Palmistry was not first and foremost a device for fortune telling. In India the Hindis knew that to become perfect you had to know yourself. You had to be able to accept the bad things about you before you could change them. You had to recognise in yourself greed, conceit, the need to tell lies...if you couldn't acknowledge your faults you were never going to improve.
Palmistry today is I think still practiced for this purpose in India...but here in the westernised countries it is a parlour trick at best, a confidence trick at worst. It is remarkably easy to persuade people that you have magic powers but actually once you know the lines and what they mean and how they change as the life progresses it's no more magic than learning to read a book once you've learned your ABC and the rules of grammar.
I have read hands at parties before now. I have used it to make money for worthy causes before I joined the clergy...
Now I don't do these things but I do still look at my own hand from time to time.
Yesterday having got my hands very dirty I came in to wash them and looked at them closely for the first time for ages.
There on my hand in the place governed by love are three crosses. Two are linked, the third stands alone.
I suppose my interpretation is based on the bereavement I'm still suffering but I think I know what they mean. Death, the loss of my loved ones are the crosses I have to bear.
I see that. It doesn't make it any easier but I do see it and accept it.
I think that this may mean I'm mending, the healing process is at work.
But the pain that was with me last week has gone..I am ready to pick up my crosses and walk. God willing.