certain expression that may deceive even the best judgment.
But hands cannot change as the result of a mere effort to please; the character they express is the real nature of the individual—the true character that has been formed by heredity or that has grown up with the person by long years of habit.
The characteristics alluded to below are those which may be easily observed and which are aids to a rapid judgment of character and which I have never before been able to give to the public in such a concise way.
The more elaborate details concerning the ultimate success of the person one is talking to, their more intimate character and their future development will be found in their proper place, in the subsequent chapters.”
Born William John Warner (and taking the name Count Louis Hamon in later years), Cheiro was born in Rathdown, a village just outside Dublin. He acquired his expertise in palm reading in India and traveled to the Bombay port of Apollo Bunder where he met the man who would become his guru, Chitpavan Brahmin. Brahmin took Cheiro to his village and was later permitted to study an ancient text that contained many studies of the hand. He spent two years in the Konkan region of Maharashtra and then left for London where he started what would be a long and illustrious career as a palmist.
His following grew over time and by the late 19th/early 20th century he was reading the fortunes of celebrities like Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, and Joseph Chamberlain. He documented all of his sittings and encouraged his patrons to sign the book and comment on their experiences. He even read the palm of the Prince of Wales and William Pirrie, chairman of Harland and Wolf, the company that built the Titanic. Cheiro predicted the Titanic’s demise telling Pirrie he “would soon be in a fight” for his life.
Believers and non-believers got their readings from Cheiro and, after living in London for some time and hobnobbing with the upper crust of society there, he moved to America. He spent his last years in Hollywood, California seeing upwards of twenty clients a day. His obituary read, “Count Louis Hamon (“Cheiro”), 69, celebrated oldtime palmist; after long illness; in Hollywood. Author of a book on palmistry at 13, owned an English-language newspaper in Paris, The American Register. On the night he died, said his nurse, the clock outside his room struck the hour of one thrice.” It is said he predicted his own death to the day and the hour.
Cheiro wrote many occult texts on fortune-telling and a large number of them are still in print today. They’re available in both English and foreign language editions so, if you’re interested in numerology, palmistry, or astrology, look up some of his work. He even dabbled in fiction writing with his book A Study of Destiny (published in 1898 as The Hand of Fate.)
You may recall the 1947 cartoon Fun and Fancy-Free where Mickey Mouse, in a telling of Jack and the Beanstalk, reads the giant’s palm to escape being otherwise clobbered by the beast for stealing a golden egg. References like this in cartoons and movies have led to a hefty skepticism of palmistry in general. Even The Simpsons and Harry Potter have jumped on the bandwagon. Truthfully, there is a lack of empirical evidence supporting the efficacy of palmistry and it’s largely seen as a pseudoscientific belief that falls into the realm of superstition. Palmists are also frequently dumped onto the list of alleged psychics who cold read, using high probability guessing and then using cues from the person they’re reading. I think it’s a great bit of fun to go to a palmist and have my lines read, but I wouldn’t hang my hat on any advice I was given. Life tends to work out how it will. Maybe your palmist will hit the nail on the head or maybe you’ll leave feeling like the entire sitting was a waste of time. I suppose you’ll have to go and visit your local palm reader and find out which reading you’ll get and if you’re keen on delving a little more into pseudoscience, I’d recommend The Skeptic’s Dictionary: A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, & Dangerous Delusions by Robert Todd Carroll. According to Carroll, “The Skeptic’s Dictionary is aimed at four distinct audiences: the open-minded seeker, who makes no commitment to or disavowal of occult claims; the soft skeptic, who is more prone to doubt than to believe; the hardened skeptic, who has strong disbelief about all things occult; and the believing doubter, who is prone to believe but has some doubts. The one group this book is not aimed at is the ‘true believer’ in the occult. If you have no skepticism in you, this book is not for you.” As I’ve said many times before, I believe it’s important to have a healthy level of skepticism while still enjoying all the wonderful and the weird that the world has to offer.
That’s it for this week dear listeners. I’ll drop a link to Chiro’s book Palmistry for All in the show notes. It’s a fascinating read.
Tune in next week for more tales of the creepy, weird, and paranormal. Until next time, Stay Spooky!
The ODDentity Podcast is brought to you on a weekly basis by host Janine Mercer.
The podcast is written, produced, and edited by Janine Mercer (unless otherwise stated), and the music is provided by Garage Band.
Find the odd pod on Twitter and Instagram @oddentitypod and Facebook as The Oddentity Podcast. You are welcome to email suggestions for future episodes to email@example.com and if you’d like a transcript of this episode, one will be available at theoddentitypodcast.wordpress.com.
Please take a moment to leave a 5* review on iTunes and, if you haven’t already, please make sure to mash that Subscribe button to be sure you’re in the know when a new episode drops. Sincerest thanks to those who have promoted The ODDentity Podcast to their family, friends, and coworkers. Every little bit helps!
Save $20 on your purchase at WWW.UNICONUTRITION.COM if you use code ODDENTITY at checkout!
Visit https://bit.ly/2BTUUSL and be entered every week to win a FREE Lume product! Orders over $20 get FREE first-class shipping.
Palmistry for All (Free Online Access) https://www.gutenberg.org/files/20480/20480-h/20480-h.htm
Link to Carroll’s book https://www.amazon.com/Skeptics-Dictionary-Collection-Deceptions-Dangerous/dp/0471272426/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2H89GOJBPHVUX&dchild=1&keywords=the+skeptics+dictionary&qid=1594314795&sprefix=the+skeptics+dicti%2Caps%2C161&sr=8-1