Interview with Kelly Goto

Kelly Goto, IIHA CHA
Kelly Goto, IIHA CHA

Please join me in hearing about Kelly Goto’s journey into hand analysis over the last twenty-plus years. Kelly is a Mom, Design Ethnographer, Hand Analyst …

When and how did you start reading hands?

I started reading hands in elementary school. I liked to tell people how many children they might have, and look at the length and placement of the key lines. In the 90’s while living in Los Angeles, I met Spencer Grendahl who wrote Romance on Your Hands . And I started reading books and hands voraciously.

In 2003 I found the IIHA Institute with Alana and Richard Unger. It was life changing. I spent one Saturday out of each month in Tiburon and embraced the yearlong class with a combination of energy and exhaustion. I was at a pivotal time in my life, burning the candle at both ends — I realized I needed to make a serious change. I made a decision to shift my life, downsize the company, have two children and move to the coast — away from the city.

Flash forward 10 years and I magically found Kay and am excited to pursue hands with a new sense of purpose and hopefully some maturity to add to the mix!

Are you specializing in any particular area of hand analysis? If so, what is it?

The research side in me is always curious, and also a bit skeptical of the data, and my own expertise. So, I place myself in the shoes of the person I am reading and wonder if the elements I am talking about are accurate. The more I learn, the more I realize I do not know. I feel this is a lifelong pursuit of knowledge, and although I am not new to this field, I often feel like a novice.

I ask myself every time I read hands, I think, “does this ring true?” I like that hands fit within a category that is less “woo woo” and more analytical, with patterns and training that is understandable, explainable, teachable and repeatable over time. There is obviously an aspect of spirituality to any kind of palmistry or hand reading. I prefer the term, ‘hand analysis’ because it helps me explain what I am looking at and tell others how they can view their own hands, and understand themselves and others in a way that is not dependent on psychic prowess. It doesn’t hurt to have a lot of intuition and basic human understanding to help deliver the messages the hand provides.

What is most meaningful to you about reading hands?

I’m a visual person so I love creating art from people’s hands. It is a special imprint unique to each person. I am a calligrapher and enjoy flourishing printed hands with purpose — it pulls all the elements I have crafted over a lifetime into meaningful expression. I really enjoy the rational side of the analysis and using the methods I have learned to help people understand themselves, and their life purpose in a relatable, visual artifact. The discussion and insights gathered through this process is the most valuable to the individual and to me as a reader. I am always learning through every hand that passes my way.

Has your life lesson ever shown up during a reading?  If so, how and what did you learn from that experience?

I rarely see hands that are more flexible or more depleted than mine. When I print a hand that is a water hand, that is super flexible and has the sign of exhaustion (non printing in the center of the hand) I see the depletion and understand more than anyone how this person got to this point in their life where they are doing everything but taking care of themselves. I see myself in the Via Lasciva and a clear bohemian spread of others. I know these marks are two-sided, and with the tendency to dive into imagination, crave stimulation and excitement and throw caution into the wind, comes a more mature side where balance becomes the goal.

How do you apply your life purpose and your life lesson, in other words, how do you see them work together?

I am still learning how to put it all together. As the daughter of a 10-whorled dad, constant working and doing was revered in our family. Being a hard worker, true to your word, and a self-starter (entrepreneur) was my path. There was a moment where I learned the difference between doing and being. So my adult path is to stop, take a moment and allow myself to be without trying to do do do all the time. Doing for others is great until you are physically incapable. Then you need to step back and realize the way to help others is to take care of yourself.

What are your fingerprint patterns? 

Whorl Whorl Whorl Whorl Whorl
Loop Whorl Whorl Whorl Whorl


Do you have a bad experience you can share to help others avoid a similar situation?

I don’t really have a bad experience to share, however I have a thought about concerns we may have as hand analysts in the future.  I used to take hundreds and hundreds of fingerprints wherever I traveled.  Now I realize with privacy and the condition of the world, people may be less inclined to let me ‘fingerprint’ them or record their hands. There is a new awareness of privacy concerns with fingerprint scanning on the iPhone and TSA screenings at the airport. So we may need to have separate release forms moving forward to gather and keep a database of our own, letting people know if we are sharing the information and with whom.  I’m not sure when this will be an issue, but I believe it will limit our ability to be as ‘free’ with the information as we have in the past.

