NOTICE: Palm breadth measured at the central palm represents a measure that depends on the muscular development in the upper thenar zone (a.k.a. the 'mount of mars-negative' in the field of palmistry), which may vary significantly during adult life. This explains why in (academic) scientific studies usually palm breadth at the end of the metacarpals is used as a measure for palm breadth (because it represents a more stable aspect of the hand compared to palm breadth at the center of the palm).
The new chart (presented above) makes it fairly easy to find your hand shape in just 4 simple steps:
Step 1: Measure your finger length [FL], palm breadth [PB] and palm length [PL] according the PB/HL and FL/HL axes.
Step 2: Calculate your FL/PL ratio and PB/PL ratio.
Step 3: Find the point inside the chart which represents your ratio combination.
Step 4: Finally... find the colored dot that is located at the shortest distance to the point that corresponds with your hand shape; you can do this for each hand separately and take the average result!
the 'metacarpal' approach!
When palm breadth is assessed with the 'metacarpal' approach, the proportional formulas (with PL always fixed at 10) for the classic elemental hand shapes can be described as follows:
• Earth hand shape: FL=7 x PB=8.5 x PL=10
• Fire hand shape: FL=7.25 x PB=7.75 x PL=10
• Air hand shape: FL=7.75 x PB=8.25 x PL=10
• Water hand shape: FL=8 x PB=7.5 x PL=10
• Medium hand shape: FL=7.5 x PB=8 x PL=10
The full list of the classic- and mixed hand shapes according the 'metacarpal approach' can always be described with a combination of just 2 ratios; these may include: the palm breadth to hand length ratio [PB/HL] & finger length to palm length ratio [FL/HL], and the palm breadth to palm length ratio [PB/PL], finger length to palm length ratio [FL/PL], finger length to palm breadth ratio [FL/PL]. The details are ranked below according hand index (= PB/HL):
• Earth hand shape:
FL=7 x PB=8.5 x PL=10 => PB/HL= 50% & FL/HL=41.18%, and: PB/PL=85%, FL/PL=70%, FL/PB=82.35%
• Air-Earth mixed hand shape:
FL=7.375 x PB=8.375 x PL=10 => PB/HL= 48.2% & FL/HL=42.45%, and: PB/PL=83.75%, FL/PL=73.75%, FL/PB=88.06%
• Fire-Earth mixed hand shape:
FL=7.125 x PB=8.125 x PL=10 => PB/HL= 47.45% & FL/HL=41.61%, and: PB/PL=81.25%, FL/PL=71.25%, FL/PB=87.69%
• Air hand shape:
FL=7.75 x PB=8.25 x PL=10 => PB/HL= 46.48% & FL/HL=43.66%, and: PB/PL=82.5%, FL/PL=77.5%, FL/PB=93.94%
• Medium hand shape:
FL=7.5 x PB=8 x PL=10 => PB/HL= 45.71% & FL/HL=42.86%, and: PB/PL=80%, FL/PL=75%, FL/PB=93.75%
• Fire hand shape:
FL=7.25 x PB=7.75 x PL=10 => PB/HL= 44.93% & FL/HL=42.03%, and: PB/PL=77.5%, FL/PL=72.5%, FL/PB=93.55%
• Water-Air mixed hand shape:
FL=7.875 x PB=7.875 x PL=10 => PB/HL= 44.06% & FL/HL=44.06%, and: PB/PL=78.75%, FL/PL=78.75%, FL/PB=100%
• Water-Fire mixed hand shape:
FL=7.625 x PB=7.625 x PL=10 => PB/HL= 43.26% & FL/HL=43.26%, and: PB/PL=76.25%, FL/PL=76.25%, FL/PB=100%
• Water hand shape:
FL=8 x PB=7.5 x PL=10 => PB/HL= 41.67% & FL/HL=44.44%, and: PB/PL=75%, FL/PL=80%, FL/PB=106.67%
The following personality related principles have been used for the classic hand shape types at the former UK Cheirological society (hand examples downloaded from Christopher Jones' website, unfortunately the color of the prints doesn't match with the commonly used colors to describe the elements):
• Earth hand shape (very short overall finger length & squarish palm shape) :
- Temperament: responsible, security conscious;
- Emotions: stable, usually calm & peaceful, strong sense of justice;
- Interests: gardening, animals, food, hand made work, collecting;
- Work: practical skills, outdoor work, land work.
• Fire hand shape (= short overall finger length & oblong palm shape):
- Temperament: extravert, intense, motivated;
- Emotions: enthusiasm, exited, passionate;
- Interests: active entertainments, socializing, challenges, sports;
- Work: enterprise, business, industry.
• Air hand shape (= long overall finger length & squad-oblong palm shape):
- Temperament: independent, intellectual, communicative;
- Emotions: unemotional, controlled, detached;
- Interests: finding out, reading, talking, languages;
- Work: writing, teaching, journalism.
• Water hand shape (= very long overall finger length & narrow-oblong palm shape):
- Temperament: imaginative, idealistic, adaptable;
- Emotions: highly sensitive, delicate, romantic;
- Interests: music, poetry, dreams, psychic mysteries;
- Work: caring work, charitable work, spiritual vocations.
- 'Overall finger length' refers to the AVERAGE of FL/PL and FL/PB!
- Earth hand shape can also be described to represent a 'Brachycheir' (or Hyperbrachycheir) hand shape with short fingers;
- Medium hand shape can also be described to represent a 'Mesocheir+' hand shape with long finger length;
- Medium hand shape can also be described to represent a 'Mesocheir' hand shape with medium finger length;
- Medium hand shape can also be described to represent a 'Mesocheir-' hand shape with short finger length;
- Water hand shape can also be described to represent a 'Dolichocheir' (or Hyperdolichocheir) hand shape with long finger length.
of hand shape interpretation!
The following sources are recommended for further reading about hand shape:
• The history of hand shape assessment!
• Psychological studies in hand shape by German medic Carl Gustav Carus (1789-1869)
• Lynn's intro to 5 Element Chirology
• Jennifer Hirsch describes hand shapes inside the paragraph: 'Shaping the information in your hand!
• Mark Seltman presents: palmistry & the 4 basic hand shape archetypes
• Richard Unger presents: 150+ mythological hand shape archetypes (see bottom of the article)
• Palmistry & hand shape: related physical characteristics & personality type
• 5 Hand shapes derived from the 'hand index': Hyperdolichocheri, Dolichocheri, Mesocheri, Brachycheri & Hyperbrachycheri
• Understanding hand shape: evolution, genetics, sex, ethnicity & personality!
• Hand shape gives a clue about Genes, Chromosomes & DNA!
• Extraverts have wider palms, introverts have longer fingers!
• Hands shape & biometry!
• Discover how hand shape proportions (all data based on the 'metacarpal' approach) vary compared to the average human hand size in: China & Japan (pages 51-53), India (page 73+74), Mauritius, Nigeria, The Netherlands (via menu), Turkey (page 1121), UK, and the US.
* Special thanks to Lynn Seal, who shared her rich experience regarding the assessment of elemental hand shapes with dedication - which became very helpful to develop a full set of proportional formulas for hand shape assessment through the metacarpal perspective!
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