So what is the Hand of Glory? The Hand of Glory is actually made from a human hand, the left hand of a thief that has been hanged for his or her crimes. Thus, the practise of this technique is more common to places that the law requires the hanging of the thieves. To make it even more impossible, in some lore the thief must be remained in the gallows for three days as the hand is more powerful if it is cut from the thief during the third night from his or her death.
After cutting the hand off, it must be prepared as a candle using the fat and the hair of the hanged human and then it should be energised by the use of an incantation. As I have already said, neither the exact way of preparing the Hand, nor the incantation would be given here.
The purpose of the Hand of Glory, despite its name, is not achieving glory, but helping other thieves to do their job without a problem.
According to the lore when the Hand of Glory is ignited in a house, all that are already asleep cannot wake up, no matter what, until the hand is removed from the house, and all those that are awake – as the thieves – cannot fall asleep.
It is also said, that neither wind nor water can extinguish the fire of the Hand of Glory, and only the one who lighted it can extinguish the fire. Although, there are some stories saying that milk can extinguish the fire of the Hand and remove its sleeping spell.
If the Hand is well prepared the actual Hand remains almost untouched by the fire and so it can be used again and again.
The "hand of glory" or "le main de Gloire" as presented in a dark Medieval French Grimoire
Also it is said that only the one who holds the Hand of Glory sees under its light, while everybody else see no light. Well, I don’t know if this is true. The fact is that because of the chemistry of the “fuel”, the light produced by the Hand is a very pale yellowish-white light, so if anybody could actually see the light of the hand from outside the house would most probably believe it is a reflexion of the Moon light, and so he wouldn't think twice of it, while those inside the house, would obviously be under the sleeping spell of the Hand, and therefore would not see the light.
For all these abilities of the Hand of Glory it was for long time a magic act favourite to the thieves and other outlaws that lurked in the dark wishing to pass unnoticed.
So, the next time you would see in a shop a “Hand of Glory” remember what it stands for, and although you may obtain it as a part of your Halloween decoration, do not obtain it as a symbol of glory.
Happy Halloween to you all.