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Graphology in the 20th and 21st Centuries

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Sue EllamWhilst the French school of graphology continued Crépieux-Jamin’s detailed observation of signs, in Germany graphologists were starting to consider the psychological aspects of the writing, and between 1895 and 1920 methodical investigation of the psychology of handwriting resulted in the establishment of graphology as a science. Georg Meyer, a psychiatrist and William Preyer, a child psychologist, incorporated Freud’s psychoanalytical work into the study of handwriting and also said that the individual’s state of health needed to be noted.

Ludwig Klages, a philosopher, wrote “Handwriting and Character” which was first published in 1917 and subsequently overshadowed all but the French tradition in graphology. This was the first book to view handwriting in its entirety – as a picture – as the whole expression of an individual nature. He gave graphology two important methods of assessment; the general form level and the rhythm of the writing. Both depended not on signs or formations, but on the form of the writing taken as a whole. They are based on what isn’t shown on the paper – the “invisible” signs.

Robert Saudek, a Czechoslovakian, wrote in English and studied English handwriting. To Klages’ assessments he added the important factor of speed in writing.

Swiss Graphologist, Max Pulver, added another very important aspect to handwriting with his investigation in the first half of the 20th century of the symbolism of space in writing. He was interested in the psychology of the unconscious. He saw the clean white page as world space, to be filled by entering it according to one’s nature. He noted the upward reaching of the spiritually inclined and the downward plunging strokes made by earthy natures. But he was also aware that many of these impulses are unconscious, that we are governed as much – or more – by those thoughts and feelings which never surface, as by our conscious attitudes and decisions.

Walter Hegar, a German graphologist, fled to France from Nazi Germany in the early 1930s. There he developed his own system based on the pen stroke alone. This is a limited approach but very useful combined with other systems.

French graphology now includes German, Swiss, Belgian, Dutch and Hungarian theories, and in the second half of the 20th century has brought the psychology of C G Jung, including his Psychological Types, to bear upon character assessment.

Ania Teillard, French graphologist and a student of Jung, was the first to write a graphology book in which an understanding of depth psychology was explored before embarking upon the analysis of handwriting. She applied Jung’s four main functions: thinking, intuition, sensation and feeling, together with the two attitudes: extrovert and introvert, and the two tendencies: animus and anima and also the persona. There are many different systems of studying graphology, but psychology is usually incorporated these days as part of the syllabus.



Sue is the Founder of Soulfully Connecting.  She has spent over 40 years on her spiritual journey which, amongst other things, included training as a medium, hands on healing and travelling with a shaman.   She trained for 3 years as a graphologist and for 23 years has been a reader specialising in graphology and tarot – 14 of those years were spent participating in festivals both at home and abroad.

The idea behind Soulfully Connecting is to demonstrate that there are other ways of living which can heal the earth, the animal kingdom and ourselves.  She is passionate about people having freedom of choice, which is only possible when they know about all the options.

Sue is a member of the 7 Graces of Marketing community, the core purpose of which is to promote ethical marketing.



Twitter – @soulecting and @soulfullysue




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