A Beginner's Guide To Palm Reading

Palm reading, also known as chiromancy or palmistry, has been around since the dawn of time across different cultures and is one of the best-known and most popular divination methods. The art of analyzing personality traits and foreseeing someone's destiny through the features of their hands is thought to have originated in India, from there spreading across Asia and to Europe through Greece and Egypt. Greek thinker Aristotle mentioned it in his works, and in the Bible, the Book of Job seems to suggest what Christian enthusiasts of this practice believed to be a scriptural basis for palm reading: "He sealeth up the hand of every man, that all men may know his work" (via the Jewish Virtual Library).


One thing is for sure: Palmistry captured the collective imagination. When one thinks of a fortune-teller, a woman in exotic clothing reading a customer's palm is probably the first image that comes to mind (perhaps along with a crystal ball in the setting for effect). Chiromancy has been often featured in literature, pop culture (think of Esmeralda in Disney's "The Hunchback of Nore Dame"), and art, with iconic painters such as Caravaggio portraying palm readers. Even iPhones have a purple crystal ball emoji; this symbolism is everywhere.

As for its accuracy: the only way to be sure is to try it for yourself. Whether you harbor an interest in the occult or are simply curious to learn some fun facts, this mini-guide will cover the basics so that you can (with a little practice) try to get a glimpse of the future — or at least impress your friends at parties.


What can your hands potentially reveal?

A common question when approaching chiromancy, as well as most divinatory arts, is what exactly — or how much — can be revealed or predicted through palm reading. What kind of events can be foretold, and is destiny set in stone?


While palmistry is able to shed some light on someone's personality traits, full potential, and external events that are likely to shape the subject's life path, most specialists defend that despite the palm features having a degree of influence. Ultimately, fate is an ever-changing fabric, and free will and mind power prevail over eventual unfortunate predictions. 

Astrology Answers is also particularly quick to note that palm reading isn't a perfect scripture, stressing that it can help you uncover the true nature of yourself but cannot replace free will or the life choices that you will inevitably make each and every day. This means that you're in control of your own life, which should come as a reassurance. However, this doesn't make palm readings moot since they can still shed light on aspects of your life you may have never uncovered or thought about. Therefore, readings should provide clues and warnings for possibilities to pursue or avoid, but not be taken as unchangeable facts.


Left or right hand?

When performing a palm reading, both hands should traditionally be considered: one's writing (dominant) hand is more directly related to upcoming events and one's practical approach to external influences, but the non-dominant hand provides important information on the subject's background, past, character, potential, and eventual response to the opportunities and challenges that fortune may present. In a nutshell, generally speaking, the left hand represents the past and how it has affected the subject, while the right hand speaks of the present and future. However, in mainstream palm reading, it is usual to prioritize the right hand in a reading unless the person being analyzed is left-handed. 


"(...)In Western cultures, where work and career are often a key aspect in our lives and future, the right hand has more information about upward mobility, and provides a well-rounded reading of our lives—including the emotional sides too," clarifies palm reader Parvati to LaurenConrad.com. With that said, while both hands hold relevant information as a whole, stick with your dominant hand when in doubt as it will give you useful information concerning the aspects of your life that you actually have power over.

Palm reading crash course: focus on mounts and lines

While the shape, texture, and coloring of someone's hands and fingers can offer a wealth of knowledge regarding the subject's personality and energy (and there are a plethora of other details, such as markings, to consider when doing an in-depth reading), the most precise — and fun — information is written along the mounts and lines of one's hand.


Gaining proficiency in the secrets held by lines and mounts is the quickest way to get your first accurate readings, and to gather some surprising details even as a newbie. According to Psychic Library, each mount — particular bumps at the base of your fingers and in strategic spots of the palm — is associated with the energies attributed to a given planet. The more prominent a mount is, the stronger the traits of the corresponding planet will be in the subject of your reading. An overdeveloped mount means an excess of those traits that can bring its bearer more harm than good if no effort is made to find a healthy balance.

In contrast, a flat mount reveals that the person lacks the qualities associated with that specific planetary influence. For instance, a well-developed Mount of the Sun (or Mount of Apollo) suggests social skills, an outgoing personality, and a magnetic social butterfly who is drawn to fame. A flat or underdeveloped Mount of Apollo, though, means the opposite: most likely a dull character who shies away from the limelight or who struggles to achieve social success and recognition.


When it comes to lines, a similar logic applies: a clearly visible, continuous line implies easiness and a clear path in that specific life area. Namely, a well-drawn, unbroken life line shows the possibility of good health, stability, and a charmed existence free of incidents, major obstacles, and unpleasant surprises, per We Mystic.

