and finger ratios
This page discusses character identification on the basis
of palmistry (ie the lines on a person's hand) and finger
It covers -
It supplements discussion elsewhere on this site regarding
Identity and Biometrics.
Palmistry (aka chiromancy, cheiromancy or chirology) is
predicated on the belief that there is a direct and readily
identifiable relationship between an individual's character
and the markings on that person's hand, in particular
Some assign significance to individual features, which
like the bumps in phrenology supposedly reflect specific
attributes. Others more cautiously - or just more cynically,
as complexity can be used to explain why the report does
not match reality - claim that no one feature should be
read in isolation but instead always be 'read' in relation
to all other features.
Some use a taxonomy attributed to Casimir D'Arpentigny
(1798-), whose 1839 La Chirognomie identified
six basic 'hand types' -
spatulate, conic and the square, based on fingertip
the knotty and the psychic, based primarily on the 'quality'
of the fingers,
the elementary, based on the overall 'crudity' and width
of both the palm and the lines on that palm.
Many practitioners adopt a deterministic approach, asserting
that the individual's fate is discernable through scrutiny
of the lines and bumps on the hand. Others have resiled
from that determinism - which smacks of sideshow fortune
telling and cliches about gypsies demanding to have their
palms crossed with silver - and offered assertions such
half of the palm is associated with the 'conscious'
and half with the 'subconscious' mind
the index finger and the thumb are indicative of self-consciousness
and willpower respectively
reading "can be successfully employed in the assessment
of schizophrenics, manic depressives, imbeciles, mental
defectives and congenital idiots".
early reader of this page asked "if the hands are
so special and the windows of the soul or the blueprints
of the mind, what about reading the souls of the feet?".
people concentrate on patterns in fingers. Christopher
Jones thus enthuses that
unchanging and inherited patterns it is clear that our
fingerprints are a set feature of consciousness. In
a sense, they are the 'backdrop' or background features
of the hand because they describe patterns of individual
consciousness which are pre-set. The type of fingerprint
pattern reveals the quality of consciousness inherent
to that person and thus describes something of the fundamental
characteristics of their of consciousness. As inherited
patterns, they reveal certain inherent orientations,
abilities or talents. In particular, they reveal a great
deal about your personality and your psychological predispositions.
Palmistry - whether wrapped in New Age jargon about "Emotional
Intelligence Quotient" and "Life's Blueprint"
or otherwise - is not an archaic activity restricted to
dotty grannies wearing tea-cosies or to gypsies in late-night
Cat McGuire, a practitioner of "shamanic palmistry",
thus announces that
As a science, palmistry can explain the thousands of
data points that, like fingerprints, are unique to your
hand. As a healing art, the markings on your hand serve
as esoteric entry points to tap into your personal mysteries
and hidden truths.
You can gain remarkable insights about your life, including
past, present, and future possibilities. By understanding
your character patterns, strengths and weaknesses, you
can make more positive choices in life and proactively
shape your destiny.
Palmistry has a very real biological basis. The stem
cells of the hands and the cerebral cortex develop at
the same time, creating a life-long connection between
the two. Your every thought is a chemical vibration
that ultimately registers in the hands. The end result
is that the hand is a perfect data printout of the brain,
and is a remarkably accurate indicator of character,
health, relationships, career, love life, and much more.
Take note, however, that just as an astrologer needs
to know tangential details to form a true portrait of
who you are (e.g., rising sign, moon, trines, etc.),
a palm reader’s professional assessment likewise
requires the analysis of the hand’s many reference
points (e.g., color, texture, size, shape, flexibility,
All to say, the character type summaries below are just
one component of the highly interwoven, multidimensional
web of information locked in your hand.
Malaysia-based GeneCode International offers an IT-based
'Dermatoglyphics Multiple Intelligent Test' to "uncover
one's congenital intelligence, character traits and discover
one's hidden potential". Its technology identifies
"4 dominant personality type, 5 Learning Style and
8 intelligences, 10 Intrinsic potential of brain [sic]"
through scrutiny of palmprints (aka "our life blueprint").
The company modestly claims with that information it can
the unique learning style and characteristics of students,
"therefore customising their own learning programmes
that are suitable to their needs
their inborn talents and eradicate their weaknesses,
so that parents can reduce time and money spent on irrelevant
courses and classes from elementary, primary, secondary,
and tertiary education"
children's confidence levels and instil good habits
in their character development
the relationship between children and parents, hence
making their childhood happy and productive
let you discover and understand your talents and abilities
so that you can select a fulfilling career
let you harness your core competency so that you can
discover your learning style and achieve greater leadership
improve relationships with friends, family and spouse,
and in return, ignite the passion and motivate you to
once again pursue your dreams
your staff and ultimately, help you discover and utilise
their hidden talents for profits creation
Human Resource Pre/Post-employment screening and development
and assist you in evaluating your management level for
shudders to think what can be achieved by scanning an
A competitor claims that "your fingerprints are a
wave energy imprint" and urges consumers to
Send LifePrints your fingerprints and a professional
interpreter will identify their type, number, structure,
and location. This will decode the Life Purpose Map
that you have carried on your fingertips from five months
before you were born. Within three days, a fifteen to
twenty five page computer generated Life Purpose Analysis
will be mailed to you.
