Science or Hoax?

-  Palmistry is the ancient art of counseling according to occult knowledge of one's karma (i.e., "psychic counseling") revealed in the shape, size, color, and lines of the hands. Because one's karma is supposedly revealed in this manner, one's future is also supposedly revealed. The objective of palmistry, then, is to learn the karmic consequences under which the counselee is living, and encourage him to alter his thinking in order to affect those consequences and ensure a better karma in his next incarnation.

-  Chiromancy, or palmistry, has a long history. It was practiced in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, and extensively in China. Modern practices in palmistry were imported into Europe from Asia by Gypsies during the Renaissance. This period was marked by a flourishing of beliefs in divining personality by studying parts of the body. It has long been a favored means of fortune telling. It probably originated among medicine men, diviners, and priests, and was probably related to divination by the examination of the entrails of sacrificial victims. Confidence in the practice was based probably on the fact that no two palms are exactly alike, and, therefore, the palm was taken to be an index of marked individuality. Some chiromancers even claimed to have found a greater authority in the Bible -- Job 37:7 ("sealeth up the hand of every man: that all men may know his work") and Proverbs 3:16 ("length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour").

-  Over many centuries in Europe palmistry was held in high repute. Men of rank in society, politics, and the church devoted time to its study. It was taught in the universities. From its early acceptance as a priestly institution it degenerated even further into a medium of commercialized fortune telling. Thousands of palmists are active in places of public amusement. Millions of people spend millions of dollars every year throughout the world upon fortune telling. Yet, in no respect is it validated by scientific data or by intelligent understanding of human nature. More importantly for Bible-believing Christians, all forms of fortune telling are nothing more than ancient techniques of divination, and thereby, forbidden in God's Word (Deut. 18:10-12).

Note the following quote from the 7/28/92 Bloomington Herald-Times, indicating the religious nature of palm reading:

"One of the biggest misconceptions is that psychics are not religious ... that's simply not true. Reading a palm comes from the mind and everything it is comes from God ... [She] pointed out that she has studied various religions and was even a Sunday School teacher at one church. She said she often has her Bible by her side as she does readings" ("Psychic's Future is Clear," p. D1).

-  Palmistry is clearly a form of divination -- a practice that seeks to foretell or foresee future events. Crystal balls, the Ouija board, astrology, horoscopes, palm reading, and tarot card reading all deal with trying to foretell the future in some way. Palm reading and tarot card reading are also done by astrologers. A palm reader "reads" the lines in the palm of the hand, and depending on how the lines look (such as how long or short the line is, or how deep the line is, etc.), tries to predict the future. Every aspect of both hands, but mostly the dominant hand, is considered. The lines and swirls of the hand are considered as well as the overall shape and sizes of the various parts. Color is also considered.

-  Palm readers say that as one changes his thinking, his personality will change, as will the characteristics of his hands -- lines grow longer or shorter, appear or disappear, etc. Like astrology and virtually every form of occult practice, palmistry is predicated upon the supposition that an individual's karma is discernible in natural phenomena. In this case, the lines and other characteristics of one's hands supposedly reveal one's future based upon his karmic dispensation. It is not surprising then, that palmists use many symbols from mythology and astrology -- "Palmistry is related to astrology in that most parts of the palm are correlated with one of the astrological houses" (Brenner, The Hand Book). In the final analysis, palmistry is merely another of man's attempts to substitute human reasoning for God's wisdom as revealed in His Word. As a form of divination, like any other psychic practice, the mind of the individual is put under the control of others no more capable of living their lives free from turmoil than anyone else.

Biblical Discernment Ministries - 8/92