The book starts as if it were to be a treatise on the Sefer Yetzirah, which Wiki tells me is the title of the earliest extant book on Jewish esotericism. "Yetzirah" is more literally translated as "Formation"; the word "Briah" is used for "Creation". I am using Wiki as a source, as I am, at the moment, reading Gunzburg's text from the beginning and though she has referred to the book several times already, she hasn't yet said what it is.
Wiki says the Sefer Yetzirah relates to the various Jewish myths of creation. It seems to start with an explanation of the Hebraic phonetic sounds [not written characters] & how these sounds were used to create the world & everything in it. (See the page.) It also seems to have a great deal to do with number, as one would expect. Wiki says nothing at all about Sefer Yetzirah and written language, but Wiki also says there is no definitive text, a lot of embroidering, and a lot of obscurity. Here is Gunzburg, the opening of Chapter 2, The Landscape of Handwriting:
The Sefer Yetzirah, the sacred ancient book linking handwriting with co-creation, describes the universe as being fashioned from Space, Time and Soul. So if one wishes to influence the physical universe (space) one can make use of the physical shape of the letters which, according to the Sefer Yetzirah, are the sacred building blocks of the world. [As found, per footnote, in Aryeh Kaplan's Sefer Yetzirah, the Book of Creation, Revised Edition, 1977] On a personal level we can apply this approach to the letters of our handwriting. (pg. 6)
Well, okay. Give it a slight shift & Darrelyn is saying, The Bible (your choice of sacred book) Told Me So. Some people need an exterior authority to get their juices flowing. Let's see what she does with it.
There are mountains of inspiration, eg, b, d, f, h, k, l, t. There are the plains where we live: a, c, e, i, m, n, o, r, s, u, v, w, x, z. And there are the valleys, where we feel: f, g, j, p, q, y, z. Note that some of the third group also appears elsewhere.
So, if your b's, d's, h's, k's, l's & t's are all sharply pointed, you're mountainous. If your g's, j's, p's q's, y's & z's all swoop down low, you're a Valley Person. And if you have neither high peaks nor deep valleys, you're a plains dweller.
And then there are margins. The left side of the page is the past. The top is closeness to the reader. The right side is the future. The bottom is an excess of things to say, or a lack of plan. Letters that lean to the left are, therefore, someone who lives in the past. Letters perfectly upright is someone who is clear-thinking & objective. Letters that slant to the right indicate impatience. When I was in school, we were all taught to be impatient. In 4th grade, my teacher impatiently set my paper to the opposite of the other students, because I was left-handed & that's what her book said she should do. So for the duration of that year, I ended up with handwriting that slated strongly to the left. I have an aunt, Ila, who, while right-handed, slants all her letters to the left, as I have seen many examples of her hand. She will be 78 years old this August (2010) and is one of the happiest, most outgoing people I have ever met. Gunzburg would describe her as someone who is held by the past or has encountered early emotional hurt resulting in protective caution, or who deliberately seeks isolation & space. (pg. 20) Which, if it were true, means that an awful lot more people should be slanting to the left than what I've seen. Aunt Ila is a storyteller. Which is the past, too. But I digress.
Chapter 3, Methodology, and Chapter 4, The Alphabet, give an excellent overview of graphology, all the various elements, among them, margins, line & word spacing, letter slant, convex & concave patterns, letter size, all caps, school-ish script, how letters are connected, angularity, garland writing, arcade writing, thread handwriting, pressure, how words begin & end, capital letters, letters that have closed loops in them (such as "a" and "o"), letters that are retraced, erratic capitals in the middle of words or sentences, how individual letters are made, etc.
The book's payoff starts in Chapter 5, The Chart in the Handwriting. Gunzburg shows herself to be a good graphologist, but an average astrologer. Here's an example of the astrology. The chart is for Suzanne, born November 6, 1964, 6:50 am, Glenelg, South Australia. Follow along:
As astrologers we can observe such a chart & note possible difficulties, the 'netivot' that she may be encountering in this lifetime. The Grand Cross can lay itself open to being too scattered [it's in fixed] and Suzanne may be running around in circles for other people and not achieving anything fo substance for herself. Mars-Saturn [opposed, Leo to Aquarius] can bring in health difficulties, such as arthritis and rheumatism, from issues to do with blocked anger. Unaspected Venus in its rulership in the 11th house, ruling the 6th, . . . [etc.] (pg. 61)
But that's not why Susan asked Darrelyn for a reading. It is because
Susan's handwriting tells you it is the Sun-Neptune-Mercury in Scorpio in the 12th house thast has put pen to paper. Suzanne's family issues of betrayal and deception are intense, so much so that she may not even be aware of them, yet Suzanne's handwriting tells you they are dominant issues for her. (pg. 62)
Gee, I wish I had that ability, to see so much in handwriting, and with such confidence.
This is a very good book. Apply yourself, you will learn much. I only wish the author would have included a printed text of the many handwriting samples, as many of them are not clearly legible. As an appendix, perhaps.
Wessex, 217 pages.