Posted by: Merlin PJ20 JAN 2010
Many otherwise rational people read the horoscopes in newspapers and magazines and a surprising number seem to set great store by them. However, with a UK population of some 60 million, and even allowing for the small seasonal variation in birth rate, it would seem that between 4.5 and 5.5 million people in this country should all share the same birth sign.
Also, if a birth is induced a month early because of medical problems (as was the case with one of the Merlins’ chicks), under which star sign does the child fall? Is it that of the actual birth date or is it the one on which the child would otherwise have been born?
There are, of course, various other ways of divining the future, although in these days of tea bags, reading tea leaves has presumably become less common. However, reading palms is apparently still popular. This method has traditionally been used at fairgrounds, where most of the palmists seem to be related to someone called Gypsy Rose Lee. Strictly speaking, palmistry gives a character reading, but it can also be used for divination of the future.
Merlin has always suspected that palm readings need to be consumed with a large helping of sodium chloride. However, there may be some science behind examination of the palms of the hands, in addition to that mentioned in one of Merlin’s recent columns (PJ, 17 October 2009, p427).
If one looks at one’s own hands, it can be seen that there are two main transverse lines, called the heart line and the head line. In some people (between 2 and 6 per cent of the population), these two lines are intertwined, to form one line across the palm. This is known as the simian line or single palmar crease. It has been shown that in certain conditions, such as Down’s syndrome, 65 to 75 per cent of individuals have a simian line.
To a palmist, the presence of a simian line in those who do not have Down’s syndrome or other abnormalities of chromosomes may indicate that the person’s feelings and emotions (the heart line) are under strong intellectual control (the head line) or vice versa.
Such people may find it hard to distinguish between thoughts and feelings — are they thinking what they are feeling or feeling what they are thinking? — as the two lines are intertwined and combined. This can bring single-mindedness, tunnel vision, intense concentration or even obsession to some parts of their lives, as they have the ability to put their heart and mind into whatever interests them.
It is said that our former Prime Minister Tony Blair has a simian line. Merlin, not wishing to involve himself in politics, will leave it to readers to decide whether or not the palmist’s analysis is likely to be correct.