Palm Line Reading

Updated March 8, 2019
Cropped Hands

Palm line reading is one part of palmistry, a form of human divination based on understanding the meanings of the markings and lines on your palms, skin color and texture, the length of your fingers, and the shapes on your hands. The major lines on your palms show aspects of your life such as personality, how you think, how your love life progresses, and areas where you may struggle or gain knowledge as you go through your life.

Reading Various Palm Lines

Use a palm reading hand chart to visualize your various palm lines. While your palm has multiple major and minor lines, the following are the major lines to assess.

Heart Line

Your heart line runs from beneath your pinky across the top part of your hand, often ending somewhere underneath your pointer or middle fingers. This indicates your overall attitude to love and relationships. Length of the line and various markings such as chains and islands offer insights about how you developed your attitudes about love and how those will come into play throughout your life.

  • A line that begins below the index finger may show someone displeased with the pleasures of love while a line that starts under the middle finger can show someone too indulgent in love.
  • If the line is straight and stubby, the bearer of the line might not care to show much emotion.
  • If the line is curved and long, the bearer might be a hopeless romantic dedicated to love.

Head Line

Your head line begins under your index finger along the edge of your palm and extends part-way across your palm in a graceful curve flowing in a slightly downward direction (see chart). It is also known as the wisdom line, and it indicates things such as how you think and how your thought processes affect your life.

  • A curved and sloping line indicates you are creative while a short line shows you are more focused on the tangible.
  • A wavering line shows a short attention span while a pronounced line shows you are focused.

Additionally, a fork at the end of the head line is called the writer's fork, and it can indicate you have natural ability when it comes to writing or communication.

Life Line

Your life line runs below the head line, sometimes connecting at the start of it. It sweeps along the base of your thumb in a downward curve. While many people believe the life line shows you how long you live, it doesn't. Instead it shows where major events or changes may have effects on your life and indicates a general life path.

  • A curvy life line indicates you are full of life and passion.
  • A shorter line that hugs the thumb tighter may show you lack of energy.
  • Breaks in the life line can highlight major life events that changed the way you've lived your life, such as the death of a loved one or major travel.

Fate Line

Your fate line is a downward line running from the base of your middle finger. It offers a general indication of how your life flows, such as offering information about career or finances.

Colorful Lines Marked On Palm

Reading Other Palm Line Markings

Your palm doesn't have just straight, clear lines. There are many short or small marks that cross the major lines. These offer modifying information about the major palm lines they meet.

Breaks in Lines

Breaks in the major palm lines indicate changes of direction or endings and new beginnings in the line along which they occur. For example, a break in your head line may indicate a new way of thinking or a change in your belief system.


Chains along lines look exactly like they sound. Instead of continuing as a line, there may be a series of circular loops that link together moving across one of your lines. Chains show times when you've had to overcome obstacles in various aspects of your life. For example, a chained love line may show a bumpy patch in a marriage or relationship.


When choppy, short lines cross your main palm lines, they show breaks in the direction indicated by that line. For example, cross hatching early in a life line may indicate multiple incidents early in a life that re-formed what you believed or who you are.


When a line has an island in it (usually a small shape that stops the line and then continues it on the other side of the shape), it shows areas of difficulty along that line. For example, in a head line an island may indicate some type of cognitive difficulty that slowed down mental activity for a while.

Upward Lines

If you have a series of short lines moving in an upward direction extending from any of the main lines, it shows overcoming difficulty or obstacles along that path. For example, a series of upward lines along your fate line may indicate you overcame financial difficulty.

Downward Lines

Short lines extending downward from any of the main lines indicate difficulties you struggled to overcome along that part of your life's path or periods of negativity in your life.

Forks or Tridents at the End of Lines

Major lines that end in a fork or trident show good fortune along the path of that line.

Which Palm to Read

While some palm readers suggest using your non-dominant hand because it will be more telling of life events since it has been unaltered by the stress of life. Many read both because the non-dominant hand shows your potential while your dominant hand shows actual life expression.

Chiromancy hands illustration

Understanding Palmistry

Also known as chiromancy, palmistry derives from ancient China, the ancient Greeks and Gypsy culture. Palmistry is often classified, along with tea leaf readings, tarot cards, geomancy, and pendulum readings, as a form of divination. A good palmist will study all parts of the hand from its general shape and texture, length and size of the fingers, to every individual line.

The Lines on Your Hands Tell Your Story

Your hands contain a lot of information about you in its major lines, but looking at the lines is only a small part of palmistry. In order to understand what your hands truly say about you, you'll also need to evaluate things such as shapes, finger length, and even skin color and texture.

Palm Line Reading