Much like henna body art, ancient palmistry was a practice common to many different cultures and countries such as India, Tibet, China, Persia, Samaria, Israel, and Babylonia. One theory suggests palmistry’s roots are in Hindu astrology, and from India the art of palmistry spread to those other lands, also progressing to Egypt and Greece.
In basic chirognomy, hand shapes are divided into four primary types that are named for and represent character traits corresponding to the elements.
Chirognomy is a specialized branch of palmistry. While palmistry is the general term for the study of the hand, chirognomy narrows the focus to just the shape of the hands, fingers, and fingernails also taking into consideration the texture of the skin.
Analyzing potential abilities and assessment of character by the;
Earth hands are generally identifiable by their wide, large palms, the length of which from base of the fingers to the wrist is often the same as the length of the fingers. Fingers are generous, yet not long or short. Skin is thick and dry with a ruddy color perhaps even appearing chapped. Reflective and quiet in nature, people with earth hands are reliable and sensible, down-to-earth and practical though they may lack patience. Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn are the astrological signs usually associated with the earth hand.
Air hands are long and narrow. Their palms may be square or rectangular shaped with the length from base of the fingers to the wrist being typically equal to the length of the fingers. They have long fingers with elongated nail beds and sometimes low-set thumbs. Frequently they have dry skin. Long fingers can indicate an active mind, perhaps to the point of restlessness. People with air hands move quickly through life thinking, talking, and walking fast like the wind. Their logical minds can manage lots of details and information. Astrological signs often associated with the air hand are Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius.
Water hands are characterized by rectangular or occasionally oval-shaped palms. The length of the palm from base of the fingers to the wrist is typically less than the width across the widest part of the palm and usually equal to the length of the fingers. Palms are soft and rounded. The skin is sometimes pink and has a continual moistness surpassing the typical sweaty palms. They often have flexible, tapered fingers. Those with water hands tend to be highly emotional and compassionate. They are strongly influenced by the events of their lives, positive and negative, similar to being constantly tossed about by waves. Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces are the astrological signs usually associated with the water hand.
Fire hands are noted for having wide, boxy palms that are either square or rectangular. Palm length from base of the fingers to the wrist is often greater than the length of the fingers. Typically fire hands have short fingers and flushed or pinkish skin. Extremely stubby fingers could be a sign of a stubborn nature. Short palms indicate a mind that is sometimes hasty in a revved-up state and in decision making. They flare up with brilliant ideas and tremendous, however short-lived, passion. Once their intensity is extinguished, they may have difficulty following through with things they start. Possessing a persuasive nature, they are outgoing and charismatic. Astrological signs frequently associated with the fire hand are Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. Of course, there are numerous variations and combinations of hand shapes.
Since henna body art has roots in India (called mehndi) and chirognomy also has roots in India, it would seem natural to combine the two practices. Once you’ve determined your hand shape and the elements it represents, the mehndi applied to your hands can help to amplify or soften the related characteristics.
According to Eastern Indian Palmistry, in males the right hand is projective, representing the positive and things to come. The left hand is the negative or things which have already happened. For females it is the reverse, with the left hand being receptive and symbolizing fate while the right hand reveals what is done.
For placement, designs on the palm should be chosen to enhance characteristics, as the palm opens and offers, while the back of hand closes and defends as a shield exhibiting protection, and it should have designs to temper or mellow less desirable traits.
Natural henna is always a dark reddish brown or orange color with the exact intensity of the stain dependent on the time allowed to set and your skin tone. You may choose to use colored hennas or to fill in designs with long-lasting body paint to make your mehndi pop. Basic color theory explains that colors also have symbolic meaning. Generally the warm shades like reds, oranges, and yellows signify flame, heat, power, and energy. Cool hues such as greens, blues, and purples evoke thoughts of calm, peace, and water.
Earth – to reinforce earth hand qualities use large, daring mandala designs on the palms with deep reds and oranges for grounding. To offset earth characteristics try finely drawn floral vines in violet and green for growing tolerance and scrolls of indigo to wash in a tide of patience on the backs of the hands.
Air – use butterflies and elegant floral forms in regal blues and purples on the palms to enhance the organized, logical mind. To bring balance, on the backs of the hands use strong, geometric patterns in clear yellows and reds to slow down your approach to life.
Water – to intensify water traits use delicate scrolls and paisley patterns in soft shades like lavender and sea green on the palms. On the backs of hands, use exaggerated shapes such as stylized flames in shades of coral and buttery yellow as an anchor to temper the constant bobbing qualities of water.
Fire – on the palms use bold and energetic shapes like a fiery sun motif in vivid orange and yellow hues to strengthen flash and dazzle fire characteristics. To compensate for fire traits, use watery scrolls and graceful vines in bright blues and greens on the backs of hands to cool and calm you. Your choice of mehndi designs can serve as a visual reminder, a beautiful way to help you to be more mindful of your actions and emotional state, to be stronger and more at peace.