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Thursday, February 4, 2016

High Five by Rose Anderson

I've been sharing my 2016 Symbol Series on my Calliope's Writing Tablet blog. I love symbols. My unusual interest began after receiving a book of cattle and ranch brands as a child. Our lives are filled with symbolic associations. Take writing for example. Not only are the letters of the alphabet symbols, the words we craft our stories with are symbolic stand-ins for our unspoken thoughts. Even our names hold meanings buried in the past.

Symbols of all sorts are deeply rooted in culture and represent generic or personal beliefs. Some cultures put a lot of stock in them from talismans against the evil eye to lucky numbers on lottery tickets. Others are there just for fun. From lucky rabbit’s foot to a horseshoe nailed over the door, symbols of fortune come in all shapes and sizes and materials. They're even found in the palms of our hands.

It's all about the hand.

Hands are elegant features of our remarkably complex body. The human hand is comprised of 27 bones and an assortment of muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints and joint fluids, and a delicate array of nerves and sensory capabilities. There are symbols associated with the hand that most of us in the western world know. Gestures for one. Some gestures that are benign to us become grave insult elsewhere in the world. (I have many hand gestures listed on my blog if you'd like to see them) Gestures aside, there are other ways to read the hand.  

Take these, for example:

  • When and where we wear our rings tell others we're married or engaged. The faint color distinction left by a long-worn ring also suggests a break-up, moving on, or a cheat.
  • Bitten nails or torn cuticles hint at a nervous disposition.
  • Weathered or broken hands show they are accustomed to labor or extremes, while soft smooth hands say they aren't.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, through his literary creation Sherlock Holmes, came up with the idea for examining the unique qualities of fingerprints to nab criminals. Who knew so much information could be gleaned from one's hands? But there's more. Hands sum up the dichotomy of us. They create and destroy. They comfort and hurt. They become instruments of love and hate. They also speak when voice isn't possible.

They also speak about health:
  • A firm handshake has a long association with strength and vitality, but other things can be discerned by giving the hands a once over.
  • Testosterone levels are shown in the length of your ring finger. (If women have long ring fingers, they are candidates for osteoarthritis).
  • Your palms show the health of your liver.
  • Bulls-eye fingerprints suggest the possibility of a stroke in the future.
  • Swollen fingers can signal thyroid issues or allergies.
  • Pale fingernails can be a warning of anemia.
  • Cold hands suggest poor circulation.
  • Bulbous fingertips can be a sign of heart or lung disease.
  • Challenges such as autism, Downs Syndrome, and ADHD can also be seen in the hands of children. 
And...Hands are thought to hold symbols that divine your future.

Palmistry a.k.a Chiromancy
Some say palmistry originated in India, spread throughout China, then found it’s way to Egypt and Greece. From there it spread to the rest of Europe. It was a

popular tool among the likes of Aristotle and Julius Caesar. If you look at the palm of your hand, you'll see it crisscrossed with lines and wrinkles. Being human, we all have lines like this, each one assigned properties that say something about you in your here and now, and about your path in life.

The major lines are:

  • The Heart Line ~ Represents all matters of the heart (including heart health).
  • The Head Line ~ Represents the workings of a person's mind.
  • The Life Line ~ Represents the person's vitality, physical health, and general well-being.
  • The Fate Line ~ This line is said to be tied to the person's life path.
There are many smaller lines running all over the hand from the tips of the fingers to the wrist, and each has been given a meaning. This woman gives an interesting run-down.

This explanation of palmistry comes with cool corresponding charts.

I hope you've enjoyed this little peek at symbolism. The 2016 Symbol Series continues. Stop by my main blog tomorrow for more and scroll back to see previous posts. Subscribe to get them in your inbox!


Rose Anderson is an award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and delights in discovering interesting things to weave into stories. Rose also writes across genres under the pen name Madeline Archer. She lives with her family and small menagerie amid oak groves and prairie in the rolling glacial hills of the upper Midwest.

Stop by my blog for interesting topics all month long.
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Cara Marsi said...

Really interesting, Rose. Loved the video, especially what she said about writers' lines. Thank you for posting this.

Martha O’Sullivan said...

Great piece! Thanks for sharing.

Tina Donahue said...

Wow - fascinating blog, Rose. Really enjoyed it.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hands do tell us so much about people. Thanks for another illuminating discussion. Describing hand symbolism is perfect for fictionalizing characters.

Judy Baker said...

Thanks Rose, your post was very interesting. I found myself staring at the lines on my hand while watching the video.

jean hart stewart said...

A great post. Thanks for all the information. Fascinating.

Paris said...

What a fascinating post! Thanks for sharing all the wonderful information:)

Rose Anderson said...

Thank you all. I'm glad everyone is having fun with this. :)

Melissa Keir said...

I love the idea of how much our hands show! I used to do more palmistry but ran out of time in my day! said...

Your knowledge is immense, Rose! You should be a writer. Oh, wait! You are.

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