Wednesday, June 28, 2017


The Voynich manuscript has been carbon dated to the 15th century (~1430). 
   Housed in Yale's Beinecke Library, it depicts largely middle-aged women dancing naked in the water of a cave, and also around star designs and zodiac signs. Other pages illustrate plants and herbal jars. 
   Statistical analysis of the manuscript's text reveals patterns similar to those of natural languages, in fact more complex than English, meaning that it is highly unlikely to be a codified language or a hoax. That much is scientifically proven. 
   Astonishingly, no one has been able to read the Voynich manuscript or figure out where it originated, who wrote it, or what its purpose was. 

   The theory in this blog establishes the following:
A progenitor of Scottish Secretary Hand most closely akin to medieval Cornish manuscripts such as the Ordinalia and northern Scottish/Irish manuscripts, including the preserved letter from Robert the BruceThis blog contains a new and original transcription alphabet.
A combination of old Finnish and Old Norse with some Slavic, the arcane Kven tongue OR a dialect that evolved where Austria, Hungary, and Croatia meet remain the best bet; however, a plethora of dialects in north Europe, many of them extinct, are viable candidates, perhaps especially dialects spoken around A) Torne Valley and northern Norway B) the island of Naissaar, Estonia, when it was inhabited by the aibofolket, Estonian Swedes, in the 15th century; C) the medieval towns of Lohja, Porvoo, and Naantali, or D) the older villages of Karelia.
The many women drawn in it, called "nymphs" or elided altogether in other theories, are central instead of peripheral to it. They themselves actually wrote and drew it. They are possibly the legendary Huldra, participants in a Neolithic cult of tripartite Rhea (later [f]Reya), the original Finnic practitioners of what was then appropriated and dubbed by the Norse as Seiðr during the Late Scandinavian Iron Age. In Finland, Estonia, and Scandinavia, the Church later terminated the sacred HIIS and the underworld called Hiiela by substituting the hiis with the Church graveyard. They were healers, herbalists, midwives, brewers, bakers, cooks, spinners, weavers, embroiderers, well-water guards, water navigators, jewelry makers, tradespeople, land owners or birkarls, noblewomen, singers, dancers, and diviners. The manuscript celebrates these occupations. 
Literary Form
BaltoFinnoNorse poetry and song. Trochaic chant in the tradition of the great Finnish epics, possibly even in Kalevalan meter itself. Akin to Seto Leiko Hõpõhelme, leelo song, which is said to be able to bring down walls. Alliterative, repetitive, and playful with words. Nonlinear, with depth symmetry, like a joik. The manuscript could in fact be a guide (akin to the zibaldone)--songbook, calendar, and map--for these women to go south on a specific pilgrimage in the springtime, according to an ancient, pre-Christian folkloric belief system, the remnants of which can still be discovered in Europe today.
Origin Hotspots
LofotenNorway coming around the Gulf of Bothnia to Southern Finland (Naantali, Lohja) are definite candidates with almost as high a likelihood running from the Baltic region down to the Alpine mountains bordering Slovenia/Croatia, Austria, and Hungary. In these areas particularly, a patchwork of the oldest European belief system can be found in remnants, and the Voynich manuscript echoes them.
Geographic scope
Rosette map contains Fennoscandia, the Baltic, Danubian EuropeRussia's Golden Ring, the Black Sea, Mount Elbrus, and the Urals.
The women were depicting themselves performing a shamanistic water/cave ritual celebrating the sempiternal cycle of nature manifest in the seasons and in the span of human life from birth to death. The backdrop for this ritual is north European (Finno-Ugric) cosmology that reaches back into the Neolithic. Sauna/banya, still enjoyed today, echo these ancient rites, as do pilgrimages to sacred springs that have been in more recent times dedicated to saints, as well as several seasonal festivals, such as one known in English as Twelfth Night.

In the center of many of the star charts is a woman's face. These star charts may depict a celebrated Nordic ancestor (disir) and her descendants (represented by the smaller, surrounding stars) and not astronomical bodies or constellations. Indeed, these star charts resemble the large, circular brooches worn by Nordic women during the phase in their lives when they are fertile. These brooches are often said to represent the sun. The women's faces in the centers of the star charts often have rays like the sun. These symbols all hark back to an ancient female sky deity celebrated under various names throughout northern Europe.

