I once had a psychic tell me with intense gravitas and conviction that your palms do not lie.

And so, on a blustery Thursday night, I braved the winter cold and went to see Paris Debono of The Fortune Teller in Sydney’s trendy Surry Hills.

I went in with one goal: to equip myself with the three basic palm reading techniques anyone, from the woo-woo-literate to the cynical, can use.

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Paris’ maroon-drenched, street-facing studio is filled with illustrations of palms and mysterious symbols, tarot cards are strewn across his round table.

The room is gently scented with incense and the light seems to be absorbed by the red cloth curtains. With 29 years of experience, Paris is well-versed in the practice of palmistry, as well as tarot card reading, astrology, numerology and gypsy card reading.

“Palmistry is the study of the hand. The lines, the mounds, fingers, skin tones and nails – pretty much everything,” explains Paris.

“Normally we can tell a lot about a person’s personality, their strengths, their weaknesses from their palm. It tells you about their character and is good for identifying archetypes.

“However palmistry is not good at predicting when things are going to happen. For example, I can’t tell on your palm if you’re going to move house, change jobs or get a promotion. I can tell you the type of work you’d like and the projection of your success and relationships, but I can’t tell you small details from the palm. That’s where things like astrology and tarot cards come in.”

Taking my right palm (Western palm reading uses a person’s dominant hand, or both if you’re ambidextrous), Paris shares the subtle details anyone can pick up from their hands.

This is what he had to say.

1. Know the shape of your hand.

Depending on the appearance of your hand and fingers, Paris says the majority of people fall into these five hand shapes:

Earth hand

Earth hands have very square and wide hands with squared-off fingers which look sturdy and strong in appearance.

“People that are physical and prefer to use their hands doing manual manual, trade and physical jobs generally have square or earth hands,” says Paris.