Before reading the palm, look at the fingers to see if they are short or long. This isn't always easy to gauge when you're just beginning, but a little practice will enable you to assess the finger length at a glance. The fingers are considered long if they can fold back and touch a spot at least seven-eights of the way along the palm. Unfortunately, there are exceptions, as some people have extremely flexible hands while others are very stiff. Also, someone with an extremely oblong palm may have long fingers that only reach halfway down the palm, as the palm itself is very long. With experience, you'll be able to look at someone's palm and instantly know if the fingers are long or short. The problems usually come when you're first learning and find a hand with fingers that seem to be neither long nor short. Fortunately, we can cover that situation as well.
Long Fingers - If the fingers are long, the person pays attention to detail and you can say: You enjoy complex work. You are patient and enjoy the details in things. Your work must be very consuming and gratifying. If it's too simple you lose interest very quickly.
Short Fingers - Someone with short fingers is almost the opposite. They'll be more interested in the broad strokes rather than the details and won't have much patience. You could say: You're always busy. Sometimes you may start something new before you've finished the last task. You often have several things going on at the same time. You tend to want everything right now, so patience is not your strong suit. Your impulsiveness has gotten you into trouble in the past. In some ways you are a jack-of-all-trades.
Medium Length Fingers-Naturally, someone with fingers that are neither long nor short will fall into a middle category. You might say: At times you can be very patient. However, at other times you're inclined to jump first and think later. If something really interests you, you want to get right down to the bottom of it and work it all out. If it's only a passing interest, you're more inclined to skim over it and not learn it in much detail.
We now have four possibilities to look at:
1. Square hands with short fingers (Earth Hand)
2. Square hands with long fingers (Air Hand)
3. Oblong hands with short fingers (Fire Hand)
4. Oblong hands with long fingers (Water Hand)
This is the classification used in Chinese palmistry. It comes from Fred Gettings monumental book, The Book of the Hand. The four types are named after the four elements of the ancients: Fire, Earth, Air and Water. These relate very well to the descriptions of the Fire, Earth, Air and Water signs of astrology, but it does not necessarily mean that a Sagittarian (a Firesign), would have a Fire hand. You'll find people with all four types of hands in every sign of the Zodiac.
The four elements: Fire, Earth, Air and Water
Fire Hands - Fire is hot, energizing and constantly moving. It can provide gentle heat, but can also burn. Consequently it needs careful handling. A Fire hand is oblong with short fingers. Someone with a hand like this is likely to be emotional, enthusiastic and creative. The short fingers mean a dislike for detail. The long palm adds intuition. For someone with a hand like this you might say: You have a great mind, full of wonderful ideas. These ideas excite you. Your enthusiasm may not last for long, but it's extremely important to you at the time. Your emotions can be a bit hard to handle at times, but they enable you to experience life to the fullest. Details are not your strong point and you tend to prefer the overall picture to the fiddly bits. You are likely to be creative and need to be busy to be happy.
Earth Hands - Earth is the dry, solid part of our planet. Everything that happens on earth is subject to the natural rhythms of germination, growth, death and decay. Earth is timeless and expresses stability. However, below its surface all sorts of changes are constantly occurring. This can lead to earthquakes and other upheavals. The Earth hand is very like the practical hand. It consists of a square palm and short fingers. People with this type of hand are reliable, down-to-earth and practical. They enjoy repetitive work and are good with their hands. They enjoy rhythm. They are conservative, reserved, and possessive. However, like earth itself, they can also react violently if they deem it necessary. You might say to someone with Earth hands: You're a hard worker. You enjoy physical challenges and your hands can think for themselves. You can be stubborn at times, and you don't easily change your mind. You enjoy rhythm and movement. You're not usually good with details, unless you're making something. You probably prefer working outdoors, doing something practical. You're reliable, honest and somewhat reserved.
Air Hands - Air is essential for life. We take it for granted and seldom notice it, except on windy days. Air is also essential for communications, as it carries sound waves. Creatures of the air, such as birds and flying insects, are fastmoving and active. The Air hand consists of a square palm and long fingers. These people tend to use logic more than intuition. They're quick-witted and express themselves clearly. They enjoy communicating and often have careers that utilize their skills. Their strong emphasis on logic means these people tend to distrust emotions, both their own and other peoples. We could say something along these lines to someone with Air hands: You're intelligent, clear-thinking and discriminating. Relationships are important to you, but you sometimes find logic getting in the way of your feelings. You're reliable and like to do things completely. You're a stimulating companion and life is never dull when you're around.
Water Hands - Finally, water. If you think about it, water is essentially still. Other forces have to act upon it to make it change. It's also shapeless as it simply moves to fill up whatever space is available. The Moon has a strong influence on water, creating the tides in our oceans. The saying, still waters run deep, is very pertinent to the Water Hand. The Water Hand consists of an oblong palm with long fingers. It's sometimes called the intuitive hand, as these people are extremely aware and receptive. People with this type of hand are changeable, impressionable and emotional. They're idealistic and highly imaginative. To someone with water hands, you could say: You have an extremely rich inner life. Your imagination is keen and you fantasize about just about everything. You can be influenced by others, so you're flexible with your ideas. Your intuition is strong. You're emotional. If you're interested in someone, you love spending time with them. You also need time by yourself to reflect on your own life. You are happiest inside the right relationship with someone to depend and rely upon.