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The final word on handshapes?

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The final word on handshapes?

Post  yogiman on Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:11 pm

Handshapes have been a fuzzy topic to me. Halve of the handshapes do not fit a clear elemental type. Moreover, there are some more variables like number and depth of the lines and the skin texture,  to which also one of the four elements  can be assigned. For example, what is the difference in meaning between an earth hand with a lot of fine lines, and a water hand with few broad lines? In my search for an answer on this forum, via via I landed on the website of the 500 hand project. Every combination of handshape + lines + skintexture is given a name, which summerizes it's meaning. Most important, those meanings have been constructed on basis of extensive scientific research. How much of traditional palmistry will be able to maintain itself  against the new approach?


Last edited by Martijn (admin) on Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:09 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Title modification)

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Re: The final word on handshapes?

Post  learner on Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:33 am

Could you add a link to that website ? I am interested in reading it.  I am still unable to classify some hand shapes  that I see around me. I think the 5 element method gives a lot of detail, much much more than traditional palmistry. Could you also add the link to the scientific research behind this. My learning is based almost entirely on the discussions here. I really want to expand my knowledge.

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Re: The final word on handshapes?

Post  yogiman on Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:41 am

The research is done in collaboration with Richard Unger. Their approach can be read at the bottom of the webpage http://www.500handproject.com/understanding-the-research/

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Re: The final word on handshapes?

Post  learner on Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:22 am

Thank you for link Yogiman. Seems very interesting.

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Re: The final word on handshapes?

Post  Martijn (admin) on Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:18 am

yogiman wrote:The research is done in collaboration with Richard Unger. Their approach can be read at the bottom of the webpage http://www.500handproject.com/understanding-the-research/

That website will not help you out at all, as they only present a rather superficial approach to assess hand shape, without using any specific criteria at all!

During the past weeks I have been working hard with Lynn to develop proportional formulas for each of the elemental hand shape (e.g. for 2 different perspectives regarding palm breadth), and we have now entered the stage to develop formulas for the so-called 'mixed' hand shapes.

I expect to be able to present the details for the mixed hand shapes soon, but I have a few details available here for the perspective where palm breadth is measured at the end of the metacarpals (just below the fingers):
http://www.handresearch.com/diagnostics/finger-length-proportions-elemental-hand-shapes.htm#proportions

More soon!

PS. The mixed hand shapes will include: medium hand shape (which represents the average proportion of the 4 elemental hand shapes) + 8 other mixed hand shapes!

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Re: The final word on handshapes?

Post  Lynn on Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:27 am

I disagree with Martijn that Brent's website won't help you out at all. I think it is well put together and a useful general guide to various archetypes. In fact I really like the 500 hands project.

As yogiman says, 500 hand project is not just about hand shape, it adds in other features such as lines, skin texture etc. - which are separate features to the hand shape. It doesn't present "every combination of handshape + lines + skintexture" because that would be impossible! there are too many variations. Whilst yogiman found some clarity in the way they presented these combinations of features, I find it confusing! Personally I think it is a mistake to combine the other features in with handshape.

When you look at your own hand on the 500 hands site, it may not fit any of the categories exactly. For example,  I fall at the first hurdle because I have medium length fingers, neither short nor long!  Not all fire/water hands will have the pointy fingers shown on the illustration (fingertip shape is yet another category that can vary by all 4 elements), not all fire shape hands will have the many deep lines shown on the picture. In fact the majority of hands in Western world are some variation of fire hands. But I appreciate that it is impossible to show all possible combinations of features.

Yogiman asked  "For example, what is the difference in meaning between an earth hand with a lot of fine lines, and a water hand with few broad lines?"
Actually (sorry if I'm wrong, please correct me) I'm not sure you find that differentiation in 500 hands system? I think they both come out as earth/water combination?

I use the element system to assess all aspects of the hand. The number and depth of the lines and the skin texture can be assessed separately to handshape, as each feature says something different about us. We are all a combination of all four elements.

If you start with the handshape, that shows how we use our energy. So (very brief examples) the earth handshape uses their energy in a much more physical, hands-on way, needs a routine, doesn't like change etc whereas the water handshape is more sensitive, caring, emotionally based and can 'go with the flow'.
Then looking at the lines - the greater number of lines (regardless of elemental quality) the more the person is prone to stress and 'busy-ness'. Not all lines on your hand are going to be the same elemental quality. eg You might have a fiery lifeline with a lot of physical energy and a fast metabolism, a watery  headline which can bring subjective, imaginative thought processes, and an air quality heartline...  etc. In fact you can assess lines via width, length and the way they flow across the hand. Eg your headline might be fire width, air length and water flow! Each aspect says something about your manner of thinking.

