Reading palms is the ideal method for the real flirt. No other skill allows you to take attractive members of the opposite sex into a quiet corner at a party, hold their hand for 20 minutes and whisper in their ear. And you can do this while their spouse is standing at the other side of the room looking on.

Unfortunately reading palms proves totally fascinating to the most unlikely people. No sooner have you finished the consultation you engineered when some horny-handed farmer will stick his callouses under your nose and insist that you start again. At this moment you will discover that you need more than a good chat-up line to be a palmist.

So first, do not allow anyone to listen while you are reading a palm. This allows you to use the same reading for everyone (with a few minor adjustments). Luckily Palmistry is based on rather loose qualitative judgements. For instance you can tell virtually everyone that they have "long fingers showing an artistic temperament" and they will accept it.

Vagueness is used constantly. Say you read a palm where the index and middle fingers are the same length. If you decide that the index finger is as long as the middle finger, the querent is dictatorial and self centred, but if the middle finger is as long as the index finger, it shows that the querent is intuitive. It would seem difficult to lose out in such a situation.

It is even pretty vague what hand you read. Some systems say the right hand shows the future and the left the past, or the right hand shows the outer character and the left shows the instinctive nature. Best to read the right hand. Then if you say something they don't like they can only hit you with their left.

Technical Terms

At first there would seem to be some minor difficulties to be faced in practising cheiromancy (always talk of "cheiromancy": it's from the Greek so its much more impressive). For instance, it is an immensely complicated science with slight variations in skin patterns, tiny changes in the shape of finger nails and minute measurements all playing a significant part. It is worth mentioning this to the querent though in reality you totally ignore it.

Palmistry is also one of the most popular and best known forms of fortune telling. Most people have at least a vague idea where their life line or love line is on the palm. As long as it is vague, this helps enormously of course.

There are thousands of technical terms involved. This is a case where it is better to remember the technical terms than to remember what they actually mean. It sounds more impressive to say "My, look at that Mount of Mercury. Ive never seen one that size before" than to actually tell the person that a Mount of Mercury as small as that means they are "dull, gullible and humorless". As long as you can point out each part of the hand and give it a plausible technical term people won't worry too much about what you say it means.

The other reason why it is so popular (especially with bluffers) is that it only touches on real prediction. You can get away with really simple stuff like "you will live until you re 80 and have some illness in later life". All very safe. Who's going to come back to you and say "You said I would die at 80 and I actually died at 53"?

More important is that you have to give an accurate description of the querent's character based on the signs in their hands. People seldom seem to realise that if you've known someone for 20 years you might have some way of assessing their personality other than the shape of their fingers. This is where the technical terms come into their own. For instance, you can explain that you have guessed that the querent has a cold, passionless nature through the fact that their Plain of Venus was underdeveloped, and not because you have been married to them for 15 years.

It is totally useless consulting books on palmistry. They will provide thousands of line drawings showing the position of the lines and mounts and giving examples of shapes of palms, fingers, nails and skin patterns. But as soon as you compare them to a real hand you find you might as well be looking at a llama's hoof. Not once has a real hand come close to an example in a book - a co-incidence that seems significant.

You will spend hours looking for The line of sexual attraction' or some other excitingly named line to discover that you just don't have one. Books will tell you there are four 'mounts' running along the top of the palm (bits that stick up). Many people just have three mounts but books never tell you how decide which three you have and therefore which part of your personality is sadly lacking.

The Technique

The best idea is to memorise as many technical terms as you can and just pick a suitable part of the palm to suit the term. The great advantage is that most parts of the hand are named after planets so if you have learnt your astrological symbolism you just use the same set for palmistry.

If people know anything about palmistry they know about the lines. You should therefore only pay a gassing interest in them. Your real interest is fingers. ach finger has a different function:

Index finger is ruled by Jupiter - career

Middle finger is ruled by Saturn - fate

Ring finger is ruled by the Sun (or Apollo) - creativity

Little finger is ruled by Mercury - intelligence and communications

Thumb - governs leadership qualities, vitality and the ability to get a lift.

With these facts you can build up an interpretation lasting half an hour on the fingers alone. Whether each finger is straight (lucky) or bent (rugby player), whether it is longer or shorter than the others (more or less important), can also be used to great effect.

Each part of the finger is called a 'phalange' and has its own meaning. Make up your own since not even an expert is likely to remember all of these.

The shape of the fingers and the palm are also important. As general rule the thicker the hand or finger the thicker the querent, the thinner and more slender, the more intelligent. But remember it was clairvoyants who made up the rules. The slenderest hand with the thinnest most graceful fingers belongs not to the genius but to the psychic. Here are a few others worth remembering:

Square palm with short fingers - practical

Long palm with short fingers - intuitive

Long palm with long fingers - imaginative

Square palm with long fingers - intellectual

Hairy palm with very long fingers - an ability to swing from trees.

Even the shape of the nails is taken into account. Give squat, short nails an earthy, practical reading and long, well-shaped nails more intellectual traits. Very large square nails are supposed to show a cold, selfish nature, and beautifully shaped oval nails show a placid, easy going personality (they are the only ones with time for a manicure).

The Mounts

Next study the mounts on the palm. If you are unsure just pick the biggest mount, name it after a planet and then decide whether it is big, fleshy, small, or firm. This will give you enough of a clue to work out a suitable meaning. For example a flat undeveloped Plain of Venus could signify a cold, detached character while a high, firm one could show that the querent was highly sexed. Most palmists look here first.

Here is a list of some of the mounts with a vague idea of where you might find them.

The Mount of Venus - The fleshy part next to the thumb. This rules romance and passion.

Across the top of the palm (starting at the thumb) are:

The Mount of Jupiter - Enthusiasm and career.

The Mount of Saturn - Discipline and a serious attitude to life (probably missing on all good bluffers).

The Mount of the Sun - A happy nature.

The Mount of Mercury - The arts and the ability to communicate.

Just below this on the heel of the hand are:

The Mount of Mars - The aggressive side of your nature.

The Mount of the Moon - Yes. Intuition again.

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