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Only Love, Part 2

Only Love, Part 2

“What is love” was the most searched phrase in Google in 2012. Psychologists say you need to marry self-esteem with a mature, positive love in order to prevent erotic Eros from burning itself out. In Liz’s experience in this story (and in my memoir Angel Hero, Murder in Hawai’i, A True Story), that’s about right.

Part 2 of the “Only Love” short story continues below.

Two years after the reading by the clairvoyant palmist, when I turn 31, I long for a Prince Charming who is fun to be with, kind, and courageous. Like in the movies. Like in romance novels. I escape into daydreams about a soulmate I can grow roots with.  Someone who will really hear me.

Not like my boyfriend Billy. The fire between this bronze Hawaiian surfer and me ignites like dry wood on hot coals, throws a smoke screen over the ways we are wrong for each other—his hatred of the Caucasian conquerors, my fear of abandonment and speaking up.

Living together in his roach-infested, crumbling beach bungalow on the dry west side of Oahu splashes cold water on my romantic notions. Intimidated by his hot temper, my difficulty in speaking up increases. We talk less and argue more. He escapes to the welcoming arms of the wild waves he rides like a sea creature. I am landlocked and alone. Hope for a happily ever after with Billy dissolves like smoke in the trade winds. My mantra becomes, “At least he’s faithful.” More than anything, I want to engage, relate, love and be loved.

The gap widens. Afraid of abandonment, I cling. Magical thinking: he’ll turn into Mr. Right.

I take what solace I can from my Army fire department job where I shoot the breeze with my crusty old veteran dispatching partners and the firemen who stop by the alarm room to “talk story” with single blonde dispatcher me. Later that same year, on a cool October day, I change jobs, transfer away from the smoky, antiquated fire alarm room. By comparison, Whaler Air Force Base’s high-tech, pristine fire station where dispatchers work solo and the boss is supportive feels like a refuge.

In my new job, after the 8 to 5ers drive home, I work evening shifts solo. With the bosses away, the men and I enjoy crackling conversations about love and life. For a while, in this exciting, fast-paced world, I forget about the strained atmosphere waiting for me at home. I don’t know how to fix Billy and me, but I hang on, hoping for better days to come. Hoping for a miracle.

On slow shifts, at twilight, I gaze through a picture window past the huge red airfield trucks at golden pink sunsets. Sometimes, after midnight, I turn off the overheads, turn on my Walkman, and sway to lyrics from the song Both Sides Now: “the dizzy, dancing way you feel when every fairy tale comes real, I’ve looked at love that way.” But the only dizziness I experience stems from occasional bouts with vertigo, an unhappy legacy from a childhood ear infection.

Two years later, my budding friendship with fireman coworker Vic Lazzarini blossoms. It’s partly that he really listens. Partly that we are friends for years before becoming confidants, bonding like hydrogen with oxygen. Mostly that we talk, joke, share, care. I grow closer to Vic than to Billy.

Vic, droll, kind, generous. When I make dispatching mistakes, he teases me. Vic listens, hears me, amuses me with his jokes, thinks I’m funny. I’m a red-breasted Robin and he’s the golden sunrise inspiring me to sing. Vic, happy, self-assured. Outspoken, not like me.

Wanting to be outspoken, too, I practice on Billy. Every day for a week, I tell Billy I want to talk about us. Every day, he says he’s too busy. Today, he looks up from the football game he is watching on TV and says, “Can’t you see I’m busy?”

“How about after the game?” I ask.

“If I told you once, I told you a dozen times. I’m not your typical blabbering haole boy. And I’m not in the mood,” he says, turning his gaze back to the TV screen.

My heart aches. Carole King’s lyric, “I need relating, not solitude,” play in my mind. I blurt out, “Well, I’m not in the mood to live with you any more if you won’t talk to me.”

He is used to a quiet mouse, not this outspoken haole. He tells me not to bang the door on the way out.

My stomach ties itself in knots. I cry and cry, pack my bags, stay at my friend Emily’s apartment until I can find my own place. I tell no one that Billy and I are history.

Only Love, Part 3

Only Love, Part 3

This third installment of my short story, “Only Love” is partly truth (the part that’s taken from my memoir Angel Hero, Murder in Hawai’i, A True Story) and partly fiction.