The rosette map in the manuscript records an ancient pilgrimage from Fennoscandia to the Perm in the northern Urals marked by passage via waterways, many of which were subterranean. The blooming of plants on riverbanks beside castles helped pilgrims know when it was time to rendezvous. Stars with their varying numbers of rays may represent acolytes.

The belief system depicted in the Voynich manuscript was alluded to in sagas such as the Edda. In time it was subsumed under the spread of Christianity and re-emerged as the cult of Mary and Saint Birgitta, which was centered in Reval (Tallinn) though widespread throughout the Baltic region and into Germany. The murals of Saint Lawrence cathedral in Lohja, Finland, serve as a semiotic bridge between the pre-Christian Voynich Manuscript and the more classical, Judeo-Christian iconography of later churches around the Baltic region. 
As with all shamanism water and caves were main metaphors for travel between life and death. The belief system played out on every folio is a remnant of the Neolithic fertility paradigm that once spanned Europe under names like Freya, Holda, Nerthus, Perchta, Holle, Akka, Rán [raun or raahn], and Frau Gauden. These former deities can be traced only vaguely in their later surrogates--the docile, vapid vessels of the Virgin Mary, Freya, and myriad saints who have taken over wells and springs, etc. In order to survive, the old belief system went deep underground and obviously at some point, and oftentimes with inhuman brutality, died out so thoroughly as to mystify us whenever any actual historical remnant of it gets unearthed.
The wisdom throughout the Voynich manuscript is that of the folk. It is not classical, not Judeo-Christian, not Hebrew, not Islamic, not Chinese, not South American, not Arabic, not scientific, not a cipher, not gibberish, and not a hoax. One of the duller attacks made on this theory is that nothing in it reflects any of the current research going on elsewhere about the Voynich manuscript. Indeed,  little to no real light has been shed on the Voynich since the statistical analysis and carbon dating. Most certainly this theory is a radical departure from the many blind alleys down which other scholars are still camped. Beautifully, none of the actual science done about the Voynich conflicts with the theory presented here in this blog--not the carbon dating of the vellum, not the consistency of the vellum (more like calf than the goat often used in more southerly locations), not the statistical language that suggests that it is a natural language. 
Sauna and Banya, herbal knowledge, embroidery, folk songs, Twelfth Night traditions, lore (fairy tales, myth, and legend, including Tannhauser's), folk design (octogram and kolovrat), coracle design, the shell grotto of Margate, and, oh um, the Voynich manuscript. The herbal jars are treenware, household implements made from wood, often involving being turned on a lathe, further carved, and then painted. The containers in the Voynich most resemble wooden sewing nécessaires, needle cases, spice grinders and spice towers owned and used by women in their everyday work of cooking, brewing, healing, and sewing from the 11th to the 17th century. The plants in the Voynich are rendered by artists inured in the tradition of embroidery and other women's handicrafts. The flowers are often drawn and painted in a style reminiscent of needlework from, say, Muhu Island. 

30 Keys to the Voynich Manuscript

The research outlined below indicates northern Europe as the Voynich manuscript's origin, and it goes further.
1. Transcription Alphabet - 90 words gleaned using the transcription alphabet in this blog suggest constructions of an old Finno-Ugric origin with a substantial amount of Old Norse. In addition, there is a distinct Slavic influence. (Below is apai, aunt in Udmurt)

2. Female suns  The Voynich manuscript with its heliocentric star charts was written 105 years before Copernicus’ publication that posited the sun in the center, causing the Copernican Revolution. That's a dead giveaway that the Voynich was created outside of the scientific canon. Having little to do with astronomy, the Voynich suns represent some core elements of north European mythologies that can be found in Scandinavian, Finno-Ugric, north Germanic, and even to some extent Celtic traditional belief systems. These belief systems go back thousands of years.

