When Wieland seeks to find symbolism in a given foot, she looks at toe length meaning in addition to size, straightness, and relationship to other toes, and combines this intel with her own intuition to give clients insight into their life path. Basically, she says, she uses toes like other readers use tarot cards or lines on a hand. The main distinction is that she doesn’t give future predictions, meaning the length of your third toe won’t distill intel, like, say, how many kids you’re going to have. Rather, all of the information Wieland supplies in her in-person and online sessions is rooted in the past and present. “I give you a snapshot of where you are right now based on where you’ve been,” she says. “It’s a summary of your belief systems, your upbringing, and the stories you’ve told yourself.” There’s also an interactive element to Wieland’s readings, similar in effect to a life-coaching session. “I make observations and ask questions based on what I see,” she says. “It’s not a passive thing.”
I give you a snapshot of where you are right now based on where you’ve been. It’s a summary of your belief systems, your upbringing, and the stories you’ve told yourself.” —Angela Wieland, toe-reader
As you can probably imagine, there’s not much by way of science to confirm the tenets of toe reading—and although some sources link the practice of podomancy, or foot reading, to countries such as Iran and China, Wieland’s version of toe reading is a modern practice. (She learned it directly from the practice’s creator, KC Miller, at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Tempe, Arizona.) “The different parts of the body are a microcosm of the whole,” Wieland says, noting that reflexology and eye reading, or iridology, operate under a similar philosophy.
Still skeptical? So was I—but as I began my session, I was determined to remain open to any messages my toes sought to tell me.
The ABCs of toe reading—including toe length meaning
Before we start, Wieland lays out the criteria she’s using to assess my toes. “The right side of the body—including the right foot—is the masculine side. It’s the way you interact with the world and the past,” she says. “Conversely, the left side is the feminine side. It’s more internal, more receptive, more spiritual, and it’s connected to the present.”
The toes themselves also have their own symbolism, she adds. The big toe is known as the ether toe, and it represents spirituality, and the big-picture overview of one’s life. The second toe, or air toe, is linked with communication. The third toe, or fire toe, is related to things like action, confidence, and sex. The fourth toe is called the water toe, and it signifies relationships and emotions. Finally, the pinkie toes are connected to the Earth element, but they each have their own meanings—the right side represents abundance and prosperity, while the left side is all about trust.
Wieland says she’s never met someone with long second toes—the ones connected to self-expression—who isn’t a prolific artist or a big talker.
Wieland contends that toe reading is based, in part, on literal interpretation. For instance, she says, she’s never met someone with long second toes—the ones connected to self-expression—who isn’t a prolific artist or a big talker. But she also uses her intuition to get a read on her clients and determine what information’s most relevant to them. For instance, after my session, she noted that the teardrop-shaped space that I have between my first and second toes is sometimes related to sadness, but she didn’t sense that energy within me (phew!), so she chose not to focus on it.
Here’s what happened during my toe reading
Overall, I found Wieland’s reading to be surprisingly spot-on. For instance, she noticed that I have a gap at the base of my big toes and second toes, but that they come together at the top. “Do you ever feel like you’re too intuitive and sensitive, and you have to reel it in?” she asks me. When I tell her that’s absolutely true, she shares that people with a full space between those toes tend to be very spiritually connected. But since I only have a partial gap, it could indicate that I’m not fully expressing that part of myself. She adds that I may also be wary of stepping into my power when it comes to leadership and creative abilities, which are also associated with the spacing of the big toe. Three for three.
She also says that I may not be very grounded, since my pinkie (Earth) toes are turned down. “They’re seeking the ground. That can indicate you need to latch on to something,” she says. “Are you more emotional, a dreamer?” I am often highly impractical and have my head in the clouds. (Even though most people are surprised to hear me say that because I do a pretty good job of holding my life together.)
Another pinkie-related finding: Wieland says their round and chubby status makes her think of unexpressed potential. “I really see it on the right side. Do you think there’s some kind of obstacle to you really realizing your full abundance and prosperity?” she asks. As a matter of fact, I tell her, there is. As a kid, I remember my dad urging me away from pursuing writing as a profession because it’s hardly known to be a lucrative field. As such, I’ve always told myself that I can do this job, but I can’t expect to be paid well for it—and because I was never taught to see the value in what I do, I often undercharge for my time as a result. “I would encourage you to question the story that got passed down to you,” Wieland says. “What I’m feeling, and I think it’s true for most of us, is that we’re our own biggest obstacle.” Oh, and as for my “nice,” straight, long toes? Apparently, that tells Wieland that I haven’t experienced much struggle in my life. (Also true, thankfully.)
By the end of the session, I feel that Wieland has picked up on a lot of things I’ve been considering lately: the fact that I’m afraid to put myself out there and be fully seen creatively, my need to focus on grounding, and my blocks around money, specifically. Do many other women struggle with these things? Absolutely. Could she have just asked the right questions and gotten lucky, toes notwithstanding? Perhaps. The coaching format of the session did lead me to tell her a lot about my life, and that may have informed the questions she asked. But ultimately, I left feeling like I got a lot of value from my toe reading. I now have a clearer picture of the old mental patterns that are holding me back—and an assessment of my strengths that was totally on point.
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