Mudras & Hand Symbolism: Hand Mysteries? Part 2
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The lines on the palms of the hands are believed in the occult science of palmistry to designate a person's character and changing fate. In all systems of palmistry--Chinese, Hindu, and Western, certain portions of the hand and fingers represent the celestial bodies--the sun, moon, and planets. Palmistry tells us that the hands come in various shapes: "square," "conical," "spatula," etc; each shape with its own special meaning. The fingers likewise come in assorted sizes hinting of the owner's personal psychological constitution. Lines or marks are to be found on the palms of the hand, and throughout life these are constantly changing in formation. Why lines appear in the hands and may reveal a person's character and probable future is a mystery that remains to be solved. One theory is that the lines are caused by nervous energy or fluid coursing through the physical body leaving its imprint, its indelible marks on the sensitive, impressible palms of the hands. It is believed that the nature and strength of the marks are determined by the intensity of this vital-fluid which in turn is caused by the inherent qualities of the indwelling soul. The regulator of this nervous-energy appears to be the soul-impressed brain.
To explain this in another way: first, the soul influences the brain with its innate characteristics, its character, then the brain releases and regulates the nerve-energy flowing through the body which is recorded on the sensitive portion of the hands appearing as lines and identifiable marks. This theory is logical but it does not explicitly explain how one's "fate" may be indicated by the etches made upon the palms of the hands. Perhaps we could explain this simply by saying that one's character, beliefs, and attitudes determine to a large extent one's so-called fate, and so by knowing a subject's psychic make-up it is possible to know his or her probable future. For instance, if a subject has a slothful character, we could predict that he or she would experience financial problems and poor health. This principle is based upon the Law of Cause and Effect and is nothing mysterious.
Terence Dukes in his book, "Chinese Hand Analysis," tells us that the hands may be analyzed at different levels, not only from its physical aspects, but from its psychic constitution as well:
"Because of the principle (Li) of transmutative levels, it also became possible to interpret a hand from its energy flow rather than its physical attributes, and the 'psychic' element (as we would call it today) became accepted. The interpretation would differ depending on the level of paradigmatic and hermeneutical ability of the analyst. From observed hand patterns, a Taoist analyst may be able to tell that you have rebuilt your home, a Chen-Yen Buddhist that your grandmother's spirit was watching over you, and a Buddhist-cum-Taoist that your liver was overworking! The well-trained cheirologist could tell you all three and more, for such training implies trans-level understanding and not just prognostic ability."
Whether a coincidence or not, the palms show a significant number. The figure nineteen in Arabic numerals may be found etched on them. Using the terminology of palmistry, the figure consists of the "life," "heart," and "head" lines. Nineteen is definitely esoteric being one of the two numbers discovered thus far with which the Quran, the holy book of Islam is structured.
There are several million nerve cells on each fingertip and these are extremely delicate. The surface of these fingertips are covered by ridges called rugae, which are developed in the fetus during pregnancy as early as the eighteenth week. The formation of these ridges do not change in life and remains until death. They cannot be obliterated by any process. Accidents may efface them, but as the skin recovers, the original pattern appears once again.
That each individual has a different set of fingerprints were observed by ancient people and they utilized this to identify themselves to others. For instance, the ancient Assyrians and Chinese made use of fingerprints to sign legal documents in the same manner that we use signatures. Technically, the study of the well-defined patterns of ridges on the fingertips is known as dermatoglyphics.
It is believed that the modern study of dermatoglyphia or fingerprints were first conducted by the Czech physiologist Johannes Evengelista Purkinje in the 19th century. Some time later, the British scientist Sir Francis Galton proposed the use of fingerprints for identification purposes as did his ancient predecessors. Modern fingerprinting was first pragmatically implemented by British police officer Sir Edward Richard Henry (1857-1930) in Bengal, India in the 1890s to identify criminals.
What is the occult explanation of the unique patterns of our finger ridges? As understood metaphysically, physical man is an expression of the Soul. Patterns upon fingertips are caused by the Higher Self, or the Ego stamping its identity upon the tissues of the body by way of the blood and forming ridge patterns to be found nowhere else in the world. Since each person has his or her own Ego, unlike animals, each individual is unique, "one-of-a-kind," like a facet of a cut diamond that has its own effulgent glory. As we have said previously, the hands are reflective of man's inner being. The uniqueness of the Soul may be seen in its shadow, the physical body, together with its micro-components.
The tactile sense is believed to be the most complex of the five senses. It is said to possess at least eleven distinct sub-senses. There are millions of sensory end organs in the skin. There are sensory detectors of cold, heat, pain, texture, pressure, etc. These senses work through the central nervous system. There are also subtle senses of the skin related to the autonomic or sympathetic nervous system. These subtle senses capture energies vibrating beyond the energy-spectrum perceptible to the five senses. The occasional twitching of the eyes, ears, and various parts of the body that have time immemorial been attributed by occultists to metaphysical forces are actually true in fact. The subtle senses of the skin are ultra sensitive to thought and emotional force emission whether from an internal or an external source. The belief that when the right eye twitches means that "someone is thinking of you," reveals a basic occult truth often derided by skeptics.
