In artefacts and artworks, where archaeo astronomers see ancient star maps, archaeologists see cultural traditions, and anthropologists see initiation secrets, appear a standard axial grid of archetypes, always in the same sequence.
[UPDATE 2016: Mindprint demonstrated our individual expression of archetype in art. The book laid the foundation for revealing our innate, subconscious, collective expression of archetypal structure, in buildings, villages, temples complexes, pyramid fields, geoglyphs and cities. Our collective subconscious is revealed in Stoneprint, with 400 pages and 130 illustrations, placing subconscious behaviour in the context of five sciences and several cultural crafts. Visit www.stoneprint.wordpress.com for extracts from this important new book.]
The subconscious art code or human imprint also appears in our eye, hand and body reflexology points, and in cosmology. Constellations are only myth maps, but myth, and therefore constellations, also bear the imprint of the structure of our perception.
All inspired artists, in the Stone, Ice, Bronze and Iron Ages; Babylonians, Egyptians, Chinese, Celts, Mayans, Vikings and moderns, subconsciously express mindprint, our eternal artefact.
The core content of art, myth and culture around the world is identical. Beneath thin layers of flamboyant styling and learning lies a surprisingly standard structure, beyond the conscious control of artists, mystery schools or secret societies.
All inspired artworks containing more than ten figures express a standard, involuntary sequence of types. Artists are not aware that their eye -hand -mind co-ordination expresses a universal structure.
Each figure type is characterised by one or two of its optional attributes and by its relative position. The types are spaced as paired opposites around an irregular ellipse, and precisely anchored to a standard axial structure, hinged on a geometric centre with tri-polar elements.
The structure emerging in the 200 illustrations and in the statistical analysis, is a visual grammar or art code, never before described in art history, archaeology, psychology, esoterica or popular crafts. The book is written as popular archaeology, but it has several implications for academic research.
Archetypes could be labelled in mythical, seasonal or astrological terms, yet none of these sets are origins of archetype. All are equally partial and imperfect expressions of pre-existent, universal structure.
The underlying structure of nature, culture and perception is largely subconscious, not fully verbalised by artists or viewers. Now these subconscious meanings are rendered partially conscious, and accessible by identifying relevant features, and thus types, and by using a list of the average frequencies of occurrences of the features of typology, and using the axial grid structure.
The axial geometric structure in the positioning of the eyes of the sequence of figures is made visible by drawing a set of lines that always cross in one point. This structure is visually disguised by some radial distortion (a sunburst shape); variety of subject and style; and two standard deviations, to a heart as a kind of spiritual eye, and to a womb as a kind of unborn eye.
Visual expression arises from nature, reflexology, and the collective subconscious. Learning, borrowing and idiosyncratic features do not affect the options, nor their average frequencies. The structure of perception and expression, or archetype, is inherent in all forms of figurative arts and crafts, including engravings, murals, frescoes, spiritual, religious, political and portable artefacts, professional and amateur art; and building sites (see http://www.stoneprintjournal.blog). Mindprint in ‘story’ paintings on buffalo skin are among the many indications that archetypal structure also enables myth, legend, perception, and to some extent, events.
The ‘readable’ elements in visual expression reveal a similar structure in myth, literature, cosmology, calendric cycles and nature, confirming the role of what philosophy and psychology describe as archetype.
Myth likewise uses characters differentiated by stock attributes, actions, motivations and episodes, and also expresses natural, social and cultural structure.
Art is less constrained by conscious cognitive processes than myth, which is bound by verbal, acoustic and dramatic grammar. Visual art is more direct, more impulsive, more compulsive to artists and viewers, more layered, and closer to inspiration.
The subconscious imprint, referred to as mindprint, tupos (imprint), art code, human subtext, Furter grid or archetypal art code, is predictive and testable. Practical proof of the persistence and prevalence of mindprint in art is illustrated in 200 of the 400 artworks and rock art works listed in the Index (some of the further 600 demonstrations are posted on this site, and the three related sites).
