For my birthday last year I did something I thought Iâ€™d never do.
I had my palm read.
Now, I donâ€™t really believe in psychics, but when my friends insisted, I decided â€œwhat the hell,â€ and did it.
In the past, I would smile and shake my head when people told me how accurate the predictions were, but I was still skeptical.
The palm reader, Rebecca Henderson, came highly regarded in her craft of chiromancy. So, I decided to go in with an open mind and remember to take everything with a grain of salt.
I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by the whole experience. I left with an appreciation of Rebeccaâ€™s talent and her deep love of her work.
I caught up with Rebecca and asked her to share her experiences as a palm reader.
Lori Kommor:When and how did you know that you had a â€œgiftâ€ to read someoneâ€™s past and future by looking at their hands?
Rebecca Henderson: When I was eleven years old and began to imitate a palm reader at my elementary school fair.
She must have been someoneâ€™s mother dressed as a Gypsy, seated in an army surplus pup tent in the middle of the hallway at Longfellow School on Duker Avenue in the Highlands. Itâ€™s now the DePaul School.Â She captured my imagination and I wanted to do what she did and look like her.
So I began my favorite game, which was the gypsy.Â I dressed up and made tents at our yard carnivals and began doing what I imagined she did.
She held my hand and made it special to notice the lines in the palms of my hands.Â She touched and held my hands respectfully and spoke to me about the lines as if they meant something. The touch and gaze of attention led me to understand how rich the term â€œpay attentionâ€ is.
It only cost a quarter that day. She was a rich gypsy with a well of attention for me as a little girl.
I am now very rich with Â attention and each time I hold someoneâ€™s hand I celebrate that beautiful woman who gave me my first entrance to the world of curiosity and the art of holding hands and palm reading.
I imitated her, and peopleâ€™s mothers at yard carnivals and slumber parties would say that I was telling the truth.Â How did you know what they would say?
I thought I had just let it fall from my mouth like a dream or a story.
Later I went to the library and would check out every book i could find on palm reading.
I began to look for teachers and now 48 years later I have had wonderful teachers from around the world and read 30,000 palms in 10 different countries.
L.K.: Prominent socialite and a force in thoroughbred racing Marylou Whitney hosted countless celebrity-filled Derby parties. You where hired to read palms for more than 25 years. Who are some of the famous guest palms that you read?
R.H.: Henry Kissinger; Esther Williams; Bruce Davidson (Olympic Equestrian event champion); Captain Mark Phillips; Rock Hudson; Binker Hunt; Anita Madden; Jenny Craig; John Wayneâ€™s son; Beverly Sils; Veronique Peck; Joan Rivers; William F. Buckley Jr.; Jimmy Dean; Barbara Walters; Mrs. Happy Chandler; Louis Nunn; The Governor of West Virginia; Seth Hancock; Bull Hancock; Penny Cherney; C.V. Whitney, Stephen Irwin and many others
L.K.: Would you refer to yourself as a psychic?
R.H.: Yes I would call myself a psychic as well as a trained Cheirologist (Palm Reader), playwright, artist and actress.
I just completed my Medicine dance two-studio art installation in Costa Rica, and my play, Frogâ€™s Milk Pump Works, co-written with Heidi Saunders, was just produced at the Rudyard Kipling. It played to sold out Houses in Louisville. Frogâ€™s Milk Pump Works was directed by Keith McGill. The Bluegrass Gypsy became a character within the play. I played The Bluegrass Gypsy.
I also have a one woman Show of Blue Grass Gypsy stories called Tales of the Bluegrass Gypsy, so yes, I am a psychic. I am a mystic and a poet.
L.K.: Youâ€™ve read more than 30,000 palms in 10 different countries. Is it really like reading different faces? Could you recognize the same palm twice?
R.H.: I donâ€™t read faces and yet the hands are connected to the whole body so every little move we make is magic when we are together reading palms.
We are facing each other and paying attention to the whole field of awareness, guided by the focus of the map in the hands.
Hands are very surprising. The hands are not as guarded as the faces and I am trained to see clearly the cues in the hands. We can cut to the essential and bypass a lot of veils of cultural layers.
Ask Jacque Parsley, Louisville artist, about my recognizing the same palm twice.
She was at a Halloween party in a costume covered from head to foot except for her hands.
She did not speak.Â I looked at her hands and knew it was Jacque.Â It seems I hardly ever forget a palm once I have read it.
The palms are so beautiful. I may forget a face or lose the name, but I see the palm and the moment of reading streams back in a beautiful living memory light.
L.K.: Iâ€™ve heard the term â€œlife lineâ€ when someoneâ€™s palm is being read. Explain what the â€œlife lineâ€ means to you?
R.H.: The life line, to me, indicates the strength of a physical energy connection to the life of the individual.
An earth line, it rings around the thumb. All of the lines change. The life line is like a mighty Mississippi River in the palm of the hand. I have seen so many life lines change, grow, strengthen and repair themselves.
L.K.: What is the greatest news youâ€™ve been able to tell someone from reading his or her palm?
R.H: When Robin Leech, filming â€œLife Styles of the Rich and Famousâ€ at the Whitney Derby Party, aimed his camera at my Pink Plastic Zephyra May Miller created dress, I spun around in the rainbow cape, as Seth Hancock asked â€œRebecca, who will win the Kentucky Derby tomorrow?â€
I saw the image of a black horse with yellow stars and said out loud, â€œThe blackest horse with the yellow silks will win the Kentucky Derby tomorrow!â€
I always, on purpose, do not look at the racing form before going to the party.Â Seth Hancock replied, â€œWell I hope so, thatâ€™s my horse. Sunday Silence.â€
L.K.: Explain the term â€œpalm reading is the art of holding hands and telling stories?â€
R.H.: The art of holding hands and telling a story. Story telling is an art form of giving and receiving. In story telling sometimes a teller will invoke the story with â€œthe call.â€
A story, you can call up a form to share, to let go and meet again with a continuation and always a new old tale.
I think that palm reading is this magic for me. Each hand is a unique story. I tell a tale that I see like reading the story of a map of a country I have never been to before.