The Lines Change….

Posted October 25th, 2021

Everyone who studies hands know that the lines of the hands change over time.  It is a very simple and obvious thing to notice once you start looking at hands. But rarely do we get to see how the lines of the hands change.  To do that requires both the passage of time and a keen interest to collect handprints from individuals over an extended period of time.

It was actually 150 years ago that the first scientific observations of changes in the hand were made, by William Herschel. Herschel was the grandson of the Wiliam Herschel who discovered Uranus and was the Commissioner for India during the mid C19th. Wikipedia reports:  “Herschel is credited with being the first European to note the value of fingerprints for identification. He recognized that fingerprints were unique and permanent. Herschel documented his own fingerprints over his lifetime to prove permanence. He was also credited with being the first person to use fingerprints in a practical manner. As early as 1858, working as a British officer for the Indian Civil Service at Jangipur in the Bengal region of India, he started putting fingerprints on contracts.”

The Handprints of William Herschel

Interestingly, whilst he was demonstrating that the fingerprints did not change over time, he also inadvertently proved that the lines do change over time ! Have a look at the handprints above carefully and you will see that various of the lines have changed, either in terms of number or depth or width.

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Various questions naturally start to arise once you start looking into this. Which lines change?  Do they all change? Which lines change the most? And, perhaps most importantly: how do the lines of the hands change?

If we accept that there is no such thing as a ‘fixed fate’ which completely determines the course of our lives and if, also, we accept that we have some ability to change our lives, how much change are we able to create?  How much control over our consciousness do we really have ?

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The collection presented in this study is of 22 sets of handprints from 22 individuals taken at different periods of time.  A minimum criteria was set at ten years to allow for a sufficient time period to elapse so that changes in the hands might manifest. In the hands considered here, the minimum time difference between the print-taking is 12 years  – and the maximum time difference is 46 years.  Eighteen out of these twenty-two handprints were taken more than 23 years apart; thirteen of them are more than 30 years apart.  Despite being a small sample, it nonetheless includes a wide range of time differences which should illuminate the questions that we have posed above.

Of the twenty-two handprints:
Three exhibit many changes in the lines of the hands
Eight exhibit medium changes
Eleven exhibit few changes to the lines.

Common Changes & Differences

1) Stress lines on fingers – Many of the hands had extra vertical lineation on the finger phalanges, on all or any phalanges.  One example had fewer such lines – showing she is now experiencing less stress than when she was younger.

2) Stress lines in the Earth Zone – Many of the hands had an increase of lineation on the ball of the Thumb

Ageing : As a general observation, the number of lines on the hands tend to increase with age. The handprints below were taken in 1950 aged 29 and again in 1991 when the owner was 70. The changes associated with ageing can be clearly seen in these hands and it is easy to see the increased lineation on the ball of the thumb and on the finger phalanges in particular.

Handprints taken 41 years apart

3) Activation lines on the Air phalanges of the fingers, especially, the Air phalange of the Air finger.  There are seven women in this sample that showed these changes:
B (17- 53)  (med)
A  (21 – 55) (sm)
R  (22 – 57) (sm)
K  (23 – 57) (sm)
M (22 – 52) (sm)
B (22 – 50) (sm)
F (25 – 50) (med)

This is especially interesting because all these women were young, in their early 20’s when the first set of handprints were taken; and when the second set were taken, they were in their early or middle 50’s.  In most of the cases, the hands showed very few line changes at all – except for this common factor of the extra lineation on the top phalanges of their fingers. 

Note the lineation on the top phalanges of the fingers that has appeared.
Prints taken 1984 (aged 22) & 2019 (aged 57)

7/8 of these women are professional women (TV Producer, BBC Presenter, Doctor, IT Manager, Headmistress, University Administrator) with long term careers that they have been in for 20-30yrs, most in long term stable relationships and four with children and most have lived in the same place – or the same city – for all of that time.  In other words, their lives have not changed that much – and so their hands have not changed that much either. 

EXCEPT – that they have all gone through – or are going through – menopause.  The most significant change in the lines of their hand is to be seen in the lineation on the air phalanges of the fingers in general and the air phalange of the Air finger in particular, which they all have in common.

4) Other line Changes

Other lines also exhibited significant changes in (numbers of hands):
a) Major Air line (7)
b) Upper Minor water lines (5) 
c) Minor Air line (5)
d) Minor Earth line (4)
e) Minor Fire line (4)

Handprint (1984 -2019) showing changes in the Upper Minor Water line, Major Air line and Minor Earth line (as well as changes in subsidiary lineation) in a jazz musician

There were also some other lesser line formations that could be seen to have changed over the years, including:
– Influence lines (running inside the Major Earth line)-
– Affection lines (below the Air finger)
– Passion line (beneath the Fire finger)
– Allergy Line (in the lower Water Zone)
– adrenal stress markers (in the mid-Water Zone)
– Major Earth line (curving round the base of the thumb)

But overall, the main line that exhibited the most changes was; the Major Water line. 19/22 had changes to the Major Water line, which is to say nearly everybody had evident and significant changes to the detail and structure of the line, whether that be shown by islands, reduplication, chevron spikiness etc – especially in the first third of the line under the Air finger.

How hard is it to change the lines?

It appears that it is very difficult!  As we have seen, most people’s hands change very little – half our sample had only a ‘few’ lineal changes, and these mostly to the subsidiary lines and not to the main lines of the hands. As we have seen, the line changes seem be occasioned more by physiological changes – such as changing hormones – or through ageing and growing old than by deliberate and concerted effort to change.

In earlier years, I have conducted a study on meditation practice over the course of a year to see how that might affect the lines of the hands. From that study, it does seem that it is possible to change the line formations of your hands in a deliberate and concerted manner. But such changes are few and far between.

Of our sample here only three showed big, life-changing lineal changes. 

But here is the handprint that I have in my hand that exhibits the most lineal change of any I have ever seen.  Have a look at this and see what you see:

Extreme changes in hands, 1972 – 1985

When this man was young, he was a bricklayer and a karate practitioner. But then he went religious – in fact in 1972, when the first prints were taken he got ordained as a Buddhist and went to live in the countryside, created a temple and wrote lengthy tomes on Buddhism, religion, the philosophy of karate, yoga etc  He transformed from being an uneducated working-class South Londoner to being the most sophisticated liar and dissembler I have yet come across in my lifetime.  In creating the fantasy land of his spiritual sect, he deceived many people as to his status and his provenance, claiming he was Doctor of Divinity, had a PhD from Peking University and that he was the reincarnation of a long line of Warrior Monks from a school of esoteric Zen/Shingon Buddhism of which he was the sole heir. 

By the power of his imaginations and his complex visual life, he re-created himself in his newly donned image. He was a legend in his own lunchtime, the star of his own silver screen. But despite it all being a fabrication, the lines on his hands changed most most dramatically. Notice particularly the extreme lengthening of the Major Air line down into the Water Zone (increased intellectual understanding) and the complete formation of the upper minor water line (imagination) under the fingers.

He changed his way of life completely and his hands are the hands that exhibit the most change I have ever seen in a hand.