CHIROMANCY OR THE ART OF FORTUNE TELLING BY THE LINES OF THE HAND, COMMONLY CALLED PALMISTRY
The practical part of chiromancy is that which gathereth probable predictions from lines, the places of the planets in the hand, and from the notes and characters everywhere pointed and marked out in the hands and fingers. Our readers will therefore be careful to let the following series be duly observed:-
List of Lines of the Hand
1. - Cardiaca, or the line of life.
2. - Epatica, or the liver line; also called the natural mean.
3. - Cephalica, or the line of the head and brain.
4. - Thoralis, or the table line.
5. - Restricta, or the dragon's tail.
6. - Via Solis, or the sun's way.
7. - Via Lactea, or the milky way.
8. - Via Saturnia, or Saturn's way.
9. - Cingulum Veneris, or the girdle of Venus.
10. - Via Mars, or the way of Mars.
11. - Mons Veneris, or the mount of Venus.
12. - Cavea Martis, or the cave of Mars.
13. - Mons Javis, or Jupiter's mount.
14. - Mons Saturn, or Saturn's mount.
15. - Mons Solis, or the Sun's mount.
16. - Locus Lunae, or the Moon's place.
17. - Mons Mercurii, or the mount of Mercury.
18. - Mensa, or the table containing the part of fortune.
19. - Pollex, or the thumb.
20. - Index, or the fore finger.
21. - Medius, or the middle finger.
22. - Annularis, or the ring finger.
23. - Auricularis, or the little finger.
The situation of these lines will be more fully explained by a reference to the following engraving:-
It has been a question whether we should give judgement by the right hand or by the left, for it is certain that in one hand the lines and other signatures are very often more manifest, and are thus more plain to be seen and perspicuous than in the other, as well as in the hands of gentlemen as ladies.
In consequence of this, many authors have been doubtful as to whether in both sexes the right or left hand is to be taken, or whether the right hand of a gentleman (as some teach), and the left of a lady only.
To this we answer that the hand (in both sexes) should be used which shows and exhibits the lines thereof most clearly, and abounds with a series of characters and signs, yet so, as that the other, whose lines are more obscure, may pay its contribution. If in both hands they consent, and appear to be fair and comely, they declare a constancy of fortune and health. The cause of which said diversity is this: he who is born in the day time, and hath a masculine planet (the Sun, Saturn, Jupiter, or Mars), lord of his geniture, bears the more remarkable signs in his right hand, especially when the sign ascending is also masculine. The contrary happens to them that are born by night, as often as a feminine planet predominates, and the sign ascending is also feminine. If both hands agree, it must be that in a diurnal nativity the feminine planets rule; or that there falls out a mixture of masculine and feminine; so in the nights by the contrary reason which diversity must necessarily be observed.
I. THE LINE OF LIFE
This is also called Cardiaca, or the Heart Line.
This being broad, of a lively colour, and decently drawn in its bounds, without intersections and points, shows the party long-lived, and subject but to few diseases.
If slender, short, and dissected with obverse little lines, and deformed either by a pale or black colour, it presageth weakness of the body, sickness, and a short life.
If orderly joined to the natural mean, and beautified in the angle with parallels, or a little across, it argues a good wit, or an evenness of nature.
If the same have branches in the upper parts thereof, extending themselves towards the natural mean, it does signify riches and honour.
If these branches be extended towards the restricta, it threatens poverty, deceits, and unfaithfulness of servants.
If in this line there be found some confused little lines, like hairs, be assured of diseases and they to happen in the first age. When they appear below, if towards the cavea, in the middle; if towards the patica, in the declining age.
If this line be anywhere broken, it threatens extreme danger of life in that part of the age which the place of the breach showeth; for you may find out the dangerous or diseased years of your age; this line being divided into seventy parts, you must begin your number and account from the lower part thereof, near restricta, for the number falling where the branch is, determines the year.
If the character of the sun (as commonly it is made by astrologers) be ever found in this line, it presages the loss of an eye; but, if two such characters, the loss of both eyes.
A line ascending from the vital, beneath the congress of it and the epatica to the tuberculum of Saturn, showeth an envious man, who rejoiceth at another's calamity, the scite of others concurring. This also frequently shows a most perilous Saturnine disease in that wherein it toucheth the vital, and it is much worse if it cut the same.
But such a line passing from the vital to the annular, to the ring finger, promiseth honours to ensue, from or by the means of some famous lady, or to receive some great favour or present from some lady of honour.
The vital line being thicker than ordinary at the end under the forefinger, denotes a laborious old age.
A line passing through the vital to the cavea of Mars foretells of wounds and fevers, and also of misfortunes in journeys.