Major, testable, conceptual, as well as minor attributes of types, each with their average occurrences, invariably marked by the standard axial grid, are listed in Mindprint (2014, Lulu.com), in the Introduction and in the Statistical test chapter.
Type 5 Priest or Aquarius, for example, is varicoloured (44%), horizontal (30%), in active posture (31%), and among the four large chracters (24%) on average in all artworks [the list of known features, and known average frequencies, was extended by new discoveries in Stoneprint, and in editions of Stoneprint Journal, in 2018, and 2019; see extracts on http://www.stoneprintjournal.wordpress.com].
Type 10 Teacher or Libra has an arm or arms in V- or W-shape (53%) and holds a staff (34%) on average in all artworks.
Based on overwhelming statistical and geometric evidence of the collective, universal, subconscious sequence of optional attributes in inspired art, and of the conceptual relationships between the optional elements of each type, the tables of myths, icons, constellations and concepts in this study are proven.
They describe the standard structure of visual expression, as an involuntary art code arising from subconscious inspiration.
Additional variant expressions of each type are also considered, for example type 15 Maker or Gemini as a rope (33%) and/or bag (21%), and/or creator (such as Ptah), and/or smiting (16%), and/or doubled as in the concept of Gemini (8%) [however twins is a feature of type 4 King or Pisces], and/or canine, and/or with a hip wound, and/or in a boat shrine (of minor percentages). Identification of types rises above 90% if these variants (discussed in the Attributes section, Tables and captions) are considered together.
(Excerpt from the Introduction to Mindprint, the subconscious art code, by Edmond Furter, 2014, Lulu.com, 266 pages; 100 pages of context and explanation, 200 illustrations. The book is on mail order from Lulu in the USA at $29 plus $8 postage ($37, about R370), and at presentations in South Africa at R250. Order directly from Lulu, not from other websites that may add their costs to the price.
Mindprint is sixteen recurrent character types, each expressing a cluster of optional archetypal features, and each feature at a specific fixed frequency globally; with the eyes or focal points of pairs of opposite forming an axial grid; surrounding five polar points of limb joints or junctures in specific sectors.
The eyes or focal points of typological characters are replaced by a heart and a womb, in adjacent positions; at type 12 and/or 13 Heart, and type 11 Womb. Characters form an irregular and ragged oval, at varied radii. The spatial structure is analogous to a flattened cosmic sphere of three planes (ecliptic, galactic and celestial), with polar features of the underside or ‘south’ visible as limb joints in certain positions.
One or both the ‘celestial’ poles is incidental with the position of the midsummer and midwinter solstices, as it was in one of the last three astrological Ages (or four mindprint Ages, since Age Taurus is doubled). Celestial poles move in an inward spiral arc around the ecliptic pole, analogous to precession, and the Age of the artist’s or builders’ culture, usually the Age before the work.
Four of the types are optionally doubled or single; types 1 and/or 2 Builder or Taurus, are opposite types 8/9 Healer or Scorpius; and types 5a/5b Priest or Aquarius, are opposite types 12/13 Heart or Leo. Type 5 repeats is number in the first magnitude series (some cultural media express two or three cycles of mindprint, where 5:20 and 5:21 are differentiated by their numbers). Thus the highest type number in the first magnitude is type 15 Maker or Gemini, however there are sixteen types, since label 5 is initially repeated.
Known magnitudes of the sixteen types are 0:15, 1:16, 2:17, 3:18, 4:19, 5:20, 5:21 (where the sequence changes to sequential numbers), 6:22, etc (from where the sequence is validated against atomic numbers in the periodic table, and against features of the I Ching, though not against the variant number sequences of divination sets).
