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Palm reading, also known as palmistry and chiromancy, is the attempt to read the lines in a person’s palm and thereby determine life events, habits, personality traits and fortune, among other things. Scripture is clear that palm reading is wrong. Seeking advice from mediums, necromancers and fortune-tellers is forbidden.

While palm reading isn’t directly mentioned in the Bible, it was specifically forbidden by the Mosaic Law. Leviticus 19:31 addresses this issue: “Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 19:26 says, “You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it. You shall not interpret omens or tell fortunes.” Also, Leviticus 20:6 says, “I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people.”

Other passages in the Bible address the issue with fortune tellers, including Deuteronomy 18:12 which says that consulting mediums or channeling the dead is detestable. We can see from Scripture that God sees these practices as not only sinful, but also without benefit. With the increased popularity of mediums, particularly in entertainment, many people including Christians think that consulting them comes with no real risk, especially if it’s just entertainment. However, seeking palm readers is problematic for a number of reasons. Here are four facts Christians should know about palm reading.

Palm reading is a Pagan practice.

Divination, the practice of seeking knowledge of the future or the unknown by supernatural means was condemned by the prophets. Jeremiah 27:9 addresses this saying, “So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your fortune-tellers, or your sorcerers, who are saying to you, ‘You shall not serve the king of Babylon.’" Such occult practices were very common among the pagan nations of the ancient world. As a result, in part of these detestable practices, God threw out the people of Canaan and replaced them with the Israelites. Deuteronomy 18:12 says, “For whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD. And because of these abominations the LORD your God is driving them out before you.”

Seeking a palm reader is a form of idolatry.

God calls on us to seek answers to our questions from Him, not from palm readers and other psychics and mediums. Channeling or praying to anyone outside of God is idolatry. Idolatry, or the worship of false idols is extremely dangerous because it creates a space where we choose possessions, desires and works of the flesh over God. While the Word warns us of these idols, many of us aren’t even aware we’re worshiping them. Luckily, in this case, the Bible is clear on this matter. We should not be seeking them out. If we choose to, we are choosing to believe in a force outside of God.

There are multiple examples of channeling in the Bible.

One example of channeling in the Bible we see is with Saul, a powerful king of Israel. He had finally reached his big separation point from God when he involved himself in channeling. When God didn’t provide Saul with the answers he wanted, he turned to a medium instead. In Samuel 28:6-20, Saul asks a psychic to summon the spirit of the prophet Samuel. His error is mentioned later in 1 Chronicles 10:13-14, which stresses that Saul’s involvement in witchcraft was wrong: “He [Saul] was unfaithful to the Lord, he did not keep the word of the Lord, and even consulted a medium for guidance, and did not inquire of the Lord.”

The apostle Paul was once also met with a psychic medium. Luke records what happened to him, Paul, and Silas in the pagan city of Philippi: "Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, 'These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.' And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, 'I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.' And he came out that very hour. But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities” (Acts 16:16-19).

It is a deceptive practice.

First, there is no evidence that palm reading works. Those who seek palm readers are generally open to the vague interpretations of the palm readers. When a person opens themselves up to these false teachings, they often open themselves up to deception. Many palm readers are good at speaking in generalities and reading the body language and emotional cues of a person in order to draw the conclusions they do. There are also those who believe in the practice who aren’t setting out to deceive but are being used by the enemy’s dark forces to deceive others.