Indian Palmistry

Indian Palmistry  (1895) 
Mrs. J. B. Dale





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Cheiromancy, the art of foretelling the events of life by the lineaments of the hand, derived its name from the Greek word cheiros, the palm, and manteia, to foretell, whence it has been vulgarly called Palmistry—as it is named in a recent Act of Parliament to forbid its practice for gain or reward. In Coleman's Mythology of the Hindoos, p. 202, it is written: "On the Buddha's foot is the mark called the 'chakravarti,' wheel or discus, which should have been on the palm of the hand, by which the sages at his birth divined that he would rise to considerable eminence." He says (p. 19): "Various data have been assigned to the period of Buddha's existence. The most correct seems to be about 550 B.C., whence, as the sages practised cheiromancy at Buddha's birth, its existence must have been much earlier known among the Indians." "In the year 1652," writes Zadkiel, "the celebrated astrologer, Geo. Wharton, Esq., published a translation of 'a matchless piece' as he terms it, on the subject, written in Latin by Dr. J. Rothman." Since that period the art of cheiromancy has gradually fallen into disuse, chiefly from the extensive nonsense published by recent writers. One of the writers makes a shallow attempt to disprove the connection which exists between astrology and palmistry, while another says it is based on the principles of the Kabalah, the latter being nothing more than a mnemonical system of astrology. From the writings of Dr. J. Rothman and Geo. Wharton, Esq., I propose now to give, together with some of the choicest of those of the East, the principal matter, and to explain in the ordinary language used by palmisters such points as may require elucidation. Mr. Wharton, a careful student in these subjects, clearly proves that palmistry can only act in accordance with astrology, and that the art of cheiromancy cannot be relied upon beyond the period of from one to two years at most, for he observes in his preface, "What more convincing than if, by inspection made into the hand of any man, I truly pronounce this or that planet essentially dignified or angular in his geniture, or in such or such a position with other planets or stars, another unfortunate, afflicted or defected? Or if, on the contrary, by looking first into the geniture and considering therein the several positions of the planets and their configurations one to another and with other stars, I tell him, and that distinctly and truly, the lines and signatures engraven upon his head or hand what, I say, is or can be more satisfactory than this to rational men, as touching the power and influence of the planets and stars upon these inferiors, and consequently of the lawful use and truth of the science called astrology, cheiromancy and metoposcopia, between which three sciences there appear to be such a secret coherence and harmony?"

It is also written in the Book of Job, xxxvii. 7: "In the hand of all men he shall put a mark that everyone may know his own work"; but in our translation of the Bible it is written as follows: "In the hand of all men he putteth a mark that every man may know his own work." This alone proves that Job believed in this science. The author does not claim that there is anything new in this work, although the method of translating and setting may be original.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1926. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).