When someone rather rudely puts their palm in your face and says ‘talk to the hand’, it’s actually the hand that’s talking to you.

What it’s saying is: “Look closely, and you will know more about me than I know about you.” And that’s because your palm tells a story about your life, loves, past and future, personality and character.

At least, it does according to the many devotees of the mystical and mysterious art of palm reading, or palmistry, which has been practiced since antiquity, and which many millions of people around the world swear by.

Ever since it was realised that the lines and creases on your palm are as unique as your finger-prints, they have been seen as a window into the soul, the hidden self, the place where reality and personal netherworlds intersect.

And that’s particularly the case here is Sri Lanka, our paradise island of history and mystery where Hindu gods, Buddhist mindfulness, Christian evangelism and Islamic certitude are joined in occasionally unholy matrimony.

From boardrooms to bedrooms, titans of industry to hopeful young lovers, what the palm reveals are vital insights into what makes them tick and their inner worlds go round; they ignore the signs at their peril!

And many Sri Lankans don’t ignore them. In fact, palm-reading is a thriving cottage industry that helps people find order amid the chaos of existence; an essential accouterment to second-guessing what fate has in store, signposts on the sometimes rocky road of life.

Roots in India

Although the history of palmistry can be traced back to Aristotle and ancient Greece, many believe that it originated in India, where a Hindu sage named Valmiki is said to have written about palm reading several thousand years ago.

Nevertheless, ‘classical’ palmistry is rooted in Greek mythology, with each area of the palm and fingers being related to a god or goddess, and the features of that area indicate the nature of the corresponding aspect of the subject.

A person’s dominant hand is the one that is read first because it is said to reflect that person’s inner self, while the other hand is believed to carry hereditary or family traits or carry information about past-life or karmic conditions.

Of all the lines, humps and bumps, it is the heart line, representing love and attraction, that is said to be the most important—and which for many is certainly the most important aspect of their lives!

Next comes the head line, which shows how a person’s mind works, including learning, communicating, the intellect, thirst for knowledge, and handling information and what’s going on around them.

But for some, it is the life line that holds the key to future health, wealth and happiness. After all, the key to life is life itself, and the more we know about it the better, right?

So next time someone tells you to ‘talk to the hand’, they might be telling you more about themselves than they think…

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