From the wonderful Ptak Science books blog comes a recent, fascinating post about the centuries-old art and science of "Mole Mapping," featuring the above images (click to see larger version) drawn from the second edition of Richard Saunders' 1671 publication Physiognomie and Chiromancie, Metroscopie, the Symmetrical Proportions and Signal Moles of the Body, Fully and Accurately Explained; With Their Natural Predictive Significations Both to Men and Women.
From the post:
Here’s a sentence one doesn’t get to write very often: Richard Saunders (1613-1692) was perhaps the foremost historian, astrologer and seer of human moles and their predictive forces who ever lived. He was far from being the solitary member of a one-unit class: the use of moles as predictive and interpretive agents stretches back dozens of centuries, so the claim of Saunder’s being its most famous practitioner is not empty, mega-pseudo-scientific or not. The mystical commentary on the Torah, the Zohar (a part of the Kabbalah), gets right to the point of the significance of moles (“the stars of the body”), transferring the structure of the cosmos and the constellations to the skin. The seer and soothsayer Melampus from Greek mythology, in one of his necessarily pseudographic works, writes on the importance of moles of the face and their zodiacal relations—an idea that was picked up 2000 years later by the extremely significant mathematician Jerome Cardano. There was a decent amount of argument regarding the location of zodiac symbols on the face, as it turned out.Click here to see the full original post, of which the above is merely a short excerpt. Click here to visit the full website.
But the leading exponent of moles is Saunders, who was also one of the leading figures in a wide and very powdery period of European non-scientific sciences. These wonderful images come from the second (!) edition of his cumbersome but accurately-titled work Saunders Physiognomie and Chiromancie, Metroscopie, the Symmetrical Proportions and Signal Moles of the Body, Fully and Accurately Explained; With Their Natural Predictive Significations Both to Men and Women (published in London, 1671, by Nathaniel Brook), in which he divines the psyche and the future with peoples’ moles...