[This article originally appeared on The Alternative Daily here.]
A psychic once told me, flat out, that I was meant to be a journalist. Even better, a palm reader confirmed my unhappiness in a prior career when I secretly yearned to be a freelance writer. Coincidence? Perhaps. But if you’ve ever had a palm reading done, you know how intriguing it is to think that our hands hold a wealth of knowledge about the past, present and future. According to some sources, an M on your palm means you have the potential to unlock special qualities.
Palm reading: science or pseudoscience?
Palm reading, also called palmistry, can be traced back thousands of years. Classic palm reading, called chiromancy, involves using the lines on the hand to determine the future in areas of health, wealth, happiness, love and success. There’s also chirognomy, which takes the shape and texture of the hands into account. While there is no scientific evidence to support the fortune-telling facet of palm reading, it has appeared in the cultures of India, Tibet, China, Persia, Sumeria, Babylonia, ancient Israel and more.
Before you dismiss palm reading as pseudoscience, consider other Eastern practices that are now taking vigorous hold in the West, like yoga. Long considered to be popular for its feel-good properties, scientists are just now starting to realize that breathing and meditation have groundbreaking scientific applications as well. Yoga can do everything from improving immune function to soothing the throes of mental illness. These days, doctors regularly prescribe yoga in conjunction with modernized medicine. As you can see, it’s a lot more than just bending into a pretzel in colorful skin-tight clothing.
Perhaps palmistry operates similarly. We don’t yet know what exact forces are at play here, but there may be something to it. After all, scientists have studied hands and fingers to measure disease risk, testosterone production and even physical attraction. We’re still talking about palm reading, of course, but in a way where East meets West. Could there be something to it?
Clues about health from our hands
While not exactly what you’d think of as classic palm reading, scientists have found a number of interesting conclusions from looking at the hands and fingers. For example, if you have a Simian crease — a horizontal crease from one side of the hand to the other — you may have Down’s syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome or your mother had measles while pregnant. As another example, if you have abnormal fingerprint patterns, you may be at a higher risk of schizophrenia or diabetes.
The length of your fingers can say a lot about your health as well. Studies have shown that men with ring fingers longer than index fingers are more likely to have an attractive face, greater athletic talent, a longer penis and more children. On the other hand, men with longer index fingers than ring fingers may have a higher risk of schizophrenia and coronary heart disease, but a lower risk of autism and ADHD.
There are even controversial studies that suggest your finger length can reveal your sexual orientation. Dennis McFadden, a psychology professor at the University of Texas at Austin, says that lesbians — for example — are more likely to have masculine finger ratios compared to straight women. Scientists believe this could be because prenatal sex hormones and testosterone production may play a role in determining sexuality, though much more research needs to be done.
See? That’s a whole lot of information in your hands! But if you’re trying to see how you’re going to fare in love and in life, well, you need a palm reader for that…
The four main lines
Your hands are made up of dozens of lines and curves. Palm readers tend to focus on four main lines and build their understanding of your life from there:
- Head line: this line represents how your mind works, including learning and communication with others. Palmists may also be able to tell if you’re more in tune with your “left” brain (analytical) or “right” brain (creative).
- Life line: despite popular belief, this line has little to do with the length of your life. Palmists may instead find insight about your general health and wellbeing, along with major events that could disrupt your life, like injuries or relocations.
- Love line: this represents love, attraction and heart health. Palmists are said to be able to tell how you are in love and what your emotional life looks like.
- Fate line: this is believed to be tied to your life path, including education and career. This line also includes successes and obstacles on your journey.
The M on your palm
According to John Saint-Germain, author of “Karmic Palmistry: Explore Past Lives, Soul Mates & Karma,” an M on your non-dominant hand is rare and very telling, indeed. Here are some of the characteristics of someone with this special marking:
- You’re good at writing, journalism or working in education
- You’re excellent at making money
- You thrive in careers that demand self-discipline and self-motivation
- You are drawn to management positions
- You possess leadership qualities
- You can expect riches, fortune in life and great prospects
- You have an uncanny ability to see through lies and deceit
- You’ll know if someone is cheating or being less than honest
The M might appear on one or both hands, though typically it’s important to check the non-dominant hand first. Also, be aware that the lines aren’t fixed — they may appear or disappear over time.
How to find the M
It turns out, I’ve got the M on both of my hands. Here’s how to find out if you do too:
1. Look at your non-dominant hand. Find your life line, which curls around the thumb down towards your wrist.
2. Find your head line, which crosses through the center of the palm.
3. Look for the small “Line of Fate” or “Saturn Line” coming off the head line.
4. Find the love line, which usually begins underneath the index finger and curves down to the right.
If all four lines connect and make an M shape, you may have great fortune heading your way. If not, there’s no need to fret; a palm reader or other medium can help you uncover your own unique gifts. As they say, your fate is in your hands — go find it.
— Hilary Lebow