Looking at each aspect individually this way can give you much more info about the individual person. But it would be impossible to present a website that shows all the possible combinations of handshape, lines (and I haven't even mentioned skin texture!). I think Brent has done a good job in bringing together some of the archetypal hands that we see.

Yogiman you said "those meanings have been constructed on basis of extensive scientific research."  I wasn't aware of this, could you point me to the research please. I know the element system works and I will be very happy if it is backed up by any scientific research!  Very Happy

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Re: The final word on handshapes?

Post  Martijn (admin) on Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:07 pm


Lynn, I would like to present a few examples in order to substantiate why I described the guidelines at the 500 hand project rather superficial (+ misinforming):

http://www.500handproject.com/how-to-use-this-site/

"Air hand: + Intellectual + Logical (long rectangle shaped hand, thin straight lines)"

"Air: + Intellectual/Logical (Long palm, long finger, long lines)"

Both Air hand shape descriptions suggests that this hand shape has a long rectangle shaped hand, featured with a long palm with long fingers, which also suggests that the Air hand shape can be described to be LONG - as both the fingers- and the palm are described to be long!

However, this CLEARLY goes against the classic description for the Air hand shape in elemental chirology, because usually the Air hand shape is described to to have a SQUARE PALM with long fingers)... which leads to an 'ordinary' width versus length ratio!

And on top of this one can also wonder why also the Earth+Air hand shape is being described as 'long', while it actually represents a combination resulting from the most 'square' (wide) hand shape of all: the Earth hand shape!

So, both example appears to violate some of the most fundamental principles in elemental chirology!


I also have spotted problems regarding the vocabulary, for example:

What to think of the "crazy lines" description for the fire hand shape, air+fire hand shape and the fire+earth hand shapes?


By the way Lynn, I would love to see you answering the following question:

What is your opinion about the so-called 'Earth+Water hand shape' that is mentioned at the 500 hands website???

(If I remember things correctly, I think you informed me in the past that according the C.S. teachings this Earth+Water hand shape does not exist... we also never found this Earth+Water hand shape in the written C.S. guidelines on paper; and I could add that the picture from my 'experimental study' confirms that the Earth+Water hand shape is likely a DELUSIONAL concept - resulting from a fundamental misunderstanding of the principles used in elemental hand reading... because it actually concerns a theoretical impossibility according the classic elemental principles!)



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Re: The final word on handshapes?

Post  yogiman on Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:20 pm

I am grateful to Martijn, who gives me the impression of great integrity. And dear Lynn, thank you for your lengthy response. I didn't really jump into the details of the website, because I like to know the expert opinion. So my post was kind of bait.

About the scientific evidence, the scientific method consists of doing a lot of trials, and hereupon extracting a theory. The following is stated under the picture of Pascal Stoessel:
"The analysis in the video was conducted by The International Institute of Hand Analysis and is based both in California and Switzerland. It is based on research made by Richard Unger who has read over 55,000 hands since the 1970s. The readings for this project are conducted in Switzerland by Pascal Stoessel who has read over 16,000 hands. Details of their work and research (in german) can be found here

However, I can sympathize with some of your scepticism when at point 6 is stated:"The magic of hand analysis is that by knowing the character (by the hand shape), their needs (the fingers), their attraction and experience (lines), their life purpose (the fingerprints), we can determine who it is. To test this we give our hand analyst handprints with no knowledge of who it is. The video is recorded and compared with an actual interview. Both famous and non famous people are compared and the results are one to one. We explain the theory of how he does it in each page." From a critical point of view we might question the full integrity of Brent Bruning. Didn't he give some hints to Pascal Stoessel? We are waiting for academic evidence of his claims.
A big plus of his website is the high number of hands that are shown. This learning process feels to me much more natural than using a ruler. A point open to discussion is the advertising with celebrities. They fit without exception into the category -vanity-, so the merit of their public image might be relativized.

Some other observations in your text.
Then looking at the lines - the greater number of lines (regardless of elemental quality) the more the person is prone to stress and 'busy-ness'.
This interpretation is much clearer than the elemental approach. Because obviously, what I meant to say is, what is the difference between hand x with lines b, and hand y with lines x.