The entire arrangement of five layers of structure, is subconscious and compulsive to artists, and independent of conscious and conventional attributes, design grids, perspective lines, and ‘conceptual’ meanings and conscious symbolism. Conscious ‘logic’ or rationalisation offers various layers of optionality to artists, builders and cultures, but the subconscious archetypal features remain standard in all cultures, areas and ages.
Mindprint was discovered in 2010, and its types, attributes, geometry, polar structure and correspondence with myth, emblems, the Tarot deck and astronomy (particularly hour decans or ‘lunar’ calendars) were assigned, numbered and tabulated by Edmond Furter, and published in the art analysis, anthropology and archaeo-astronomy book Mindprint, the subconscious art code, in August 2014 (Lulu.com).
After Furter, ED, 2014. Mindprint, the subconscious art code. Lulu.com
Terminology and data has since been updated in Stoneprint, and in Stoneprint Journal editions.
Update of typology labels, features, and global average occurrence (January 2019)
This table also serves as a standard format for testing and reporting the identification of subconscious, archetypal features in artworks, rock art works, building sites, or other media.
Site /Artwork,,,, expresses ,,,,
This ,,,,, in ,,,,, is noted for ,,,,,.
General themes in the work include types ,,,,
In any artwork, building site, or sequential craft set (calendar, gods, divination list, alphabet, emblems), characters form an axial grid by their eyes or focal points, and express about 60% of these recurrent feature clusters, with each feature at a measurable universal average frequency
Type; Character (archetypal features with average frequencies):
The axial centre or ‘Ecliptic pole’ is unmarked 59%, limb joint 24%, juncture 14%.
Midsummer or ‘Celestial pole’ is a limb joint 54%, juncture 24%.
Midwinter or ‘Celestial South Pole’ is a limb joint 46%, juncture 24%.
Solstice polar orientation is on the horizontal 50% /vertical 12% plane, or north-south meridian or east-west latitude.
Polar markers place ‘summer’ in Leo /Cancer /Gemini, thus ‘spring’ and the cultural time-frame in Age Taurus /Aries /Pisces, confirmed by a prominence.
The general theme of dispersed features is type __
Structural layers of expression are subconscious to artists, architects, builders, crafters, and members of any culture.
An analysis could be scored as __/75 archetypal features; __/16 axial points; _/5 polar markers; _/1 planar or cardinal orientation; _/1 correlation with the Age, or Age prior to the work; _/2 general themes; thus __/100, minus __ extra characters off the axial grid; total __%. The average analysis score is 60%, in a sigma range of about 0.4 (40% range), from 40% to 80% of known features. The scoring formula may change if more features are isolated.
Mindprint book summary
The introduction explains how to read the illustration labels (see a post and comments on www.edmondfurter.wordpress.com), and reveals the types and structural features in art. It also notes some aspects of their disguise.
Chapter A demonstrates six examples of the typological sequence, and explains structural sets in nature, myth, grammar and our subconscious.
Chapter B demonstrates the structure in our iris and bodies, and explains our structural perception, inspiration, consciousness, psychology and disguise.
Chapter C demonstrates the structure in our hands, and explains the co-incidence of structure in our bodies, culture, events and literature.
Chapter D demonstrates cosmic structure and explains structural cosmology, astronomy and astrology.
Chapter E demonstrates cosmic polar structure and explains structural time, Ages, archaeo astronomy, planets and spherical doubling.
Chapter F demonstrates artistic structure in a famous painting by Pierro de Cosimo (see below), and explains structural symbolism, artistic functions, initiation and esoterica.
Chapter G demonstrates a rock art painting process, and explains structural inspiration and compulsive expression.
Chapter H tests mindprint in two Egyptian decanal sets [Narmer and Dendera; see below], and explains conscious aspects of expression, as well as the Tarot trump sequence numbering.
Chapter J lists the attributes and concepts of the sixteen types, reduces these to tables, offers a format for artistic typological data, formulates a statistical test, tests 170 artworks, lists and explains the results. It also demonstrates how to identify visual types and archetypal structure in art, speculates on the possibility of prior discovery, and lists the few inherent ambiguities among some types.
