I felt like I had known her for years. But actually, I had met Helen Kritzler, a.k.a. Haiku Helen, many years ago when she was reading palms in a side room at the old Miracles Bookstore in Makawao. I had gone in mainly out of curiosity, but also because I was at crossroads in my career—as in, I didn’t really have one.
“Oh, really? I usually remember palms, not faces,” she half-joked. “What did I tell you back then?”
At the time, I was working at a resort and held a sorely neglected degree in biology. I knew I was meant to do something else but just wasn’t sure where to go. Helen told me about some aspects of my character—some I knew and some I hadn’t yet recognized—that might help my direction. She also described the environment where I would be working, which eerily resembles the Maui Time offices of today. And I told her so.
“Oh good,” she said, eyes twinkling.
The esoteric art of palmistry—also called chiromancy or palm reading—might date as far back as the Stone Age. But popular belief is that it originated in India 3,000 years ago as a means for character analysis and counseling.
Palmists believe that by studying the lines, mounts, shapes and other markings of our hands, they can assess emotional tendencies, social attitudes, past experiences and possibly where you’re headed. These days, palmistry is often considered a pseudoscience and is combined with psychology, holistic healing and divination.
Helen’s great grandfather Yechiel, a rabbi and scholar of the Kabala, was a very serious man who studied everything, including hand analysis. One day, when Helen’s mother Gertrude was very young, Yechiel took her palm and read it. And the cycle began.
“My mother was this wild woman,” Helen said. “She was an intellectual, and was fascinated with these arts. She was a person who naturally understood other people. She would create such an atmosphere when she read palms, she’d tell stories and I would sit at her knee and absorb it all. Then she’d send me books. She ended up doing handwriting analysis.”
Helen says she began reading palms professionally 40 years ago when she was in college. She became a computer programmer for Atari, and still incorporates her love of science into her palmistry practice, often referencing books and theories to her clients. And for over 20 years, she’s been doing Tibetan Buddhist practice with Vajrayogini.
“You need a psychic aspect—it’s very important with palmistry,” she said. “Buddhist meditation allows me to see deeper. When you meditate, you quiet your mind. You really have to be a clear vessel. I can hear other people thinking! I think we’re all psychics. We can be trained to have this ability. I’m more of an empathic. My mother was more judgmental—but very loving. She hadn’t developed the psychic ability as much as I have.”
Helen says that most people go to her when, like me, when they really need to clarify for themselves which way they want to go. She believes palmistry shows the path and what they need to do to fulfill their life’s purpose. Not just one thing they were meant to do, but something they need to do to feel complete.
“People come to me also because they’re devastated by an emotional situation—a break-up, they’ve lost their job, something really traumatic,” she said. “I’m able to allow them to view that experience in such a way as to show them why they had to go through that. I can be in that situation with them. I’m no young chickadee—I have really experienced a huge realm so I can understand a lot.”
Of course, everybody wants to know about love and career. Some people are also just really curious.
“It’s very important because in this culture, we get jealous of other people,” Helen said. “We have so many choices—we can change anything about who we are physically or even with our personality. But that’s not satisfying. Becoming who you are is more satisfying. What you emphasize is what you see. My readings are always inspirational.”
Helen says it’s sometimes difficult when people come with a specific question they want answered, like “Will I meet my love?” She says often the real question is really underneath. She believes that there may be difficult things to say, but they can be wonderful if said in the right way. It’s all part of why Helen enjoys reading palms.
“Why do I do it? It is so much fun,” Helen said. “There’s not anything not relevant to what I do—I can study everything. It’s so intimate. I get high from doing readings. I feel better, they feel better—the world feels better. I always say, ‘There’s nobody happier than Santa Claus.’ Giving is what makes you happy. It’s a chance to be part of somebody’s life and that’s wonderful.”
For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit online at www.haikuhelen.com or call 573-6343. MTW