Cheiro (Count Louis Hamon) (1866-1936)

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Cheiro (Count Louis Hamon) (1866-1936)

Palmist and astrologer, Cheiro was born Louis Hamon on November 1, 1866, in Dublin, Ireland, the son of Count William de Hamon, whose title he eventually inherited. He was educated privately and from his mother inherited an interest in the occult, especially palmistry, astrology, and numerology. At the early age of 11, much to his father's consternation, he wrote an essay on palmistry. He studied for the ministry but did not complete his academic work because of his father's bankruptcy.

As a young man he travel to India. He met a group of occult-ists and stayed with them for several years, during which time he did his own research on palmistry. He later moved to Egypt before he settled in England and opened an office as a palmist. To avoid any problems with his family, he worked under his pseudonym.

By the 1890s Cheiro had gained an international reputation, his own background granting him entrance into the world of royalty, many of whom were interested in the occult. In 1893 he traveled to the United States for the first of a number of visits. The following year he wrote the first of his many books, Cheiro's Language of the Hand. This book, and its equally popular sequel, Cheiro's Guide to the Hand (1900), were primary elements in the reestablishment of palmistry as a popular form of fortune-telling in the modern world. Celebrities of all kinds were his clients.

In the late 1920s, Cheiro wrote several books on astrological predictions of world events. However, he spent the last part of his life poverty-stricken in Hollywood, California, where he died on October 8, 1936.


Cheiro [Count Louis Hamon]. Cheiro's Guide to the Hand. London: Nichols & Co., 1900.

. Cheiro's Language of the Hand. London, 1894.

. Cheiro's Year Book. Rev. ed., London: London Publishing, 1930.

. Mysteries and Romances of the World's Greatest Occult-ists. London: Herbert Jenkins, 1935.

. You and Your Hand. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Doran, 1931.

. You and Your Star. Los Angeles: London Publishing; London: Herbert Jenkins, 1926.

Holden, James H., and Robert A. Hughes. Astrological Pioneers of America. Tempe, Ariz.: American Federation of Astrologers, 1988.