The sensitivity of our skin differ in the various parts of our body. The fingertips and mucous membranes, as an example, are more sensitive than most parts of the physical structure. According to embryologists, our skin is sensitive to light and is convertible to sight receptors. They explain that small cells, called ocelli, are to be found all over the skin, and that these cells resemble miniature eyes. Among the body parts that are sensitive to light are the forehead, chest, cheeks, temples, and hands. It is no wonder that some people are said to have the unusual ability to sense colors or even "read" words through their fingertips.
There is an amazing soothing power in the hands. We often use it to comfort and delight another by touching, caressing, and stroking. We please and tease our loved ones with our playful fingers. In romance the touch of the hand is as essential as the kiss. In Act II, Scene II of "Romeo and Juliet," a famous Shakespearean play, the young Romeo while admiring Juliet from afar wishes that he were a glove on her hand caressing her cheek:
"See how she leans her cheek upon her hand! O that I were a glove upon that hand, That I might touch that cheek!"
Human hands are fascinating, enchanting and evocative. They often fill us with wonder with their beautiful or repulsive appearance. The pioneer of modern western palmistry, d'Arpentingny, expresses it eloquently:
"there are hands which naturally attract us, and there are hands which excite in us repulsion. I have seen hands which seemed covered with eyes, so sagacious and so penetrating was their experience. Some, like those of the sphinx, suggest an idea of mystery; some betray recklessness and strength, combined with activity of body, others again indicate laziness and cunning."
Doctors and scientists have recorded the fact that the lack of touch--of fondling, petting, and caressing of babies and children cause them to suffer psychologically and physically--their emotional condition being affected even in their adult years. Children are most vital and healthy when exposed to an affectionate dose of touch. Generally, children who receive more hugs from their parents grow taller and more intelligent than those who do not. Autistic children who are disturbed, withdrawn, and frightened respond to hugs and caresses more readily than they do to any cold clinical treatments. The loving touch is therapeutic and can be more potent than pranic or Reiki healing treatments that are apathetically and mechanically given.
We often wonder why without the touch of loving hands we find our lives empty, meaningless, and burdensome. We seem to lose a sense of purpose, enthusiasm, and self-motivation. Metaphysics has an explanation: energy when imbued with a certain characteristic becomes a force that when emitted from a person may cause changes in the ambient surroundings. When such a force is tinged with the power of love and affection it uplifts all that it comes into contact with. Human beings, animals, and even objects that receive such a force are transformed and ennobled. This is the reason why it is always preferable to return love for hatred, and affection for anger. Whatever we touch ought to come from our hearts.
The human touch, affectionately given, also help to anchor or ground the consciousness of those who are psychologically disturbed to the physical plane and prevent hallucinations from taking place. Sensory input through the tactile sense is vital for a balanced mind. Adults as well as children require it to maintain sanity.
The handshake or a pat on the back from a friend is always reassuring--especially when it comes from one's Guru. In a stressful period of life a massaging hand on the shoulder does wonders to relieve loved ones of tension and cause them to relax. The touch is truly magical when we consider how a mother comforts her innocent babe with the touch of love. In this respect if animals had hands they would certainly use them to express affection just as humans do. Lacking them, snouts and beaks are employed instead. Some of course, are able to use their cute and sometimes deadly paws.
In many cultures the handshake as a traditional custom originated with the intention of showing that no weapons were held concealed in the hand and that the two persons involved in the handshake did so in peace and friendship. Hands behind the back or hidden in pockets have always been regarded with suspicion. To the knowledgeable, the handshake reveals a lot about a person's characteristics. The firm, strong grip often indicates someone who is willful, determined, and disciplined--all leadership qualities. Weak grips naturally denote weak natures. Gentleness, enthusiasm, energy, clumsiness, self-confidence, inferiority complexes, etc.--all these may be sensed by the power of the grip, the vigor in which the hand is shaken, the length of time in which the hand is held, and the jerks and movements that it makes.
Hands are applied for various purposes in daily life. They are used for eating, cleansing, working, creating, worshipping and expressing oneself. Man instinctively clasps his hands in prayer--a very significant mudra that has the power to intensify inherent energies and may cause precipitations to take place on the physical plane.
Ever since bygone days, hands have been used as a calculating device. The simple counting of the fingers was a universal method applied in primitive times. Our most used modern method of computation utilizes the base of 10. This is derived from the ancient usage of the ten finger-digits in calculations. Complex systems of counting have been devised using the appendages of the hand. Javanese mystics, for instance, have unique formulas to calculate certain life's cycles using only their fingers. Hand postures are sometimes used to represent numbers. These manual gestures for representing numeration have been chiefly employed in the past by the Romans and Greeks.
There are many functions of the hand that may not be replaced by robotics. No mechanical hand may ever offer the same dexterity, sensitivity, grace, and versatility as a natural hand would. It took millions of years for man's hands to evolve to its present state of perfection. Man may create machines to do the tasks normally done by his hands, but he will never replace them completely by his inventions, just as no supercomputer would ever match the intricacy of the human brain--not for a long time yet anyway.