Chapter K compares scientific and esoteric paradigms, illustrates natural ‘art’, and speculates on the implications of the discovery of mindprint for some sciences and crafts.
Chapter L demonstrates mindprint in 200 artworks (the book contains 214 examples in total), grouped by their dominant themes, and ordered to compare rock art against schooled art. Some notable details are explained.
The postscript explains how the visual types and structure were found. (see below)
How to read the illustration labels
The typological sequence and axial grid
The subconscious artefact and its disguise
[A] The figure sequence in our art
Comparing our semi-conscious sets
Animals, Myth, Grammar, Subconscious layers
[B] The structure in our eyes and bodies
Our eyes flash Boo; Oto-visual emissions
The vortex of visual inspiration
Gestalt and Occam
[C] The structure in our hands
Our inner and outer structures converge
Archetype dressed as culture
Literate structure in a Mishnah
[D] The structure in our cosmos
Our astronomical sets
The galactic and polar cross
40 [E] The three poles of time
42 Our calendric sets
43 Ages in art
46 Age Aries, Age Pisces, Age Aquarius
50 The typological spiral chart
52 [F] The structure in our art; Honey to mead
54 Conscious and subconscious meaning in art
57 Mystery and initiation
58 Instant culture, art analysis, doubled spheres
62 [G] The layers in our expression
64 Digging through paint layers
67 The double life of decans
68 Decans on the Narmer palette
70 Decans in the Dendera zodiac
72 The Tarot trump sequence
73 Compulsive inspiration and expression
75 [J] Holistic types 1 to 15
79 Typological tables
82 Statistical test of artistic types
84 Statistical test results
87 How to identify types and structure in art
88 Commission impossible
88 Duplications and conventions
89 Conscious recognition is elusive
91 Ambiguous types
93 Scientific and esoteric paradigms
96 Nature is also an artist
97 Esoteric structure
98 Implications for sciences and crafts
99 [L] Mindprint and sixteen themes illustrated
[Note; Type labels in the first edition used mythic constellation and hour decanal names, with the warning that typology is also in myth and strology, but does not arise from any media. Type labels have since been updated to generic social function labels; and the four half-types or Basket types have since been defined and demonstrated.]
100 1 Taurus Auriga, Orion; Rain diviner
110 2 Taurus Pleiades, Perseus; Rainmaker
118 3 Aries Andromeda; Moon queen, dragons
130 4 Pisces Pegasus; Sun king, Sun twins
134 5a Aquarius Pegasus; World baptist
148 5b Aquarius; World spirit
160 6 Capricornus; Pan
164 7 Sagittarius; Bag
170 8 Scorpius Ophiuchus; Giant snake holder
180 9 Scorpius; Giant in trance
182 10 Libra Bootes; Lord of the forest
188 11 Virgo; Womb
198 12 Leo Crater; King inverted
212 13 Leo Ursa; King’s heart
224 14 Cancer Ursa Minor; Time angel
232 15 Gemini; Creator and rope churner
240 15 Gemini Canis; Creator wounded
250 How mindprint was discovered
253 Acknowledgements, About the author
257 Index of rock art tested, Index of art tested
265 Graphics sources, Sources, References.
(Excerpt from Mindprint, the subconscious art code, by Edmond Furter, 2014, Lulu.com)
==== Comment from David Allen April 2015;
Thank you for the opportunity to meet you and to listen to your talk. What you said has sent me back to the drawing board concerning my knowledge of archetypes.
What had the most impact for me was your reference to the fact that archetypes, and even culture itself, are not some artificial “construction” born of this reality, but come from a pre-existent reality that “was” before the “big bang”.
