Palmistry study group : Hand shapes


Well, let's dive right in to palmistry then, shall we? I'll be referencing my copy of Cheiro's Palmistry : Language of the Hand every now and then, just for anyone who wants to play along at home, and happens to have a copy. It's an excellent resource for palmistry, although it makes for dry reading at times. Still, it is a classic in palmistry and most modern reading techniques stem from Cheiro's work, from what I've observed.

Study of the shape of the hand and fingers is called "cheirognomy". Cheiro writes that these shapes "relate to the hereditary influence of character and disposition."

When I read, I limit the number of hand shapes to basically 4, with one extra. The four I look for immediately are earth, air, water and fire handed people. These characteristics can be seen in the fingers' length and shape, and the top of the hand length and bredth.

The characteristics, as follows, closely resemble other elemental definitions used in reading, and I find them a nice touch stone to begin a reading with, as it opens up a reading or a sitter's energy.

When you begin a palm reading, almost everyone on god's green earth will smack their palm at you, usually stiff as a board and palm up. My technique is to gently take the hand and turn it over, smiling. I may or may not make a joke about it as well. If they are still holding an excessive amount of tension in the hand, I'll chide them ("Relax! It's only a palm reading!") and massage the hand a bit to get it to soften up.

Now, on to Hand Shapes and Types....

Air hands = Long and narrow, often graceful on either a man or woman. Usually a dry hand as well, and often with long fingernails.

The long palm indicates a mind that spends a great deal of time with it's thoughts until they are released through the fingers and out into the world. The long fingers are also indicative of an active mind, quite often that of a person who is a self-studier and learned in many different aspects.

They're ideal bookkeepers, as they have minds with the capacity to hold and manage lots of detailed bits of information. And, they are often the ones who find themselves bored at tasks that are too easy and don't keep the mind active/challenged enough.

Fire hands = Big palms/top of hands and short fingers. Often fire hands look "stubby" to me, and if they strike me as extremely "stubby" it's often a sign of a very *Stubborn* nature (which is certainly not uncommon in fire handed people anyhow).

Their short palms indicate a mind that is sometimes hasty in it's fired-up state and how it approaches decision making. The beauty of fire hands is they are the ones who come up with brilliant new ideas and have so much passion behind them ... at least, for a little while.

The down side to fire handed people is their passions are sometimes short lived, and they can have difficulty following through with projects, or the other things that they begin.

They're ideal salesmen, as they can talk just about anyone into just about anything, and often so sweetly, or politely, that you'll find yourself grinning and nodding while jumping through their every hoop.

Water hands = Longish, just like air hands, but the quality in water hands is their immediate dampness and/or moistness that is apparent upon first touch. (Yes, some people have sweaty palms, but this goes beyond that). They can sometimes have pink fingertips as well, or the energy of the hand presents itself as soft and yielding, like a current of water.

These folks are the highly emotional ones, the "softies" through and through but often with a heart of gold, and a super sized sense of compassion in how they greet the world. (It is funny to me how often they will laugh when you call them a "softie" and nod in complete acknowledgment. Water handed folks don't even try to hide it!)

However, their extremely emotional nature can led to destructive or neurotic behaviors when not managed well. They often have substance issues, and/or battle depression.

They're the ones you want for your very best friends, the ones you wanna call when you feel terrible and just hearing your water friend's voice will make you feel better.


Earth hands = Bear paws! Almost everyone, regardless of whether they've studied palmistry or not, recognizes earth hands on another person. They're large, expansive, wide and long. Often, they are very dry as well.

These are the hands of the sensible, functional and "get stuff done" kinda people. They are not overly emotional, and may even pride themselves on that quality. (They usually have very few palm lines as well, btw). In general terms, they are often the least likely to be interested, or gifted in, psychic phenomena ... so as a reader, you may see them the least ;).

(And, in general, the air handed folks are the most likely to take interest in and/or study psychic phenomena, with water following a close second).

And my "Plus One" hand type is what Cheiro calls the Conic Hand, but I have my own way of reading it :

Conic Hands = These hands, no matter what sign they fall under, have a graceful, curved appearance due to the fact that the area where the finger starts for the first finger is significantly higher, rather than horizontal to, the same joint on the pinkie. (I recognize these hands easily because I have some myself ;)).

These folks are day dreamers, often creative, aesthetic, and visualize an ideal world that often doesn't match up to reality's standards.

I usually read only the "elemental" sign of the palm of my sitter, but Cheiro lists many more that I'm still learning.

Other characteristics in finger shapes that I look for are :

Knobby knuckles -- The wider the knuckle, the more stubborn the person. Energy is imagined as leaving the hand from the palm to the fingertips, and the fewer obstacles (bumps, knuckles) along the way, the more efficiently they work.

Also, I often see knuckles that go "round and round". This is a personal technique, but when looking at certain people's knuckles, the patterns in the lines sometimes will swirl around and around, indicating a mind with thoughts that do the same.

They may be "paralysis by analysis" types, who over analyze everything (round and round) before making up their minds. Or, they may be slow to decision-making, as they naturally require a slower pace and time to digest input and then come to a conclusion.

