Graphology at Home – Lesson 7 – Your Moods

In handwriting analysis, the base line-how straight the subject writes-reflects mood. In order to ensure that the base line is accurately read it is best that the paper be unlined, for lined paper has a way of guiding the writer in a course, which may not be his real self.

Most writing has some degree of variation. The variations often occur in the writing slant and also, but not as frequently, in the base line. When the amount of change is insignificant (such as under 10 degrees), it is regarded as the normal flexibility of the individual and merely indicates that he is not stiff. But when the degree of change in the slant is significant, we most definitely take this into consideration.

Generally speaking, when the base line is straight (and certain other factors are not present), we find an individual who does not go to pieces if something unexpected occurs. You can see this by taking a ruler and placing it under the middle-zone letters-they are all basically equidistant from the ruler. He is composed, not easily upset, straight thinking, and honest.

An ascending base line climbs toward the sky. This is the writing of an optimist. People who write like this are not easily discouraged and are a delight to have around, since they usually look on the bright side of life. There is a problem with them, however often they do not look at facts too closely, because of their optimistic personalities, and this obviously impairs their judgment.

As the base line begins ascending, we see the degree of optimism: the higher the ascent the higher the degree of optimism-along with a higher degree of impracticality.

The descending base line is the writing of a pessimist. This person is always down. The deeper his base line descends, the deeper the pessimism. Also, the more angular the letters are, the more confirmed his pessimism.

If you ever wonder why, when you make a suggestion to a group of people, there is one man who never wants to risk it, take a good look at his handwriting. If you see a descending base line, you will know that by nature he lacks enthusiasm for new plans or ideas, feeling that none of them will work out anyway. His criticism is not necessarily directed at your suggestion; he is, in general, a skeptic and will probably shoot down everybody’s ideas.

Concerning two signatures of Napoleon, one was made at the time of his triumph. The signature is extremely ascending, properly reflecting his state of elation. The other was written at the time of his abdication, and its downward, fallen fashion reflects his state of depression.

“Bobbing and weaving” writing is called the varying base line. There is no real way of predicting this writer’s next move. He is inconsistent, prey to mood swings. It is difficult for him to hold a job or perform any function-requiring steadiness. Others will have difficulty getting along with him, for one moment, he is ambitious and aggressive, and the next depressed.

The mood of the writer reflects a great deal of his total personality, so the base line is quite important for purposes of analysis. But it is useful for the graphologist to have samples of the subject’s writing done at different times, so that the variations in it can be taken into consideration.

The base line and word that are particularly stressed drop very subtle hints as to the writer’s feelings. This idea needs explanation. Not all the words of a letter are of the same importance. And those which are important are not equally so to everyone. In the sentence: “All the evidence tends to suggest that he went home alone and remained alone at least until after the first visit of the postman next morning, for he had come downstairs barefoot and in his wrinkled pajamas, and was reading a letter out of the morning mail when he was shot,” the reader receives all the information he needs to understand and enjoy the paragraph from one word, “alone,” and that is why Alexander Woollcott repeated it; for, as a good writer, he enjoyed his story as a reader would. To both the average reader and the writer the key word here is “alone.” To the murderer who might have written this passage, the key word would be “shot,” and to his defense lawyer it would be “evidence,” whereas if the laundryman had written this story in his leisure time, the words “wrinkled pajamas” would have special emotional value.

Hence, the key word in a written document, which the writer singles out for special speed or hesitancy, is characteristic of his true relation and particularly his immediate aims in relation to what that key word stands for.

Such changes of pace are detected either through a change in slant or the position on the page, which the writer gives to such key word. An increase in right-slantedness is indicative of a (perhaps unadmitted) warm feeling, and a lifting up into a higher zone is characteristic of hope, joy, and elation; a slower, joyless pace can be recognized through a decrease of right-slantedness and a dropping of the word.

In this signature the first name is well placed, the family name markedly dropped; the interpretation suggests itself.

In one case, an application for employment, I found that the name of the former employer had been almost imperceptibly dropped below the line more or less as in the above sample. Upon questioning, the applicant admitted that she had left her previous position after a series of disagreements with her former employer.


Theoretically, there may be as many directions of lines as there are writers. Even the same page may show lines of different types. Still, there is no reason to be bewildered or anxious. The main variations of the straight, regular line are listed below with their interpretations. And whatever experience offers in additional variations most probably can be interpreted by means of the imitative method. Indeed, he who adopts the imitative method cannot be permanently baffled by any of man’s finest gestures.

Examination for Lesson 7

1. In handwriting analysis, what indicates mood?

2. When analyzing one’s script, which is a true sample, writing done on lined or unlined paper? Explain.

3. If one would take a ruler, to determine how straight the base line is, under which zone should the ruler be placed?

4. What does a straight base line indicate?

5. What type of base line is illustrated in the following sample and what does it reflect?

6. What type of base line is illustrated in the following sample and what does it reflect?

7. Which type of base line reflects falling prey to mood swings?

8. How can variation of one’s mood be determined?

9. When the signature of the first name is well placed, and the family name is markedly dropped, is the interpretation positive or negative?

A. Positive___ B. Negative___

10. Is it possible that many base lines of different types may appear on the same page?

A. Yes___ B. No___

Answers for Lesson 7

1. The base line

2. Unlined paper. Lined paper has a way of guiding the writer in a course, which may not be his real self.

3. Under the middle zone

4. One who doesn’t go to pieces if something unexpected occurs. He is composed, not easily upset, straight thinking, and honest.

5. It is an ascending base line. It reflects the optimist.

6. A descending base line. It reflects pessimism and depression.

7. The varying base line.

8. Have as much written material as possible taken from different periods.

9. Negative

10. Yes.

Joel Engel is the author of “Handwriting Analysis Self-Taught” (Penguin Books)

Author: Joel Engel
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