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Mindprint art examples

Mindprint on the Narmer palette front

The Narmer palette front demonstrates subconscious expression of archetypal structure in a decanal set, in stock Sumerian and Egyptian pre-dynastic style. Here is the standard list of the types, with the characters in this artwork, in seasonal sequence from the former spring point, with its analogous hour decan (after Furter 2014; Mindprint).

Type label; Character, (archetypal feature); Decan

  • 03 Queen or Aries; Spouted pot (bent neck); Cetus Tail.
  • 02 Builder or Taurus; Large star (spring?); Pleiades.
  • 01 Builder or Taurus; Sandal-bearer (twisted); Orion.
  • 15 Maker or Gemini; Hathor cow frontal (face); Ursa Minor.
  • 14 Mixer or Cancer; Catfish hammer and chisel, far from the centre (egress), Y-shaped (tree); Ursa on Cancer on Hydra head.
  • 13 Heart or Leo; Horus falcon (raptor); Leo Minor?
  • 11p Galactic Pole; Horus hand (limb-joint); Coma Berenices.
  • 11 Womb or Virgo; Horus abdomen (womb). And an Asiatic marsh subject; Crater?
  • 10 Teacher or Libra; King’s brother’s genitals and hand (bent neck, of 3 opposite); Bootes.
  • 09 Healer or Scorpius; Defeated enemy (twisted, of 2 opposite); Corvus?
  • 08 Healer or Scorpius; Ribbon (snake); Serpens.
  • 07 Child or Sagittarius; Prisoners’ hands (rope); Cygnus?
  • 06 Exile or Capricornus; Prisoner (sacrifice), near the centre (ingress); Piscis Austrinus?
  • 05 Priest or Aquarius; Pond (water); Pegasus Square.
  • 04p Gal.S.Pole; Heel (limb joint) of twin (typical of 4); Cetus?
  • 04 King or Pisces; Heel (typical of 4p) of king (king).
  • The celestial pole marker is on the king’s genitals or shoulder (limb joint), confirmed by the vertical plane of the work. These markers place ‘midsummer’ in Cancer, thus ‘spring’ and the cultural time-frame in Age Aries or just prior.
  • The general theme on the reverse of the palette is type 3 Queen or Aries, typical of dragons.

The palette carries the same figures, and nearly the same sequence of features, on both sides. On the front, the characters are in a court or festival context, centered on type 15 Maker or Gemini as a smiting, ordering, re-creating pharaoh. Several optional links flip the sequence between the two sides, in the ‘transparent’ method also used in some Egyptian murals.

On the palette’s reverse side, type 13 Heart or Leo is a dwarf, symbol of a client culture paying homage. The dwarf resembles a figure in Queen Hatshepsut’s Punt colonnade, perhaps a Khoe Queen of Sheba.

Mindprint types and structure on the Narmer palette rear (Edmond Furter). The artefact is discussed in more detail among illustrations themed on type t3 t18 Aries in the book.
Narmer palette rear, with standard structuralist labels and axial grid. The artefact is discussed in more detail among other illustrations themed on type 3 Queen or Aries in the book.

The dwarf’s function and conceptual role is as important as the tribe he or she represents. On the subconscious level, the royal figure and heart of type 12/13 Heart or Leo are expressed in a foreign but compliant leader from the interior that feeds the Nile. Some dwarfs are seen as rainmakers (Tressider; Watkins Dictionary of symbols). Empire needs flattery by tribes with apparently semi-human features or languages, considered more in touch with animals and nature, and thus used as rainmakers, herbalists, and fertility or defensive spell casters.

Bushmen and Khoe or Nama (born of occasional pre-Bantu and pre-colonial admixtures) fulfilled these functions to migrating Iron Age African Bantu tribes, and to emergent mixed Korana, Griekwa and Amatola bands in South Africa. They served white settlers even during the systematic genocide and cultural extinction of Bushmen by regional masters such as the Zulu, Dutch and British.