Physiognomy is the art or science of ascertaining the character of the mind of an individual by studying the features of his body especially face. So it is an art of judging or discovering temperament or character from outward appearance.
A man generally thinks according to his formation, and not only does he think according to his formation, but he acts and works in accordance therewith. External appearance and the internal environment vary from person to person. That is where physiognomy has its role to play.
In Homoeopathy we give a lot of stress upon mental, physical and general make up of a patient. Human behavioral sciences like Physiognomy, Phrenology, Kinesics (Body Language), Proxemics (Science of Spatial relationship), Reflexology etc. are being successfully used for prescribing the Genetic Constitutional Similimum by Dr. Parfull Vijaykar in his clinic day in and day out.
This paper has been inspired by his teachings and contributions to the medical sciences. There is a word of caution from him that these human behavioral and occult sciences should be used as “suggestive tools” and not as “diagnostic tools” to prescribe the right remedy. Physiognomy should be studied in totality and not in parts as is true for Homoeopathy.
Expert physiognomists can peep inside the personality of a subject by studying various faculties represented upon his countenance. Some criterion is to be followed to study a face in order to assess and understand it properly. Few physiognomists unanimously agree to start it from hair and descend through forehead, eyebrows, eyes, nose, lips, chin and ears to neck. I am following the same criterion and find it an easier way to go like this:
1. HAIR: Coarse textured hair suggests that the individual is a rigid, firm, strong, dull or stupid, rude, boisterous and unsympathetic personality (Anac., Cham., Granite., Nux-v., Plat., Verat.,). Soft, silky or fine hair denotes a tractable, amiable, reasonable, emotional and yielding character. Hair which are straight in form reflect that the individual is sincere, stable, morally sound, persevering (Aurum., Ars., Bry., Cupr., Digit., Ferr-m., Lyco., Nat-c., Nux-v.). Wavy hairs are physiognomonic of gentle, talented, agreeable and refined people. Curly hair might suggest that the individual is unreliable, generous, sociable, amative and sympathetic (Calc., Arg-nit., Lach., Mezer.). There also seem to be hysterical.
2. FOREHEAD: A perpendicular forehead denotes artistic and aesthetic propensities. Receding forehead shows reasoning, enterprise and practicality. Projecting forehead is seemed with people who are dull, slow and impractical. A mechanical forehead is fullest above the eyebrows and ensures practical work. Artistic forehead is rounding at sides and reflects creativity or the original art. Scientific forehead is square at temples and seen in people engaged in inventions, practical affairs and reasoning.
3. EYEBROWS: If the eyebrows are meeting in the centre, the subject is secretive (Aur., Bar-c., Caust., Ign., Lyco., Naja., Nat-m., Nit-ac., Phos., Sep., Syphil., Thuj., Zinc.,) or conceited. If the inner termini grow closely to the eyes, it suggests accurate observation and true understanding of objects. If inner termini commence at a considerable distance above the eyes (wide interciliary space), the person accepts upon hearsay, without examination, superstitious. A very wide interciliary space where the brows form a very high arch, the subject is a half foolish, impractical, unreasoning character. Brows highest at about two thirds of the distance from inner termini denotes artistic capacity. Wide space between outer angle of the eye and the terminus of the brow shows calculative ability (Lach., Nux-v., Plb.) Obliquity with a pronounced upward slant is an infallible indication of deceit, craft and treachery. Long, narrow and regularly arched brows covering well-arched eye-bones indicate order and aesthetic sense. Thick, deep coloured brows with disorderly arrangement o hair, particularly at the ends shows a bold, inventive, original and creative mind. Wide, straight or curved but thick and dark coloured or black brows mean a strong willed, passionate person with good constitutional vigor. Thin, light-coloured with scarcely visible hair shows a sensitive mind and a delicate nervous system.
4. EYES: Large and round eyes depict an emotional, impulsive or an untruthful and unreliable character. Narrow and elongated eyes betoken a logical, practical and positive individual. Oblique upward slanting eyes reveal the deceptive, secretive and crafty nature of the person. High-arched inner corner of upper lid denotes a luminous, artistic mind with lofty ideals. True curve of upper lid at its outer corner indicates an agreeable and moral person. Apertures very nearly closed and eyelids with a slight curve where eyeball appears as a very narrow slit of elongated form denotes a low sexual natured and untruthful person with tendency to undue acquisitiveness.
5. NOSE: Small nose or concave outline of nose shows a lack of ability for command or self-control, quarrelsomeness or feebleness of intellect. Certain degree of depression of ridge, terminating in an upward curve at the tip reflects a quickness of perception and impulsive curiosity with vivacity and coquetry (Bell., Lyco., Nux-v., Puls., Sulph.). Short, round, either straight in its outline or slightly concave nose shows an easily pleased person fond of music, pets and domestic tastes. Perfectly straight outline of back from root to tip display refinement, aesthetic tastes, art capacities. It also reflects egotism and haughtiness. Tip of nose divided at the point by an almost invisible cleft shows that the character is critical (Ars., Caust., Graph., Helon., Ipec., Lach., Lyco., Nux-v., Phos., Plat., Sep., Sulph., Verat.), keen and penetrating. Extra large and rounded tip shows benevolence and philanthropy. Convex outline denotes firmness, integrity, positiveness and decision with love and appreciation for law, order, justice and noble sentiments. Convexity just below the root shows executive capacity, Convexity just below this is a sign of commercial traits. Considerable width at slightly convex bridge shows scientific elements like practicality, perseverance, observation, stability and integrity. Broad base of nose is indicative of a business minded personality.