***

Vic the blue-eyed Adonis considers me safe because I’ve got a boyfriend, so I don’t mention my breakup with Billy. The grapevine has it that Vic runs from women who chase him, so I don’t chase. I can’t risk losing his friendship, which has come to mean more to me than the air I breathe. Instead, I fantasize about this Prince Charming I’ve found after too many frogs, and scheme, and daydream.

I take a chance, casually mention to Vic, “There’s a movie I want to see. Billy’s on Kauai working a construction job, and I don’t want to go alone.” When Vic offers to go with me, I hide my excitement.

On a full-moon Saturday night, Vic and I double date with another fireman and his girlfriend. We meet at Vic’s “styling pad,” drink the Merlot he serves us in frosty glasses, listen to boss sounds on his old Victrola: Chuck Mangione, George Benson. Sitting beside Vic in the cold movie theater, I tremble with nervousness. He drives me home in his red Chevy pickup truck, shakes my hand, and says he had a good time.

“Me, too,” I say, although his nearness and my attraction to him had me shaking like a palm frond in a brisk trade wind the entire time.

He waves, drives away. I walk into my home alone, think, he didn’t try to kiss me, and cry, my eyes stinging. I try to convince myself I’m not his type, sniff, and blow my nose. I tell myself we’re still bosom buddies, and that’s what really matters. But I don’t believe it.

***

During lunch with the firemen in the community room, I learn that Vic’s living with a pretty hairdresser. I remind myself Vic doesn’t know Billy and I are history, so why wouldn’t he be with someone else? Vic and I laugh, talk, swap stories about our significant others; my angry Billy, his manipulative Molly. Afraid Vic will shy away from me like a spooked horse if he knows I’m single now, I am careful not to mention Billy’s absence.

Vic strides into the cold alarm room. His energy warms me. The instrument panels blink red, blue, green, yellow. I blink away tears. “Billy again?” Vic’s normally buoyant voice sounds flat.

I sniffle, nod, swivel in my red secretarial chair to face Vic, tell him about a fight Billy and I had, don’t mention when we fought (before Billy left me.) “Billy yells, ‘Damn haoles ripped off my people!’ I say, ‘I feel your pain.’ He screams, ‘There’s no way you can understand!’ I shut up.”

“Why not tell Billy how that makes you feel?” Vic pulls a straight-back chair close to me. “Pussyfooting around ain’t no good way to live.” He points at his broad chest. “Take me now. I got no problem speaking my mind. Take Molly. I poured a can of oil on the hood of her car.”

“Really?” Fearing angry men, I tremble. But I trust Vic, and force my lips to speak the question on the tip of my mind, “What horrible thing did she do to deserve such harsh treatment?”

Vic raises an eyebrow. “Borrowed a hundred bucks, said she’ll give it back on payday. Payday rolls around. I say, ‘Where’s the green?’ She says, ‘You make more money than me. What’s a hundred bucks?’ I say, ‘Enough to cover what I’ll do to your car if you don’t pay me back.’ She laughs. ‘You’ll get over it.’”

“Wow. I wonder why Molly thought you’d roll over if she worked you like that.”

He frowns. “She pissed me off.”

“She ought to apologize, promise not to break a promise again.” I think, Molly’s a fool to do something like that to a man she cares about.

He nods. “Yep, that’s what she ought to do. That’s what you’d do. Am I right, Liz? Apologize if you did wrong?”

I nod, flattered. “Still, I’m surprised at you, that you’d do such a thing.”

“Yeah?” He rubs his chin, looks embarrassed.

I am surprised, delighted. Vic listens to me!

Vic pauses, thinks about it, purses his lips, says, “You’re right. It was beneath me to do that. And not fair to Molly. But she lied, tried to take advantage of me.”

“That was wrong of her.”

Happiness rises in me like fizzy champagne. Vic hears me! Billy didn’t hear me. Oh, it feels so good to be heard. Maybe my dream will come true.

But Vic’s with Molly.

Only Love, Part 4

Only Love, Part 4

Liz and Vic are still “talking story” about Vic’s conflict with Molly. Liz longs to speak her truth, but that old Devil fear squelches her voice (just like He did in my true crime romance memoir, Angel Hero, Murder in Hawai’i, A True Story.)

