Graffiti of the Skies

Paracelsus Brings Palm Mining to the West

Palm diagram

Chinese palmistry refers to the lines on the hands as the “graffiti of the skies.”

As Carl Jung felt, we all know our futures on some level. The lines on our hands are merely an outward expression of our subconscious.

Chinese and Indian attitudes surrounding the art declare that palmistry is a route to knowledge, rather than a means of soothsaying or telling people what they want to know – a commonly held image, yes?

As in, “Yes, you will live a long life.” And, “Yes, you will come into large amounts of money.” And, “Yes, this boyfriend or girlfriend is the one for you.” Of course this person suits you and your relationship will work out well, as in so many other lifetimes before this one – but no.

Hindu and Chinese practitioners use palmistry for diagnostic purposes, just like the important German chiromancer, Paracelsus, did. Yet historians render this early 16th century palmist not in respect, but in Faustian imagery.

Paracelsus, born in Switzerland the year Christopher Columbus first sailed the ocean blue, believed that the Magi had introduced the art of palmistry to the West.

As a physician, Paracelsus meticulously examined his patients for signs of diseases. He searched for signs in the hands that indicated whether nature would heal his patient’s physical or mental impairments.

That is also the approach I take when examining palms. I ask myself, and tell the seeker, what I surmise he or she needs, rather than telling them what they want to know. It is a tricky business indeed.

Paracelsus, as one of the fathers of modern palmistry, died in Salzburg in 1541. He had traveled in the East, which is where he evidently had become acquainted with the secret doctrines of the Hindus. He also learned much about the occult arts – of which palmistry was only one – from a band of gypsies that he had wandered with in Switzerland in his earlier years.


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