3. A location with the topographic features depicted in the Voynich manuscript: marble caverns with extremely green water

4. Kolovrat – swirled star

5. Head-dresses

6. Spa/Sauna/Banya

7. Held objects: torcs and Seidr staff

8. Folk art motifs similar to those found in Karelia and elsewhere in N. Europe

9. Seasonal calendar and the Wheel of the Year

10. Architecture

11. Design reminiscent of Sami shamanic drum

12. Plants from northern hemisphere
Bog rosemary, only found in bogs in cold peat-accumulating areas
    And Pedicularis flammea found mostly in subarctic regions

 13. A congruence between the graphics and translations of the text, which speaks of seasonal folk rites within discrete north European belief systems to bring abundance and protection.

14. Complexion and build of the women

I have observed a connection with fertility in the case of the lizard motif (e.g. Figures 48, 51–52). This fits to the explanation according to which lizard symbolised Earth and the under-world, the world of the dead.  From: THE PERMIAN ANIMAL STYLE, Editors Mare Kõiva & Andres Kuperjanov & Väino Poikalainen & Enn Ernits.

16. Rain/water/fertility rituals in northern European folk traditions as documented by Sir James Frazer

17. A plausible, missing piece of provenance tying the manuscript to recorded history

18. Treenware

19. Mention in Legend and History
20. Norse words used throughout manuscript: eller, kor, ella, som, alla
21. Consonant gradation
22, Norse runic glyphs

23.  Heliocentric star charts resembling brooches

24. Labels on herbal jars include a base, a fertility booster, a wound salve, and a medicine for liver. Also, the herbs in the jars, are being identified.
25. Nordic names for women being used in the calendars.

26. Correspondence with northern European mythic cosmology.

27. Correspondence of handwriting style with another historical document from northern Europe.

28.  Correlations in phraseology to traditional rune songs and chants that use a distinct meter.

29.  Folk dance poses.

30.  A pronounced absence of symbolism that would indicate any other culture.

These various elements within the Voynich manuscript all converge on northern Europe as being the origin.

So who came up with all this, tying the Voynich manuscript to north Europe, the Huldra, and Finno-Ugric traditional beliefs, the transcriptions, and the translations in this blog?
I did. CV on LinkedIn

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: The Latency and Mutations of Christianization in Various Regions of Northern Europe

Women in the Baltic region in the late middle ages might be seen as thralled in a catch-22. If they tried to live freely, practicing their rites under no institutionalized guard, they could easily fall prey to the booming slave trade of the times, when word had gotten out that there was a great demand for blond girls in other parts of the world as far away as the Middle East. Trade in blond girls during this time proved very lucrative.
The choices for protection weren't many: from the East, the Eastern Orthodox Church; from the West, the Roman Catholic Church often administered under the auspices of the Hanseatic League; from the South limited protection once came from such tribes as the Kumon, who practised shamanism/Tengrism, but even these were branching out and forming alliances with Christianized states; or these women could try their luck hiding out in caves and relying on their own canniness and extensive reputation as sorceresses. The pressures to conform and seek protection must have been intense when many parts in Europe were staging witch hunts in the latter part of the 15th century. By then the Hanseatic League was losing its power.

Above: Hungarian King Ladislaus I of Hungary (left) fighting a Cuman warrior (right), from the Székelyderzs (Dârjiu) Unitarian Church, Romania. Most info centers around the two men fighting with identification of the women holding the halberd with a star as simply a girl. She could be a reference to protection from the slave trade or protection of an old women-centered belief system, i.e., paganism.

What often happened was that the woman-centered part of belief systems were subsumed under safer cults of the Virgin Mary, with the more pagan vestiges either dying out or becoming clandestine.

Proof of a Booming Slave Demand for Finns

Finns were especially valuable on the slave trade market because they were neither Christian or Muslim, and because of their light skin colour. Korpela explains:
The most expensive slave on the Caffa register was a 14–year-old white boy referred to in the source text as “Jarcaxius” (“Circassian”?), who was sold for 750 aspers, and there were other slaves with good colour qualifications that seemed to carry an above-average price. One four-and-a-half-year-old Rus’ian “white” boy cost 185 aspers, although such young children were usually very cheap on account of their high mortality rate. “White” Saracen slaves were also overpriced in the Genoese registers, and blond boys and girls were expensive on the Italian markets, too.
The slave trade in Eastern Europe gradually faded, as the control exercised by the emerging structure of European states became stronger. The spreading of Christianity also caused a decline in slave trade during the medieval period. Slave trade within Europe declined already in the early medieval period, but in regions bordering on Islamic countries, slave trade continued up until the pre-modern period. Source: Why did Medieval Slave Traders go to Finland? APRIL 17, 2014 BY MEDIEVALISTS.NET

Estonia a last stronghold against Christianization

Estonia has the distinction of being a nation where Christianity was held at bay the longest. For example, in 1261, warfare continued as the Oeselians (Estonians inhabiting the island Saaremaa) had once again renounced Christianity and killed all the Germans on the island. A peace treaty was signed after the united forces of the Livonian Order, the Bishopric of Ösel-Wiek, the forces of Danish Estonia including mainland Estonians and Latvians defeated the Oeselians by conquering the Kaarma stronghold. Soon thereafter, the Livonian Order established a stone fort at Pöide.

Livonian latency and mutations

Saints’ cults played a crucial role in medieval society. Although we know very little about the beliefs and rituals of the indigenous peoples of Livonia, either before or after the thirteenth-century conquest, we may assume that the process of Christianization must have caused major changes in their religious practices. How quickly these changes took place, and how deep they were, is a question which is difficult to answer, given the scarcity of sources describing the attitudes of the indigenous peoples towards the Christian faith, or dealing with their religious customs. This is valid not only for the thirteenth century but also for the rest of the medieval period. There exist, of course, brief complaints in documents such as church statutes about the ignorance and superstition of the ‘non-Germans’, but these texts were written by and from the point of view of the ruling elites and not that of non-Germans themselves, who did not possess a written culture before the nineteenth century. One may also assume that complaints about such matters were a commonplace in other newly Christianized countries as well. Source: Saints’ Cults in Medieval Livonia, AUGUST 3, 2014 BY SANDRA ALVAREZ

Local Traditional Folk Knowledge Was Subsumed Under Church Institutions

The old tradition of monasteries as healing centres continued throughout the late Middle Ages. In particular, the ancient learning of herbal tradition was preserved and transmitted in monastic manuscripts," as is exemplified in the chapter of Niiranen, in which the herbal recipes of the monastery of Naantali is analysed. Such learning was not a monopoly of monks and nuns and herbal guide books were used in lay settings as well. During the last centuries of the Middle Ages lay settings became increasingly important in the field of healing, as monasteries lost a lot of their former importance after the birth of universities. From the fourteenth century on, new types of sources such as health books and personal health guides, texts produced mainly for the upper middle class, increased in number. Guide books were composed also by the elite, as McClecry's analysis of the Portuguese king Duarte's (1433-1438) texts, Loyal Counsellor and Book of Advice, reveals. Not only living well but also dying well was in the interest of medieval people; these moral issues were also emphasised in artistic representations, as Sophie Oosterwijk argues in her chapter "This Worlde is but a Pilgrimage': Mental Attitudes in/to the Medieval Dante Macabre." 
SourceMental (Dis)Order in Later Medieval Europe 