 

“Getting even doesn’t sound like you, Vic. It sounds more like something Billy would do.”

“Oh?” Vic raises an eyebrow. “Like, how?”

Awareness hits me like a punch to the heart, shoves me off my friendship boulder. I slide down the slippery rock face into the quicksand of longing to go deeper with Vic. Oh god, I’m in deep kimchee.

I scramble for something to say: “Billy yells when he thinks someone disrespects him. When it’s the boss, Billy gets fired. Then he’s broke, and I lend him money until the next job. He tries to pay me back, but…you got upset about a hundred bucks? Try two grand.”

I don’t realize I’m talking loudly until Vic says softly, “You all riled up?” He looks at me funny.

I nod, ashamed to have enabled Billy for so long. “Last month, he got fired again. I spent hours writing his resume.”

“Good of you to help your old man.” Vic rubs his chin. “But…do you really want to keep on like this?”

“No,” pops out of me. Be cool, I think. “He sold his car last month or I could’ve tried the oil thing. Would’ve gotten his attention. Would’ve gotten me killed, too.”

Vic laughs. “You’re right about the oil thing being immature. I’ll apologize to Molly, clean up her car.”

“Is it hard to clean oil off metal?”

“Nah.” Vic shrugs. “Just takes dish soap and elbow grease. I’ll try to get my cash back before I…” he pauses.

“Before you clean up her car?”

He shakes his head, looks at me for a long moment and says, “Before I cut her loose.”

I stare at him, stunned. Huh? Really? Did I hear you right? I offer up a silent prayer, Oh Lord, let him cut.

Only Love, Part 5

Only Love, Part 5

Here’s the final episode of my short story “Only Love.” Although the ending’s fictional, under better circumstances, it could have been, should have been what happened.

*****

Hesitantly, Vic says, “Uh…if you ever need it…,” he pats his shoulder, “…my shoulder is…well, it’s strong enough for you to lean on.”

“Thanks.” I swallow hard, long to lean, fantasize about marrying him.

He stands. “But now I’ve got to put it to the wheel, so…” He starts a slow mosey toward the door, “…catch you later.”

I think don’t go, squelch it, can’t squelch the “wait” that slips through my lips.

He turns around, raises an eyebrow, and stares at me with those deep blue eyes.

I am speechless. I look at him standing tall and strong, tanned laugh lines surrounding his bright blue eyes, and want him to stay more than I’ve ever wanted anything. Be careful, a voice inside me cautions, you’ll scare him away. A second voice counters, Quit pussyfooting around. Speak up! I tremble, sweat, vacillate, plead, God, let me be a tiger, not a kitten. I stammer, “It’s just….” I pause, “I…I…forgot to tell you…” Oh no! Do I dare tell him about Billy? Will he be angry that I held out on him?

He cocks his head. His voice low, he says slowly, “You forgot…?”

My mouth opens, closes. My heart pounds loudly. Defenseless, I stare at him, love him, feel my face burn, force myself to speak, “Please…listen…I’ve got a secret…you’re the one…I want to tell…you…”

One long stride takes him close enough to touch me but he doesn’t, he just says softly, “Tell me. I’ll listen. That’s what you want, isn’t it? Someone who listens?”

I nod. For a while, I am lost in those blue eyes. Then, “It feels so good to be heard,” flows out of me. Hello, voice of the tiger! Tears mist my eyes. “The secret is…is…Billy…and I…split up…I…tried to talk to him but…”

Vic raises an eyebrow and strokes his chin. A slow smile spreads across his face. “So…you were holding out about Billy?”

I stare at him, can’t speak, can only nod.

“If I hadn’t told you about Molly, would you have told me about…?”

“Billy? No,” I whisper.

He reaches over and touches my face, his big hand electric against my cheek. I burn like a bonfire beneath his touch, and press my small hand against his large one.

Vic’s smile widens. He cradles my face between his warm, wide hands, tilts my chin up, asks, “You free tomorrow night, around six?”

My heart threatens to bounce out of my chest. I nod, whisper, “Yes. But…but six thirty would be better.”

A smile punches dimples in his cheeks and chin. “I like a woman who speaks her mind. I’ll pick you up at 6:30 then.”