The way you supported this contention by showing how virtually one single visual pattern is repeated (with some minor variations) through all works of inspired art (I think your use of the distinction “inspired” was essential here) stretching from as far back as the Ice Age into the modern era, across many nations, cultures, religions, belief systems, continents, and throughout history, and how it can be traced in the heavens, served to emphasise this point particularly strongly for me.
Although the idea of a “pre-existent reality” is not new to me, I have found almost no support for it. If anything I have come across only deep and virulent criticism of it and so have kept an open mind on the subject. Maybe it is a sign that I need to hang out with a better class of reading material.
I found your support of this notion very pleasing because it confirmed something that always made intuitive sense to me. It will give me much food for thought and reflection in the coming weeks and months because it will feed into, and influence to some extent, much else that I am interested in.
But probably the most important revelation was that your talk has shown me how much I still have to learn and how much work awaits me in terms of now having to unpack and discard much of what I have taken to be “true”, and then to refresh my conceptual foundation and belief system concerning a number of important topics.
I begin the task of reading and absorbing your book today. -David Allen.
Themes, moods, rhythms, styles and fads in poetry and lyrics could each be reduced to a distinctive format among a limited range of modes or ‘grooves’, and compared across a gulf of millennia to identify the character of the inspiration.
So it seemed to a literature student raised on Homer and art rock. My first thesis, Urban poets and prophets, directly compared some poems and ‘art rock’ lyrics. “Once tuned in to a particular inspiration, a poem writes itself”, I announced to a literature lecturer, who in return rattled off a list of authors, such as Mallarme, who have already said that.
“We should study poem cycles for their mythic structures, and study writing techniques only for how they support thematic structure,” I announced to a poetry lecturer, who suggested that I should study philosophy or psychology instead.
My next thesis explored the structure of phonemes (speech sounds) and the limits of meaning as revealed by their artistic use in what I took to be lyrical ‘modes’, bent to similar structural rules as parts of speech. Each phoneme’s pronunciation and perception is influenced by the succession it occurs within.
We perceive the distribution and succession as a whole, a kind of auditory speed-reading that support some meanings and obscure others. The grammar lecturer replied that I should consider an anthropology or psychology course.
From a combination of Freudian psychology and myth, including Fraser’s apparently fragmented Golden Bough, emerged vague but persistent impressions that some elements of the human psyche and culture were structured, compulsive and somewhat mechanistic, but partly subconscious and expressing spiritual logic beyond conscious definition. Jung’s depth psychology I had to read in my own time, it was not part of the psychology course.
An eventual career in journalism taught me that living myth and legend, or myth in the making, dictates which news, history and even technical magazine content would sell. No story is as difficult to write and to read as one containing new thought patterns or new assumptions. News gradually revealed itself as the sceptic’s definition of history; a set of fictions we agree to tell one another.
Invisible structure dogged my writing, and my hobby as a musician. Underneath conscious behaviour and even small talk, lie elements of a bigger conversation that I sought out in Egyptology, archaeology, astronomy, sacred sites, Theosophy and art.
Archaeology Society field trips and aerial photography flips over extensive kraal (cattle corral) cities in South Africa offered me a visual framework for interpreting cultural artefacts as shaped by individual and collective economy (paths of least resistance), using ready physical material and symbolic spacing. Culture seemed also to ‘write itself’.
The idea that visual art express stock themes, just as poems, lyrics, phonemes, huts and music do, gradually rose to prominence as I studied supposed astronomical artefacts, to find archetypes instead.
Rock art images often include swallow mud nest forms, swifts in half-human shape, water and a vortex in the sky. These birds, sometimes half-fish and mistaken as ‘mermaids’, are what archaeologists label ‘swift people’ (see theme 1 Taurus16), but archaeological literature fails to address the rest of the ensemble, or visual ‘mode’, resembling predictions of the 9/11 2001 New York terror attack.
