Practical Palmistry

About the author

John Bottrill Ph.D. is a former professor - author of learned papers in Psychology and several books.

Apart from writing and genealogical research, he enjoys renovating houses, furniture and paintings.  He currently lives in Spain with his partner and a naughty cat, called Porage.
Information about living in Spain can be found at
And a list of his books can be found at and

Historical information about the Boterel family (the original spelling!) can be found at

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or distributed without permission, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages for review purposes.

©2013 Copyright John Bottrill



Chapter 1        Party Palmistry

Two painful experiences - importance of gin

Chapter 2        Your hand and your personality

Personality and change - will - logic - worry -decision - the boss - what type are you?

Chapter 3        How sick can you get?

Congenital weaknesses - mental - liver - heart - nails - circulation - breathing - digestion - rheumatism - the dreaded piles – ethical considerations

Chapter 4        A fortune in your hands

Work or luck - determination - outside influences- health - the hand of a rich man - the hand of a poor man - success after 40 - financial disaster

Chapter 5        Your future career

Control yourself - and others - outside influences - health - energy - character - ambition - teaching - business - arts/science - medical - manual – religion

- travel

Chapter 6        Death and its markings

Natural - illness - accidents - psychological impact - should you tell? - suicide - violent death - longevity

Chapter 7        Love, marriage, and sex

What type are you? - lines of influence -deviation - masturbation - breakups - adultery - divorce - sterility - children - passion - pleasure - union - housewife - disappointment - celibacy and its horrors - vice

Chapter 8        Psychic power in your hand

Psychic ability - innate - learned - psychic type - E.S.P. - magic - mysticism - intuition - clues

Chapter 9        Your hand and social graces

Conformity - role playing - getting along with others- the Bohemian - manipulation - the persuasive psychopath

Chapter 10      The born leader

Napoleon - politics - powerful friends -independence - will - influence - success - fame -ambition

Chapter 11      Imagination and Dreaming

The key to success and failure - overactive imagination – strong interest in sex - too much of a good thing - the dreamer – controlling habits

Chapter 12      A fondness for travel

Money - curiosity - job - the born traveller - successful and unsuccessful journeys - signs of travel - dates - probable and predestined events

Chapter 13      Palmistry in everyday life

Your boss's weak points - a difficult husband – sum people up – success at interviews - the conman and the gambler

Chapter 14      How to go about reading hands

Palmar types – hair – colour – nails – fingers – lines - - signs - age



My interest in palmistry began in my teens - a mere curiosity until my mother pitch-forked me into a public reading.   It happened in a restaurant at a table shared by my family and a middle-aged couple.   The two women hated each other so, when the conversation turned to children, my mother started to boast of her son's abilities.   "Yes, my son's good at reading hands.   Aren't you, John?"

            Utterly embarrassed, I speared a pea – as you would.

            "Really?" snapped the other woman, seeing the possibility of spiking mother's guns.   "Well, see what you can make of mine, dear."

            Since the floor refused to open and swallow me, I bared the few shreds I knew.  “You’ve got a long life line, though that doesn’t mean you’ll have a long life,” I added hastily.  Her husband in turn speared a pea.   “And, er, you’re strong willed.”

            "Is that all?" demanded the woman peremptorily.

            "Uh, well ..... you're much misunderstood ......"

            Her eyes gleamed as she glared at her husband, an unexpected victim.   "Yes, that's certainly true."

            There was a frigid silence, and everyone busily speared peas.

            I decided I’d better learn more - much more.

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But history tends to repeat itself. Many years later, I was at a party in Toronto. It was 11pm. and the party was beginning to liven up.   I felt that contented glow which comes from slightly too much gin and good company.   But dismay!   Here came that portly woman who had been smiling vaguely at me all evening.   I retreated to a corner and hid behind a rubber tree.   But she was not deceived.  

       "I've got you at last, you naughty thing," she cooed.   “Mary told me you're a palmist - is that right?"   Cornered, I muttered something non-committal, but she was not to be put off that easily and waved a plump hand in front of my face.   "Oh, do tell me what you can see."

     "You're comfortably off and on your second husband.   You're full of energy, used to getting your own way, and enjoy flirting.   Hm...I see you've had to consult a gynaecologist."  

     Now she was flustered and it was my chance to recognise an old friend on the other side of the room and make excuses, leaving her to wonder how it's done.   How is it done?   Each of the things I told her was obvious from one short look at the hand.   Other things need a more detailed examination, and a full reading involves prints, checking, a written report, and several days.   But all you want to know in such a situation is how to give a short commentary at a glance.

     Let me point out first of all that there are two ways of reading hands.   One way is second nature to those who are psychic - to them things are just obvious.   There's nothing to be learnt, except by practice, and any instruction book is a waste of money for them.   (This book's supposed to be more entertaining than instructive, so it's a good buy even for psychics.)   The other way is to learn the various pointers and marks of the hand, and to read it as if it were a letter in a foreign language which has to be translated. Chapter 14 will give you some idea of the sort of things palmists look for and what they may mean.   The rest of the book looks at particular topics with examples I've come across (with false names, of course).

     At first when you're practising, it's best to use sympathetic friends.   Keep a bottle of gin handy - it's amazing how sympathetic it makes friends, and of course your good self!   Most beginners rely too much on their own hands, which is a mistake because they have preconceived ideas about themselves.   We all tend to see ourselves as we would like to appear, rather than as we are.
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