II. THE EPATICA, OR NATURAL MEAN
This line being straight, continued and not dissected by obverse little lines, denotes a healthful body.
If it be short or broken, and reach not beyond the concave of the hand, it shows diseases and shortness of life.
By how much more the same is produced, by so much longer the life may be warranted.
If cut at the end thereof by a small intervening line, it threatens poverty in old age.
If in the upper part it be distant from the vital by a great space, it shows distemperatures of the heart, as palpitation, syncope, etc.
This also shows prodigality, especially if the table be broad.
If tortuous (that is, if it wind and turn several ways), unequal, of a different colour, and dissected, it argues an evil constitution of the liver, and hence diseases, proceeding from the weekness thereof: covetousness also, and a depravity both of nature and wit, especially if it be under the region of the middle finger, and approach towards the cardiaca, thereby making a short or narrow triangle.
If decently drawn and well coloured, it is a sign of a cheerful and ingenuous disposition.
If it has a sister, it promises inheritances.
If continued with some little hard knots, it denotes manslaughter, either perpetrated, or to be committed, according to the number of these said knots.
If therein a cross be found under the region of the middle finger, it announces death to be at hand.
If it terminates with a fork towards the ferient, it is a sign of depraved wit, of hypocrisy and evil manners.
When it tends to the mensa, it is a token of slanderous and reproachful tongue, and of envy.
When it projects a remarkable cleft through the vital to the mons veneris, and the sister of Mars, especially if the same be of a ruddy colour, it warns you to be aware of thieves, and also intimates fraud and deceit of enemies.
This cleft likewise insinuates a most vehement heat of the liver, proceeding from the rays of Mars; so that the life becomes in danger, seeing that the line of life is dissected.
This line having some breach, yet such a one as that, nevertheless it seems to be almost continued, shows that the manner of life will be, or is, already changed; and this in a declining age, if the breach be under the ring finger; but, if under the middle finger, in the strength of years.
III. THE CEPHALICA, OR LINE OF THE BRAIN
This is called the line of the head and brain, which, if (arising from its place in a due proportion) it connects the lines of the liver and heart in a triangular form, have a lovely colour, and no intersection falling out between, doth declare a man of admirable prudence, and one of no vulgar wit and fortune.
By how much more decent the triangle is, so much better shall the temperature, wit, and courage be; but if it be obtuse, it argues an evil disposed nature, and a man that is rude. If no triangle, far worse - a fool, etc., with a short life.
The superior being a right angle, or not very acute, foretells the best temperature of the heart; but when it is too acute, especially if it touch the line of life, upon the region of the middle finger, it argues covetousness.
The left angle, if it be made upon the natural mean in the ferient, and be a right angle, confirms the goodness of the intellect.
But when the cephalica projects unequal clefts to the mons lunae thereby making unusual characters, in gentlemen it denotes weakness of the brain, and dangerous sea voyages, but in the ladies' hands it shows frequent sorrows of the mind, and difficulties in child-bearing.
Equal lines (thus projected) presage the contrary in both sexes. viz., in gentlemen, a good composure of the brain, and fortunate voyages by sea; in ladies, cheerfulness and felicity in child-bearing.
This one thing is peculiar to the cephalica; if it project a cleft, or a manifest star, upwards to the cavea martis, it signifies boldness and courage; but if it let fall downwards, thefts, etc.
The cephalica, joined to the dragon's tail by a remarkable concourse premises a prudent and joyful old age.
The same drawn upwards in the shape of a fork, towards the part of fortune, signifies subtlety in managing affairs, and also craftiness either to do good or bad.
If in this said fork a mark appears resembling the part of fortune, as it is noted by astrologers, that gives an assurance of riches and honour to succeed by ingenuity and art.
IV. THE THORAL LINES
This is also called the line of fortune; it is termed, likewise, the mensa, because it makes up the table of the hand; which said line, when it is long enough, and without incisures, argues a due strength in the principal members of man, and also constancy; the contrary if it be short, crooked, cut or parted.
If it terminate under the mount of Saturn it shows a vain, lying fellow.
If projecting small branches to the mount of Jupiter, it promises honours.
If there it be naked and simple, it is a sign of poverty and want.
If cutting the mouth of Jupiter, cruelty of mind and disposition, with excessive wrath.
If it projects a branch between the fore and middle finger in a gentleman, it threateneth a wound in is head; in a lady, danger in child-bearing.
Three lines ascending directly upwards from this line, viz., one to the space between the middle and fore finger, a second to the space between the middle and ring finger, and a third to the space between the ring finger and little finger, argues a contentious person in many respects.
h. A little line only thus drawn to the interval or space between the middle finger and the ring finger, sorrow or labour.
