Chapter 2b

Main, Minor, Chance Lines, Proportion, Two Hands

by William Benham

Aside from the Main lines, there are 7 Minor lines:

  • the Ring of Solomon
  • the Ring of Saturn
  • the Girdle of Venus
  • the lines of Affection
  • the line of Mars
  • the line of Intuition
  • the Bracelets, three in number, but of which only the upper one is worthy of consideration

There is another Minor line, called the Via Lascivia, and supposed to be a sister line to the Mercury line. But I consider it as a chance line, and so it does not have fixed place among the Minor lines.

These 13 lines are always in the same relative location, though their start and course through the hand vary infinitely.

The Main lines do not exist in every hand, but always some of them.

The Heart line is seldom absent, though more often so than the lines of Head and Life.

The Head line is present in ninety-nine per cent, of hands, though sometimes very short.

The Life line is seldom entirely absent, though I have seen cases where it was, in subjects who had no robustness of constitution whatever, but existed entirely on their nervous force.

The line of Saturn is frequently absent, and the lines of Apollo and Mercury more frequently so.

The Minor lines are found in varying degrees of frequency, and as they indicate peculiar qualities, are more often present in some types than others.

On examining a pair of hands do not be disconcerted at not finding all, or a majority, of the Main lines, but read what are there and estimate how much those which are absent have taken away from the subject.

In some hands you will find hundreds of lines crossing the palm in every direction. This multitude is made up of chance lines, worry lines, and lines showing various emotions, and every line not a Main or Minor line belongs to this class. This multiplicity of lines shows an intensely nervous person who is a prey to innumerable conflicting emotions, and through whose hand the Electric Current is zigzagging in every direction, producing electric nervousness.

Your should first pick out the Main lines, see how much they are injured by the confusion of chance lines, and for the first part of your apprenticeship in line-reading this much-rayed hand should be read simply as denoting intense nervousness.

Every one of these many chance lines is an emotion. Some begin in no definite location, and end the same way; these are fugitive impulses, which have started the subject vigorously in some direction, but the enthusiasm has died and the effort has been abandoned. While such an emotion lasted it was strong enough to burn its mark in the hand, but in the end it came to naught. These lines are not worth reading.

Other chance lines begin on one Mount and end on another Mount.

Such lines will show the connection of the qualities of these two Mounts and have some valuable meaning. Some chance lines begin in a Main or Minor line, and end either on a Mount or on another Main or Minor line. These lines are all important.

It will not be long before you will learn to distinguish between the lines of fugitive emotions and those that are really valuable.

By all means do not puzzle and worry trying to read chance lines until the Main and Minor lines are plain to you, for the ability to read chance lines develops as the Main lines become easy to understand. First learn to observe whether the lines are in proportion to the hand. If you find a very large hand, you expect deep, large lines, and a small, fine hand should be delicately traced.

The amount of Electric Current that is attracted into the body by a large finger of Jupiter, on a large hand, will be considerable, and the lines through which this Current is to flow must be large enough to carry it, just as electricians need large wires to carry a large Electric Current.

If in a large hand. the lines be very delicate and thin and of the size that would properly carry the Current attracted by a small subject, the Current attracted by the big hand will be too great for small lines, and disaster in some form will ensue.

I remember a doctor who once consulted me, in whose big hands I saw lines totally inadequate to carry the Current they were attracting. I advised him to use great care in his mental labors, not to overdo, for the Head line was most noticeably thin.

He did not give the advice serious consideration, and in little less than a year he was sent to an insane asylum a hopeless wreck.

The Head line could not carry the strong Current attracted, and destruction followed. As a contrary proposition, if the hand be small and the lines very large and deep there is too much channel for a small subject to own with safety. It is necessary to analyze each line minutely, beginning at its starting point and following its course to the end. It will not do to judge a line in its entirety without regarding every variation in its direction, depth, size, color, and noting whether it runs clear and even, or whether it breaks, is crossed, or has other defects peculiar to lines. The changes and events in our lives are read with more ease and greater accuracy from this minute examination of the lines themselves along their entire lengthy than from chance lines. It is advisable to have a method in the examination.

Begin with the Heart line, study next the Head line, the Life line, and so on.

This will accustom you to be systematic in work, and less likely to overlook important matters.

If the Main lines in the hand are clear and strong and the chance lines few, the subject is even-tempered, and is largely following the natural course of his life. If the chance lines are many and cross the Main lines in various ways, the subject is impressionable, drawn in many directions, and will change his natural life’s map.

Pay greater attention to the two hands when reading the lines than in your Chirognomic examinations.

People do not so readily change their type construction as they do the course of their lives. A Jupiterian subject will always be a Jupiterian, but events may change and alter the natural course of his life.

He may ruin a strong physique by excess, or he may allow his ambitions to undo him.

But he will always be a Jupiterian, though the course of his life has been diverted.

I have seen:

  • good lives shown in the left hand and ruined lives shown by the right
  • naturally nervous, weak, vacillating lives, shown in the left hand, changed to strong, well-directed lives in the right

These show the change in the life of the subject, either from good to bad or bad to good.

With all the lines, note:

  • where they begin
  • their course of travel
  • the place they end.

From the source of a line the origin of a trait may be determined, and by the bends in a line we may learn what things have drawn it out of its course, and the final outcome is indicated by the place at which it ends.

Note every defect in the line. See whether these defects destroy the line, weaken it, or what change they effect. Note all added lines, sister lines, or individual signs which strengthen or repair the lines.

Before beginning a separate consideration of each line it is necessary to learn to distinguish a good line from a defective one, and to tell what the defects are, and how they may be repaired.

The next chapter will accomplish this, and in it we will also consider the individual signs, some of which are produced by defective lines and should be considered as such, and all of which should be thoroughly understood before starting with the separate lines.

In these first chapters I desire to make clear the general principles governing the lines, and to start you to applying the Current theory to them, after which there will be no difficulty in reading the separate lines.

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