Archetypes in alphabets Subconscious archetype structuralist anthropology model

Emblems, alphabets and hieroglyphs express archetype

All sets of emblems, alphabets, hour calendars, hieroglyphs and syllables, express many of the optional features of the universal set and sequence of types; at the standard average percentages; in all cultures and eras; as already demonstrated in artworks and building sites. The only explanation for the success of the archetypal structuralist model in supposedly ‘arbitrary, invented and developed’ cultural media, is that all cultural media are innate in consciousness, and thus extensions of nature; and that our conscious paradigm consistently ignored measurable subconscious behaviour until worldwide data became available to structuralist anthropology. Alphabets have often been compared to hour asterisms in an effort to trace supposed diffusion; but never in the context of archetype informing various media (Furter 2018; Babylonian Plough Stars decans), as they are here.

Some calendars, emblems and alphabets have similar sounds, numerals (in alphanumeric sets), pictographs, determinants, and related myths; in sequences that could be directly compared to one another, and to typological features isolated in artworks and other media, indicating that the natural blueprint extends to all cultural media (see the paper Blueprint on Some sets have fewer characters, usually skipping one of the doubled types (see __ blanks in some tables below). Apparent cosmology elements in cultural media, are due to subconscious expression of archetypal features in calendars and myth. All media are ‘original’ re-expressions, with a few inter-media borrowings. Culture comes from archetype, not from the sky, or alphabet, or any single media or invention or diffusion.

Archetypes in Cretan Archanes seals

Archanes seals could be sequenced by archetypal features. The sets are highly stylised, and apparently without secure traditional sequence or fixed total. Comparison to other Cretan media, via the mindprint model, resolves the sequence. About 26 often reproduced features include abstract ‘determinants’ that may be subconscious former or current spring markers (see the model list below). Such ‘determinants’ may compensate for lack of spatial layout and polar features. The set may illustrate a calendar or some other cycle, yet both sets would reveal collective and individual subconscious inspiration in the culture, in the re-designer, and in copyists.

Fourteen Cretan Archanes seals (after Sakellarakis et al 1997. Archetypal labels and sequence by E Furter).

Type; Upper Image (features); Lower Image (features):

2 Builder; Shelter or Trap (maze); on Antelope (bovid).

3 Queen; Flower (spring); on Horse (neck), Snake (dragon).

4 King; Two S-shapes (twins); on Horse (equid).

5a Priest; Zebra or horse (equid? colour?).

6 Exile; U-shape (U-shape).

7 Child; Centaur? In ropes (rope).

7g Gal.Centre; Hills or abstracts (unfolding?)

9 Healer; Podium (pillar), Herb (heal), Bent (bent).

10 Teacher; Double-axe (staff) of Apollo (teacher), Snake (snake, heal), Staff (staff).

11 Womb; Staff or Wheat (crops), Plough? (furrow?); Vase (womb).

11p Gal.Pole; Flower (junction).

13 Heart; Purse or Hand or Heart (heart?).

14 Mixer; Honey? (energy?), Brewer? (transformation).

15 Maker; Leg (smite? rampant?).

Archetypes in Germanic runes

The conventional 18 runes have graphic and phonologic counterparts in the Latin alphabet. The six others making up the conventional set of 24 runes, derive from a North Italic alphabet in the first century AD (Looijenga 1997). However runes assumed their own sequence, and set of emblematic derivations, both now testable against archetypal typology. Runes are conventionally listed from F, Wealth (here type 1 B). The tables follow Latin convention from A 1 (type 14).

Archetypes in Semitic alphanumeric sets (after Goldwasser 2006); 22 Germanic runes; Hour decans (after Furter 2014).

Type; Sound Numeral; Rune (features); Hour decan

14 Mixer; A 1; Speech (jaw, limb-joint); Ursa Minor.

15 Maker; B 2; Bough, Family (sceptre, ancestor); Canis Min.

15g Gate; G 3; Gift (bag); Galactic Gate or Canis.

1 Builder; D 4; Sun (former spring); ____­_.

1 Builder B; F/V 5; Wealth (bovid); Hyades.

2 Builder; W/Ng 6; Hail (rain, cluster); Pleiades.

2c Basket; Z/Gw 7; ____; (Diphthong)(transit); Algol.

3 Queen; EH 8; Horse (neck); Pegasus.

4 King; TH? 9; Thorn, Hammer (spring); Pisces Cord.

4p Gal.S.P.; Y/R? 10; Tree (junction); Pegasus neck.