What advice would you give to new students of Hand Analysis?

Start looking at as many hands as possible, as often as possible. You will start to notice and remember things from your classes or from books that you can apply.  When out with friends, start by asking people to hold their hands up in front of them as if they were pressing against glass, and comment on the finger spread, the thumb spread and anything you see — without needing to actually touch hands. When someone is interested, then take the cue and start to look at flexibility and maybe individual lines or fingers. Only when you have a captive interest, along with time and space, move to print and do a full reading. You can do a lot to get yourself, friends and even strangers warmed up to the reading!

What intentions do you have for your Hand Analysis practice during the next six months?

Right now I am looking 20 years out, instead of 2 years out.

I am focused on balancing time with my family, my work and in life, with health, exercise and in my interactions with others. So in the next six months, I intend on continuing to learn, grown and continue my exploration of learning whenever the opportunity arises, and on my own time. It is a time of dedication and commitment to the things I feel are important, with hands being one of them. I am re-dedicated to understanding the life purpose and life lesson and have Richard’s book out as a constant reference. I would love to continue to study with you Kay as well!

You can find Kelly at her company site: where you can also contact her via the link provided.

Kelly lives in Half Moon Bay, about 45 minutes South of San Francisco, just along the coast with her husband and two daughters.


Kay Packard interviews Vernon Mahabal (2006)

Following is an interview I did with world famous Palmist and author, Vernon Mahabal just over seven years ago. We just re-reviewed his sage wisdom, and are delighted to share it with you.

Kay and Vernon
Kay and Vernon

After Vernon Mahabal read my hands in Los Angeles on Nov. 6, 2006, I asked to interview him for our (IIHA) newsletter. He gladly accepted. Vernon spoke at the IIHA Conference in 2006 in Tiburon. He is the founder and director of the Palmistry Institute. In 1979 he began formal training in Vedic (Eastern) cosmology, which took him to India many times. He combines Western astrological palmistry with Chinese elemental hand analysis. He also continues new research, particularly within the field of fingerprints. Vernon has read thousands of hands, given hundreds of lectures and trained hundreds of students to read hands. For more info visit

Vernon, please tell me again how you started reading hands in New York

In 1985 or 86 I saw a reader on street. His name was Patrick Geoffrois. He looked like a magician. I was on a spiritual path and I stayed with him for 5 years on St. Marks.

There is so much information in the hands – I came at it as a skeptic, but was so intrigued with the mystical arts. Patrick taught the entire western system of the Astrological palmistry system. I read peoples hands on the subway while sitting in one spot. People are easy to meet in NY. They tend to be more philosophical and open. 

I was inclined toward palmistry and Patrick was my catalyst. I didn’t pick it. Palmistry picked me. As a career, it fell into my lap. People encouraged me to make this my career

What is most meaningful to you about reading hands?

Being about to tell people what their life purpose is… their talents and abilities. Yes, this is what I am, aside from how society wants me to be.  Life purpose is clearly written onto a person’s hands. They know it instinctually, but are misaligned by society, leaders.. things that have taken a person away from their life path. They have an ah-ha factor.  Our society is based on economical development and sense gratification, which takes them away from who they really are.  In my work, I’ve had a number of people who are sophisticated in a number of ways, and when I give them a reading I like to focus on a specific areas. What’s in the hand is an intrinsic part of their subconscious. My job is to tell people the steps to get ‘there’ (to their life purpose). Put their train on the correct path. Difficulties are easier to deal with when living on purpose. Rarely, if ever, does someone not get it. The hand is an astrological road map that clearly delineates the between the last and this lifetime.

What advice can you give hand-analysts-in-training? 

Become your own researcher. Its necessary/imperative to take a teacher, to be at the feet of a legitimate palmist, and by way of serving them, hearing from them, being in their presence you’ll learn from them. Investigate your science thoroughly. Know why the teacher is doing it. It takes about 7 years to get a handle on what palmistry is all about and feel confident in it. It’s important to learn western and ancient palmistry. Western is very good at letting a person know about psychology, character, and talents. Eastern palmistry (sidereal) is excellent for letting people know talents, potentials as well, but is excellent for predictions. Vedic palmistry is unsurpassed for its ability for predictions. Predictions could include career changes, relationships beginnings/endings, and changes in geography. Good to study both systems.

