This section is from the book "The Practice Of Palmistry For Professional Purposes", by C. de Saint-Germain. Also available from Amazon: The Practice of Palmistry for Professional Purposes.
Before I can begin investigating with the reader the arcana of the minute science which I have the ambition to make for him as clear as rock-crystal, I must devote a few pages, to the Technical Description of the hand, both Front and Back, requesting the student to memorize at once the few names he may not have already met with in other books on Palmistry. Without this preliminary knowledge no headway can be made toward the making of a scientific, and - at the same time - a truly practical Palmist,
First of all, I shall lay down the hand flat on the paper, the inside concealed. I have here three distinct divisions:
1. The Hand Proper; from the wrist to the lower knuckles of the fingers; it is composed - anatomically - of the five hones of the medacarpus.
2. The Fingers; four in number, each divided into three Phalanges; the first or nailed one; the second; and the third connecting with the Hand Proper.
3. The Thumb; composed of two phalanges only, as the lower portion of the thumb, attached to the wrist, is also one of the five metacarpal bones forming the Palm proper, and not a phalanx.
In the Fingers and Thumb I notice, among other characteristics, (1) the Tip or Shape of the nailed Phalanx.
This Tip is either:
Pointed, when from base to tip the finger grows more and more slender;
Conical, when from the second joint upward the finger tapers in the shape of a cone;
Square, when the breadth of the finger is practically even from base to tip;
Spatulate, when the tip broadens out in the form of that little wooden instrument called by druggists a spatula.
And (2) the Knots, or the joints between the first and second phalanges, and the second and third phalanges of the fingers whenever they are visibly bulging. They are respectively called First Knot and Second Knot; the Thumb consisting of only two phalanges, possesses only one Joint, called Knot only when quite apparent.
All these indications have to be gathered, I repeat it from the Back of the Hand; the Tips, especially, cannot be judged satisfactorily from the inside of the fingers. Neither can the length of the fingers or the relative length of the phalanges be accurately determined except from the Back of the Hand.
The Nails and the Hair on the hands are only visible, of course, by the inspection of the back of the hand; and both these elements are of the highest importance in any valuable examination.
I now turn the hand round, and I present you with what is really the Map of the Hand; for does it not contain Mounts and Rivers (The Lines) and Islands and Plains like a regular Geographical Map?
In this Map sonic indications given above are repeated and need, therefore, no second interpretation. Leaving the Fingers, Phalanges, Knots and Thumb aside, I reach at once the Hand proper, which is here called The Palm - and includes the whale surface of the Hand, from the wrist up to the base of the Fingers, and from the Side of the Hand (next to the thumb) to the Percussion (the striking side of the hand), from the base of the Fourth Finger to the wrist.
It is divided into:
I. The Mounts (or elevations) at the bast of each finger and around the hand, called, in the following regular order:
Mount of Jupiter,
Mount of Saturn,
Mount of the Sun,
Mount of Mercury
Upper Mount of Mars,: of the Moon.
Mount of Venus,
The Triangle, both forming what is called, in common parlance, the Hollow of the Hand.
Over the surface of the whole Palm are found running, like rivers through a mountainous region, a number of Lines, fourteen of which, by their frequency and distinctness, have been honored with the general appellation of Main Lines.
I will insert here, after the names I have selected to be used exclusively all through this volume, other names by which several of these Main Lines have been known by the ancients and are still designated by a few of the Modem Palmists.
I will take first what I call further on the Chief Lines:
1. The Line of Life, or Vital.
2. The Line of Head, or Cerebral.
3. The Line of Heart, or Mensal. The other Main Lines, by order of importance, are,
4. The Line of Fate, or Saturnian, or Line of Luck.
5. The Line of the Sun, or Line of Apollo, or Line of Fortune, or Line of Brilliancy.
6. The Line of Liver, or Hepatica, or Line of Health.
7. The Via Lasciva. or Milky Way.
8. The Line of Intuition, or Line of Luna.
9. The Line of Mars.
10. The Girdle of Venus, or Ring of Saturn, or Ring of Uranus.
11. The First Bracelet of the Ras-cette.
12. The Second Bracelet of the Raseette.
13. The Third Bracelet of the Ras-cette.
14. The Line (or Lines) of union, or of Marriage, or of Attachment.
The In'side Map Of The Hand.
The relative importance of these 14 Main Lines will be fully expatiated upon at the beginning of Part Fourth, in my Chapter on The Lines in General. A number of Minor Lines are also discussed and read in my Chapter on Lines of Influence, finally the various Signs found in the hands are described by pen and picture in Part Third, on The Mounts. Of course, each Main Line has a chapter of its own and will be found most exhaustively studied both in text and illustration.
And yet, in spite of the systematic and minute attention paid to the various modifications in lines, signs, etc., those modifications are so infinite in number and often so extraordinary in contour and intricacy that no book would suffice to contain one-fiftieth, nay, one thousandth part of the possible amount of combinations and changes.
It is not, therefore, upon a bare enumeration of characteristics, forms, curves, etc., that I must depend to enlighten the student in his practical work of reading hands; there are happily some logical rules that may be evolved out of this apparent chaos. As I stated in my preface, the problems of lines, etc., that cannot be solved by these rules, when once well understood and digested, are comparatively few; not perhaps more than 15 per cent, of all the observations that have to be interpreted. And I take the liberty of repeating that there is no science or art, claiming to unravel the mysteries of human nature and human existence, that begins to obtain such percentage of actual results.
I had to add these few words of encouragement before taking my Telema-chus by the hand and starting with him, in my self-assumed office of Mentor, toward the unknown land - yet so dark - that we are bound to explore together.