Palmistry meets Tarot

Palmistry meets Tarot

While I didn't have a booth at Goddess Fest this year reading tarot, I did attend a great little workshop that inspired me to look at an area I hadn't much considered before--that of hand positions as they appear in tarot, especially in the Waite-Smith deck. Though I have noted the hand gestures in some of the images in the deck appeared similar to some iconography (Christian or otherwise, such as the Hierophant/Pope's gesture), I hadn't ever used them to draw out additional meaning from the cards. This workshop did exactly that, and it was delightful.

The workshop is an ongoing collaboration between Jim Barker and Madame Pamita, and will be the topic of an forthcoming book. We first were given a high-level method for looking at how to read a palm using Jim's Divine Hand method, and then took a look at a handful of cards from the Waite-Smith deck. Using what we learned, we analyzed the hands in the cards and found that they lined up surprisingly well with the traditional meanings and associations given to the cards.

Hierophant - Major Arcana - Tarot

For example, the raised hand position of the Hierophant -- while similar to a Greek/Roman Christian benediction gesture -- goes a bit farther. The raised fingers correspond to Jupiter and Saturn, sovereignty and tradition, when combined with the Mars/Venus action of the thumb drawn in between the two, expresses someone who has both given their power to something sovereign and traditional, but also receives and expresses that power through themselves into the world (as this is the right hand, as opposed to the inward-facing left hand). Relating it to the "chakra" points along each finger, we also get that this is a divine (seventh chakra) connection with the tips of fingers extended toward the divine, while the tip of the thumb is touching near the third and fourth chakras of the solar plexus and heart, will and connection. The hand gesture alone suggests a teacher or authority within a tradition, with their action in the world turned somewhat inward and pointing to the will and heart. In addition, that hand is palm-facing outward, expressing elemental fire -- creativity, action, a blessing. Fascinating stuff!

If you can catch their presentation in your local area, I highly recommend it. I look forward to the book!

Jim Barker

The Divine Hand

Madam Pamita

Parlour of Wonders

[image credit: Sage Aune]