The information contained in your LifePrints report
will not be like anything you have ever read. It is
not a psychological profile or a listing of your talents
or capabilities. You may or may not recognize the person
being described. That is because your report details
the optimal you, the person you were meant to be. There
is nothing so powerful as knowing your mission in life
and being willing to live it.
Finding your Life Purpose, your reason for being, is
the single most important thing you can ever do. From
the beginning, your Life Purpose has been the guiding
principle behind all the major events of your life.
LifePrints unlocks the code.
huh. It goes on to explain that -
one may call this wave energy that leaves its mark on
your body - be it Soul energy, DNA, or the Life-Giving
Breath of The Great Spirit - this indelible fingerprint
map reveals your unalterable core psychology (your Life
Purpose) in detail.
Some enthusiasts have recently argued that aptitudes are
signalled by finger length, in particular by the ratio
of the index finger (the second digit) and ring finger
(the fourth). People with long ring fingers supposedly
tend to excel in mathematics, physics and engineering
- "they run well, draw well, are good at perceiving
shapes and produce lots of high-quality sperm". Musicians
supposedly have lower, more "masculine" ratios
than the general public, glossed as "the higher ranking
the musician, the lower the ratio".
UK academic John Manning is reported as claiming that
"men who make lots of good music make lots of good
sperm" and that
you had a group of runners and they were about to start
a race I could predict reasonably well who was going
to win based on their finger length. But I would not
be able to predict whether someone was neurotic or not.
stated that "I simply cannot resist the flow of ideas
that spring from established fact, circumstantial evidence
and intuition", leading this reader to comment that
some things are usefully resisted.
digit ratio predicts success among high-frequency financial
traders' by John Coates, Mark Gurnell & Aldo Rustichini
in 106 Proceedings of the National Academy of Science
(2009) 623-628 claimed that individuals who were exposed
to high levels of prenatal testosterone - indicated by
the magic ratio - tended to be more profitable short-term
traders in financial markets. The claims are contentious
and it is unlikely that banks or brokers will be measuring
finger lengths, shoe size or other 'bioindicators' before
they unleash people onto the trading floor in the near
For historical accounts see The Palmist's Companion:
A History and Bibliography of Palmistry (Metuchen:
Scarecrow Press 1992) by Andrew Fitzherbert.
Primers by contemporary enthusiasts include Your Life
in Your Hands (London: Sphere 1967) by Beryl Hutchinson
and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Palmistry (1999)
by Robin Gile & Lisa Lenard. Gile describes himself
as "Archetypal Symbolist & Consultant", a "Palm
Reader, Psychic, Tarot Reader". Works from his peers
- with or without crystal balls - include The Hand
Book (Berkeley: Celestial Arts 1980) by Elizabeth
Brenner, Career, Success and Self Fulfillment, How
Scientific Handreading Can Change Your Life (London:
Thorsons 1988) by Nathaniel Altman & Andrew Fitzherbert,
The Living Hand (Wellingborough: Aquarian Press
1986) by Sasha Fenton & Malcolm Wright and their Palmistry,
How To Discover Success, Love and Happiness (New
York: Crescent 1996), Complete Illustrated Guide to
Palmistry: The Principles and Practice of Hand Reading
Revealed (London: Thorsons 1998) by Peter West, Palmistry
- Apprentice to Pro in 24 Hours (Ropley: O Books
2007) by Johnny Fincham and History of Hand Analysis
(Swan Paradise 1994) by Christopher Jones.
For enthusiasm about finger ratios see The Finger
Book (London: Faber 2008) by John Manning,
'Examination marks of male university students positively
correlate with finger length ratios (2D:4D)' by Maria
Romano, Barbara Leoni & Nicola Saino in 71(2) Biological
Psychology (2006) 175-182; 'Finger-length as an index
of assertiveness in women' by Glenn Wilson in 4 Personality
and Individual Differences (1983) 111-112; 'Finger
length ratio (2D:4D) correlates with physical aggression
in men but not in women' by Allison Bailey & Peter
Hurd in 68(3) Biological Psychology (2005) 215-222;
and 'Digit ratio and faculty membership between prenatal
testosterone and academia' by Mark Brosnan in 97 British
Journal of Psychology (2006) 455-466.
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