“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” Audrey Hepburn

By Bernie Bell

Bernies handsSome years ago, I  went to see a performance of ‘The Marriage of Figaro’, which was very good.  At the end, everyone clapped enthusiastically, including me.  Then I thought “Why do we do this?  Why do we put our hands together in this way to show appreciation?”.  This then led to my thinking about hands.

Gunnie Mobergs handsThink of  all the things we do with our hands, and what these things mean.  We shake hands when we meet someone, this is a small exchange of energy, and often tells us something about the nature of the person whose hand we are shaking.  We hold hands, in many different ways; because we love or are fond of someone; to help someone and guide them, maybe across a road or along a rough path; and also to give reassurance – if someone is upset or bothered about something, we will hold their hand and maybe say “It’ll work out.  Don’t worry too much about it.”   But, what’s happening when we do this?  We’re connecting with that person and their energy field, and, with good intent, exchanging energy and life force to help them.

So I come back to the clapping of hands.  I decided that, possibly, we do this to literally send energy to the people who have pleased or inspired us.  As we bring our hands together and apart when we applaud, we send surges of energy to the performers.  Similarly, we wave “Hello” to greet someone, or “Goodbye” as they leave.  Are we opening our hand and sending life force to them to welcome them to come to us, and to protect them as they leave our sphere of influence?

I then moved on to considering the hand prints placed on cave walls by some ancient peoples.  They blew pigment round their hands to make outlines.  Was this because these people were so much connected with the life force that it was part of their daily existence?  They lived its presence rather than seeing it as a separate thing from themselves.  They, and we, tend to feel the energy mostly, or most easily, in our hands.  Maybe that was why they placed images of their hands on the walls with the images of the animals which they hunted, in the belief that painting the animals made a connection with the spirit of the animal, which made for a greater understanding of the animal, and so made it easier to hunt.   Not a line of thought which we might be happy with today, but life was harder then, and they had to eat!  I also wondered if it’s possible that one of their main forms of  medicine was healing – people with healing hands.  So, again, they made imprints of something which was very important to them.  Is it even possible that people who needed healing would then place their hand in the imprint to call on the residual energy left there by a Healer?

Barbara Hepworth Hand

Hand: Barbara Hepworth (B Bell)

Once you start to consider the importance of hands, and the possible implications of the direction of energy through hands, it opens up many interesting lines of conjecture.

The works of human hands, minds and hearts, can elucidate the obscure. The hands to build, the eyes to see, the minds to think.

This elucidating, or enlightening, can help others to see things which they may not have seen otherwise – to understand ideas, and also, to remember things.

Some years ago, I saw a television programme about how hand-claps in certain Neolithic sites set up reverberations which can be recorded.  The patterns made by the recordings resemble the carvings on some of the stones at certain Neolithic sites, either spirals or jagged ‘crest’ shapes.

Paul Devereaux and Aaron Watson have done  a lot of work on archaeoacoustics.

Then there’s pointing your finger at someone, and wagging your finger at someone, either in disapproval or to pick that person out for a certain purpose.

It all comes down to hands, and how much our energy flows through them to others.  It’s a thought.


Bernie Bell is a regular contributor to The Orkney News. If you would like to have a letter, article or photo published contact us, e:mail fiona@theorkneynews.scot


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