Hands from a Distance

hands from a distanceThe start of our becoming hand readers is that we spontaneously have begun to observe other people’s hands. Out of this awareness, this attunement to how we somehow pick up information about people from their hands, grows our deeper interest in what the shapes, forms, markings, gestures and so on of the hands might more specifically reveal about the person, and how we interpret and then convey that information to them.

In chirology, we interpret the hands with the five element system, by applying the principles and qualities of the elements earth, water, fire, air and chi to the hands. But to begin, let’s explore a bit about what we notice, without other people even knowing we are observing their hands.

  • The size of their hands, in relation to the size of their body that is. Large hands show that the owner is thorough and patient, but they may waste time on detail. Their responses are more considered than the more impulsive people with small hands, who have quick responses but who are easily distracted. Ignore this if the person’s hands ‘fit’ their form.
  • The handshake. Different cultures have associated styles of handshakes – these to be taken into consideration. Generally, on the scale between limp fish and bone-crusher, limp and soft handshakes show lack of energy and apathy, and possibly depression. A firm shake shows practical energy and vitality. Very occasionally the bone-crushing shaker is genuinely so full of the joy of life that they do not realize how strong they are, but mostly they are insensitive, ‘thick skinned’ or even have a cruel streak. A hand held longer than necessary wants something, or is seductively signaling attraction. Respect shows when the hands are offered on the same level.


  • If they wear rings. Rings reveal all sorts of information about their bearer.
  • Bitten nails.
  • Our gestures tell a lot about our attitude to life. People often keep their hands in pockets, hold them behind their backs, splay them out onto the table in front of them as they sit down, sit on them etc. all of which tell a story. Expressive and expansive movements belong to those who are broad minded and who readily talk about their feelings. The more movement of hands, the quicker the mind. Reserved movements show guarded, secretive and self disciplined traits. People who hold the thumbs reveal lack of confidence, anxiety and defensiveness. Fingers wagged in front of the face shows the pedantic, self righteous type.
  • Thick or thin fingers, or bent fingers. There is a meaning associated with all possible bends and leans of the individual fingers, which I have explored in my book ‘God Given Glyphs’
  • Knotty or smooth fingers. Knots show ‘an arrest of thought’, as the form of our fingers reveals something of how we think. Knots slow the thinking, revealing a philosophical approach to life. Smooth fingered people might be less analytical.
  • The shape of the hands can fairly easily be observed from a distance. Hands are mostly either square with short fingers (earth shape), oblong with long fingers (water shape), oblong with short fingers (fire shape) or square with long fingers (air shape). Our five element system of chirology defines four archetypes, the earthy, watery, fiery or airy person.
  • Hair on the back of the hands. The thicker the hair the more earth or fire the person is. Sparse hair is air. Water has no hair at all.

·       The variations of colour of the hands indicate certain emotional and personality traits, as well as having health indications, but do take the natural skin colour into consideration.

  • With a bit of practice, we can also observe something of the lines, such as their depth, flow, or if they have a Simian line.

These are some of the hands features you can see from a distance, without staring or being too obvious about your interest in other people’s hands.