“Cool,” I croak. Can this really be happening?

“Dates are like love.” He winks. “Better the second time around.”

Did he really say that? I am floating. He adds, “I was leaving, wasn’t I?”

I think I nod. He resumes his cool dude strut to the door. “Look, I’m a styling dude!”

“Yes you are.” I am exhilarated that he performs for me. I watch and wave as he moseys through the door, out of the room, across the open bay garage to his rapid-response red pickup truck.

That night, I stare at the crescent moon above the pounding surf, drift into sleep after midnight. I dream Vic gives me back my life, carries me over the threshold, loves me more than I can imagine. I wake up remembering Aurora’s shining aquamarine eyes and feeling the warmth of her hand on mine.

THE END

Dr. Christopher T. Gregory, Chiropractor Extraordinaire, is Back!

Dr. Christopher T. Gregory, Chiropractor Extraordinaire, is Back!

Recently, I was delighted to discover that Dr. Christopher Gregory, the only chiropractor I have gone to for the past 27 years except for a few adjustments from his brother Charles, is back in practice at his Piikoi office after recovering from a long illness. Now adjusting on Tues, Thurs and Saturday afternoons, Dr. Chris’s adjustments are better than ever. A few weeks ago, he fixed my low back in one adjustment. Only for severe conditions does it take him more than two or three adjustments. I consider him, “The Doc Who Always Gets It Right.”

Not only is he a spot-on adjuster, he has a personable and kind bedside manner. I relax the moment he says, “Lie face down on the table” because I know, when I get up, I’ll be in a lot better shape than when I lay down. He works his magic by putting these funny little half shoes on with which he leg measures, then he makes marks with a soft pencil on my back to indicate the location and direction of the spots he will press to adjust me (please excuse me if I don’t have the correct name for the technical details.) He is definitely not a snap and crack sort of chiropractor. He definitely is a chiropractor who will fix your issue with the minimum number of adjustments rather than one who tries to keep you coming back many times.

Dr. Chris uses the powerful D.N.F.T. technique to good effect (check out this article about him in Midweek at

http://archives.midweek.com/content/columns/doctorinthehouse_article/aligning_nerve_energy_flow/

I am so grateful he’s recovered and can adjust again. Lucky for his patients Dr. Chris is BACK! If his office phone is too busy, he told me I could email his secretary at gibsonp002@hawaii.rr.com to schedule an adjustment.

Honoring our Heroes on Memorial Day

Honoring our Heroes on Memorial Day

The National Memorial Day Concert is an American tradition honoring the military service of our men and women in uniform, their families, and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Did you watch the 90-minute concert live on Sunday, May 28th, 8:00 p.m. ET?

If you missed it, it’s not too late to watch the video at http://www.pbs.org/national-memorial-day-concert/watch-2017-show-live/  The show is well worth watching, with songs and stories and film clips that will bring tears to your eyes and touch your heart.

You’ll hear such stellar performers as Russell Watson singing “You Raise Me Up,” Renee Fleming singing “The Wind Beneath My Wings,” Vanessa Williams singing “Let There Be Peace On Earth,” and Christopher Jackson singing “America the Beautiful.” John Ondrasik, better known as Five for Fighting, sings “All For One,” Scotty McCreery sings “The Dash.” Auli’i Cravalho (“Moana”) also sings beautifully.

Hosted by Joe Mantegna and Laurence Fishburne, this year’s impressive lineup also includes General Colin Powell, Gary Sinise, John Ortiz, and the National Symphony Orchestra.

Some takeaways from the speakers:  Soldiers fight for what they believe in. The wounds of war are painful and disabling, and our soldiers and their families have sacrificed so much. To a disabled person, even just a smile or holding the door for them means a great deal. The stories I heard of courage and family support brought tears to my eyes. Seriously wounded folks who prayed every day. One speaker who’d had 70 surgeries from war injuries said, “With faith and my family, I’m pushing hard. We don’t see the disabilities any more, we see the possibilities.” Music and neuro-therapy combined hold great promise for healing.

To all of you who have so proudly served our country, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You lift me up. You are the wind beneath my wings. Because of you, I safely rest. God is nigh.

