Author: Elizabeth Daniels Squire

Revised by C.B. Squire and Worth Squire

Publisher: Five Star Publications

ISBN: 978-1-58985-060-6

Click Here To Purchase Fortune in Your Hand: The Art of Palmistry

It began with a classmate’s question in an English Literature class … could the beginning of the poem “Auguries of Innocence” by William Blake:

To see a world in a Grain of Sand,
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

be a reference to palmistry? The teacher’s reply was an explosive “Absolutely not!” and she would not enter into further dialogue about the matter.

I puzzled over the student’s question and the teacher’s surprising reaction. When the subject of palmistry entered various conversations over the years, I couldn’t help but be curious by the various responses ranging from skepticism to fear to those who believed palmistry was “the-best-thing-since-sliced-bread.”

It was time to do some reading on the subject, so I turned to the recently revised edition of Elizabeth Daniels Squire’s book originally published in 1960 which was a natural outgrowth of her widely distributed “Helping Hands” newspaper column. This is not a book written by an author trying to convince the reader that palmistry will transform their life, tell their future, and magically make them a fortune. Rather, it’s a gentle book that is very informative. It provides a historical overview; offers guidance in relationships, financial matters, friendships; and through its many illustrations, the reader is enabled to compare and contrast the written descriptions of the various hand types, mounds, lines, fingertips, thumbs etc.. An oh yes, the author notes that the superstitions around the subject are “fun.” Squire might be passionate about palmistry, but she’s a woman of integrity who invites the reader to determine for his/her self whether to believe in the efficacy of palmistry or not.

The historical overview introduces the reader to the realization that the study of the hand started as a branch of study of the entire body as a key to character and that ever since the earliest of times, people have been intrigued by lines of the hand. While the earliest origins of palmistry are embroidered by myth, legend and tradition in so many places (e.g. India, Asia Minor, Greece) many were influenced by it. It is said that Aristotle found an ancient Arabic palmistry document written in pure gold on an altar to the god Hermes. Further, Aristotle’s book on physiognomy includes material both on the meaning of the shape, colour and texture of the hands and about the lines in the hand. And then there’s the physician to the 19th century King of Saxony, Dr. Carus, who is said to have matched palms to personality.

Not surprisingly, controversy reigned over the centuries with many associating palmistry with black magic, evil or equating the words of the palm-reader with the voice of doom that predicts an inescapable fate. But a reminder from the author that “markings in your hands are simply signposts that can be read rightly or wrongly by fallible human beings” encourages thoughtful consideration of the results of the practice of palmistry rather than literal acceptance of the interpretation of what is seen in the palms of the hand.

It would be easy to discount palmistry as a thing-of-the-past, but what of today? The author points to the discovery by medical researchers who have discovered a connection between unusual markings in the hand and genetic abnormalities; and, who have confirmed a link between specific fingerprint patterns and heart disease. And then there’s the important role that fingerprinting plays in criminal investigation and identification to consider. I wonder what my high school teacher would say to all of this? If I could, I would send her my copy of the book so she could broaden her views, consider possibilities and not live in the world of fear.

Thanks to Squire’s husband and youngest son, the original version of this book has been updated and republished. I wish they’d listened to their instincts and changed the title of the book as the current title doesn’t do the book justice. But who knows – maybe in the next edition they will.

Click Here To Purchase Fortune in Your Hand: The Art of Palmistry