I don't claim to be an expert, and in fact I think its better not to be one in this particular area of study, since if there is, indeed, any dynamic, meaningful memetic system here worth studying, then we are living inside of it everyday, and everything you need to understand it is right in front of your face.
My theory is as follows: Symbols fall into two categories, which intermix both esoterically and exoterically to some degree in almost all easily identifiable symbols.
The first, most common, and less powerful of the two categories could be called associational
or conditioned symbols
. These are symbols which derive their meanings from conscious attribution with some concept. They must be taught, and through consensus, make communication of both mundane and complex ideas easier.
, on the other hand, work by taking advantage of the natural programming of the human mind. Since we exist in a 3-Dimensional space, our unconscious and preconscious minds are constantly working out the geometry of depth, figures, and movement, and in our natural state this was vital in order to assess threats and other subjects of interest to our survival. The more important the geometry is to our survival, the more it can be used to manipulate us on an unconscious level.
These move from simple to sophisticated:
-The 6 pointed star combines male and female imagery and was the height of sophistication for fertility religions
-The 5 pointed star combines both human figure and facial geometry with a mere inversion. This is used as a symbol for authority.
-The Cross accomplishes the same effect as the 5-pointed star, but eliminates the need for inversion.
Tell me what you think. Questions or input are welcome.
Sky God/Earth Goddess with corresponding instincts: