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Learn to Read Palms: The Basics

Let’s learn chiromancy!

I can’t tell you how often people want the stereotypical palm reading fortune teller- but, it’s quite often. Now, this tends to make people think of palmistry as a bit of a hokey thing- except, there are a number of different cultures that actually have longstanding traditions of reading a person’s hands. Let’s get started with Part 1 of our series.

So…how do you do it?

The left hand is what the gods have given to you- the right hand is what you can do with it

Let’s start with the most basic question and go from there. Loads of people ask, “Which hand should I use?” the answer to that is both.

The way that I have always been taught is that our right hand is how you use your potential, yet, the left would be the potential itself. This makes sense once you get into reading them. If you think palmistry is just life lines and heart lines- think again. We start, with the very shape of your hand.

Each of the four different types of hand shapes correspond to an element- similarly to astrology. Except, while you might be a Fire sign, your hand may well be a Water type. How can you tell?

Look at the shape.



Here’s my hand. Taking a look at it, you can see that though I’m a Capricorn, I’ve got what is known as “Fire hands”. Not to be confused with Jazz Hands.

Fire hands are short. Short fingers, little hands, square palms. In these cases, the palms are typically longer than your fingers.

What does this mean? A highly energetic person who seems to be always doing something. Someone who can be a bit on the finicky side, always wanting something new, but also, someone who is a bit impatient and sometimes, temperamental.

Yeah, sounds about right.

Earth hands, on the other …hand…are typically square palms, too but the fingers are also square and the skin tends to be rougher.

People with Earth hands tend to be more stable, practical minded and even tempered. They are usually fairly conservative types, though they prefer to act rather than speak.

Air hands are described as having long, tapered fingers, with square or rectangular palms. Dry skin or bigger knuckles, as well as the palms being the length of the fingers tends to be the norm.

People with air hands are usually very intellectual, idea driven types. They can be a bit on the neurotic side, and though they are prone to bottling up their feelings- they’re actually very well spoken.

Water hands usually have shorter, oval shaped palms and long fingers. The palms are typically wide.

They usually have very emotional ways and are peacemakers. They prefer to keep things mellow and will usually be found breaking up fights between loved ones and friends. They tend to be creative or artistic.

You can even tell certain things about people by how their hands feel- for instance, my hands are always cold and dry, which would indicate I am an introverted sort of person but I am generous. If your hands are hot, you might be very popular and a bit on the freaky side, but often a bit unsure of yourself. Clammy hands denote that though you mean well, you can be a bit lazy.

More Shapes

Okay so that’s a terrible photo of my hand and it’s hard to see my thumb. Hey, you try taking a picture of your hand while making sure the mess on your coffee table isn’t showing. Anyway, when you look at someone’s thumb- this one is fairly basic.

There’s an old wives tale that someone who is capable of murder- well, their thumb will bend out and backwards.


That’s right, asshole. Do not piss me off.

The Killer’s Thumb, also known as murderer’s thumb, Dutch Thumb, shovel thumb, stub thumb, potter’s thumb, or the hammer thumb is actually what’s called brachydactyly type D. This is not a rare condition, it actually happens in around 0.4% of all people in the United States alone and in other parts of the world is more common. It’s actually a genetic thing and it happens in women more than men. I like to think this means more of us are killers than the fellas, but whatever.

Thing is, in the past, it wasn’t exactly looked on with any kind of favor. Of course you probably know all sorts of things that really don’t mean shit- made people think people were witches. In the case of my weird ass thumbs- well, they thought we were criminally minded, or worse, going to cut your throat in the night. Or broad daylight.

Quite a few palmists over the years said that this indicated murderous intent or at the very least, highly volatile people with passionate natures. Does that sound like me? If you’ve got it- does that sound like you?

In any case, in about 1901, William George Benham gave a dire warning, which I do suggest you heed-

“Those with clubbed thumbs are dangerous companions…not to be trifled with at any time. Many murderers have had clubbed thumbs…. Their brutal instincts being strong, jealousy most often has led them to fits of violent rage, and the terrible qualities of the clubbed thumb have given them passion and determination strong enough to take human life.”


This is so not a comprehensive list. Even just going on the thumb.

So, what if you do not have the nifty murderer’s thumb? Well, here’s where it gets weird, if your thumb goes outwards- even if, I suppose it is a “Killer’s Thumb”, you are probably pretty generous.The other thing is, the further back you can draw your thumb, the more compassionate you’re said to be- which is odd because not only does my partner Kurt have a murder’s thumb- he’s double jointed so his goes ALL THE WAY BACK.

If it goes towards your hand, you might be a bit of a cold asshole.

If you have large thumbs you are probably inclined towards being a bit more controlled and hard working.

They say that if your thumb is broad up top yet narrows in the middle- and reaches the middle of your index finger is perfect: which means you enjoy a nice balance of love, will power, and intellect.

If your thumb forms a right angle- you are well balanced and usually can see the perspectives of others. You probably have a strong and well developed sense of justice and fairness but tend to be more optimistic than most.

If your thumb can tuck into your palm easily, you probably worry a lot. The further in it goes, the more of a worrier you are.


Most of you who are checking your thumbs on this one are probably just as shocked as I would be if I didn’t know this already. Gee. Who’da thought? 

As I mentioned, this is by no means comprehensive- if you get into studying palmistry, you will find: it’s a bit more freaking complex than you probably thought. We’ll start talking about what you can see in people’s other fingers, next.


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