In most of the books on Palmistry written in the English tongue, I have noticed a great reluctance on the part of the authors to call things by their names and to state facts with the blunt-ness that pertains to all scientific investigations. In fact, the tendency has been to soften down the terms in which to express the many unpleasant features that occur, naturally enough, in the examination of the average hand, thus debasing this noble science of Palmistry to the level of a puerile amusement to while away an idle hour. Now, if Palmistry is to be considered as nothing more than an ingenious form of recreation, I, for one, and. with me, all men and women who claim to be thinkers and prospectors in the realms of the unknown, we will beg permission to drop this child-play, here and now, and to turn our earnest attention to some more worthy problem within the boundaries of natural philosophy. But if, on the contrary - and as I, for one, firmly believe - the study and reading of the Hand bring us nearer the solving of many complicated questions concerning the partially hidden temperament of man, physical, mental and moral, then, indeed, I claim the right for all teachers and students of Palmistry to face the symptoms just as they are - unpalatable though they may be - and to interpret them with the same unbiased and unveiled frankness that is found quite appropriate in the mouth of a surgeon facing his operating table.

This protest - which I have heard uttered many a time by faithful and undaunted searchers after truth - is particularly well timed, I think, just before presenting my reading of the Girdle of Venus, than which no line in the Hand has remained more wretchedly misunderstood, thanks to that very unscientific tendency of Modern Palmists -

Desbarrolles excepted of course - to wrap up every disagreeable statement in terms so vague as to render it positively unintelligible.

A few among the more recent writers have even attempted to endow this line with an actually meritorious influence over the subject who possesses it, generalizing- to that effect - and without sufficient warrant - a few remarks of Desbarrolles concerning certain forms of the Girdle of Venus when seen in the hands of subjects of a particularly artistic or intellectual temperament.

I beg leave, therefore, to depart most emphatically from this radically inaccurate and error-fostering method and to continue stating ungarhled and undoc-torcd facts whenever I meet them in my regular chiromantic observations.

This book is not written for infants or for maidens kept purposely in ignorance of the nether side of human nature. Those who open it have doubtless realized, from the start, that all the maladies, physical, mental and moral, our sad race is heir to, are to be herein mentioned and expatiated upon in the language accepted by the medical profession, whenever, in the regular order of our studies, the examination of the hand brings us face to face with them,

This being stated as a necessary preface, I shall give at once the invariable interpretation accepted by Desbarrolles as the meaning of the Girdle of Venus.

It is understood by the Master to indicate those vicious habits generally developed - when they exist at all - at the time of puberty, and to which science gives the name of onanism. They have always been considered as arising from nervous, half hysterical troubles - concomitant with the transition from boyhood or girlhood to manhood or womanhood. To some extent - a very limited extent - the youth or maiden thus inclined is not to be held absolutely responsible for the outburst of this deplorable tendency; and most happily, under the watchful, intelligent care of the parents, it is, in many cases, eradicated almost at once from the subject's system. Certain hygienic measures, and the wholesome influence of the father or mother calling upon the tempted child to master the evil desire, very frequently conquer the vicious leaning. In that case, either the Girdle of Venus never shows itself in the hands, or it appears Only in the Left Hand - a token of the temptation having triumphed for a time - and is not found in the Right Hand, the evidence of a well directed willpower having overcome mere animal instinct.

That the Girdle of Venus must in all but a few very exceptional cases, be considered as the gauge, so to speak, of the gravest troubles the generative organs are made to suffer from through the evil thoughts of the human mind, is confirmed by the fact that its being double or triple or broken or starred is always accurately interpreted as denoting unnatural vices or syphilitic poisoning of the blood, or even erotic insanity of the worst character. The most indulgent reading of this line is that of hysteria, unaccompanied by any immoral acts, but accounted for, primarily, by some serious derangement of the generative functions.

Finally, even the exceptions to these most unpleasant readings only confirm them more strongly. As I stated in my Chapter on the Line of Head, and earlier, in my Part III, on the Mounts, an exaggerate or much lined Mount of the Moon, as well as a Line of Head sloping deep into that Mount are not absolutely unfavorable symptoms, whenever the general temperament and tendencies of the subject are such as to reveal an especially gifted, artistic or poetical nature. In such beings' hands, the Girdle of Venus itself might be read - as the above markings would be - as the revelation of this most acutely delicate nervous sensibility which one expects to meet with in those rare and select geniuses that bring to the world its most exquisite delights in the guise of poem, song, painting, statuary. Then and then only, I repeat it, may the dreaded hysteria those indications so clearly denote be made to read as the extraordinary cerebral erethism indispensable to the conceiving and begetting of immortal masterpieces.

I. Position And Direction

Normal: Starts from between the first and second fingers and ends between the third and fourth fingers. In a bad hand indicating a vicious disposition, that is, with a high or much rayed Mount of Venus. an exaggerate Mount of the Moon and a red Line of Mars - Profligacy of the worst kind; must be especially watched in young people's hands.

I Position And Direction 720