Mount of Venus and the love line: romantic profile, beauty and relationships

The Mount of Venus is the elevation at the base of your thumb, and it can tell a lot about one's capacity to love and their relationship with beauty, indulgence, sensuality, and luxury. A well-developed Mount of Venus discloses an affectionate character prone to passion, commitment, self-care, and keeping stable relationships. It can also tell that its possessor is blessed with physical beauty and the potential to maintain attractive, youthful looks (via Dream Astro Meanings).


If it's too bulky, however, it might mean being prone to excess, overconfidence, emotional instability, vanity, frivolity, overindulgence, and infidelity. Meanwhile, a flat Mount of Venus reveals shyness, lack of social skills, and poor self-confidence. The Heart Line, located right below the base of your fingers, speaks about the quality of your romantic prospects: the stronger and clearer it is, the happier your love life.

The "ideal" love line is deep, unbroken, and not too long or short, revealing a balanced character that is able to give and receive love and keep healthy, long-term relationships. If it ends at the Mount of Jupiter (below your index finger) consider yourself lucky; it means an abundance of love and joy, as well as the possibility of a wealthy marriage and/or social ascension through a loving partner.


By contrast, a short love line is a red flag, and if it's too long, crossing the palm from side to side, it warns against hardships; it can imply a feeble and excessively meek, doormat-like character. Another inauspicious trait is an intermittent love line: it indicates an unstable, impulsive personality that makes it hard to find stability in love.

Gaps or breaks in the love line are not good omens, either. According to Your Chinese Astrology, these predict hardships and setbacks depending on their size, appearance, and location. For example, a break under the little finger indicates that financial hardships or the fear of poverty might make it harder to enjoy true love or sticking to a marriage. If a woman's love line has a break under the spot between the ring and little fingers and ends below the place between the forefinger and middle finger, it can be a sign of a broken marriage- although it also promises an upgrade, since the following union will be a success.

Mount of Jupiter and fate line: career, wealth, and success

The Mount of Jupiter, at the base of your index finger, is related to prestige, status, wealth, dignity, and power. A well-developed mount of Jupiter shows qualities of leadership and an ambitious, driven personality with a love for competitive fields such as politics, business, sports, or finance. It is a common feature in the hands of self-made billionaires.


A flat Mount of Jupiter indicates a lack of qualities needed to succeed and prosper. If the Mount of Jupiter is overbearing, however, Jupiterian blessings turn into a curse. Jupiter is traditionally associated with expansion, social ascension, and growth, after all. According to Destiny Palmistry, an exceedingly bulky Mount of Jupiter might reveal an arrogant, bossy, haughty nature, and a tendency to overeat.

The fate, destiny, or money line will tell you more regarding one's social and financial status or the potential to prosper since it reveals the trends and forces that will shape one's life. Running down the middle of the palm, it's believed to accurately predict one's money luck and lifestyle. Astrogle explains that a deep fate line, aside from being a sign of different streams of profit, also suggests benefitting from the help of senior and influential people, be it by inheriting paternal wealth or through career mentorship and guidance. LaurenConrad.com adds that if the fate line appears joined to the life line, it means a well-defined path from birth and consistent interests through life that can turn into a successful career. Additionally, branches, breaks, or additional lines rising from the Fate Line can be a sign of riches, good fortune, or even a big lottery win!


A fate line with a "rocky" appearance warns against ups and downs, dangers, and hard-earned money and success, achieved only after overcoming great obstacles. Finally, faded or even absent fate lines can foretell failure and frustrated attempts to succeed or even an unstable nature with an inclination to sloth; however, having a strong sun line, along with other auspicious marks and signs, will make up for this ominous trait.

Mount of Mercury and the head line: money, intellect, and mental health

As its name states, the Mount of Mercury, located below your pinky finger, speaks of Mercurial qualities. These include intellectual gifts, sharpness, wit, communication and oratory abilities, technical skills, shrewdness, and business acumen, per professional diviner Lisa Boswell. The features of the Mount of Mercury are said to influence key aspects of life such as academic success and the ability to make money. According to palmist Auntyflo, if one has the goal of becoming rich, it is worth it paying attention to the revelations of this hand feature. People with a well-developed Mount of Mercury make good writers and business executives with the skills to amass vast amounts of wealth. They are determined, versatile, persuasive, crafty, and able to seize opportunities. 


If the Mount of Mercury is overdeveloped, Mercury being the god of criminals and con artists, these qualities may turn into flaws, such as opportunism, social climbing, dishonesty, excessive street smarts, and materialism. A flat Mount of Mercury shows an absence of these features that, if well balanced, are crucial to achieving a comfortable and successful life and making the most of one's talents.