An alchemical emblem by Basil Valentine of the 1300s (type 1:16 Builder/Sacker or Taurus) contain the same features that I had linked to swift people in rock art, and in Tarot trump 16 (Tower struck by lightning), several years before the iconic event of November 2001. Valentine’s alchemical emblem shows a high-rise city, on an island across a bridge, on fire, with a tract above it being torn up or struck by lightning. The medieval caption speaks of national pride, meddling in foreign affairs and mixed messages coming home to roost, in the same terms and tone used by critics of former USA president George W Bush.
Illustrations to the modern tale of the Wizard of Oz, with the related theme of a towering city and a yellow brick road, and the synonymous song by Bernie Tauplin and Elton John, closely fit the type or mode. Lyrics to Yellow brick road (“When are you gonna come down, when are you going to land… I bet that’ll shoot down your plane”) below an image of the fallen World Trade centre, came as a shock of recognition to the informal class of archaeo astronomers that I teach each midwinter holiday in June-July.
I gradually came to understand that the subject of my short course in archaeo astronomy was a misnomer, since it revealed structures in supposed astronomical artefacts that do not require archaeology or astronomy to express or to read.
If the Tower of Babel had a type number (1:16), and a cluster of features (build, sack, rain, etc), and came with a standard set of supporting icons and themes, such as language, diplomacy and trade tracts; then other icons in art, rock art, poetry, supposed prophecy and even historic events, could carry similar heraldic and emblematic markers. If archetypal events tend to be well recorded and reported, and less archetypal events selectively recorded, then visual art could reveal a visual grammar, and in turn crack the archetypal code.
While following this approach in research, I chanced on an image of the Lamb of God (Agnus Dei) in a Papal seal imprint in ash-laden wax, posed as a query in an archaeological magazine (Voyage of the Planet, now defunct). I recognised the image from a Babylonian cylinder seal and the Egyptian Narmer palette that I had already tentatively identified with myths and features related to dragons and to Aries.
Since Agnus Dei was universally known in Judaeo-Christian iconography as well as astrology, it offered an anchor point for the underlying structure of myth. The Lamb of God also appears in alchemical emblems and Tarot trump 18 (Moon), anchoring a camouflaged sequence of correspondences, affinities, or ‘tacking’ between several esoteric sets.
Conventional logic that tags the Tarot’s crayfish to Cancer had to be wrong. The creature had to be Cetus or its tail, expressing the concept of a Kraken-type sea monster, the scaly component of a dragon, by definition a composite beast. Conventional astrology that cast Aries as a ram and ram only, had to be wrong.
Yet another clue to the sequence of types emerged from my own archaeo astronomy course material; a music DVD including an interview with rock icon Ian Anderson, genius of the band Jethro Tull, explaining how he eventually discovered that his chromatic, lilting, riffed music, and one-legged stance, resembled Krishna and Kokopelli (Jethro Tull, Living with the past, Eagle Vision DVD). Anderson does not mention Pan, but I already had his number from mythology, since forests, goats, and Capricornus ‘tacked’ to Trump 6 (Lovers) in the Tarot deck.
Combining these and other anchor points and filling in the gaps, I cracked the sequence of attributes that populate myth, alchemy, art, astrology and Tarot trumps. The little list (actually a semi-spiral with four expandable parts) soon became a lens with which to read rock art, which emerged as identical to myth and schooled art in inspiration, compulsion and structure, across the gulf of millennia and continents.
Art history and archaeology are prone to exaggerating diffusion and conventions, despite examples of independent development of similar pantheons, rituals, pyramids, temples, monuments and the entire repertoire of culture in the Americas and elsewhere. All have characters near identical to Perseus, Hercules and the rest, and modes similar to ode, sonnet, gloria, blues and hero epic.
The concept of cultural elements, such as half-humans, as idiosyncratic developments, prompted and ‘framed’ by their own cultures, had to be wrong.
