Category: Other spiritually gifted people
William John Warner, popularly known as Cheiro (November 1, 1866 – October 8, 1936), was an Irish astrologer and palm reader, author and clairvoyant, who also taught Chaldean numerology. Cheiro was born in a village outside Dublin.
The name Cheiro, derives from the word cheiromancy, meaning palmistry. He later also took the name Count Louis Hamon (or Count Leigh de Hamong) as a form of stage and pen name. He wrote numerous books on these subjects, taught palmistry, astrology, and Chaldean numerology and made personal predictions for famous clients and to foresee world events.
We have generally made it a policy on this site not to include people who made money from this area as a profession, however, Cheiro had a wide following of famous European and American clients during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, who appeared to be very ready to vouch for his sincerity.
He read the palms and told the fortunes of celebrities like Mark Twain, W. T. Stead, Sarah Bernhardt, Mata Hari, Oscar Wilde, Grover Cleveland, Thomas Edison, the Prince of Wales, General Kitchener, William Ewart Gladstone, and Joseph Chamberlain!
He documented his sittings with these clients by asking them to sign a guest book he kept for the purpose, in which he encouraged them to comment on their experiences as subjects of his character analyses and predictions.
In his own autobiographical book, Cheiro's Memoirs: The Reminiscences of a Society Palmist, he included accounts of his interviews with King Edward VII, William Gladstone, Charles Stewart Parnell, Henry Morton Stanley, Sarah Bernhardt, Oscar Wilde, Professor Max Muller, Blanche Roosevelt, the Comte de Paris, Joseph Chamberlain, Lord Russell of Killowen, Robert Ingersoll, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Lillie Langtry, W. T. Stead, Richard Croker, Natalia Janotha, and other prominent people of his era. Ella Wheeler Wilcox was sufficiently impressed that she commented
"The study of people gifted with occult powers has interested me for several years. I have met and consulted scores. In almost every respect I consider Cheiro the most highly gifted of all. He helps as well as astonishes."
So even if one is extremely sceptical of his analyses and predictions, he is still interesting given the people he had sittings with and their opinion of him. He was also somewhat uncannily accurate on a number of prophecies.
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.
There is one final area that is also of especial interest for this site. Cheiro’s views on the concept of Fate and Destiny and how it related to palmistry.
Fate, Destiny and palm reading
We have numerous observations from many mystic and other sources that show that the concept of Destiny is well accepted as is the Great Work from which one’s Destiny derives. Cheiro used the more accurate term Destiny in his analyses and made the links with the Great Work – the ‘why are we here’ connection.
But he made the added somewhat fascinating hypothesis that palmistry offered an additional clue as to whether one had a significant Destiny or not. He used both the Mystic Cross and the Line of Destiny on the palm as indicators of those with significant and well defined destinies.
Palmistry for All, by Cheiro , The Line Of Destiny Or Fate
The Line of Destiny, otherwise called the Line of Fate is naturally one of the most important of the principal lines of the hand. Although one may never be able to explain why it is, this line undoubtedly appears to indicate at least the main events of one's career.
It may be found on the hand even at the moment of birth, clearly indicating the class of Fate or Destiny that lies in the far distant future before the individual. In some cases it may look faint or shadowy, as if the path of Destiny were not yet clearly defined, while in other instances almost every step of the road is chiselled out with its milestones of failure or success, sorrow or joy, as the case may be.
That some human beings seem to be more children of Fate than others has been admitted by almost all thinkers, but why they should be so has been the great question that baffles all students of such subjects. There are some who appear to have no Fate, and others who seem to carve their Destiny from day to day……….
Some of the greatest teachers and philosophers have come to the conclusion that Fate exists for all. In the 17th Article of Religion in the Episcopal Church it is stated, and in no uncertain manner, that "Predestination to life is the everlasting purpose of God." All through the Bible the Destiny of nations and of men is clearly laid down, and from the first chapter of Genesis to the last page of Revelation the trials, tribulations, and pathway of the Jews was prophesied and predicted ages in advance.
Thousands of years before the birth of Christ, it was foretold in Holy Writ in what manner He should be born, and in what manner He should die. It was predicted that a Virgin should conceive and that a Judas should betray, and that both were necessary "that the Scriptures might be fulfilled."
In more recent ages thousands and thousands of predictions have been fulfilled, and all point to some mysterious agency that underlies the purpose of humanity, and that nothing from the smallest to the greatest is left to blind chance. It may be that the Soul—in being part of the Universal Soul of all things—knows all things, and so through the instrumentality of the brain writes its knowledge of the Future in advance. It may be, then, that to all living beings there is a Destiny "that shapes our ends, rough hew them as we will."
His experience showed – from all the readings he had done, - that there was an uncanny link, in effect he did use observations to come to his conclusions, as such this hypothesis is indeed a fascinating one.
A number of Cheiro’s later books on palmistry and destiny were written after he had completely retired from all professional work, and he heavily emphasised in the preface to them that he was not publishing the book ‘with the idea of seeking clients’. His only objective was to help people fulfil their potential, to help them understand what their destiny was “I have no desire but to see this strange study taken up as a useful and practical means of obtaining an exact judgment of the character, qualities, and hidden tendencies that might otherwise be ignored.”
Palmistry for All, by Cheiro , The Line Of Destiny Or Fate
I would, however, humbly suggest that each of us endeavour by knowledge to find what our Fate may be, and like loyal workmen accept whatever the task should prove, and so carry it out to the utmost of our ability, willing to leave the final result to the Master that thought fit to employ us in the working out of His design.
