For centuries many cultural philosophies have centred around basic principles or archetypes known as the elements. The observation of nature has provided many answers for us in terms of inventions, buildings, flight and power therefore it is of no surprise that the five basic areas of life that affect our daily lives also have their roots in our natural environment.
There is a Buddhist principle known as Graduated Materiality which relates to the density of the elements from the most to the least dense in terms of molecular structure. This places the elements in a type of pyramidal structure with the most dense at the base and the least dense at the top. This principle, however includes a 5th element, Ether, which is the link to Soul.
One of the most interesting ways to illustrate this principle is through the study of hand reading known as Cheirology.
Cheirology is the art and Science of analysing the hands with reference to a person’s physical, emotional, mental and spiritual state of being.
It differs from conventional palmistry in that it is non predictive and non fatalistic. The concept of this form of hand reading is based on the principal that everything is energy, thought and intention being two aspects of energetic relay. Energy can not be created or destroyed in earth reality; it simply transforms and is in constant change. Therefore, thought and intention can change the lines in the hands in a short a period as three months. This means that by viewing the lines and formations of the hands at any given time, the subject is provided with current information that is vital yet liquid.
This field of personal analysis is based on the five elemental principals of earth, air, fire, water and ether. Each part of the hand is ruled by one of the five elements and the concept of hand reading has its roots in layering these meanings. Layering results in a cross-referenced composition of information that is unveiled to the subject. Contrary to conventional psychology, Cheirology can be a swift vehicle of personal self-analysis.
Records of this field of study date back to as far as the fifteen hundreds in the monasteries of Tibet in central Asia where Buddhist monks researched and studied the hands of many subjects. Their main reason for doing so was to provide spiritual guidance for those in need. Over the next few centuries Cheirology spread to Europe and the British Isles where it was forced underground in its practice due to the restrictions and dominance of the Christian Church. It wasn't until the early nineteen hundreds that Cheirology was seen as a useful tool for personal guidance and self-discovery rather than a religious threat.
The popularity of this field of study remained largely untapped by the masses due to a lack of understanding for what it provides. It is only recently that the benefits of Cheirology have been publicised as a result of the current global holistic renaissance.
Cheirology at its core reveals the subject's personality, potential and purpose. By understanding these three P's the subject can be directed to a more enlightened view of their life and themselves. This forms the gateway to making the necessary changes needed for growth and development in life.
In order to effectively interpret the markings and formations of the hands, a symbolic language is needed. That is where the four primary energies are earth, air, fire and water come into play, which manifest in various forms throughout the hand. The fifth element, ether, is the unity of all the others. Interpretation is based on sentences which are formed combining the elemental meanings for example if an earth marking is found on a water finger one combines the meaning of earth with the meaning of water and a resultant interpretation is provided for the subject.
Each part of the hand, lines, skin rich patterns, fingers and segment is ruled by an element. A thorough knowledge and understanding of the principles of each element is vital to the interpretation process.
Personality indicates what people portray to the outside. It reflects people's reaction to circumstances, relationships with others, likes, dislikes and personal character traits. Cheirology is able to show the subject's personality in a concise and accurate way. By analysing the hands, the personality surfaces strongly. Knowing the personality assists to understand the self and to identify improvable areas within the self which can lead to a more fulfilled and happier subject.
Everyone has the potential to maximise who they are. Our thoughts and intentions often remain as untapped potential. Putting into practice our full potential requires action which at times can be challenging. Thought or intent do not always manifest as a reality. The secret is to take potential and make it real. Cheirology can show the subject not only their potential, but ways to transform this potential into reality.
Most people go about their lives consumed by external influences such as earning a living, other people's problems and their own material focus. These daily endeavours prevent one from looking at the self which ironically can assist in achieving all the above. Cheirology turns the spot light inward and either confirms what the subject already knows or directs the subject to a better understanding of the self.
Purpose relates to who one is rather than what one does, therefore purpose is all about understanding the self.
By understanding the elements one can understand the self better which can lead to the ability to handle challenging situations in a more focused and rational way. For the purpose of providing a clear understanding of the philosophies presented in this book, it is necessary that I outline the basic symbolic meanings of each element.
Earth is he most dense of the elements and relates to solidity and physical experience. As with a mountain, the archetype of Earth displays the qualities of steadfastness, reliability, endurance and structure. On a human level, earth therefore relates to stubbornness, responsibility, caution, conservative approaches, slow movement and the physical body. People with these qualities can be described as solid as a rock or down to earth.
It is out of this element that the first basic area of life is born: the physical body.
The second most dense of the elements is water which relates to feeling and people. When we cry we release water, which shows that this element displays the concept of emotions, compassion, empathy and sensitivity. Other qualities of water are flexibility and intuition. People with a predominance of the water element can be described as emotional, sensitive, people orientated, caring and intuitive.
It is out of this element that the second basic area of life flows: Relationships.
The third most dense of the elements is fire which related to energy, passion and what we do in our life. Fire burns or consumes very quickly so it relates to speed, efficiency, action, drive, motivation, determination and creativity. Fire quality people may also be seen as assertive, easily angered and even aggressive. They would be impatient and enjoy speed.
It is out of this element that the third basic area of life runs: Career or work.
The Fourth most dense element is Air which relates to thought, individuality and independence. Air is not tangible as with thoughts. In order to communicate we need to think so air relates to all levels of communication, learning, the intellect and conceptualization. People with a predominance of the Air element are inclined to over analyse, philosphise, and communicate well.
It is out of this element that the fourth basic area of life arises: The mind.
The least dense of all the elements is Ether which relates to everything etheric such as the concept of God. Ether is used in hospitals to help us move to an unconscious state so it relates to being “out of body”. It is the opposite of physicality and can leave one feeling blissful, sleepy and dream-like.
It is out of this element that the fifth area of life manifests: Soul
Therefore the 5 basic areas of our life are:
1. The physical body
4. The mind
5. The Soul
All earth experiences both positive and negative can be grouped under the banner of one or more of these.
For the purpose of simplicity I have chosen the most common causes of emotional pain in this reality and aligned each one with one of the 5 areas of life. However, understanding these categories and experiences is not enough for those who are amidst a challenging and painful experience so I have also provided possible solutions to life’s challenges based on my own experience and that of many of my brave clients who I have guided over the last decade.
Furthermore, in order to understand the bigger picture of this reality I have started with the most dense element, Earth, moving full circle to the least dense, Ether.
My hope is that through the stories and teachings in this book you may find some answers to the challenges in your own life and in so doing reach a place of peace, happiness and fulfillment.