Comparing ancient Egyptian rock art and Egyptian formal (dynastic) art with Zimbabwean rock art, allowed a series of breakthroughs beyond the broadest thesis or imagination of my earlier research in lyrics, speech sounds and emblems. Many figures include standard attributes in implicit elements such as a staff, a long or craned neck, certain postures, relatively larger or smaller size, pregnancy, position relative to the approximate centre, species, attire, skin paint, status or apparent social function.
The frequent distinctive attributes appear in the periphery, in a standard sequence, and as axial opposites, which in turn reveal the standard geometric structure.
The more I tested, the simpler the sequence and structure became to identify. If academia was right, archetypes should be scattered at random in art, and every region or culture should have a unique set of figures, and display different stages of development in different eras. Yet artists all sing the same hymn to an archetypal tune, over the same set of polar ‘chords’.
If art history was right, there should be no axial structure in art. Iconographic analysis of large political art panels at Wits University (see T’Kama Adamastor), Brenthurst Library (see Leonard French’s Bridge), and the Voortrekker Monument (see Hennie Potgieter’s marble friezes), confirmed the same ‘rock art sequence’ in schooled art. Only some stylistic elements differ.
Learned artists, and supposedly primitive rock artists whose visionary figurative and geometric engravings I had puzzled over on field trips, share subconscious recourse to archetypal structure. The universal structure also appears in myth and wisdom literature. A deceptively simple little list of seasonal evening stars in the Mishnah confirmed astrology as just another layer or medium, and not the origin of structure (see the Literature section).
From years of searching for a ‘unified field theory’ in esoteric literature, I knew that lists appeared in hundreds of guises, but were nowhere reduced to a universal set, except in the stereotype of astrology, and these do not explain the more ‘rounded’ halo’s of meanings that I found in emblems and art.
Could there be more than conceptual symmetry between the sixteen types that were emerging? When I had casually asked sculptor Danie de Jager about geometric ratios in art, he explained that artists had “geometry built in”.
To find these ‘built-in’ structures on a larger scale, I developed a template from what I had thought at first to be a re-construction of a ‘Babylonian’ division of the cosmos and constellations, keyed to galactic features, mythic figures of various relative sizes and extent, as well as star lore.
Once I understood this structure as archetypal, not an ‘oral tradition’, legacy or secret source, but re-invented by every culture, and innately understood by artists and viewers, healers and patients, it became obvious that the sequence and the structure were part and parcel of perception.
Most artists do not study astronomy, and would have to invest some months of conscious effort to become familiar with the interplay between the forces, positions, observation and background texture of the sky. Yet the innate structure of perception, as revealed in artistic expression, could be super-imposed on a cosmogram or star map, or on any sufficiently complex natural or cultural set.
I systematically super-imposed astrological, alchemical, emblematic, mythic and conceptual elements on the sequence revealed by my affinitive ‘tacking’, then on a multi-cultural armillary projection of the sky developed for an educational installation in a theme park (not yet built). I tested the sequence and its structure on rock art, then on famous artworks, then on amateur art.
The structure hinges on the eyes of each figure (or in frontal faces on the eyes nearest to the geometric focal point), and on axes to the eyes of each opposite but complementary types (with two constant exceptions; a heart and a womb, corresponding to type 13 Heart or Leo, and type 11 Womb or Virgo). These axes always cross in one point.
One of the first rock art works to confirm the test in all its complexity was a group of goat people (half human figures) in Turkey, in a small shelter at Mount Latmos near Ephesus. Perhaps it was an informal oracle site, or just the haunt of an inspired goatherd that may have been a candidate for a temporary appointment at one of the earlier ‘Amazonian’ oracles, or the later formal temples. Perhaps by an aristocrat ordained for religious service as a Vestal virgin or priest, or a poet such as Aesop.
As I compared the ‘primitive’ figures to sophisticated, ritualised, formulaic, programmatic art depicting Artemis and her goats, it became clear that the elaborate oracular rock art of the Matobo range in Zimbabwe was no different in impulse, core content, structure, impact or style.