5a Priest; K 20; Flame (4 furnace); Aquarius latter.

5b Priest; L 30; Water (water); Aquarius prior.

6 Exile; M 40; Man (scapegoat?); Cygnus?

7 Child; N 50; Chariot (chariot); Sagittarius.

7g Gal.Centre; Xi 60; Constraint (junction); Serpens Cauda.

8 Healer; AY Y 70; Home (hearth, heal); Scorpius Sting.

9 Healer; P 80; Hearth (hearth, heal); Scorpius Antares.

10 Teacher; R? 100; Ride (9 trance); Bootes.

11 Womb; HD 90; Fork, Tyr (10 staff, arms), Star Spica.

12 Heart; S 200; Ship (interior); Argo.

13 Heart; T 300; Horn, Bull, Sun (ruler); Leo Regulus.

14 Mixer; U 400; Joy (honey?); Beehive?

15 Maker; PH 500; Couple (double), Spell (churn); Gemini.

Archetypes in Mayan day hieroglyphs

The Mayan ‘month’ of 20 days, part of the Tzolk’in, 20×13=260 days, has its own set of emblematic ‘derivations’, now testable against archetypal typology. The 20-day birthday cycle is a powerful predictor of personality globally, independent of annual seasonal calibrators and of Western astrology. Mayan days are conventionally listed from Crocodile or Water (here type 3). The tables follow Latin convention from A 1 (type 14).

Archetypes in Semitic alphabets (after Goldwasser 2006); 20 Mayan day hieroglyphs, Limbs, and Images (after Pinzon 1995); Hour decans (after Furter 2014).

Type; Sound Nu.; Mayan hierogl. (feature); Limb, Image; Decan.

14 Mixer; A 1; Vulture (bird); Tongue, Spirals (polar); Ursa (polar).

15 Maker; B 2; Motion (churn, polar); ____; Ursa Minor (polar).

15g Gate; G 3; Knife (risk); mouth (joint), Skull?; Orion Club (junct).

1 Builder; D 4; Rain (storm); Eye, ____; Orion.

2 Builder; F/V 5; [Sun?]; ___; ___ [Mayan skip]; Hyades?

2c Basket; W/GN 6/7; Flower (cluster); Eye, _; Pleiades.

3 Queen; EH/Th 8; Croc (dragon); Chest, _; Cetus Tail.

4 King; TH? 9; Wind (field?); Lung (furnace), _; Pegasus.

4p Gal.S.P.; Y R? 10; House (junct, pillar); _; Pegasus legs.

5a Priest;   K 20; Lizard (reptile); Hip?, ___; Aquarius.

5c Tail; L 30; Snake-knot (rept., weave); Genital, R/snake; Capr.tail.

6 Exile; M 40; Frog (rept.), Death (sacrif); Ear (bleat), _; Capr (fish, goat).

7 Child;  N 50; Deer (juvenile?); Ear, ______; Sagittarius.

7 Child B Xi; 60; Rabbit (juv.); Foot (joint), _; Tail, Serp.Cau., Tail.

7g G.Cntr; AY 70; Water (junction); _, _; Galaxy (water).

8 Healer; P 80; __; __; __ [Mayan skip]; Scorpius Sting.

9 Healer; R? 100; Dog (canid); Foot, ____; Lupus.

9c Lid; HD 90; _____? (diphtong)(transit); __; Serpens.

10 Teacher; S 200; Monkey (arm); arms (arm), Lizard (arm); Bootes.

11 Virgo; T 300; Grass (crops); womb (womb); _; Spica.

11p Gal.P.; U 400; Reeds (junct); _______; Coma (hair).

12 Heart; PH 500; Ocelot (‘felid’); Foot, __; Leo retro.

13 Heart; CH 600; Eagle (bird, polar); Hand; __; Ursa.

13c Head; [not expressed].

All the examples above confirm that pairs of spatial opposites play some roles in archetypal expression, but challenges Harrod’s conclusions by expanding evidence of global application of a more concrete, less abstract, and more layered formula, with limited content.

Archetypal structuralist model

The five subconscious layers of expression are: (a) typological characters with specific optional features; (b) peripheral sequence, clockwise or anti-clockwise; (c) axial grid between eyes or focal points of pairs of opposites; (d) three pairs of polar junctures, implying three planes; (e) orientation of one polar pair vertical or horizontal to the ground-line or a cardinal direction, often indicating the seasonal time-frame of the artist’s culture.