You might have ...  a watery  headline which can bring subjective, imaginative thought processes ...
Sorry Lynn, this is a little bit confusing, because the same can be said of a headline that curves down into the moon mound.

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Re: The final word on handshapes?

Post  Lynn on Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:46 pm

hi yogiman,
.... and I took the bait Smile ....

The 'scientific method' that you describe is pretty much the same as the Cheirological Society who devised the elemental system by reading lots of hands and creating theories and doing research, testing it all out, revising their ideas etc. But I don't think it really classes as 'scientific' research.

I've seen some of the videos of Pascal reading the handprints that Brent took, and they are very impressive. He is a really good handreader. But I have no idea how he actually came up with some names, maybe he is psychic! For example one (and I might have remembered this wrong, but something like....) I think it was film director - Pascal got a vision in his mind of a film poster and identified the guy that way. But Brent had the exact same film poster in the other room,,,, maybe there was some subliminal correlation going on? Of course maybe Pascal hadn't been in the other room, and anyway Pascal had already given a very good analysis of the guys hands, and I don't wish to detract from that - but to get an actual name is, I think, more than can be seen by hand analysis alone.

Brent also did some tests on facebook palmistry groups, presenting mystery handprints for readers to give an analysis. I didn't take part in that because I noticed that he had actually left loads of clues on his website (eg the handprints and a description / photo / name - of who it was!). At the time I told Brent that I couldn't take part because I had already seen the info on his website.

You might have ...  a watery  headline which can bring subjective, imaginative thought processes ...
Sorry Lynn, this is a little bit confusing, because the same can be said of a headline that curves down into the moon mound.
Sorry, I wrote it hastily. By 'watery' I meant water width.
Yes a headline that curves into luna also brings more imaginative thinking - the mount of the moon is ruled by water. So we look at other factors of the headline and the rest of the hand to see how they use this subjective, imaginative way of thinking. eg do they use it to worry about things, or to create something amazing!

 Smile 


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Re: The final word on handshapes?

Post  Lynn on Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:52 pm

Martijn (admin) wrote:
Lynn, I would like to present a few examples in order to substantiate why I described the guidelines at the 500 hand project rather superficial (+ misinforming):

http://www.500handproject.com/how-to-use-this-site/

"Air hand: + Intellectual + Logical (long rectangle shaped hand, thin straight lines)"

"Air: + Intellectual/Logical (Long palm, long finger, long lines)"

Both Air hand shape descriptions suggests that this hand shape has a long rectangle shaped hand, featured with a long palm with long fingers, which also suggests that the Air hand shape can be described to be LONG - as both the fingers- and the palm are described to be long!

However, this CLEARLY goes against the classic description for the Air hand shape in elemental chirology, because usually the Air hand shape is described to to have a SQUARE PALM with long fingers)... which leads to an 'ordinary' width versus length ratio!

Well, the 500 hands project is based on Richard Unger's way of looking at hands. Richard has his own unique approach. Yes in Cheriological Society elemental system, we use square palm and long fingers for air handshape. But when he says "long rectangle shaped hand" I think Richard is describing the shape of the whole hand, not the palm. Richard calls air hands to be 'shoebox' shape. Air hands are usually large hands (taller people) so it will be an over-all 'long' hand compared to most other hands. However I don't agree with the second description of "Long palm" as that does suggest rectangular palm. But if you look at the picture that accompanies an air hand on http://www.500handproject.com/how-to-use-this-site/   it shows a square-ish palm and long fingers.

And on top of this one can also wonder why also the Earth+Air hand shape is being described as 'long', while it actually represents a combination resulting from the most 'square' (wide) hand shape of all: the Earth hand shape!
yes I agree, I'm not sure why he calls Earth/Air a 'long' handshape  - especially as he says 'broader than air' which suggests a broad palm!

So, both example appears to violate some of the most fundamental principles in elemental chirology!
Well, I guess you are talking about Cheirological Society elemental approach. But, that is just 'a way of looking'. We know Richard always takes his own approach eg his definition of tented arches differs from the standard (forensic) classification of fingerprints.

I also have spotted problems regarding the vocabulary, for example:

What to think of the "crazy lines" description for the fire hand shape, air+fire hand shape and the fire+earth hand shapes?
I think most of us can visualise what 'crazy lines' might look like! Smile BUt I see the lines as separate features, they are not part of the handshape at all.

