Before reading the palm, look at the fingers to see if they’re short or long. This isn’t always easy to gauge when you’re just beginning, buta little practice will enable you to assess the finger length at a glance.The fingers are considered long if they can fold back and touch a spotat least seven-eights of the way along the palm. Unfortunately, there are exceptions, as some people have extremely flexible hands whileothers are very stiff. Also, someone with an extremely oblong palmmay have long fingers that only reach halfway down the palm, as thepalm itself is very long. With experience you’ll be able to look atsomeone’s palm and instantly know if the fingers are long or short.The problem comes when you’re first learning and find a hand withfingers that seem to be neither long nor short. Fortunately, we cancover that situation as well.

Long Fingers

If the fingers are long, the person pays attention to detail and you cansay:“You enjoy complex work. You’re patient and enjoy all the fiddly bits – you likethe details in things. Your work must be very consuming and gratifying. If it’stoo simple you lose interest very quickly.”

Short Fingers

Someone with short fingers is almost the opposite. They’ll be moreinterested in the broad strokes rather than the details and won’t havemuch patience. You could say:“You’re always busy. Sometimes you may start something new before you’vefinished the last task. You often have several things on the go at the same time.9You tend to want everything right now, so patience is not your strong suit. Yourimpulsiveness has gotten you into trouble in the past. In some ways you are ajack-of-all-trades.”

Medium Length Fingers

Naturally, someone with fingers that are neither long nor short willfall into a middle category. You might say:“At times you can be very patient. However, at other times you’re inclined tojump first and think later. If something really interests you, you want to get rightdown to the bottom of it and work it all out. If it’s only a passing interest, you’remore inclined to skim over it and not learn it in much detail.”

We now have four possibilities to look at:
  • Square hands with short fingers
  • Square hands with long fingers
  • Oblong hands with short fingers
  • Oblong hands with long fingers

This is the classification used in Chinese palmistry. It comes fromFred Getting’s monumental book, The Book of the Hand. The fourtypes are named after the four elements of the ancients: Fire, Earth,Air and Water. These relate very well to the descriptions of the Fire,Earth, Air and Water signs of astrology, but it does not necessarilymean that a Sagittarian (a Fire sign), would have a Fire hand. You’llfind people with all four types of hands in every sign of the Zodiac.

The four elements, Fire, Earth, Air and Water
Fire Hands

Fire is hot, energizing and constantly moving. It can provide gentleheat, but can also burn. Consequently it needs careful handling. A Firehand is oblong with short fingers. Someone with a hand like this islikely to be emotional, enthusiastic and creative. The short fingersmean a dislike for detail. The long palm adds intuition. For someonewith a hand like this you might say:“You have a great mind, full of wonderful ideas. These ideas exciteyou. Your enthusiasm may not last for long, but it’s extremelyimportant to you at the time. Your emotions can be a bit hard tohandle at times, but they enable you to experience life to the fullest.Details are not your strong point and you tend to prefer the overallpicture to the fiddly bits. You are likely to be creative and need to bebusy to be happy.”

Earth Hands

Earth is the dry, solid part of our planet. Everything that happens onearth is subject to the natural rhythms of germination, growth, deathand decay. Earth is timeless and expresses stability. However, belowits surface all sorts of changes are constantly occurring. This can leadto earthquakes and other upheavals. The Earth hand is very like thepractical hand. It consists of a square palm and short fingers. Peoplewith this type of hand are reliable, down-to-earth and practical. Theyenjoy repetitive work and are good with their hands. They enjoyrhythm. They are conservative, reserved and possessive. However,like earth itself, they can also react violently if they deem it necessary.You might say to someone with Earth hands:“You’re a hard worker. You enjoy physical challenges and your handscan think for themselves. You can be stubborn at times, and you don’teasily change your mind. You enjoy rhythm and movement. You’re notusually good with details, unless you’re making something. Youprobably prefer working outdoors, doing something practical. You’rereliable, honest and somewhat reserved.”

Air Hands

Air is essential for life. We take it for granted and seldom notice it,except on windy days. Air is also essential for communications, as itcarries sound waves. Creatures of the air, such as birds and flyinginsects, are fast moving and active. The Air hand consists of a squarepalm and long fingers. These people tend to use logic more thanintuition. They’re quick-witted and express themselves clearly. Theyenjoy communicating and often have careers that utilize their skills.Their strong emphasis on logic means these people tend to distrustemotions, both their own and other people’s. We could say somethingalong these lines to someone with Air hands:“You’re intelligent, clear-thinking and discriminating. Relationshipsare important to you, but you sometimes find logic getting in the wayof your feelings. You’re reliable and like to do things completely.You’re a stimulating companion and life is never dull when you’rearound.”

Water Hands

Finally, water. If you think about it, water is essentially still. Otherforces have to act upon it to make it change. It’s also shapeless as itsimply moves to fill up whatever space is available. The Moon has astrong influence on water, creating the tides in our oceans. The saying,“still waters run deep”, is very pertinent to the Water hand. The Waterhand consists of an oblong palm with long fingers. It’s sometimescalled the intuitive hand, as these people are extremely aware andreceptive. People with this type of hand are changeable,impressionable and emotional. They’re idealistic and highlyimaginative. To someone with water hands, you could say:“You have an extremely rich inner life. Your imagination is keen andyou fantasize about just about everything. You can be influenced byothers, so you’re flexible with your ideas. Your intuition is strong.You’re emotional. If you’re interested in someone, you love spendingtime with them. You also need time by yourself to reflect on your ownlife. You are happiest inside the right relationship with someone todepend and rely upon.”