We have taken the details of Cheiro’s life from Cheiro's Memoirs: The Reminiscences of a Society Palmist – it is however worth noting that Cheiro indicates that the memoirs were written some time after many of the events simply because initially he had no interest in writing such a book. As he became more famous, he realised that unless he did it someone else might ‘sometimes one is obliged to put forward the facts, lest the fallacies of others get too strong a headway’.
On his father’s side he was of Norman descent and on his mother’s side he was from a French family born in Ireland. His father taught him poetry and philosophy and his mother taught him a ‘love of the occult on every form, combined with a curious religious devotionalism which has never left me’.
He was reading the palms of the servants and villagers at aged 11. He was sent to be trained by the Church by his father, but his studies were cut short when his father was ruined by unwise speculation. Free from his father’s ambitions, however, he was allowed to seek his own path. He went to London and then went to India, landing in Bombay.
Cheiro's Memoirs: The Reminiscences of a Society Palmist
While there I came into contact with a certain sect of Brahmins, descendants of those who, thousands of years before the Christian era, had evolved by study a science called Samudrika or the meaning of the expression of the lines of the body and whom later evolved from that again a higher study called Hastirika, or the science of Samudrika or, in other words, the Science of the Lines of the Hand.
After these studies he returned to London, and found that the death of a relative had resulted in him inheriting a considerable amount of money. Free to pursue his studies he then visited hospitals, even prisons to collect impressions of hands of all sorts to use as evidence.
He then visited Egypt, only to find on his return that the man appointed to look after his money had embezzled everything and he was left without a penny. The man had spent everything and then committed suicide.
He wrote, to earn a living, for religious magazines much of it devotional articles [Cheiro also produced some very creditable poetry] and studied hands in his spare time. But a chance meeting with a Jewish gentleman he had met in Egypt and whose palm he had read, resulted in him being contracted to said gentleman who acted as his ‘manager’ and from him he acquired his stage/working name ‘Cheiro’.
Cheiro managed to earn quite a bit under this arrangement until word reached his manager of a problem. An Act of Parliament had been passed in Henry VIII’s time outlawing astrology, palmistry and witchcraft, the Jewish gentleman found out about it, and in terror asked Cheiro to burn the contract. ‘Within 5 minutes the contract was burned, we shook hands and I was a free man again’
But Cheiro persevered. His client list continued to grow, principally via word of mouth. In the end people like Sarah Bernhardt were making appointments to see him. After an evening in which Sir George Lewis [the barrister] had his palm read successfully, the Act of Parliament also became no problem.
Cheiro allocated two days every week to help those who could not afford to pay him and the rest of the week was given to those who could. Blanche Roosevelt introduced him to Madame Melba, Lord Leighton, Oscar Wilde and Henry Abbey of York. His clients thereafter look like a roll-call of the rich and famous. He met King Edward in 1891. His method of working was to have each person hidden behind a black curtain, so that he did not know who they were. This served two purposes; it ensured his reading was not biased by their famous reputations, but it also ensured he was not paralysed by the responsibility of having to read for people of this level of fame.
One of his clients was Lily Langtry, who invited him to tea one day at her suite of rooms in the Carlton. Unbeknownst to him he had already seen her hand years before and she expressed her gratitude with the words ‘It is for this reason I believe in your work, for you told me perfectly all about myself, not as the world thinks I am, but as I know myself’.
But Cheiro ended up ill having to spend three months in a nursing home as a result of working too hard. He estimated he saw at least 6,000 people a year, in homes, at garden parties and in his own rooms.
Once recovered, Cheiro went to the USA. He received a very unusual challenge from a journalist from the New York World in which he was asked to give his impressions of a series of handprints. One of the hands was that of a murderer, a man called Dr Meyer who had been poisoning his patients to collect the insurance money. The publicity he obtained by his correct interpretation of the hands guaranteed his success from then on.
After a number of successes and an attempt on his life, Cheiro returned to London in the autumn of 1896.
After some years in London, and many world travels, Cheiro again moved to America.
He spent his final years in Hollywood, seeing as many as twenty clients a day and doing some screenwriting before his death there in 1936 following a heart attack.
His widow, the Countess Lena Hamon, said her 70-year-old husband, had predicted his own death to the hour the day before he died.
From Time Magazine of October 19, 1936:
Died. Count Louis Hamon ("Cheiro"), 69, celebrated oldtime palmist; after long illness; in Hollywood. Author of a book on palmistry at 13, he ... owned an English-language newspaper in Paris, The American Register. On the night he died, said his nurse, the clock outside his room struck the hour of one thrice.
- Cheiro's Book of Numbers
- Cheiro's Language of the Hand
- Cheiro's Guide to the Hand
- You and Your Hand
- Cheiro's Palmistry for All
- The Cheiro Book of Fate and Fortune
- Cheiro's Complete Palmistry
- Where were you Born?
- Cheiro's You and Your Star: The Book of the Zodiac
- Cheiro's Book of World Predictions
- Cheiro's Memoirs: The Reminiscences of a Society Palmist
- Titanic's Last Secrets
- True Ghost Stories (attested tales of paranormal experiences)
- A Study of Destiny(also published as The Hand of Fate, first released in 1898)
For iPad/iPhone users: tap letter twice to get list of items.
- Cheiro - Palmistry for all - The path of destiny
- Cheiro – A reading for King Humbert of Italy
- Cheiro – Prophesies the demise of Grigori Rasputin, the Mad Monk of Russia
- Cheiro – W T Stead perished because of insufficient lifeboats on the Titanic
- The Line of Destiny - Palmistry for all - Cheiro
- The Line of Intuition - Palmistry for all - Cheiro
- The Line of Life - Palmistry for all - Cheiro
- The Line of the Head - Palmistry for all - Cheiro
- The Line of the Heart - Palmistry for all - Cheiro
- The Mystic Cross and the Ring of Soloman - Palmistry for all - Cheiro