So what is irreligious, scientifically-minded, skeptical me doing holding prints of my hands that I was about to mail off to a person who does hand analysis -- and soon would tell me what those prints say about myself?
Well, Kay Packard, founder of the American Academy of Hand Analysis, is an old friend. Kay was the "little kid" next door during my childhood growing up in Three Rivers, California (small town in foothills of the Sierras, the gateway to Sequoia National Park).
We've kept in touch over the years. Her mother, Rosemary, was an astrologer. Rosemary did charts for my wife and I around the time we got married in 1990. I don't believe in astrology, but I found the astrological analysis done by Kay's mother to be quite insightful.
Of course, Rosemary knew me. Nonetheless, I could separate out (1) astrology as scientific fact, and (2) insights gained through an astrological reading. So I didn't hesitate to reply "sure" when Kay emailed me and asked if I'd help her out professionally by supplying some "philosopher's hands" for her to analyze.
I don't really consider myself a philosopher. But I've written a well-received book about a Greek Neoplatonic philosopher, Plotinus, titled "Return to the One." And I think in a philosophical way. I think... which must indicate that I'm somewhat of a philosopher, since I'm not completely sure that I am.
After Kay sent me a hand print-making kit and got the results, we talked by phone for about an hour. Usually Kay's hand analysis verbal report only takes about half an hour. However, I'm a talkative guy and we chatted about some personal/family stuff in addition to discussing what my hand and fingerprints say about me.
Just as with her mother, I was much impressed with Kay's ability to convey how she sees my strengths and weaknesses. Talking with her was a lot like a psychological counseling session. Like I said before, I separated out how Kay arrived at her insights from what she was telling me about myself.
For me this is the benefit of astrology, hand analysis, Tarot card reading, or consulting with a Hollywood medium/psychic -- which I've done also. Whether or not the means by which insights conveyed to the client are scientifically valid, the reality of how those insights appear to the client is undeniable.
Meaning, Kay would tell me something the hand analysis revealed about myself. Often I'd respond, "That rings true to me." Then we'd talk about this something some more. I definitely got some insights into how I deal with life, other people, and such that were fresh to me.
I'm not sharing any details because these aren't relevant to the main point I wanted to convey in this post: hand analysis or another "woo-woo" New Age'y pursuit like astrology doesn't have to be viewed as scientific fact in order to be interesting and potentially beneficial to someone.
All that is needed, really, is a sensitive, caring, intuitive, compassionate person like Kay Packard. Talking with them in an open, non-judgmental, non-dogmatic way can be therapeutic and insightful in much the same way talking with a psychotherapist with the same qualities can be.
This is a video of Kay explaining why someone might want to learn hand analysis. It freaks me out in a way, because I still think of Kay being a young girl from my childhood memories, given that I haven't seen her in person for a long time. Kay is still just as sweet and caring as she was way back when, though.