There are lots of different hypotheses about what fingerprints could mean. And lots of different interpretations of these different theories too.
Some medical researchers relate the differences in pattern to chemical conditions in the womb. However, identical twins, with identical DNA, who experienced identical womb chemistry, surprisingly do NOT have identical fingerprints.
Prior to Richard Unger, nearly all palmistry interpretations of fingerprints based their work on Noel Jaquin’s work which correlates types of fingerprints with personality characteristics. The exception is Richard Unger’s LifePrints system which proposes a pattern linked to who we are beyond personality, in other words, our soul psychology.
In this article it is not my intention to compare different systems. It is an attempt to end misconceptions about what LifePrints is exploring and why so many people find it useful on so many different levels.
Fingerprints start forming once the volar pads that contain them are formed, 13 weeks after conception. They are completely formed by 21 weeks.
How can they inform us?
It helps to think of fingerprints as patterns in nature. Just as wind leaves a pattern in sand, and we can study the sand patterns to determine, for example, which direction the wind blew from and how hard, so too our fingerprints are evidence of an energetic force beyond and preceding our body, personality and life experiences.
On the left there’s a chart from early fingerprint researchers attempting to classify fingerprints according to pattern intensity. This chart is useful because it helps us get a quick glimpse of what we are trying to measure – variations in pattern intensity. At the bottom of the chart, is the arch fingerprint pattern. This fingerprint pattern has the lowest pattern intensity. At the top, is the whorl, with maximum pattern intensity.
In the LifePrints system, rather than focusing on exact finger print type we are looking instead for differences in pattern intensity across the 10 fingerprints (and also in the palm). More importantly, we are looking for which finger/s have the lowest pattern intensity, and which fingers have the highest intensity. Therefore questions such as, “is that a whorl or is that a peacock?” are not really the issue in this system. We are looking more for differences (pattern variation) and we are trying to identify the location of the highs and the lows. (Which specific finger/s?) Therefore, a more appropriate question to ask is “How does one fingerprint look compared to the other fingerprints?” Are they all the same or is there a variation? Which are more complex and which are less? And, if so, where are these fingerprints located? Pattern perfection is another factor. If all 10 prints are the same type type, for example, all 10 prints are whorls, then the question becomes, is one fingerprint more dominant or more central on the pad or more perfect in form or less so than the others? Again, on which specific finger is this “higher” or “lower” ranked print located?
Why is location important? Instead of exploring personality characteristics, the LifePrints system explores our hidden drives or soul psychology: what issues or life themes are we exploring? What are the theme extremes or polarities that drive us?
Greek and Roman mythology has explored these themes over the millennia, and, more importantly, these mythological archetypes are represented on the hand. For example, the index finger refers to Jupiter/Zeus themes (power themes), the middle finger Saturn/Cronus themes (value), the ring finger Apollo themes (issues related to being seen) and the little finger relates to finger Mercury/Hermes themes (communication).
Roughly translated, here is an overview of the major life themes we are exploring according to the pattern intensity of our fingerprints:
and more specifically
This article is just a very rough and brief guideline by me to help people understand that the LifePrints system is looking at life themes and core issues that we are driven to explore rather than at personality characteristics. Fingerprints answer soul psychology questions such as: What issues drive me? What makes me feel deeply fulfilled? (life purpose) or what issues trigger me or what causes me to contract? (Life Lesson). Knowing this (being conscious of what causes you to lose energy/contract, and conscious of when this is happening (how this feels in your body and how let go of contracting thoughts) enables people to make rapid progress in personal development. This is a completely separate variable to personality. To reiterate, unlike other fingerprint systems, the Lifeprints system does not attempt to determine personality characteristics from fingerprints, instead hand shape is used an extremely reliable indicator of personality.
For a fuller understanding of this system, take a professional course in it. For an overview, read Richard Unger‘s book LifePrints: decoding your Life Purpose from your Fingerprints
(available through your local bookstore or online.) 280 pages, or download the more complete version, +500 pages LifePrints Deluxe. which is more than 200 pages longer and includes an appendix covering Richard’s thoughts on other systems.
Free appendix/ Reference notes
Here is a 20 page extract from LifePrints Deluxe Appendix II: Fingerprint History and Research freely accessible here with permission from Richard Unger.
The + 500 page book that this appendix comes from can be purchased as an electronic download. (It is not available in printed format.) LifePrints Deluxe
More recent material, advanced perspectives on the life purpose developmental stages, not covered in the book are accessible through advanced IIHA courses or through Earth School and Earthuni interviews over the last 5 years.
For example The “39 Steps” to living on purpose and numerous other soul tracking classes.
Richard’s work is of huge significance to psychologists and other mental health practitioners because it helps them become conscious of what triggers a person/what mental program they are running. Therefore, instead of labeling a behavior, and thereby reinforcing it, they can simply identify it as something to master rather than fix. It can’t be fixed because there is nothing to fix. Just as you can’t fix a computer program by running the same program over and over. The solution is not to fix the program but to learn how to use the program intelligently. In other words, in this case, to learn self mastery.
If you would like to study this system seriously, take a 3 day professional course, with me in person or with other genuinely certified teachers of this system, through the International Institute of hand Analysis or through associated teachers who each add their own layer of interpretation.
If you would prefer to learn this system online, at your own pace, through a new course that explores this system from a perspective of mindfulness and self mastery, here is an instant access course that takes you from beginner to exploring advanced principles through a series of engaging video classes.