Curiously, despite common beliefs regarding the maladies and generally recommended therapeutic measures, there are not many similarities at the individual recipe level between the five recipe collections, for example the systematic use of a certain plant for a certain ailment. This is due to the fact that medieval materia medica is a very broad tradition, embracing various cultural layers and apparently plenty of regional or even local knowledge. Based on this limited survey, it seems that Hildegard's Physica contains the most divergent sources, probably local in origin and perhaps founded on her personal empirical experience. One suggestion is that she received support from persons who visited her monastery. One such individual was the Swedish Bishop Siward from Uppsala, whose impressive library may have enhanced her medical knowledge. In spite of this possible Swedish-German network, it is hard to see any closer ties between Physica and the Naantali monastery book, though for a more definitive view this topic would require further investigation. Many monasteries did produce and copy various texts, but they could also receive and heal patients in hospices and infirmaries. Medical knowledge was also needed by cloister inhabitants for their own use, especially when physicians were not available, as was the situation in Naantali. The first university-educated doctors apparently did not come to Finland until after the Catholic Era in the sixteenth century. In addition to monasteries and physicians, who increasingly took over the responsibility for curing and healing from monks and priests after the emergence of universities, other professionals, such as apothecaries, appeared on the medical market. All these groups of professional, semi-, quasi- or even unprofessional healers participated in practising, teaching and conserving the art of healing by copying, writing and compiling medicinal texts. To sum up, medieval recipe books from both the South and the North show that when institutional care was limited, recipes provided information, therapies and prevention for men and women regardless of their social group and in the most intimate areas of life too, such as sexuality.
Source: Infirmity in Antiquity and the Middle Ages: Social and Cultural Approaches by Christian Krötzl, Katariina Mustakallio, pages 239-240

The Latency of Orthodox Christianity to Russia and outlying lands

In the following passage, an Orthodox missionary, apparently based on Archbishop Nil of Irkutsk (1799-1874), is bemoaning the laxity of nineteenth-century Siberian converts in a tale by Nikolai Leskov:
In fact some of the baptized went back to their former belief — in lamaism or shamanism; while others made out of all these beliefs the most strange and absurd mixture: ... Double-belief was maintained not only among the nomads, but almost everywhere among my flock .. . 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Permian Animal Style and early non-Church manuscripts

This is the long answer to a question asked in the comments section of the Questions List.

The Permian Animal Style

The Permian style survived well into the 13thc, and never completely vanished. In the spring of 2001 the water level in the channel of Sofjanga connecting Pjaozero and Topozero lakes (Kumskoye reservoir) sank, exposing the Sofporog Discoveries: 10 bronze thongs and their fragments; and a flat rustling bird-shaped pendant with eyelets, two appendages - one with a small bell, another with a paw, perhaps, from other articles. These decorations dating back to 12-13 centuries are undoubtedly of northeast origin. Most likely, the center of their manufacturing were the Volga region of Kostroma and Kama region, from there they came to northwest territories.To the same period can be attributed a horseshoe fibula with two small heads. Such fibulas are often discovered in so-called Lappish (Sami) monuments in the north of Sweden. These monuments could in fact be Kven, who shared Finnic lingual roots with the Sami and who often enslaved and collected taxes from the Sami.

The conic rustling pendant with three small bell appendages characteristic for monuments of northern Finno-Ugrian territories of 12-13 centuries kept well, they are known in Ladoga lakeside tumuli, however the greatest number of similar finds is related to monuments of the Volga region of Kostroma. They were used as female belt decorations attached to the belt by laces.

Three elements of a chain - branches - with loops on both ends are also among finds of the medieval period - in Ladoga lakeside female burial of 11-12 centuries, in the north of Sweden, in Ancient Karelian sites of ancient settlements of Paaso, Tiversk, etc.

Certain repeated motifs of the Perm animal style cannot but make you wonder, such as, for instance, elk-headed men, three-eyed goddesses, and birds of prey with a human face on the chest.

Permian bronze casts were produced by the Komi and Udmurt people between the 4th and the 14th centuries. Their style is referred to as the 'Permian animal style.' In the 10th century A.C. the Perm animal style degraded but left an impact on the development of art of the Ural peoples: its traits were inherited and preserved in embroidering, weaving, fur mosaics, and wooden sculpture. To this day, Russian folk distaffs reflect the tripartite cosmic world often seen in Perm animal style.

Early Manuscripts outside of the Judeo-Christian Canon

Manuscripts outside the canon do exist; Christian monks were not the only people writing from antiquity forward.

According to scholars who are the followers of Shakhmatov, Russian Chronicles were systematically being conducted since the middle of the 11th century. There were two centers of Russian Chronicle conducted in the early period: Kiev (the capital of early Rus') and Novgorod. A result of Kievan and Novgorodian chronicle records of 11th century was Primary Chronicle (of the beginning of the 12th century), and also text containing in Novgorod First Chronicle. The Primary Chronicle survives in Laurentian and Hypatian chronicles (codices).