Hands are used to communicate and reveal thoughts. We often use all sorts of gestures to emphasize or stress certain words, ideas and feelings that we wish to convey or project outwards. This is normally done unconsciously without any willful intent, executed through subconscious impulses; at times willfully, as for instance, the sign of hunger or thirst, or a "come here!" hand movement. A whole psychological branch of study has developed out of these gestures. As part of the study of "Body language," hand gestures have become an important subject in understanding the operations of the human psyche and human behavior.
Sign language uses the media of the hands in order to communicate. When forced to interact with someone speaking a different language we often make use of signs. The American Indians, for instance, developed their own forms of sign languages to communicate with tribes not of their own native tongue. Things of nature, ideas, emotions, and sensations all have their particular hand-sign. The gestures that the American Indians possessed were elaborate enough to carry-out a detailed non-verbal conversation. Other races or cultures have also developed their own sign languages such as to be found in certain cultural groups in Assam, Eastern India, and of the Aborigines in Australia. In modern times manual gestures have been developed for the deaf.
Aside from lip-reading, the deaf are often taught to communicate through definite forms, signs or poses of the hand. In this communications system, there are basically two types of signs: natural signs and systematic signs. Natural signs stand for objects and ideas whereas systematic signs stand for word-by-word or letter-by-letter renderings of the written language.
Among the disabled, the blind likewise benefit from their hands by reading words in Braille. In contemporary times, the hands are used extensively in the art and science of speed reading by those who seek to augment and optimize the volume of their reading input and comprehension ability.
Sign language has also been successfully used to communicate with animals--with the anthropoids in particular. It has been observed by researchers that apes have a large capacity to memorize and perhaps understand hundreds of signs representing abstract concepts.
The sensitivity of the fingers of the hands may be increased in order to sense colors and energies as alluded to above. Psychometry, for instance, is the occult art of reading energies in objects so as to uncover their personal history. This is especially done through the media of the hands. Impressions are received through the autonomic nervous receptors in the hands and conveyed to the brain for translation into images, thoughts and feelings. In yoga teachings, the term sparsha (lit. "touch") denotes superperception of the tactile sense, of which development is a by-product of meditation.
Hands are often used in healing. Perhaps one of the most famous mystical brotherhoods of the past to apply the life energy emanating from the hands therapeutically were the Rosicrucians. The members of this spiritual organization practiced the "laying-of-hands" like their ancient counterparts, the Therapeutae in Egypt and the Essenes that lived along the shores of the Dead Sea. In past centuries, western occultists like Paracelsus and Anton Mesmer similarly made use of this etheric nerve-energy emanating from the hands for healing purposes, the latter calling it "animal magnetism." Ancient Greeks called people who healed with the power of their hands, "cheirourgos," meaning "hand-workers." The word "surgeon" is derived from this Greek term. The ancient Egyptians believed that the hands emanated a force filled with healing and life-giving properties. They called this force sa-ankh. Other ancient cultures called this power by various names. That man emanate energy from the hands is the reason why some individuals are said to have "green thumbs," meaning that plants are sympathetic to such persons and the life-giving force that they radiate and respond by growing healthy foliage and producing abundant fruits. Everyone emanates magnetic rays from their hands and fingertips. Healers naturally have a much more powerful flow.
That power flows from the palms is recognized by the monks and priests of Buddhists monasteries in China in past centuries. Mainly used in therapeutics and the martial arts, "the Buddha Palm" as it is called, has found its way to our modern world and into the Occident.
Hands may be luminescent under the right conditions. The Jews have observed that the hands of holy people at prayer often become incandescent; Christians likewise believe that the fingertips of saints often shoot forth rays of light.
It is proven with modern Kirlian and high-frequency photography that the hands and physical body emits energy. These modern devices reveal indubitably in a concrete manner how we are surrounded by our own personal bioluminescent magnetic-field that otherwise may only be seen through etheric sight.
The human aura is generally heterogeneous in its various layers and sections. Each part of the body emanates a different force in accord with its state of vigor and vitality. The diverse energies of Man's aura, or bio-magnetic field may be detected through the hands. Negative, sickly, or congested energies in the aura may be sensed by the trained hands through the sensations of density, heat, coolness, electrical tingling, etc. In conjunction with this, the hands are also used to clear or balance energies in the aura. Hands are certainly great instruments used in most alternative therapies.
Why some are left-handed and not right-handed may seem a mystery to some. There are those who believe that this is inherited; however, this cannot be conclusively proved. A plausible answer from the metaphysical point of view, is that this is a karmic habit and is related to a past life injury upon the major hand. Incapacitated in the use of the right hand, the soul intelligence was forced to apply the minor hand in daily activities. This became habitual and was later carried over to a future incarnation where it still remained for the soul the hand of major use.
Copyright © 2006 Luxamore
About the Author: Leonard Lee aka Luxamore
Metaphysical teacher, counseler, healer and merchant of occult/magickal items of Indonesia.
Magickal Items from Indonesia: talismans, mustika pearls, kerises, etc.
Magickal Bezoar Mustika Pearls from Indonesia.