Axial grid of the sixteen types (numbered 1 to 15, but repeating 5), and four transitional types (c-numbers), as they appear in artworks, building sites and iconic sets. Orientation, angles and radii differ in each work. Each character expresses some, never all of the cluster of features of its type.

Types could be labelled after any popular set, such as an alphabet, or a pantheon. Generic labels, such as social functions used here, avoid the false impression of diffusion from any particular medium or culture. Zodiac seasons and decanal hour myth labels were used initially, requiring repeated clarification that they do not arise from conscious invention or diffusion. Correspondence theories are often misled by archetypal recurrent features, or by citation of parallel expressions among media and cultures; into assuming diffusion, and ignoring innate nature.

Recurrent behaviour subconsciously and rigorously follows several quirky rules. Type characters always have their eyes (except a womb at 11, and a heart at 12/13; or interior focal points in built sites), on the axial grid formed by pairs. Spatial elements in culture resemble cosmology, but both express archetype, and do not derive from one another. Cultural artefacts express two ‘galactic’ poles (4p, 11p); two galactic crossings (7g, 15g); an annual or Ecliptic Pole at the axial centre; and two ‘celestial’ poles (Cp and Csp) or midsummer and midwinter markers. Poles are not expressed by eyes, but limb joints (junctures in built sites). Four types could be double (1v8 and 2v9; 5a v12 and 5b v13), or single (only 2v9 and 5v13); thus the total is usually sixteen or twelve. Some other pairs are doubled in complex artworks or built sites.

A shift in the position of two or three eyes could erase the sequence and the structure, but almost never does so. Axial grids are not inherent in any collection of about eleven to twenty items. Axial grids are not based on lines of equal length.

The minimal twelve type characters in any artwork, built site or craft set.

Label; known archetypal features with average frequencies:

1 /2 Builder; twist 44%, cluster 23%, bovid 19%, bird 19%, tower 18%, build 14%, sack 10%, hero 10%, book 8%, rain,

2c Basket; weave 25%, container20% instrument 20%, shoulder-hump 20%, hat 15%, snake 10%, throne 10%,

3 Queen; neck-bend 31%, dragon 19%, sacrifice 17%, queen 13%, school 12%, spring 10%, fish 6%, ovid 5%,

4 King; squat 30%, rectangle 28%, king  22%, twins 13%, sun 12%, bird 10%, fish 8%, furnace 8%, field 5%,

5a/5b Priest; varicoloured 37%, priest 34%, hyperactive 33%, tailcoat-head 32%, assembly 30%, horizontal 28%, water 24%, heart 24%, large 24%, bovid 20%, winged 14%, invert 12%, reptile 10%, sash 8%, equid, ascend,

5c Basket-Tail; weave 16%, tail 14%, U-shape 10%, contain 8%, herb 4%, oracle, spirit (ka), spheres,

6 Exile; in/out 58%, horned 44%, sacrifice 30%, small 14%, U-shape 13%, double-head 12%, caprid 8%,

7 Child; rope 24%, juvenile 24%, bag 22%, unfold 13%, beheaded 10%, chariot 8%, mace 6%, off-grid,

7g Galactic-Centre; limb- joint 38%; juncture 34% (throne, altar, spiral, tree, staff); path/gate 18%; water 16%,

8/9 Healer; bent 28%, strong 28%, pillar 28%, heal 22%, disc 14%, metal 8%, ritual 6%, canid 4%,

9c Basket-Lid; disc/hat/lid 27%, instrument 25%, reveal 16%, hump 15%, weave 8%,

10 Teacher; W-shape 44%, staff 36%, hunt master 24%, guard 20%, metal 14%, market 14%, disc 12%, council 11%, snake 8%, ecology 8%, school 6%, wheel 5%,

11 Womb; womb 88%, wheat 15%, water 14%, tomb 11%, interior 8%, library 8%, law 5%, felid 5%,

12/13 Heart; heart 83%, felid 42%, death 34%, rounded 21%, invert 14%, weapon 11%, war 9%, water-work 8%,

13c Basket-Head; oracle 14%, head 14%, weave 8%, ship,

14 Mixer; in/out 43%, time 28%, tree 20%, angel 15%, bird 11%, antelope 10%, dancer 8%, felid 8%, reptile 4%,

15 Maker; churn 44%, rope 28%, order 27%, rampant 26%, bag 20%, mace 16%, doubled 16%, face 12%, canid 12%, sceptre 11%, smite 8%, reptile 8%, winged 8%,

15g Galactic Gate; junct 30% (river 10%); limb-joint 12%.