6. UPPER LIP: Downward droop at either side of the centre of the lip is indicative of physical love of offspring and a desire to have many children (Ars., Hep., Phos., Plat., Sep.). Deep groove running down from nose to upper lip displays modesty and tends to check egotism Upper lip pointed downward in the centre and trying to overlap the line of closure of mouth shows a secretive tendency. Relatively long entire upper lip from nostrils to the line of closure of mouth displays the self-estimative propensities like dignity, self-respect even extravagant ideas of one’s importance (Aur., Calc., Granite., Hydrogen., Lack., Lyco., Medo., Merc., Pallad., Paris., Phos., Plat., Sulph., Verat.,)
7. LOWER LIP: A very full and red lower lip of coarse quality discloses a great eater and talker i.e. gourmand and loquacity (Verat., Lach., Calc.). If quality be fine, with this appearance, sympathy, generosity and sociability. At depression through the centre is an unfailing indication of wit and mirth (Cann-ind., Caps., Cocc., Coff., Croc., Lach., Nat-m., Nit-ac., Nux-v., Op., Phos., Sil., Sulph.). Two lips unequal in size, line of closure irregular, raised or lowered at one corner confirm the criminal tendencies. Lower lip curving downward and outward, just where the canine teeth are situated, denotes destructive and cruel tendencies (Anac., Cimex., Hep., Hyos., Lach., Plat., Stram., Tarent., Verat.).
8. MOUTH: Both lips conspicuously curved forming a serpentine line of closure of mouth signify artistic capacities in an emotional, sentimental and domestic individual. Mouths small with delicately formed lips reflect peaceable disposition lacking in physical courage. A mouth closely shut, the cleft of which runs in a straight line in which the margin of the lips does not appear, is a certain indication of coolness, order, exactness, precision and neatness.
9. JAW (LOWER): A dyspeptic or consumptive jaw presents a perpendicular line from the malar or the cheekbone to the chin. A curved or artistic jaw terminates in oval chin and is significant of normal strength and a taste for art and beauty. A square jaw forming a wide chin always denotes moral power with either mechanical or scientific tendencies.
10. CHEEKS: Round, full cheeks, sometimes hanging down in soft folds upon neck, show gluttonous tendencies (Asaf., Calc., Carbo-v., China., Cina., Lyco., Merc., Nux-m., Puls., Sep., Sul-ac., Verat.,). Dimples of the cheeks and chin are tokens of the affectional nature and denote the active passions of amativeness and a desire to please and attract the admiration of others. Dimples near corners of mouth are evidences of mirthfulness, love of fun and good humor and wit. Dimples situated one or two inches outwardly indicate approabativeness (Pallad., Calc-s.)
11. CHIN: Small, round, soft, globose chin reveals a yielding, soft or infantile nature. Oval or muscular chin shows taste or talent for some form of art like poetry, painting, action, dancing or singing. Square or bony chin denotes positive characteristics like conscientiousness, order, precision, mechanical & scientific tastes and moral courage. A chin perpendicular in profile is seen in most perfected artistic characters with confidence. A receding chin lacks firmness and perseverance. An undue projecting chin points out an avarice, hoarding up character (Ars., Bry., Dulc., Lyco., Ph-ac., Puls., Sep., Sil., Sulph.) with an active and shrewd mind.
12. EARS: Rounded, well-formed ear that sets forward and outward is a pretty good sign of musical taste. Rim is thin and hollowed out at the edge like the rim of a saucer. An unmusical ear is pointed or angular in its outline. Commercial ears are long and broad. Ears large and standing well out from the head show the courageousness of the character (Bov., Calad., Calc-s., Ferr-p., Ign., Merc., Nat-c., Op., Sulph., Tuber., Verat.). whereas narrow, long thin, bloodless ears, set closely against the side of the head are associated with a timid personality (Alum., Ars., Aur., Bar-c., Calc., Gels., Kali-c., Lyco., Petr., Phos., Puls., Sep., Sil., Stram.)
13. NECK: A short, thick neck better known as willful neck shows great resistance and aggression. A muscular, beautiful, short neck reflects amativeness. A long, thin neck denotes timidity and great sensitivity. Tossing and nodding head sidewise and forward while in conversation with opposite sex displays the coquetry tendencies. A neck which bends head downward in a devout attitude denotes venerations (Ars., Aur., Coff., Hyos., Lyco., Puls.,)