If annexed to the natural mean, so that it makes an acute angle, it bringeth
sorrow and labour.
If the natural mean be wanting, and the thoral annexed to the vital, it threatens decollation, or a deadly wound.
If no mensa at all, it shows a man malevolent, contentious, faithless, inconstant, and of base condition.
Confused little lines in the mensa denote sickness; if under Mercury, in the former part of the age; under the sun, in the prime thereof; under the middle finger, in old age.
When in this line there are certain points observed, they argue strength of the genitals, and burning lust.
V. THE CAUDA DRACONIS, OR THE RESTRICTA, AND THE LINES ARISING THENCE
If this be double or treble, and drawn by a right and continued track, it promiseth a good composure of body.
That line which is nearest the hand, continued, and of a good colour, assureth of good riches.
But if the same line be cut in the middle, crooked, and very pale, it announces debility of body and want of all things.
A cross or star upon the restricta foreshows tranquillity of life in old age.
If there be a star, simple or double, or any lines near the tuberculum of the thumb, in ladies they denote misfortune or infamy.
A line running from the restricta through the mons veneris presageth adversities, either by the means of some kindred or wife.
A line extended from the restricta to the mons lunae denotes adversities and private enemies; if crooked, it doubles the evil and betokeneth perpetual servitude.
Such a line also being clear and straight, and reaching so far as the region of the moon, foretells many journeys by sea and land.
If it extended to the tuberculum of the forefinger, it informs the gentleman that he shall live in a foreign country in great estimation.
If to the patica, it argues an honest behaviour, and prolongeth life.
If to the mons solis (be it simple or double), it shows exceedingly good, and enableth to govern or rule in great affairs.
By the same reason, if it pass to the mons mercurii, it betokeneth that the gentleman is of a sufficient capacity for any employment. But, if it reach not the mons mercurii, that makes out a prating fellow, a liar, etc.
If directly ascending to the mons saturni, it signifies a good position of Saturn in the geniture, whose decree shall shortly follow. But if crookedly both towards the restricta and the epatica especially, it shows man laborious, etc.
VI. THE VIA SOLIS, OR THE SUN'S WAY
This being whole, equally drawn and well coloured, promiseth the favour of great men and honours. But if dissected and unequal, the contrary, and exposes to divers impediments, and envy in attaining the same.
VII. THE VIA LACTEA, OR THE MILKY WAY
This, well proportioned and continued, presages that journeys will be fortunate both by sea and land, a ready wit, and the favour of the ladies (Venus assenting), of a composed and graceful speech; but if it be cut or distorted, it argues infelicity and lies; but whole and ascending to the little finger, it is a sign of great happiness.
VIII. THE SATURNIA, OR THE LINE OF SATURN
This being fully and wholly protracted to the middle finger is an argument both of profound cogitations, and, likewise, of fortunate events in counsels and actions.
Combust or deficient, an evil sign portending many misfortunes, unless other positions favour it.
Bending backward in the cavea of the hand, towards the ferient, in the form of a semi circle, threatens imprisonment.
A line drawn from the vital through the epatica to the tuberculum of Saturn (if it touch the Saturnia), the same.
IX. THE CINGULUM VENERIS, OR THE GIRDLE OF VENUS
If this line have a sister, it argues intemperance and lust in both sexes, and baseness in venereal congression, a filthy man, especially who abhors not an abominable unnatural crime; and, if dissected and troubled, it shows losses and infamy by reasons of lust.
X. THE VIA MARTIS, THE WAY OR LINE OF MARS, OR THE VITAL SISTER
This line (as often as it appeareth) augments and strengthens the things signified by the cardiaca, but, particularly, it promises good success in war, provided it be clear and red.
SOME OBSERVATIONS CONCERNING LINES
The quantity of all lines must be wisely observed, that is, the length and depth; so likewise, their quality, that is, their complexion and shape, whether they are crooked or straight; next, their action, which is to touch or cut other lines. Their passion to be touched or cut of others; and, lastly, their place and position.
We must know, that the lines are sometimes prolonged until certain years of age, otherwise shortened; now they wax pale, then they become plain and strong, and, as it were, luxuriate with a kind of redness, and this as well in the principle as less principal lines. Again, as touching the less principle, and such as are found in the tubercula of the planets, it is most certain that some do one time quite vanish, and that at another time others arise of a different shape and complexion; the cause of which I suppose to be no other than the various progressions of the alphabetical places in their nativities; that is to say, fortunate and unfortunate, to the influence whereof man himself is wonderfully subject. The signs of his hand are presented at different times with quite different faces. Such a virtue, such a love, resideth in the imagination of the greater world towards the lesser. And, therefore, the most studious in chiromancy cannot attain the knowledge of particulars by one inspection only, made to a certain year of the persons age; things that worthily merit our observations, yet known or approved of but by a few.
