The Gypsy is a powerful archetype that is deeply ingrained in our psyches and which is inextricably intertwined with the hand reading craft.
The Romany Gypsy’s are a minority ethnic group from India who migrated westwards via eastern Europe, taking traditional Indian palmistry with them. They lived an ever-changing nomadic lifestyle, close to nature. Needing special skills to survive, they worked as tinkers, entertainers and crystal ball and palm readers. In the archetype, their lifestyle is romantic, exotically colorful and free spirited, an unconventional life lived amidst a fusion of cultural influences.
Many of the Gypsy archetypes’ qualities, such as independence, flexibility, creativity, courage and groundedness are intrinsic to any hand reader’s sacred bundle. Also, we could not work our craft without verbal agility and intuition. Much like the charming, adaptable and accommodating Gypsy chiromancer, we welcome in and are enlivened by the flow of life through our doors. We meet, speak and listen to people from all walks of life.
Gypsy palm readers practice chiromancy, which is the way of reading hands from more clairvoyant realms of intuitive perception. But Gypsy’s have suffered terrible persecution and been branded crafty. In 1530, a law was passed in England that condemned their “greate subtyll and crafty meanes of deceiving people through Palmistry”. In the collective psyche, palm readers embody the archetypal charlatan fortune teller, who asks for their palm to be crossed with silver before they tell you some or other often disturbing nonsense.
Understandably, the skill of having the gift of the gab is maligned in people’s minds as likely being used for deceptive mischief. But we hand readers today bear the brunt of deep preconceptions and fear in people who project onto us the same suspicious prejudice suffered by the Romani people.