Polar features (antithetical triangles in the centre) also follow universal average frequencies. The axial centre is usually unmarked at about 60%, or on a limb-joint or juncture, expressing both ends of a polar axle, and thus the projection angle.

4p Gal.S.Pole; mark 82%; limb-joint 67%; juncture 17% (spout 12%, stream, speech),

11p Gal. Pole; mark 88%; limb joint 64% (hand 12%, elbow 10%, foot 12%, etc); juncture 24% (door 12%, corner, etc),

Midsummer (cp); Limb-joint 54%, or juncture 24%.

Midwinter (csp); Limb-joint 46%, or juncture 24%.

One of the polar axles is on the horizontal plane 50%, or vertical plane 12% (or on a meridian or latitude on a built site). Polar markers usually place midsummer on or near type 12, 13, 14 or 15, implying spring and the cultural time-frame 90 degrees earlier (in seasonal terms), as Age Taurus1, Taurus2, Aries3 or Pisces4. Some recent works are framed in Age Aquarius5a, which started in 2016 (Furter 2014). The type hosting spring, 1, 2, 3 or 4, is often prominent. The general theme of a work is indicated by features shared among three or more characters. Works express about 60% of the optional, measurable, recurrent features.

Categories of the identified features are apparently inconsistent with conscious logic, indicating subconscious access to archetypal logic. Rigorous average frequencies, and consistency through millennia, also rule out learning, nurture or conscious revisions. The full repertoire appears in the oldest examples, about BC 26 000 (Furter 2014), ruling out accumulation of idiosyncratic ‘ideas’, and of localised cultural ‘frameworks’, as some cognitive archaeologists propose (Furter 2014; 2016; 2019 Blueprint on

Archetypal labels for marking typological features in cultural artefacts:


1Builder 2Builder 2cBasket 3Queen 4King 4p
8Healer 9Healer 9cLid 10Teacher 11Womb 11p


5aPriest 5bPriest 5cTail 6Exile 7Child 7g
12Heart 13Heart 13cHead 14Mixer 15Maker 15g


cp csp ? ? ?


Labels are used in pairs of spatial opposites, here given above-below one another. Some pairs may remain unused; often the transitional c-types, or two of the four doubled types (1v8, 5a v12) may remain unexpressed in a work. Characters with eyes off the grid, without a limb-joint on a polar point are labelled ?. Numbering follows the horary (hour) sequence, also used in divination and emblems such as the Tarot trumps (Furter 2014), validated against atomic (proton) numbers in the periodic table (Furter 2016). Pairs of opposites are seven or eight numbers apart: 1v8, 2v9, 3v10, 4v11, 5a v12, 5b v13, 6v14, 7v15. Magnitudes are fifteen or sixteen numbers apart: 1:16, 2:17, 2c:17c, 3:18, 4:19, 5a:20, 5b:21, up to about 64, expressing base15 and base16, confirmed by chemical groups, and transition elements analogous to the four c-types. Proposed type numbers are probably archetypal.

All media express archetype

The often silent and unexamined assumption that media illustrate one another, such as art ‘illustrating’ ethnography or ritual; or myth ‘collating collective memories of major or repetitive events’; or symbols or divination features ‘deriving from’ analogies; should take caution that studies of cultural content and ‘origins’ agree with conscious, rationalised views of crafters and users. There was no conscious model, nor paradigm, for mathematical order in culture, such as the sizes of civic populations (Zipf 1949), or consistent average frequencies of specific features. Perception, expression and possibly meaning itself, is now revealed as ‘wired’ to archetype; and hidden by conscious habits, and our inability to recognise quirky rules as consistent. The core content of culture was static, and is likely to remain so, despite conscious discovery and diffusion of its features. Our repertoire of innate behaviour indicates that archetype guides nature and culture at several levels of scale, across media ‘boundaries’.

Structuralist anthropology has some experience in ‘tacking’ between data sets apparently in ‘disunity’, across time, place and layers of consciousness, as advocated by Alyson Wylie (1989, after Bernstein). An opportunity, and a pressing need in the humanities, is to study differences between core culture and localised ‘branding’, to inform society undergoing unprecedented globalisation and ‘culture’ shock. As nations and cities faction and fraction due to rival socio-economic bonds, the humanities could raise knowledge or our collective subconscious impulses, and our need for minor polity differences. A small step from modelling cultures, to modelling culture, may offer a leap in human sciences applications, validity and relevance, and potentially in popular understanding of our place within nature.


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