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Origins of Face Reading



The Early Beginnings Of Face Reading In The Western Culture

Ancient Greece

Face Reading Ancient Greece The first indication of face reading was recorded during the 5th century BC in Athens with the works of a scholar name Zopyrus. It was also Hippocrates who furnishes the early treatise of face reading. However, it was during the 4th century BC that face reading became more popular because of Aristotle who made a lot of references to both literature and theories about the relationship of the character and appearance in his book Prior Analytics.

Basically, Aristotle suggested that the structure or function of the human body is connected with the human characteristics. He also noted that certain people who have common inherent features are predisposed to have similar physical features. For instance, people who have rugged built are included to act gruffly while people who are thin-skinned are inclined to act delicately.

With his fascination with the relationship of facial features and the character of a person, The Prior Analytics of Aristotle became the basis of several other extant works in Physiognomy from other philosophers which included Polemo of Laodicea (2nd century AD, Greece) and Adamantius the Sophist (4th century, Greece).

The Greek mathematician Pythagoras was also fascinated in face reading that he once rejected Cylon, a prospective follower, because his appearance is indicative of bad character.

Middle Age

Face Reading Middle Ages Before the height of the Middle Ages, the credence of face reading was widely accepted and it was even taught in universities and academic institutions. However, it was Henry VII of England who first outlawed it in 1531 because it was practiced by mountebanks to fool other people.

This has resulted to shunning face reading among most learned scholars during that time. A good example was Leonardo da Vinci who was a critic of face reading. Although he strongly criticized face reading as something that has no scientific foundation, he still believed that the lines caused when making an expression can indicate several traits.

Modern Age

Face reading became popular once more during the mid-1700. It was the Swiss pastor named Johann Kaspar Lavater who revived face reading through his essays that were published in 1772 in Germany. Face Reading Modern Society

Another proponent of the revival of face reading was Giambattista Della Portia who wrote some texts about face reading. His famous writings is dubbed as Of Celestial Physiognomy which stated that it was not the stars that dictate the character and appearance of a person but his or her temperament. He also wrote the book De human physiognomia which illustrates the human characteristics using woodcuts of animals. Moreover, his works are presented well in Sir Thomas Browne's Library.

Physiognomy became a popular concept in the 18th century as well as in the 19th century. It was not only referred to by academics and intellects but also among novelists. Writers Oscar Wilde and Edgar Allan Poe have used face reading as a central element in their story plots.




The Early Beginnings Of Face Reading In The Eastern Culture

The first account of face reading in Asia was first recorded in China. Face reading in Chinese tradition has started about 3,000 years ago. Face reading was first believed to be practiced by Taoist shamans all over the rural areas of China who specialize in divinational and non-traditional arts. By 220BC, the art of face reading was then established and became a prominent part of the Chinese culture.

Face reading in the eastern culture is different from those practiced by westerners. In Chinese tradition, the human face is considered a system of life information. This means that each feature of the face relates to one another. Therefore, it is not enough to look at the nose and eyes of the person but it requires calculation and analysis of the measurements of each feature to create a clear picture of the character, overall health and even fortune of the individual. The systematic analysis of face reading can reveal the fate of a person.

The father of face reading in China was given to philosopher Gui-Gu Tze who lived from 481 to 221 BC. In his works, he noted that face reading is a complex system that classifies physical features by judging the shape, color and other marks on the face. Moreover, the face is also partitioned to exactly 108 areas and each area has a specific life situation based on the five elements.

In Chinese tradition, other elements are also added when it comes to face reading. The incorporation of yin and yang as well as the five elements-wood, water, air, earth and fire are used in face reading. The elements have their own attributes that are displayed in the physical appearance of a person. With the incorporation of many elements, it is thus dubbed as the feng shui of the face.

Since face reading in China is deep rooted in its tradition, this particular art is well-accepted by almost all Chinese. It did not undergo criticism and rejection compared to its western counterpart and this is the reason why it spread easily to other Asian countries like Japan and the Middle East.


Chinese Face Reading

The art of Chinese face reading is not only used to identify the qualities of a person but also used to find out whether a person has health concerns. The principle behind Chinese face reading is that the facial features are governed by the five elements - water, earth, wood, metal and fire - as well as the yin and yang. The elements represent the qualities of the energy within a person while the yin and yang represents the balance of these elements. Using these elements, face readers can have an elaborate picture on the physical, emotion and psychological profile of a person.

On the other hand, the face is also divided into different divisions that indicate the "life points" of a person. The three divisions of the face reflect the nervous system (forehead), circulatory system (midface) and the digestive system (lower face).

The face is also serves as a map of the past, present and future events of your life. The past reflects your childhood and adolescent experiences and other events that helped shape you to become the person that you have become now. The present reflects the condition of your health while the future reflects the things that are bound to unfold in the coming years.

In Chinese face reading, balance and proportion are both important. This principle is similar to face reading in the western culture. The yin and yang in Chinese face reading represents two facets in the face. The yang element represents the bone structure on the face while the yin element represents the soft tissues (skin quality) of the face. A person who has too much yin on the face is considered to be beautiful compared with those who have too much yang.

Chinese Face Reading



On the other hand, the Chinese face reading also divides the face into several regions that represent different houses which reflect different aspects of a person's life. Examples of these houses include fortune, parents, career, travel, health, marriage, children and popularity. The deviations of the facial features in these regions also affect the different houses. For instance, the presence of blotches, moles and scars may also have a direct effect on a person.

The Chinese face reading requires years of practice and with the many elements that need to be considered, an expert is required in order to be able to read and give an elaborate picture of the overall health, character and even fortune of a person. While the Chinese face reading is considered as an elaborate art, it is not really applicable for use for most people.


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