Another technique I was taught when learning finger shapes was : the skinny first phalange!

This area (where we wear our rings) is often indicative of a person's ability to enjoy their senses/sensual pleasures.

The skinner the phalange, the meaner they are to themselves. Fleshy, padded and thick phalanges speak to sensual natured people who appreciate feeling good with little remorse. The (borrowed!) analogy I use when reading is : "You're the kind of person who isn't counting fat grams and calories when the Haagen Dazs carton is in the trash." :D

However, skinny phalanges can indicate a disposition to feeling guilty for certain sensual pleasures, a tendency I will encourage my sitters to abandon, which usually makes them laugh.

That's all I can think of for hand shapes, and it's my method, but certainly not the only method, or even the established (!), so I look forward to hearing more from others, either who have questions and/or additional insights to share.

(Alissa mumbles something like, "Welcome to the Palmistry group, I'll be your facilitator, Alissa. There are 2 exits to the rear of the website, 2 at the top of the page and two on the mouse. Can I interest you in a beverage?")


wow! Thanks for this Alissa, very interesting. Now I'm pretty sure what hand type I am. LOL I'm a fire hand... I never finish anything!

I look forward to more of these, and since you're offering beverages I'd like a Diet Coke and I'll bring some chips... or would that make our hands all greasy and not nice to read?

R :)


Definitely too greasy... how about pretzels instead?? (And no one's getting any henna done while we're discussing lines either!) :p

One other thing that I was too beat to include last night, but that I do consider at the same time when I'm reading hand/finger shapes : hair on the knuckles (not to be confused with hairy palms ;)).

Hairy knuckles -- Hair on the fingers is indicative of an "animal" nature, or "animal" cravings -- such as strong desire for stimulation, often by alcohol or substances. They can be the "thrill seekers" and can get caught up in this aspect of their lives a bit easier than most. (Think Moon card energy here)

Some folks have just a sprinkle of hair, some are like apes :). The more the hair, the greater these cravings are for the individual.


hey this definately a good read...well i have really long fingers and my mum said it look sort of pointed.....and the length is same as my mother think*39* sort of not sure im air or water hand

Dark Eyes

Bloody fantastic Alissa,
you have opened a great thread !! I am going to put together some ideas I can add , but I don't think you left any holes or areas unmentioned. Just great. Taking my daughter to netball now, but will be back to add my two pence. Well done Alissa, Wow !!!!!!!!!!!!

Wisp Wings

Very, very nice and highly interesting thread Alissa! I am not good at all in trying to figure out the shape of hand that mine is. I know it is certainly not the long, slender ones! I would tend to think has to be either the water or the pentacle types. Mine are very short. Back when in school and also with all the cousins, I was always the shortest, smallest hands. From wrist to fingers is between four and a half and five inches, the same width-wise and this is about half an inch longer than my index finger is in length. I have always felt I have short stubbs for fingers! So try to keep some length in fingernails to change that to some degree. lol My palms aren't wet though, however they are and have always been soft. Maybe that speaks to a moisture thing. LOL Recently a man shook my hand and then started rubbing his alway both sides of my hand and turned to his wife and told her "She has the softest hands!!!". I know that was strange sounding and as much as it may seem otherwise he wasn't at all meaning this as flirting. Which do you think that I am? Man I would love to know how to read palms.

Royal Cat

Wow, that was wonderful Alissa! Very informative and a pleasure to read. :)
Now, when I started reading this I thought perhaps I had an Air hand... then I thought maybe Water... but I also have the traits for Conic. Hmmm.... Can I have a blend of all three?



Royal Cat said:
Wow, that was wonderful Alissa! Very informative and a pleasure to read. :)
Now, when I started reading this I thought perhaps I had an Air hand... then I thought maybe Water... but I also have the traits for Conic. Hmmm.... Can I have a blend of all three?


Thank you, and thank you to everyone's kind words. I'll put together another "tome" or 2 soon.

And, YES! At least, in my opinion, you can have a mixed hand. I often get hands that when I first look at them I think, "Fire!" then "Air!" right behind that, or what have you.

In these cases, I tell people about both aspects that I see in their hand.

And, I don't think I'm being clear about how I view conic hands -- I see them as being possible in any type of hand (air, water, etc). They are an additional aspect of hand shape that will jump out at me.


Another hand type I use that I've missed!

The psychic hand -- This hand type, as identified by Cheiro, looks to me like an air hand gone bezerk -- *extremely* long fingers and palms, and extremely long nailbeds as well.

The long nailbeds is usually my first visual clue that it's a psychic hand (and, like conic hands, it can appear in any hand type, regardless of elemental designation).

I remember there was a woman on a Slimfast commercial whose LONG psychic nailbeds jumped right off the screen at me. I thought, well there's a psychic hand if I ever did see one.


hiz......what is it about the psychic hand....long palm...fingers..naibeds....what is considered long and short in palm reading???? and what meaning does it have?? the person is psychic???????