XI. THE MENSA, OR PART OF FORTUNE
This space being great and broad, and the figure decent, declares a liberal man, magnanimous, and of a long life.
But if small and narrow, it indicates a slender fortune and fearfulness.
A cross or star within it, clear and well proportioned, especially under the region of the ring finger, betokeneth honours and dignities to ensue from or by means of great and noble personages. If the character of Jupiter, it then promises great ecclesiastical dignities etc.
The same star or cross tripled excellently increaseth portents of good fortune. but if it be cut by confused little lines the good fortune is thereby diverted, and anxieties and labours threatened in defending his honours, especially if they are under the region of the ring finger.
A cross or star in the upper part of the mensa is a sign of lucky journeys.
The mensa sharpened by the concourse of the thoral and cardiac lines points out deceits and danger of life.
If no mensa be found in the hand, it shows obscurity both of life and fortune.
Good and equal lines in this space do declare the fortune to be good, but if evil and discomposed they quite overthrow it.
A little circle shows perfection of wit, and the obtaining of Sciences, the others assenting thereunto.
XII THE FINGERS - THE POLLEX, OR THUMB
Overthwart lines that are clear and long underneath the nail and joint of the thumb confer riches and honour. A line passing from the upper joint of the thumb to the cardiaca, threatens a violent death, or danger, by means of some married lady. Lines everywhere dispersed in the lower joint of the thumb describe men who are contentious, and such as rejoice in scolding, etc. A line surrounding the thumb in the middle joint portends the man shall be hanged. Equal furrows drawn under the lower joint thereof argue riches and possessions. If the first or second joint want incisures it shows drowsiness and idleness.
XII. THE INDEX, OR FORE FINGER
Many lines in the uppermost joint, and they proceeding overthwartly denote inheritances; by running so in the middle joint, an envious and evil-disposed person.
Right lines running between these joints declare (in the ladies) a numerous issue. In gentlemen, bitterness of the tongue. If they are in the first joint near unto Jupiter's mouth they manifest a jovial disposition, that is, they point to the man whom Jupiter favoured well in his nativity. That woman who hath a star in the same place may safely be pronounced unchaste and lascivious.
XIII. MEDIUS, OR THE MIDDLE FINGER
This finger presenting little gridirons in the joints thereof, plainly declares an unhappy and melancholy wit, but if equal lines, it manifests fortune by metals etc. A star there presages a violent death by drowning, etc. If a gross line be extended from the roof thereof upwards, through the whole finger into the end of the last joint, it argues folly and madness.
XIV. ANNULARIS, OR THE RING FINGER
A line rising from mons Solis, and ascending by a right track through the joints thereof, shows a noble frame. Equal lines in the first joint demonstrate honours and riches. Overthwart lines, the enmity of great men. Howbeit, if these lines shall seem to be intersected, it is the better, because they argue impediments.
XV. AURICULARIS, OR THE LITTLE FINGER
From the joint thereof, as from the mount itself, are judgements and decrees passed concerning merchandise, favours, and a star in the first joint over the tuberculum argues ingenuity and eloquence.
Other obtuse signs the contrary; but when there appear unfortunate signs in the first and second joints they mark out a thief and a very deceitful person. If adverse lines in the last joint, perpetual inconstancy.
Some there are who predict the number of wives from the little lines in the mons Mercurii at the outmost part of the hand, and I have often observed them come at the truth; but yet I will not confirm anything in this respect. because it properly appertains to Venus, and her disposition.
If the end of this finger reach not so far as to touch the last joint of the ring finger, it signifies a wife most imperious in all things; the truth thereof is often proved.
Observations on the fingers
The structure of the hand itself is most admirable in respect to the proportion it beareth to the face, and certain parts thereof, which is this:-
The whole hand is of equal length with the face.
The greater joint of the fore finger equals the height of the forehead.
The other two (to the extremity of the nail) is just the length of the nose, viz., from the intercelia, or place between the eyebrows to the tip of the nostrils.
The first and greater joint of the middle finger is just as long as it is between the bottom of the chin and the top of the upper lip.
But the third joint of the same finger is of equal length with the distance that is between the mouth and the lower part of the nostrils.
The largest joint of the thumb gives the width of the mouth.
The distance between the bottom of the chin and the top of the lowerlip, the same.
The lesser joint of the thumb is equal to the distance between the top of the under lip and the lower part of the nostrils. The nails obtain just the half of their respective uppermost joints, which they call omychios.