Castles in your hand

She hands me her card:

Circle of Light — A Universal Life Church
Sandie Hancock, HPs, ND

Not Madame Sandra. No exotic Gypsy-esque name. Just Sandie Hancock, with her red-haired ponytail perched atop her head as if sprouted there. She wears glasses and refers to herself as a ‘fat girl.’ She must be 60+ years old because she tells me one of her sons is 40, but she looks and carries herself like a younger woman. The HP stands for healer practitioner; ND for naturopathic doctor. I haven’t come to Sandie Hancock for healing or naturopathic medicine, however. I’ve come to have my thumbs read.

“When the thumb pinches in below the knuckle, this indicates a lack of good judgment about people. When it starts to fill in as yours is doing, it means you’re learning as you go along. You’re learning from experience whom to trust.”

She adds: “You know what they say about experience? Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you want.” It’s a joke, but she says it as if there’s personal truth to it.

She addresses my thumb’s arc, or lack thereof. “The less it arcs backwards, the more self-directed you are. You’ve no need to control others. The more space it covers when you press it down on a surface, the more control you want — the more you have to have your thumb over things.” I nod. I see the metaphor.

She herself has just started “Sisters in Spirit,” a public-benefit corporation. “What I like to do is lay hands on people,” she says. “Their bones, muscles, tumors, whatever. I want to teach others how to lay hands on people, and (I want) to fix anyone who shows up.” I note that Sandie’s own thumbs arc pretty far back.

Sandie says she goes to psychic or metaphysical fairs and performs what she calls “The Ten-Minute Thumb,” a quick 10-minute reading for fair participants. I’m getting an extended version of “The Ten-Minute Thumb.”

My thumb is flexible but it’s no pushover. My nailbed is pale — a sign of possible iron deficiency. (I buy $25 worth of multivitamin & mineral supplement at the health food store the next day.) The length of my nail talks about what’s going on in terms of focus. Mine are long, indicating patience. This is a good sign, since I set sail on my thumb thesis voyage six months ago, and there’s no land in sight.

She looks at the way I hold my fingers when I hold my hands up, palm out, to her. I hold my little finger out from the others. That indicates individualism, she says. My index finger has a bit of a curve away from the third finger. Overall, my hands say I’d be very good in the business world. But that curved index finger shows I have some opposition to business. “What do you have against business?” she asks me. “Pantyhose,” I say. She likes this answer.

When I close the space between my thumb and index finger, the height my thumb reaches up my index finger indicates ambition. Not very high.

“You’re not hung up in the past, or on the future. You’re focused on the now,” she says. “Am I right?” She’s right. I’m not looking for forecasts. I’m looking for stories, histories. But it makes me realize that she must read for a lot of people who ask questions about what’s going to happen to them. It also makes me wonder. Don’t I need a fair amount of ambition to write a book? 

“It’s a good thing you’re a writer because you’ve got books in your hand,” she says, as if reading my mind. I ask what a book in my hand looks like. She shows me seven triangles formed by lines on my palm.

She says she is a “clairaudiant” rather than a clairvoyant. She bases tarot and other readings on what she hears from, not what she sees in, the cards. Words, ideas, sounds blurt at her. No need for images. She does just as well to read from a blank deck, she says. She first began reading cards — “mundane cards,” like the ones from a poker deck — from her Greek babysitter. Hers was a military family and they lived in Germany for three years while she was a middle-schooler. Sandie would stand on the rungs of her babysitter’s chair and look over the Greek woman’s shoulder at the cards on the table before her. Sandie would then set up to do readings outside a community swimming pool until she had made enough money for her posse of siblings and friends to eat and swim. The swimming pool was on the grounds of one of Mad King Ludwig’s castles. The popular but reclusive King Ludwig II of Bavaria loved wild swans, Wagnerian opera, and building fairy tale castles. In a 150-year timewarp, I imagine red hair piled atop Sandie Hancock’s head, which is bowed over the Bavarian ruler’s palm. Minutes go by. Silence, but for the sound of swans hootling in a courtyard fountain. Finally, the palm reader directs her wry gaze into Ludwig’s brooding eyes and says, “It’s a good thing you’re a king because you’ve got castles in your hand.”

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