Because, as one speaker eloquently put it, sharing helps all of us heal, I want to share a song I’ve written to honor a hero. So I am posting the Angel Hero song – lyrics by me, music by talented Honolulu musician John Valentine (uncle of Bruno Mars), demo by Azalea Studios in Nashville. I want to add it to your Memorial Day musical mix because the song reflects the theme of Memorial Day so well – to honor and remember the freedom-loving heroes who “bravely fought the devil in his den.” Who died protecting us. As is stated in John 15:13: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Although the lyrics were originally written to honor a (firefighter) hero who lost his life protecting others, they apply equally to our deep-hearted soldier heroes.

If you’d like to take a listen to Angel Hero, here’s a link to the song at CD Baby:  https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/lizbethhartz

Or listen to a clip of the song at the Kwill Books website, which plays on the Angel Hero book trailer at:

http://www.kwillbooks.com/lizbeth-hartz/

 

ANGEL HERO

FREEDOM LOVER, YOU LEFT THIS LIFE A HERO

YOU BRAVELY FOUGHT THE DEVIL IN HIS DEN

I HONOR YOU, I’M HURTING TOO,

MY HOPE DIED WITH YOU TIL YOU ROSE AGAIN

AT DAWN I SOMETIMES FEEL YOUR SPIRIT KISS

YOUR ANGEL TOUCH TURNS SORROW INTO BLISS

CHORUS

ANGEL HERO, ABOVE THE SAPPHIRE SKY

YOUR TRUE LOVE GIVES ME THE WINGS TO FLY

THROUGH THE DARKEST NIGHT INTO YOUR ARMS AGAIN

STILL MY KNIGHT IN ARMOR, NOW WITH ANGEL WINGS

SHINE YOUR HIGHER LOVE ON ME AND HEAR ME SING

ANGEL HERO, ANGEL HERO, KISSING YOU IN MY DREAMS

IT’S WRITTEN THAT NO MAN HAS GREATER LOVE

THAN HE WHO LAYS HIS LIFE DOWN FOR A FRIEND

I THANK THE LORD YOUR SPIRIT SOARED

YOUR FINAL THOUGHT WAS WANTING JUST TO GIVE

YOU CONQUERED NIGHT TO SHINE IN DAWN’S GOLDEN BLUSH

YOU HEAL ME WITH YOUR AWESOME HOLY TOUCH

REPEAT CHORUS

MISSING YOU, MISSING YOU,

NO ONE CAN TAKE YOUR PLACE

WANTING YOU, WANTING YOU,

DREAMING WE STILL EMBRACE

ANGEL HERO, ANGEL HERO

YOUR LOVE STILL LIGHTS MY WAY

Hear ye! Hear ye! A Mystery Anthology Is Born!

Hear ye! Hear ye! A Mystery Anthology Is Born!

DARK PARADISE, Mysteries in the Land of Aloha, a compilation of 17 Hawaiian mystery short stories (one of them my short story Palm It Off On Murder), has been in the planning stages for two years. I’m thrilled to announce that, on Monday, April 3, the Facebook page DARK PARADISE goes live. Editor of the anthology, author Gail Baugniet, has arranged for a “Cover Reveal” on their Facebook page for this exciting new mystery anthology.

The anthology, with a Foreword by best-selling author Toby Neal, will be released in trade book and e-book formats at Amazon.com the second week of April, 2017. Each of the 17 mystery short stories is set in Hawai’i and all offer unique perspectives about living in Paradise (here’s a spoiler from Gail: it’s not all rainbows and Mai Tais!)

Plan to visit us on Facebook, Monday, April 3. Along with the cover reveal, we will share some of the short story plotlines, details about the authors, and tidbits of writing information we’ve picked up along the way.

Each participant blogging today has offered to reveal a tidbit about their short story . . . without giving away the plot. You can visit each site listed below to get a sneak peek at what is lurking behind the fabulous DARK PARADISE cover!

***************************************************

Here’s my tidbit; the question posed by my mystery short story Palm It Off On Murder:

What happens when left-brained chiropractor Barry and his right-brained palmist girlfriend Aurora team up in a whole-hearted effort to catch a killer?