Panel after panel of rock art reproductions (particularly in the book by Elspeth Parry), as well as a range of works by classical and modern masters, chosen for their apparent differences, cracked under the lens of what I eventually named mindprint.
Another strand in the braid of archetypal expression came from the order of painting. Archaeologists carefully label strata, often paper thin, as they dig down, leaving portions they name ‘witness sections’ stuck with an array of flagged pins to re-check their dig reports and subsequent seasons or other sites against. This method, named the Harris matrix, they also apply to rock painting, useful where many figures partially overlay one another (assuming that each figure is completed in a separate episode).
The method reveals likely episodes of painting, typically grouping three, four, five or six figures into three, four or five episodes. Comparison of a meticulous academic paper on stratigraphy in a Drakensberg rock art work, to mindprint analysis of the same work, revealed that the artist had painted pairs of opposite figures together. This may not apply to all artists (see stratigraphy problems in the ‘Three Magi’ rock art scene in examples Chapter 13), but the cloth of evidence was woven to demonstrate the collective subconscious inspiration, or at least expression in practice.
The evidence awaited only a statistical test, which added the final strand to the art code. Despite my habitual reluctance for quantitative grammar, the test and results ‘wrote themselves’, and revealed some visual and structural qualities that the new conceptual sequential and geometrical lenses did not initially detect.
This study traces the structure in visual expression back to the invisible structure of inspiration and perception, and thus to the structure of nature, as far as we could know her, ultimately to archetype, which existed before creation and time. Breaking through the layers of disguise and distraction that protect our conscious logic from subconscious logic, required following thousands of trails in a forest of scientific and esoteric mazes, locking out dead ends, and returning to unexplored turns.
The reputed skill of artists in translating inspiration into visual form, as a tool of individual spiritual transformation, is confirmed. Our conscious and scientific views of art, perception and ultimately identity, have to recognise that we are essentially re-creators of archetypal structure.
Since the sequence and structure of visual types are sufficiently demonstrated, as repeated and repeatable, it stands as an artefact requiring a theory, no longer a theory supported by artefacts. Relevant sciences, arts and crafts will probably find their own explanations for mindprint.
The book was written twice, first as 200 captions to art and rock art images, to demonstrate how artists express eternal archetypes in a mixture of consciously understood and subconscious, universal esoteric terms, then as a statistical research report.
[UPDATE 2019 January; Since Mindprint, the same structural features were demonstrated in building sites, in the book Stoneprint (2014). The list of isolated features, and their average features, was expanded there, and in six editions of Stoneprint Journal in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019.]
Together, the images and text place mindprint, our involuntary art code, in context with archaeology, anthropology, mythology, philosophy, psychology, art history and popular culture.
The two spheres of this book, theoretical and practical, hopefully enable conscious access to the vast array of subconscious meanings in art, in acclaimed individual works and seemingly different cultures across continents and millennia.
The revelations and conclusions enable a synthesis of our academic, artistic and esoteric views of culture. The three sides of the artistic, esoteric and scientific divide meet here on their own terms.
Mindprint leads several crafts, arts and sciences through their commonalities to the subtext in cultural and natural expressions of archetype.
To avoid the double risk of alienating scientists by esoteric terminology, or alienating esoteric readers by scientific terminology, technicalities are kept to a minimum. Concepts are demonstrated in terms of actual expressions of the archetypal attributes and structure in artworks, and multiplied by many references to the 200 illustrated examples.
Science and esoterica both operate on the principle of predictability and isolation (distinction), although science proceeds from measurables in theoretical context, and esoterica from intrinsic correspondences. This book describes and tests archetype in both contexts.
– Edmond Furter, Johannesburg, March 2014
(Extract from the Postscript in the book Mindprint, the subconscious art code, 2014, Lulu.com, 266 pages, 200 illustrations, $29 plus postage, or R250 at presentations in South Africa, or email edmondfurter at gmail.com)