By the way Lynn, I would love to see you answering the following question:

What is your opinion about the so-called 'Earth+Water hand shape' that is mentioned at the 500 hands website???

(If I remember things correctly, I think you informed me in the past that according the C.S. teachings this Earth+Water hand shape does not exist... we also never found this Earth+Water hand shape in the written C.S. guidelines on paper; and I could add that the picture from my 'experimental study' confirms that the Earth+Water hand shape is likely a DELUSIONAL concept - resulting from a fundamental misunderstanding of the principles used in elemental hand reading... because it actually concerns a theoretical impossibility according the classic elemental principles!)

I think I told you about an argument that earth/air did not exist "how can you have long fingers and short fingers" but I think earth/air does exist! You could put a bigger argument against earth/water - "how can you have a broad square palm with short fingers that is also a narrow rectangular palm with long fingers?"  Laughing Once again I think he is adding other factors into the handshape.
At first glance, the earth/water hand illustrated on this page http://www.500handproject.com/how-to-use-this-site/ looks like oblong palm & short fingers (in relation to length of palm) = a variation on fire handshape.
Whereas the earth/water hand on this page http://www.500handproject.com/earth-water-summary/ looks much squarer palm and short fingers = earth handshape. But he is adding into that 'thin' skin = water skin texture (which is a separate feature, not about handshape).

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Re: The final word on handshapes?

Post  yogiman on Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:43 pm

But I have no idea how he actually came up with some names, maybe he is psychic!
This is good for their commercial interest on the short term, but bad for palmistry at large in the long term.

Nevertheless, this website has beautiful pictures. So I am curious, what is your recommendation for "how to get the most from this site".

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Re: The final word on handshapes?

Post  Lynn on Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:08 pm

yogiman wrote:So I am curious, what is your recommendation for "how to get the most from this site".
Sorry I don't really know how to answer that!
Because I work with the elements for years, I can see where they are getting it all from, and that it is not all about handshape. I'm not sure how to advise people who are new to working with the elements. There is a lot of good stuff there. All aspects/schools of handreading are just 'ways of looking', none of it is set in stone. Read it all, watch the videos (on youtube too), take from it what makes sense to you. Very Happy 

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reconsidering the elemental attributions to the handshapes

Post  yogiman on Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:44 pm

We are presented in the books with very elaborate descriptions of the elementary handshapes, suggesting that about everything that can be associated with an element is in the handshape. But is this true? In order to get at four elements we look to the handwidth (square vs. oblong) and the fingerlength (short vs. long). A square palm connotes order and stability, and an oblong palm: creativity and responsiveness. A short finger: being quick and the main lines, and a long finger: being slow and detailed.

Intuitively we observe that a square palm and short fingers belong to the element of earth (the workman's hand), and that the oblong palm and long fingers belong the element of water (the artist's hand). But instead of an entire array of character and physical traits, what it actually says is that the first one is about order/stability and being quick/main lines, and the latter about creativity/responsiveness and being slow/detailed.
With the air and fire hand there is no such intuitive association, though it can be comprehended: air refers to order/stability and slow/detailed, which reminds us of method, and fire refers to creativity/responsiveness and quick/main lines, though responsiveness is related to water.

In fact, it is very difficult to determine to what extent the characteristics of an element are attributable to the handshape, because there are so many variables involved.

The thing is, that I want to get clear what it means when a handshape is watery (etc.), versus the skin texture that is watery, versus lines that are watery, versus fingertips that are watery. I like to keep things as simple as possible and free from elemental bias, if this is in line with the reality of the hand.

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Re: The final word on handshapes?

Post  Lynn on Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:59 pm

I just spent 40 minutes replying to yogiman's latest question (which was posted on a new thread), then when I hit 'send' the topic had disappeared, and my reply is lost!

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Re: The final word on handshapes?

Post  Martijn (admin) on Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:42 pm

Lynn wrote:I just spent 40 minutes replying to yogiman's latest question (which was posted on a new thread), then when I hit 'send' the topic had disappeared, and my reply is lost!

Sorry, my fault... meanwhile I had merged yogiman's new topic with this topic. (Oh...nooo! )

By the way, thank you for adding your thoughts to the points I made. Yes, I recognize as well that multiple other factors of the hand get mixed with hand shapes to describe the various elemental hand types.

I could add this as just another point why I think the materials on the website are inconsistent, misinforming... and also even confusing. Especially when one starts reading the details carefully.

