And when we are satisfied that here is an
intelligible system of ornament, we should then attempt to see if it is intelligible at
more than the merely significant level, like sensible geometry, but rather at the level of
symbol, as in sacred geometry.
A square has four sides, four right angles, etcetera,
all significant and intelligible enough within the special language of geometry. But what
does a square mean, or contain that can be understood symbolically?
And can all these elements be interpreted
according to traditional symbolism that is every where the same, as the mythological motif
of the dying and resurrecting divinity occurs as an archetype, and is confirmed by
If so, is not primitive ornament the oldest,
unadulterated vehicle of sacred tradition to grace the earth, and is it not time we
learned to read this eternal script of original humanity, and to apply it so as to recover
its function in our own art?