Icelandic laws were first written down in about 1120, and at about the same time, Ari the Learned wrote his Book of the Icelanders (Íslendingabók), describing the country's governmental structure and history from the settlement to his own day. It is likely that the first version of the Book of Settlements (Landnámabók) was compiled round about the same date.

The old Icelandic annals tell that the Black Death came to Bergen, Norway, in 1349 with a ship from England on which all the passengers had died but the rats. From this hapless visitation, Norway lost roughly a third of its population, and from Norway, the plague spread to Sweden and into Russia by 1351. Norway was so devastated that the very language that people spoke died off, replaced later with Danish, and to this day controversy surrounds Bokmal and Nynorsk, neither of which is purely what the people used to speak. Old Kven barely survived the plague and has since died out everywhere but in some place names.

The Saga of Erik the Red is thought to have been composed before 1265, on the Norse exploration of North-America.

In addition, a previously unknown letter of Robert the Bruce, addressed to the king of England, has been found in a British Library manuscript. The letter was written in 1310, and reveals how, when faced with an English army marching into Scotland, Robert made an eloquent appeal to King Edward II, asking for peace on the understanding that Scottish independence be recognised. To this day, many Scots are striving for Scottish independence.

The question isn't whether people wrote but whether their writings survived Christianization, which could be a pretty bloody business with many temples destroyed and built over, many sacred wells confiscated and renamed, and laws created to kill people who practiced anything other than what the Church condoned. There is even today an overarching bias in most academic studies toward Classicism and Judeo-Christian culture, so much so that artifacts and manuscripts that lie outside of the canon are often overlooked and dismissed as inconsequential. Many of these sit in libraries hardly known to this day. For example, only in 2015 was the oldest copy of the Quran found at a British university library. The same year, a twelfth-century copy of the 'Consolation of Philosophy' by Boethius, a statesman of the late Roman Empire, in the University of Glasgow's Special Collections was found by Dr Kylie Murray, a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow from the English Faculty and Balliol College, Oxford. Although charter culture in twelfth-century Scotland is well researched, Scotland's literary culture in this period has been deemed lost or non-existent because of a lack of surviving evidence. Literary scholars of Scotland have instead focused on the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Identifying the manuscript as a product of David I's Scottish kingdom means that Boethius was being read in Scotland 300 years earlier than previously thought.

Even within certain convents and monasteries the Church had limited influence in places like Scotland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Karelia, and Estonia. Two instances in which Rome had a greatly reduced influence are the Cult of St. Birgitta (not Brigid) and the Culdees. The Seto in particular practice the same pre-Christian rituals they've practiced for at least a thousand years.

The Voynich manuscript appears to be created in the same vein as a Zibaldone, e.g. the Z da Canal. Voynich text is probably made up of rune songs, which were very old and only handed down orally for centuries until someone apparently thought to write them down. Many of these rune songs have survived to the present day and are sung by Finno-Ugric and Nordic descendants. To this day, Kvens and their history strive to be recognized by the governments of Norway and Sweden.

I'm not sure that the writer of the Voynich was literate the way we think of literacy, and I would venture to guess that whatever language it is written in, the words are written phonetically, with few ties to an established spelling and grammar system. The text lacks a "the" the way Norse lacks that article or rather builds it in on the ends of words: (cat - katt, the cat - katten). Many words end in "er" which in the Norse languages connotes plural (cats - katter). Many of the roots of words keep going back to Finnish. So the best candidate, still, according to my research, is the old Kven tongue or some Finno-Norse equivalent.

The Kvens of Kvenland or Terra Feminarum had a pretty sophisticated culture that gave birth to much of Scandinavia and Finland, including, it could be argued, their founding royalty. They were seamen, fishermen, traders, trappers, metal workers, and very likely to have dabbled extensively in shamanism, which earned them, along with all Finns, a reputation as formidable sorcerers. They were also somehow largely wiped out of history and remain to this day a mystery. I believe, however, that Louhi may be a sort of archetypal Kven deemed wicked by invaders from the south and east of the Gulf of Bothnia.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

List of Research Questions

Following is a list of questions. Further research into them through the lens of women's culture may help to open up understanding of the Voynich manuscript. I will be adding to them periodically. Feel free to take on the one that piques your interest and to collaborate. I check the blog comments regularly and can be reached at the(dot)pyat(at)gmail(dot)com.

