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5 of the TOP TEN MYTHS of Palmistry

Without a doubt, palmistry is one of the most misunderstood branches of the psychic sciences. The situation is not helped by the fact that many - if not most - of the commercially available books on palmistry insist on perpetuating the myths that have grown up around an otherwise rational and scientific discipline.

Here are just 5 of those myths:

MYTH #1: Prehistoric cultures practiced palmistry.

Depending on whom you talk to the history of palmistry is said to go back to the Dawn of Time, and people will often point to the paintings of hands found in the Stone Age caves of Africa, France and Spain as evidence of our prehistoric interest in the subject.

As exciting or romantic as this may be to some, there are simply no facts to support such a theory. "The very nature of palmistry limits any history to a record of what has been written about the subject," observed noted palmistry scholar Fred Gettings in his 1965 book, 'The Book of the Hand.' Since our prehistoric ancestors left no written records, we can only speculate as to why they painted hands on the walls of their caves.

MYTH #2: Palmistry was studied and practiced by the ancient Greeks & Romans.

It is true that there are many references to the practice of palmistry in the ancient literature of India and China, and it is highly likely that much of what was known about palmistry by the Greeks and the Romans originated in India and China. But again, we have no surviving records from the ancient Greek or Roman cultures that supports the somewhat hopeful claim that such notable names as Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates were practicing palm readers.

MYTH #3: Julius Caesar unmasked an impostor prince with palmistry.

There is a much-repeated story in the literature of palmistry in which Julius Caesar received a guest in his palace that claimed to be a prince from a royal family.

As the story is told, Caesar was well-versed in palmistry and having looked at the visitor's palm, declared the man and impostor and had him executed. The story usually concludes with Caesar later receiving information that supported his claim that the man was indeed an impostor.

The facts that we have regarding the popularity of palmistry in ancient Rome, however, just don't support this story. At least one contemporary Roman writer reported that the ruling class preferred astrology as their oracle of choice, and tended to look down on palmistry as being rather middle class, and something below their station.

If this was indeed the case, it is highly unlikely that Caesar would have chosen palmistry to unmask the fraudulent prince, and far more likely that he would have consulted the court astrologer.

MYTH #4: The Catholic Church banned palmistry.

Many sources like to play up the "forbidden wisdom" aspect of palmistry by claiming that the Catholic Church condemned palmistry in 1000 AD and continued to outlaw it during the Middles Ages.

The fact of the matter is that with only two documented exceptions every Pope in the Middle Ages exhibited an interest in many of the so-called occult arts such as astrology, alchemy and palmistry. These subjects were considered to be part of every learned person's education, and were taught in Church-run universities throughout Europe at the time.

The fact that most of our earliest manuscripts on palmistry were found in European monasteries helps to reveal that the Church actually helped preserve palmistry rather than persecute it.

MYTH #5: Gypsies brought palmistry to Europe.

You'll read in a number of places that during the 15th century the Gypsies migrated across Western Europe and introduced the art of palmistry to Europeans.

The record is somewhat different, and indicates that palmistry was re-introduced to Europe as an indirect result of the Crusades in the 12th and 13th centuries. Although the Crusaders traveled to the Middle East to reclaim the Holy Land for Christianity, they also managed to form alliances with some of the rulers there.

As a result, the Crusaders were exposed to many of the scholarly works of the Greeks and the Romans which had been preserved by Arab scholars while Europe was busy being pillaged during the Dark Ages by any one of a number of Barbarian-of-the-Month Clubs.

Among the texts that the Crusaders brought back with them were copies of manuscripts on palmistry, beating the Gypsies by about two or three hundred years.

For Myths #6 - 10, including:

MYTH #7: There is no scientific basis for palmistry.

MYTH #9: Your Life line predicts when you're going to die.


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