Recently a woman I had known for awhile took me up on a group palmistry offer. She invited me to a gathering at her home with a group of women that meet regularly for food, socializing, and metaphysical talk. My acquaintance had started the group.
Good food was shared and everyone introduced themselves. Each month new women come to the gathering from a number of different places.
When my friend introduced me, I presented a brief rundown of how I had gotten involved in palmistry, and what I knew of its history and tradition.
For a dollar a minute for the next couple of hours, I was on. One woman needed to start a book about her life transition; another needed to travel; yet another woman needed to hear that she shouldn’t be working for somebody else, and so on.
After everyone had left, I read a little bit more for my friend. I had read my friend’s palms before, as a present. (Not a bad idea, if you want to give some one a nice gift.) After the reading, she still had one more question: “Why,” she had asked me, sticking out her right hand, “do I still get migraines after all these years? I have tried everything,” she explained.
Having licked a whopper of a migraine just the day before, I could identify with her condition.
The first thing I noted was that there was a deep demarcation between her mound of Venus and her mound of Mars (the two fleshy parts at the base of the thumb). As I have indicated previously, this demarcation indicates conflict between the masculine and the feminine within one’s self, and/or between oneself and a masculine person.
My friend peered anxiously down at the line I was showing her and she agreed.
She had already shared her boyfriend woes with me – as had the other women earlier in the evening. Her boyfriend was perpetually jealous, although she was not involved with other men. Someone had even asked her if her boyfriend had let her put together this gathering?
She responded to the Rorschach test of this line by confessing that she preferred the social company of women, which is why she had started the social ritual. Then she recited a list of criticisms she often received. She was too masculine, so she was always trying to hold her masculine energy back. She was too pushy, too domineering, and as a consequence she was often apologizing for her traits that were not considered socially acceptable in a woman.
“And then,” I said, “do you see this very long line that goes the entire extent of your life line, but is closer to the palm?”
She looked down again and answered yes. She raised her eyes back to mine again, searching for illuminating answers.
“Well, this can be interpreted a couple of ways. One is that you have a double life, a secret life, something that is important to you that you hide, suppress, or try to keep out of your main life; like someone who lives with a vegetarian and sneaks out to Taco Bell for meat on a regular basis. Or you are writing a novel and hiding it in your closet while you hold down a real job. You have an alternate identity. Get it? Like a deep shadow that follows alongside your public self.”
I continued exuberantly, feeling I was on to something here.
“This alter ego is cut off from the persona that you present out in the world. Like Superman to Clark Kent. Every once in awhile, you fly off to be who you really are or want to be. You live out your secret desires. You run in that alternate lane. The rest of the time, you are suppressing the real you and your inner strength. You are hobbling along, jogging in one track of your life, but slowly and you never get very far. You don’t arrive, because so much of your energy is held off. Or you arrive, and let go of the sought after destination, because you don’t feel fulfilled. It wasn’t what the real you wanted anyway.”
I hesitated. Had I gone too far? Had I said something too personal? Palmists struggle with such questions frequently.
I brought the conversation back to the migraines, the original question.
“So the migraines, this energy of suppressing your inner self takes a lot out of you. This inner conflict results in the migraines. The next time you get a headache, meditate. Go inside the pounding. Feel what wants to come out, and then make a date with that part of yourself, much like you make this monthly date to be with other women. Make that date to be with your real self. Maybe by being with women you are being true to your real self, and the part of you that tries to shape the side of you that prefers women in this heteronormative society is forcing you to presenting a false persona to everyone else.”
Well, I don’t think I used the word heteronormative. This word I thought of when I wrote up this column, realizing what I should have said long after the moment of opportunity and heightened connection.
Batya Weinbaum is a proficient palmist, artist, and writer. Call (216) 233-0567 for a consultation. She runs a monthly teaching newsletter, Tending the Soul Through the Palms. A subscription is $35. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.