One more example, it appears that these are the very first basic principles being used:

"Earth (square/grounded), Air (long/intellectual), Fire (short finger, chaotic lines/Creative), and Water (slender/Caring)."

http://www.500handproject.com/tour-the-exhibit/

I think there is hardly any consistency in the presentation at all: Fire gets described in terms of finger length + lines... but the other three get described with a description for the overall hand shape - with just a single word.

Words often turn out to represent different meaning to peoples, and I think even the archetypes do not make much sense here: associating 'slenderness' with 'caring'... can represent a deep mis-association in a wide spectrum of human behaviors (I am thinking of for example: anorectics, beggars, and the archetype of Saturn... slenderness is often more likely a sign of neglection and/or strong discipline).

I think it takes much much more than just a 'slender' hand to make the association with a water hand shape, as a matter of fact... 'slenderness' is by principle no requirement for the water hand shape at all, and I could add here that even though the 'long palm' + 'long fingers' are described by the author to represent an air hand shape (see: )... in the C.S. approach those two characteristcs actually recognized to represent the water hand shape, and most other authors follow a likewise principle in line with the C.S. approach!

 Thanks! 

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Re: The final word on handshapes?

Post  Martijn (admin) on Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:32 am


PS. Here's a much more useful source (also presented by an IIHA student), which I recognize to represent a more valid description of the 4 basic hand shape types - always including a combination of finger length & palm shape... plus a general characteristic of the lines (though I would like to underline that the latter factor is formally not really a part of the 'hand shape'):

"Here are the basic rules of how to recognise the
different elements.

Earth type= a square shaped palm with short fingers
and few lines.

Fire type = uneven shaped palm (like a flame)
short fingers
lots of crackly deep Zorro like lines.

Air type= rectangular /shoebox shape hand
Long fingers, lots of carefully drawn lines

Water type= narrow palms and long fingers.
Lots of fine lines."


http://handanalysisonline.com/how-understanding-advanced-hand-shape-types-indicates-career/

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Re: The final word on handshapes?

Post  Lynn on Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:32 am

Martijn (admin) wrote:One more example, it appears that these are the very first basic principles being used:

"Earth (square/grounded), Air (long/intellectual), Fire (short finger, chaotic lines/Creative), and Water (slender/Caring)."

http://www.500handproject.com/tour-the-exhibit/

I think there is hardly any consistency in the presentation at all: Fire gets described in terms of finger length + lines... but the other three get described with a description for the overall hand shape - with just a single word.

Words often turn out to represent different meaning to peoples, and I think even the archetypes do not make much sense here: associating 'slenderness' with 'caring'... can represent a deep mis-association in a wide spectrum of human behaviors (I am thinking of for example: anorectics, beggars, and the archetype of Saturn... slenderness is often more likely a sign of neglection and/or strong discipline).

I think it takes much much more than just a 'slender' hand to make the association with a water hand shape, as a matter of fact... 'slenderness' is by principle no requirement for the water hand shape at all, and I could add here that even though the 'long palm' + 'long fingers' are described by the author to represent an air hand shape (see: )... in the C.S. approach those two characteristcs actually recognized to represent the water hand shape, and most other authors follow a likewise principle in line with the C.S. approach!

 Thanks! 

Water handshape is a narrow oblong, so I understand the word 'slender' in the description of palm shape, tho I agree it is inconsistent with regard to eg fire where he describes finger length & includes lines. I don't think he is saying "slender=caring", I think he is saying "water=caring"
Richard's approach will not necessarily follow exactly with C. Soc approach.
(edit ) PS yes I also understand Jena's approach, based on Richard's teachings.

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Re: The final word on handshapes?

Post  Martijn (admin) on Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:48 pm

yogiman wrote:...

The thing is, that I want to get clear what it means when a handshape is watery (etc.), versus the skin texture that is watery, versus lines that are watery, versus fingertips that are watery.  I  like to keep things as simple as possible and free from elemental bias, if this is in line with the reality of the hand.

Hi yogiman,

Fair request. I think yesterday Lynn tried to respond to your post, unfortunately her efforts got zapped into space because while she was writing her post I decided to attach your post to this thread.

My answer would be that over the years I found that in general 'theoretical constructs' for individual hand features usually have no (or hardly) any valid basis. Therefore I hope Lynn will get inspired to respond to your request... because your request (set of questions) sort of goes beyond my own interests (as in my perception your request basically concerns a theoretical matter only).