Be a researcher of the hand. Take experiences in life and combine them with palmistry skills and skills should reflect their life. Palmists should be familiar with what went on before, other important palmists and who contributed what and when. Don’t be satisfied with one answer. Question everything!

Put yourself into your work. Put your whole being into the work… whole soul and self.  Palmistry is a science and an art.  It becomes your art.

Do you have a bad experience you can share to help others avoid the same mistake? 

When I first started I was amazed when I went to physic fairs where palmists didn’t know their science. A lot of palmists claimed to be palmists but were really just a parrot telling people what a book or other palmists have said, not from their own research.  I’ve met palmists who said they were physic but they had not database to support them. Psychic Intuition is a big part of palmistry, but imperative to have a well stocked astrological background.  Otherwise, there are no checks and balances to support their reading.  I’ve modeled myself after sophisticated astrologers who monitor each other and are professional. They are way ahead of the game because they formed associations and meet as groups. They have magazines. They’ve made their art genuine. We haven’t done much to have conferences and police ourselves. Astrologers present themselves with credibility.  There is no real credibility with Sea-side palmists. The public is becoming more discriminate.  The public will mirror our becoming more credible and professional.

We need to form our own organizations, coach each other, and meet over coffee as an association/community of palmist’s.  The public takes astrology more seriously. 

What is your favorite part of reading hands? 

This is the most fascinating thing I do in a day.  I am deciphering a Rosetta stone – seeing the symbols and configurations is fascinating to put together and then to get to the heart of the person.  This is a personalization of the spiritual being.  It’s like mixing a cake to get to the core and what they are here for.  Need a conscious entity to add and subtract from the reading.  Most intriguing thing in a day is reading hands… and the hieroglyphics. 

Goal is to elevate consciousness of that person in this life and their next.  When they come to a higher mode they’ll be happen.

What are your fingerprint patterns?

R   loop  whorl  loop  whorl  whorl

L   loop  whorl  loop  peacock  whorl

LP Leader in the spotlight with a inspirational message to deliver to the mass public

LL Successful Teacher/coach

How did you come to the Life Purpose and Life Lesson teaching? 

I had been working on it 1992 “Body Signs” (Hillion) which had info about palmistry. Didn’t agree with things in palmistry section.  Look at fingerprints as a group, not as individually.  I had thought that for 2 or 3 years.  Now I had pages and pages of research.   In 1994 I started writing notes.  I met Richard’s students, Eric, and we’d meet in New York and hold palmistry circles with other palmists.  Eric read my fingerprints.  Your life purpose and life lesson is ‘this’.  How long have you been doing this?  About a year – said Eric.  Eric told me about Richard.  I called Richard the next day.  We contacted each other by phone a lot.  I then moved to the San Francisco East bay in 1996/97 then would see Richard and go his grads classes.  We have many similarities – 95%, but have some differences.  See the tented arch differently.  He was ahead of me in the psychological area.  He’s helped me fill in some of my blank spots.  I hope I’ve helped him fill in some of his.

Noel Joaquin (1940s) referenced fingerprints but I didn’t necessarily agree. Richard’s and my systems don’t accept Joaquin but Joaquin should be recognized.  My system is more career oriented and Richard is more about the physiological aspects but very similar.  I value his friendship, his expertise. He’s contributed MUCH to hand analysis. Seasoned, professional. Looking for the day there will be hundreds of people like Richard, teaching.  The way we get our info is different than each other. Info was in the ether. I’m just an instrument. 

Where do you see yourself in 5 & 10 years reading hands?

I want to make reading hands more accessible without commercializing it. It is truth and will come out. Present it in a way to take this science more seriously. The ancient’s adored it and held it in reverence. Doing more lectures, reading, make more people aware of it.

Do you have anything else to share? 

Continue to build up the reputation of Palmistry for the public.  Hold up regard for palmistry like astrology.

We should create our own foundations, federations, establishing sisterhood/brother hoods.  You become like those who you associate with. Associate with others who are serious about this path, and that will inspire others.  If you go to India, Astrologers look at the hands before making a prediction and vice versa. Astrology and Palmistry are like a brother and sister. By the way, Mountain News has a poor view of Palmistry because of the practitioners who haven’t taken this science seriously.

Vernon is available for private readings, workshops, lectures and consultation. For more information visit