A little background: In 2016, my true-crime/romance memoir Angel Hero, Murder in Hawai’i, A True Story, was published by Kwill Books (my book trailer, accompanied by my song Angel Hero, plays at http://www.kwillbooks.com/lizbeth-hartz.) I’m proud to say I kept my promise to the true life hero, Vic, to tell his story or die trying.

Now, in this short story, I am showcasing a different hero, my fiancé Barry. Palm It Off On Murder is my first published mystery short story. In real life, Barry expertly fixes his patients’ backs, often in one adjustment. He truly is “The Doc Who Always Gets It Right”.

Lizbeth, who adopts the palmistry name Aurora in my story, believes love is stronger than death, and hands can reveal truths hidden from the conscious mind. Somehow Lizzy turned out to be somewhat like me. As my mama used to say, the fruit doesn’t fall very far from the tree.

*****************************************************

A talented group of local authors have written short stories for Dark Paradise, including Laurie Hanan, Gail M. Baugniet, A.J. Llewellyn, Bob Newell, Alain Gunn, Gay Coburn Gale, Rosemary and Larry Mild, Michael Little, Doris Chu, D.W. Scott, David W. Jones, Shauna Jones, D.V. Whytes, Hannah Cheng, and Carol Catanzariti.

Here’s a list of some of their websites:

Gail M Baugniet http://gail-baugniet.blogspot.com
Laurie Hanan http://www.lauriehanan.space/blog/
David W. Jones http://dancingtreefrog.com/
D.V. Whytes http://www.whyteontherock.info/
Toby Neal https://www.facebook.com/LeiCrimeSeries/
D.S. Scott https://www.facebook.com/Sulfur-Silk-D-S-Scott-Writer-616324408427998/
A.J. Llewellyn http://www.ajllewellyn.com/site/blog/

A is for the Astrological Connection of Palmistry and the Planets #AtoZApril2017Challenge

A is for the Astrological Connection of Palmistry and the Planets #AtoZApril2017Challenge

Interested in palmistry? If you are, you’ll notice many astrological terms used therein, such as Mounts of Venus, Jupiter, and Mercury, Line of Mars, etc.  Why, you ask? Because palmistry and astrology have been linked for centuries. Each finger is associated with a planet. For example, the base of the thumb is associated with Venus, the outer edge of the palm with the moon.

(For myself, I became interested in palmistry when I read a man’s hand who had murderer’s thumbs. And he later murdered his friend. But that’s another story. The story, actually, of my book Angel Hero, Murder in Hawai’i, A True Story. But I digress.)

Originally, it was thought that the planets influenced the makeup of the hands. The traditional names of the various parts of a hand are linked to the seven visible planets—the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. However, palmistry can be understood without knowing anything about astrology.

The Public and Private Hand

Take a ruler or a pen and lay it down either hand, from between the two middle fingers down to the wrist. The side of the hand that includes the thumb concerns public life, so it has an “Ascendant” and “Midheaven” vibration to it, like in Astrology. The other side of the hand connects more closely to relationships and home life, having a “Descendant” and “Imum Coeli” (bottom of the sky) feel to it.

The Jupiter, Saturn, Sun, and Mercury Sections

In the diagram above, you can see that the index, two middle fingers, and little finger (and the mounts below them) are designated Jupiter, Saturn, Sun and Mercury, in that order.

 

Thanks for reading my post! Check back tomorrow for the letter B: A Brief History of Palmistry.

 

B is for a Brief History of Palmistry, #AtoZAprilChallenge

B is for a Brief History of Palmistry, #AtoZAprilChallenge

The art of palmistry, aka palm reading, hand reading, chirology or chiromancy—also spelled cheiromancy  from Greek kheir (“hand”)—has to do with understanding character and foretelling the future through studying the palm. Palmistry is practiced all over the world, with as many different variations as there are cultures.

There are many different interpretations of various lines and features across palmistry schools. These contradictions and lack of scientific evidence that palmistry’s predictions are accurate have a lot to do with academics’ perception of palmistry as a pseudoscience.

Ancient palmistry

The practice of palmistry is widespread in India, Tibet, China, Persia, Sumeria, ancient Israel and Babylonia.

According to Wikipedia, the acupuncturist Yoshiaki Omura discovered palmistry has its roots in Hindu astrology, the Chinese I Ching, and Gypsy fortune tellers. Thousands of years ago, the Hindu sage Valmiki wrote a book titled The Teachings of Valmiki Maharshi on Male Palmistry.

