In Part 1 of my observation of the Voynich manuscript I transformed the ‘zodiac’ section of the old book into map of Europe from the beginning of the 15th century.
However, new Voynich theory would be incomplete without proposal for dealing with the text. My guess is that the illustrations contain instructions that navigate the reader through the symbols. To demonstrate the idea, I will use the ‘botanic’ section of the book.
The Voynich flowers are hard to link to real plants. On the positive side, they are rich in patterns that could hold the key to the cypher on each page. If the book is really encrypted, universal code that goes from the first to the last page may not exist. Instead, the Voynich may contain couple of hundred separate riddles.
Flower with the least complicated structure would be perfect place to start. My choice was Folio 15v. It is boring, simple, single stem, lack of color patterns and lack of too many details. It also reminded me of a four leaf shamrock which may bring good luck.
The four roots pointing down took me to line number 4 of the text (counting from the top line down). Four leaves that are also pointing down took me to line number 8 of the text. The dot pattern in the bud was my cipher key: 2, 3, 2, 2, 3, twelve 2s, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2.
So I started counting the letters using the EVA (the European Voynich alphabet) to verify where each symbol starts and where it ends. The picture below represents the lines 8 and 9 on Folio 15v and the darker letters represent my count according to the dot pattern on the illustration.
For transcription I used the EVA with two swaps:
- the symbol assigned to lowercase Latin t, should read, in my opinion, as Greek/Cyrillic П=Latin p;
- the symbol assigned to the Capital Latin T should read, in my opinion, as Cyrillic H=Latin N.
I believe these two are fair swaps (orthography-wise).
The result of the transcription, divided into words of Slavic origin, was: ‘pocolin pc odin pelen ococ’ which translates in English as ‘ambassador ps one stuffed suckling pig’.
All of the above assumptions come out of thin air, but the result makes a good story. Imagine the scribe in the beginning of the 15th century thinking:
“OK! I’ve completed Rome, Austria, Hungary, England, France, State of the Teutonic Order, Poland, Moscow, and the Mongols… What is next? Pskov. What did they bring? Stuffed pig. This is not worth sharpening my quail. I’ll keep it simple. That fleur-de-lis on page 13 took too much ink…”
The good news is that the piglet from Folio15v was big enough to be stuffed. Take a look at the tiny creatures that were being slaughtered during international medieval feast hosted by Jean Duc de Berry in the famous manuscript Très Riches Heures. The book was scribed at the time when the Voynich velum was produced. The Duke sponsored scientists (astrologists and alchemists), artists, and writers (including the feminist legend Christine de Pizan). The Duke had taste for ruby jewels, fancy cups and vases. He also collected exotic animals (among them ostriches).
The weird thing about the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry is that it is supposed to be a calendar, but only eight of the months got their days numbered, their moon phases calculated and their alphabet scrambled. It is sort of like the Voynich manuscript – some things just seem strange.
When people look into chaos they try to organize it into something meaningful using the knowledge they have. More often than not the results tend to support their beliefs and justify their actions.
In Part 1 I assigned the patty-cake playing couple to Norway for no apparent reason. So I caught myself searching for Norway in the Voynich manuscript and I found fjords. The Olaus Magnus map is century older than the velum of Voynich, but I am pretty sure Scandia was already discovered in 1400.
Understanding the symbolism in medieval manuscript is difficult. To illustrate the point, let’s take a look at one famous contemporary rosette:
the compass on the NATO logo. The official website of the organization displays the following explanation of the origin of the symbol:
The exact origins of the NATO emblem are unclear, although it is known that the basic design was conceived by a member of the International Staff.
It is only 60 years old and we already don’t know who came up with it. The 600 years old pages of the Voynich manuscript may carry their secrets forever.