I hope you understand.


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Re: The final word on handshapes?

Post  Lynn on Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:13 am

yogiman wrote:We are presented in the books with very elaborate descriptions of the elementary handshapes, suggesting that about everything that can be associated with an element is in the handshape. But is this true? In order to get at four elements we look to the handwidth (square vs. oblong) and the fingerlength (short vs. long). A square palm connotes order and stability, and an oblong palm: creativity and responsiveness. A short finger: being quick and the main lines, and a long finger: being slow and detailed.

Intuitively we observe that a square palm and short fingers belong to the element of earth (the workman's hand), and that the oblong palm and long fingers belong the element of water (the artist's hand). But instead of an entire array of character and physical traits, what it actually says is that the first one is about order/stability and being quick/main lines, and the latter about creativity/responsiveness and being slow/detailed.
With the air and fire hand there is no such intuitive association, though it can be comprehended: air refers to order/stability and slow/detailed, which reminds us of method, and fire refers to creativity/responsiveness and quick/main lines, though responsiveness is related to water.

In fact, it is very difficult to determine to what extent the characteristics of an element are attributable to the handshape, because there are so many variables involved.

The thing is, that I want to get clear what it means when a handshape is watery (etc.), versus the skin texture that is watery, versus lines that are watery, versus fingertips that are watery.  I  like to keep things as simple as possible and free from elemental bias, if this is in line with the reality of the hand.

hi yogiman, sorry my previous reply got zapped into space. This is a much briefer response. Before I ramble on again, I want to make sure what you're asking. Smile

re "I like to keep things as simple as possible and free from elemental bias"
If you prefer it 'free from elemental bias". then I'm not exactly sure why you are asking about the elemental system? Because that is all based on the elements! Smile

re watery handshape vs skin texture vs lines etc. First of all we study the elements in nature, the principles of the elements, then apply it to the hand. Each hand feature represents a different aspect of a person, (whichever school of palmistry you use), it just means they use that feature/aspect in a watery way!

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Re: The final word on handshapes?

Post  yogiman on Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:06 am

Hi Lynn,

I tagged handwidth and fingerlength both with two attributes, which in combination gives four attributes for every type. As I outlined, those 4 attributes together do suggesth one of the four elements.

When A is part of B, it is not so that A = B. I see no reason why a "water" hand should point to all traits and characteristics that can be associated to the element of water. It might make the discussion unnessarily complicated, because we have to "squeeze" the hand in one of the four categories, and on top of that have to see which of those characteristics can be maintained due to the neutralizing effect of skintexture, lines and fingertips.

If this classification could stand the tooth of time, then one could wonder why there was first a different sevenfold classification. The chinese have a 5 elemental system (wood, fire, earth, metal, water) but at least that is hundreds or even thousands of years old.

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Re: The final word on handshapes?

Post  Martijn (admin) on Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:26 am

yogiman wrote:...

About the scientific evidence, the scientific method consists of doing a lot of trials, and hereupon extracting a theory. The following is stated under the picture of Pascal Stoessel:
"The analysis in the video was conducted by The International Institute of Hand Analysis and is based both in California and Switzerland. It is based on research made by Richard Unger who has read over 55,000 hands since the 1970s. The readings for this project are conducted in Switzerland by Pascal Stoessel who has read over 16,000 hands. Details of their work and research (in german) can be found here

---

Forget about it!  Very Happy 

Even though Richard Unger claims that his method is based on academic scientific research (I know that he is basically referring to the publications where dermatoglyphics are being used to study the etiology of syndromes & diseases, But his 'life purpose' philosophy is not focussed on assessing syndromes and diseases, nor does it have any scientific grounds at all... as there is actually very little (academic) scientific evidence which confirms that personality/psychology correlates with the fingerprints.

For example: Unger's system is build on the terms  'love', 'peace', 'wisdom' & 'service', which are described to represent the main principles of 'life purpose'. However, there is no religion or philosophy where these terms (or likewise) terms play a key-role. And one should also be aware that the most people have a need for 'love' and 'peace'... so for most people it is very easy to identify with such words. Therefore one can argue here that P. T. Barnum's observation "we've got something for everyone" might also apply to those 4 key-words in the 'life purpose' philosophy.

I hope this makes sense?

