suppose to some, who know of me primarily as the author
of "Tarot Reader's Notebook", finding me associated
with a book on palm reading is surprising.
had a lot of books in my library on palmistry for
a very long time, and had even done a few palm readings
here and there over the years. Yet it was only upon
reading Richard Webster's methodical approach to the
subject in his "Quick And Effective Cold Reading"
that I was convinced of its commercial usefulness.
strongly advise that you get his book and read his
cold reading lines. They are very, very good, and
it took some firm mental editing to not include them
all, verbatim, here. I do use many of them in my own
give you a hint: I read his book on the first day
of vacation in Bermuda - and took time off from the
outrageously expensive sand, food, shopping and sunshine
to do so!
find that reading palms has a distinct advantage over
Tarot when I'm at those big sit-in-the-corner-and-read-everybody
can read far more people in much less time!
can seat the client, get their name, say a few sentences
and go right into looking at their hands and giving
the reading. No mixing or cutting of cards by me and
the client. No long delays while the client 'intuitively'
chooses a dozen or fifteen face down cards. No dealing
isn't any strict need for clean (and dry!) table space,
which is always at a premium at parties. Pull two
chairs face to face and you're ready. In very short
readings, you don't even need the chairs!
The quicker reading was something I hadn't anticipated.
The original major attraction of palm reading was
that I could carry a medium-sized antique magnifying
glass, a handful of business cards, and go to work
anywhere. It's turned out to be very much like that.
There is a clean simplicity to it that appeals to
me. ("A reading? Sure, did you bring at least one
of your palms with you?")
have worked that way, in fact. It can be a 'no-prop
act.' In psychic fairs, though, this has evolved over
the last couple years into something beyond the pure
'no-prop' angle. For psychic fairs, I do have a table
set up, although not as elaborate as I once did with
my Tarot. This time I've designed it so that it packs
relatively small and light - and quick - but plays
get a lot of positive feedback from both clients and
other readers about my nice looking table. I recently
organized a medium-sized psychic fair that included
ten readers ad one commercial (merchandise) table.
As I was busily reading, I realized that a professional-looking
photographer was taking my picture.
second-biggest daily paper from the nearby metropolis
was covering the fair. The photographer said my table
was the most photogenic, so I had the honor of being
the photo in the next morning's paper!
in the afternoon, I examined the other tables. Most
readers had very little on their table at all. I was
one of the top two busiest tables - a couple readers
did no business at all!
is a direct relationship to the care - and showmanship
- involved in one's table display and the number of
clients who will chose you.
promise I'll explain my table set up fully for you.
a long-time Tarot reader, I already had a major collection
of readings lines that I felt could be adapted to
palmistry, but I'm never really satisfied until I've
read about ten to a dozen books on a subject. By then
I feel I have an honest, basic understanding of the
subject and can talk about it knowledgeably. I'm not
comfortable with totally faking a subject, and fortunately
I really enjoy the nerdy research and studying.
other point about 'doing your homework' is that much
more than just one or two of your clients will surely
know, at least in a broad way, what the palm lines
mean, either from reading a book and/or a previous
will also find a small, dedicated number of palm reading
junkies who will seek out every new palm reader. If
you stick with the classical sort of meanings, all
of these various knowledgeable people will agree with
you more, and readily see that you really do know
what you're talking about. Certainly if you come up
with meanings too far from the traditional, they are
going to say, "But I thought that a Girdle of Venus
was supposed to mean … blah blah blah."
"But just last week, Mother Sarah told me that this
Mystic M in my hand meant … blah blah blah."
may be quite surprised how many clients will know
about the various lines, and even a few of the more
flattering, obscure and random signs - especially
if they have one.
reading is, to my experience, much like numerology.
Once you have read about five books on the subject,
they all start sounding very similar. You will find
that it isn't difficult to learn 'real' palm reading
at all - with some sort of methodical approach.
talked with dozens and dozens of people about learning
to read hands. Over and over, I'd hear, "I've bought
a couple different books on it, but I just don't know
where to start… it was all so confusing."
agree! Which is why some sort of step-by-step pattern
makes it all much easier! I think the other reason
for learning some classical palm reading is that you
will learn to tie certain paragraphs of words to certain
signs in their hands. As your words are triggered
by each particular client's hands, you will not find
yourself giving a lot of readings that are all too
know that you've read advice from some well-meaning
people who tell you not to bother learning what the
lines mean from books. "Just fake it," they say. "Just
recite your best cold reading lines while staring
at their hand." Shame on them! Amateurs!
don't advise this, if you intend to read palms very
much. It might work for a very casual, quick reading
for some air-head at a party that you're trying to
impress for secondary reasons. If you just gaze at
their hand and use cold reading lines, you'll never
be taken seriously by the psychic crowd, certainly,
and believe me, word does get around in such circles,
for good or bad.