From India palmistry spread to China, Tibet, Egypt, Persia and Greece. During the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church actively suppressed palmistry, calling it pagan superstition.

Modern palmistry

Cheiroy.jpg
Cheiro was an influential supporter of palmistry during the late 1800’s.

In 1839, Captain Casimir Stanislas D’Arpentigny’s publication La Chirognomie kicked off a revival of interest in palmistry. In 1889, Katharine St. Hill founded the Chirological Society of Great Britain to advance palmistry and to prevent charlatans from abusing the art. In 1897, Edgar de Valcourt-Vermont (Comte de St Germain) founded the American Chirological Society.

The most influential person in the modern palmistry movement was Irish William John Warner, known by the nickname Cheiro. After studying under gurus in India, he set up a palmistry practice in London and enjoyed a wide following of famous clients from around the world, including famous celebrities like Mark Twain, Sarah Bernhardt, Mata Hari, Oscar Wilde, Grover Cleveland, Thomas Edison, the Prince of Wales, and Joseph Chamberlain. So popular was Cheiro as a “society palmist” that even those who were not believers in the occult had their hands read by him. The skeptical Mark Twain wrote in Cheiro’s visitor’s book that he had “…exposed my character to me with humiliating accuracy.”

(More about Cheiro in tomorrow’s blog post: C is for Cheiro and the Church.)

 

 

C is for Cheiro and the Church #A to Z April 2017 Challenge

C is for Cheiro and the Church #A to Z April 2017 Challenge

William John Warner, popularly known as Cheiro (derived from the word cheiromancy, meaning palmistry) lived from November 1, 1866 – October 8, 1936. He was an Irish astrologer and colorful occult figure of the early 20th century. A self-described clairvoyant who taught palmistry, astrology, and Chaldean numerology, he was celebrated for using these forms of divination to make personal predictions for famous clients and to foresee world events.

Born in a village outside Dublin, Ireland, Cheiro acquired his expertise in India. As a teenager, he traveled to the Bombay port of Apollo Bunder. There he met his Guru, an Indian Brahmin, who permitted him to learn from an ancient book that contained many studies on hands. After studying thoroughly for two years, he returned to London and started his career as a palmist.

Widely followed by famous European and American clients during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Cheiro read palms and told the fortunes of numerous famous celebrities. So popular was Cheiro as a “society palmist” that even those who were not believers in the occult had their hands read by him. Of the Prince of Wales, he wrote that “I would not be surprised if he did not give up everything, including his right to be crowned, for the woman he loved.” Cheiro also predicted the Jews would return to Palestine and the country would again be called Israel.

The book Titanic’s Last Secrets includes a detailed account of one of Cheiro’s palm readings with William Pirrie, chairman of Harland and Wolf, builders of the Titanic. Cheiro predicted that he would soon be in a fight for his life, talking about the battle surrounding the Titanic sinking.

Cheiro ran up against the Church during a period when its powers were growing and the early Fathers were jealous of the influence of this old-world science. Palmistry was persecuted by this early Church and convicted of being the offspring of “pagans and heathens” without even being given a trial. Denounced as sorcery and witchcraft, palmistry was said to be firmly under the devil’s grasp.  The result was that the study was outlawed, and fell into the hands of vagrants, tramps, and gypsies. In spite of this persecution, almost the first book ever printed was a work on Palmistry, Die Kunst Ciromantia, in Augsburg in 1475. Palmistry is older than any other system in the world.

In the original Hebrew of the Book of Job (chap. xxxvii., ver. 7), we find these significant words: “God caused signs or seals on the hands of all the sons of men, that the sons of men might know their works.”

As the student of anatomy can build up the entire system from the examination of a single bone, so may a person by a careful study of an important member of the body such as the hand, apart from anything superstitious or even mystical, build up the entire action of the system and trace every effect back to its cause.

Today the science of the present is coming to the rescue of the so-called superstition of the past. Scientists are slowly sweeping aside prejudice and beginning to study occult questions. Perhaps the “whys and wherefores” of such things may one of these days be as easily explained as are those wireless waves of electricity that carry messages from land to land.

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