(If necessary I can substantiate my observations with more details)

PS. Let's also be aware that especially many Asian hand readers tend to suggest that most hand reading theories are based on 'scientific evidence'... but one can also observe that these people usually hardly ever refer to academic research at all. I think one can best understand this in the perspective that in India even the government suggests that astrology is a 'science'... but in the West it is much more associated to represent just a 'believe system' - big difference!

Finally, even though religion can be studied at many universities in the world this does not make it a part of the so-called 'behavior sciences'. This explains why a study in religion is very different from a study in psychology; the study of religion is more comparable with a study in 'philosophy' or 'historical arts' - all three belong to the category 'humanities', which are focussed on human culture... but psychology does not belong to this category!


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Re: The final word on handshapes?

Post  Martijn (admin) on Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:34 am

yogiman wrote:We are presented in the books with very elaborate descriptions of the elementary handshapes, suggesting that about everything that can be associated with an element is in the handshape. But is this true? In order to get at four elements we look to the handwidth (square vs. oblong) and the fingerlength (short vs. long). A square palm connotes order and stability, and an oblong palm: creativity and responsiveness. A short finger: being quick and the main lines, and a long finger: being slow and detailed.

Intuitively we observe that a square palm and short fingers belong to the element of earth (the workman's hand), and that the oblong palm and long fingers belong the element of water (the artist's hand). But instead of an entire array of character and physical traits, what it actually says is that the first one is about order/stability and being quick/main lines, and the latter about creativity/responsiveness and being slow/detailed.
With the air and fire hand there is no such intuitive association, though it can be comprehended: air refers to order/stability and slow/detailed, which reminds us of method, and fire refers to creativity/responsiveness and quick/main lines, though responsiveness is related to water.

In fact, it is very difficult to determine to what extent the characteristics of an element are attributable to the handshape, because there are so many variables involved.

The thing is, that I want to get clear what it means when a handshape is watery (etc.), versus the skin texture that is watery, versus lines that are watery, versus fingertips that are watery.  I  like to keep things as simple as possible and free from elemental bias, if this is in line with the reality of the hand.

Hi yogiman, thank you for your efforts to describe your intuitional thoughts!

Unfortunately I am not sure regarding the details. Are you able to present an independent source (not associated with the elemental philosophy) which describes the principles that you observe described for earth and water?

For example: you mentioned 'creativity' for the water hand (see the bold highlighted words in your quote), but 'creativity' actually gets more associated with the fire hand (because fire and electricity). Maybe you can better use the term 'imagination' for the water hand???

(If you are able to present such a source then I think I have more to add regarding fire and air... but first I would like to be sure that you are not just associating directly from what you read about elemental hand reading)

 wave 


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Re: The final word on handshapes?

Post  Lynn on Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:44 am

yogiman wrote:If this classification could stand the tooth of time, then one could wonder why there was first a different sevenfold classification. The chinese have a 5 elemental system (wood, fire, earth, metal, water) but at least that is hundreds or even thousands of years old.

regarding your final paragraph.
D'Arpentigny's 7-fold classification of handshapes (1839) included other factors in addition to the shape of the palm and the length of the fingers. eg knotted knuckles, fingertip shape. It's difficult to put it into practise, hard to match handshapes with the drawings, plus he designed this system only for the hands of men. More about it here http://cheirology.net/history/darpentigny.htm

The Cheirological Society system also has 5 elements - earth, water, fire, air, ether (although ether does not really figure in assessing hand features). These classical elements have also been around for centuries. (in fact they have always existed in the world around us in nature!) But only in the last 50 years or so were they applied to hand analysis. I am not aware of the taoist elements being applied to hands (please correct me if I'm wrong)?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_element

more later with regard to your other questions.  wave 

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Re: The final word on handshapes?

Post  Martijn (admin) on Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:56 am

Lynn wrote:... I am not aware of the taoist elements being applied to hands (please correct me if I'm wrong)?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_element

Hi Lynn,

Ed Campbell has presented a few descriptions for the Taoist hand types (water, fire, wood, gold/metal, earth), see page 38+39 in: 'The Encyclopedia of Palmistry'.

Ed referred the descriptions to come from the work of Gettings.

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Re: The final word on handshapes?

Post  Lynn on Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:18 pm

Martijn (admin) wrote:Hi Lynn,

Ed Campbell has presented a few descriptions for the Taoist hand types (water, fire, wood, gold/metal, earth), see page 38+39 in: 'The Encyclopedia of Palmistry'.

Ed referred the descriptions to come from the work of Gettings.

Thanks Martijn.

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