The head line (the second visible line below the heart line, starting between the thumb and the finger of Jupiter) reveals your creativity, how you reason, and your learning style. Given that it also speaks of how rational or emotional one is, it is also directly connected to mental health issues and inner strength. The shape of the head line is important: if it is curved, it indicates intuition and creativity, but if it is straight, it shows a rational, logical, and pragmatic intelligence. The deeper it is, the more focused and organized the mind. A poorly defined head line can be a sign of intellectual, emotional, or attention challenges and provide clues about mental health issues.


Mount of the Sun and line of Apollo: Fame, Fortune, Luck and Popularity

The Mount of the Sun, situated under your ring finger, talks about one's social success, popularity, fame, social skills, and the ability to influence others, explains Lisa Boswell.

This can be taken as direct one-on-one persuasion or, in a broader and more current sense, as the ability to create content that inspires and sells. A raised Mount of Apollo is a sign of artistic talent, charisma, and a great sense of humor, whereas a flat one can mean a lack of talent and sensitivity to the finer things in life, per Auntyflo. If the Mount of the Sun is too prominent, however, it might mean an attention-seeking, pompous, and loud character living an excessively hedonistic lifestyle.


These matters can be analyzed further by reading the line of Apollo, also known as line of success, a vertical line closer to the pinky finger that crosses the palm. A very clear and defined success line is a sign of triumph, especially if it is close to the fate line. According to Astrogle, we can look to artists of all mediums to see examples of those with strong sun lines. However, no matter how talented they are, those with absent sun lines will never make it in life. Sometimes, too, the line is only present for half of one's palm, which may land you in a middle ground between successful and unsuccessful.

The line of Apollo is so determining that it can even make up for a less visible or absent fate line. Still, some features make it even more relevant to one's fate. If you find that your sun line descends from below your ring finger to your wrist, you're considered to be a fortunate person. Another positive sign is if the sun line divides like a fork on either end. And if the sun line ends at the life line? That is a sure forecast of fame.


Mount of Saturn and the life line: Spirituality and Health

Contrary to popular belief, the length and development of the life line don't predict one's life span. According to palmists such as Fharusha, those odds can change throughout someone's existence, even altering the appearance of the line itself according to each person's habits (via Refinery29).


However, the longer and stronger the life line, the better, because it gives away one's health condition, liveliness, quality of life, well-being, and life-changing events. For instance, a well-defined life line indicates excellent health, vigor, and a talent for sports, whereas a weak one means that the person is prone to sickness, is lethargic, and gets tired easily. Usually, the life line tends to fade in some areas. Those areas predict the age when health may be frail. If it's around the thumb web, where the line begins, it indicates a sickly childhood. When they appear closer to the wrist, it means poor health in old age. Breaks or circles along the line aren't a good sign, either. They warn against accidents, illnesses, and serious hospital visits (via China Highlights).


The depth and clarity of the line also speak of a strong or feeble personality. If the line is clear, it shows an assertive person with leadership traits and an athletic build, able to perform physical labor or demanding sports. An unclear line is a sign of a physically frail, non-assertive person who is easily influenced by others.

The Mount of Saturn, situated below your middle finger, is considered in astrology to be the ruler of fate: it concerns spirituality, wisdom, and eventual limitations that may condition one's fate and life choices. A well-developed Mount of Saturn points to a stern, introverted and sober personality. It can also mean plenty of responsibilities throughout life. An exaggerated Mount of Saturn can be a sign of gloominess or even depression, but surrounded by other well-developed mounts this influence is lessened, showing great energy and assertiveness (via Destiny Palmistry).

Additional lines and markings with extraordinary revelations

Everyone's palm is unique, and some people are blessed with additional lines or unusual markings that bring extra pieces of knowledge, such as the rings of life, which some specialists believe can provide clues on life expectancy and warnings against accidents or potential health problems to avoid); the Ring of Solomon, a sign of wisdom, luck, and supernatural inclination or abilities but also of being prone to overthink (via Destiny Palmistry); or the Girdle of Venus that can indicate an excessive sensitivity (via Your Chinese Astrology). A rare trait to be weary of is the Via Lasciva, a straight horizontal line that starts at the Mount of the Moon (around the base of the palm, on the same side as your little finger) and runs across the palm. It means a tendency to overindulge in all pleasures of life and an addiction to adrenaline and excitement as well as excessive ambition and materialism and lack of discipline and ethics, per Auntyflo.


A better omen, explains Auntyflo, is having a letter "M" in the palm of your hand. If you ever notice such a shape (formed by the junction of the head, heart, and life lines), rejoice. It means fortune, riches, and an ability to make money, possibly through writing, politics, or a legal career. Another auspicious sign to have is fish-shaped markings, especially if they fall on the Mount of Apollo, as they announce that whoever has them is likely to become rich and live a life of fame and luxury.