  1. Women's brooches (solde, solju, risku, sakta, kösöntyű) are found throughout northern Europe, often depicting the sun and signifying fertility. Do these appear to have any correspondence with the star charts in the Voynich, many of them containing a woman's face in the middle.
  2. The Permian Style of ornaments often depicts a lizard of the underworld that resembles the lizard in the Voynich manuscript. Are there other symbols that may point to a belief system akin to that held by the makers of Permian Style artifacts? Do any artifacts found around Lake Ladoga resemble images in the Voynich?
  3. One folio shows a women emerging from a fish that resembles a pike. From what cultural tradition may this be from? What are some myths or shamanic practices that might speak to this image?
  4. How much do images in the Voynich manuscript resemble elements of the Finnish Mythological Cosmos and other Finno-Ugric traditions?
  5. Stars are drawn throughout the Voynich manuscript. This blog posits that the majority of them do not represent astrological bodies but rather mythological constructs in possibly Nordic, Baltic, and/or Finno-Ugric cultures. The number of rays each stars has may be intentional and significant.
  6. Implements of spinning and weaving figure into the Voynich manuscript. A woman hold a drop spindle, and other women hold distaffs, covered and uncovered. What may be the cultural significance of these women, given that they are naked, in water, perhaps even a cave, and marching or dancing with these implements? Is there a correlation between them and the folk tradition of Frau Holle, Perchta, and/or Freya?
  7. Is there an artistic correlation between the graphics of the Voynich manuscript and graphics in murals and pew ends in various medieval churches throughout Finland and Scandinavia? For example, some of these church murals depict a demon helping women produce milk from their cows. In the Voynich manuscript, there is depicted a creature that fits the rustic description of a para, which was said to help the milkmaid increase her production. What is the evolution from para to demon? 
  8. The cadence of the Voynich manuscript appears to be related to the trochaic meter used in the Kalevala and in Baltic rune songs. The text has no punctuation. Is this because it is already divided up into phrases? Are there correlations between Leelo singing in Estonia and what is depicted in the Voynich manuscript? Are the women depicted in the manuscript also bringing about magic through their singing? One folio in particular appears to be a list of rune chants. Does this match with known traditions?
  9. One article of clothing that nearly every woman depicted in the manuscript has is a head covering of some sort. Are there correlations in style between medieval folk dress of various geographical areas in northern Europe and the headdresses throughout the manuscript?
  10. Throughout the manuscript, the women are depicted in poses strikingly reminiscent of those used even today in European folk dance. Do these poses have names, meanings, and circumstances? How many can be recognized within the manuscript?
  11. Embroidery found throughout northern Europe and perhaps especially on the islands of Estonia bear a remarkable resemblance to some of the depictions of plants in the Voynich manuscript. In fact, many of the plants are so outlandishly rendered, similar to embroidery, that they are almost impossible for a botanist to identify. Is there a language of flowers in embroidery that could crack the code to identify these plants?
  12. The rosette map is one of the most bizarre elements of the Voynich manuscript. It looks less like a map than a grid for lacework such as the fine textile, Vologda lace. Are there elements in it that could tie it to such textile work instead of cartography? If it is more a journey map, what journey is it alluding to?
  13.  One calendar chart in the Voynich manuscript shows odd configurations of faces in geometric patterns. The only relative to these graphics I have been able to find are rune staves from nineteenth-century Icelandic magic books. These charm runes are tied to the Huld, the Volva, and the Seidr. (Eventually most of the Sweden's transition to Christianity caused the ancient shamanistic practices to be pushed into the background and occasionally persecuted. Volver, who practiced seid, a Scandinavian pre-Christian tradition, were executed or exiled under the new Christian domination in the 11th and 12th century .

  14. The Icelandic Althing decided to introduce 
  15. A thorough examination of Draumstafir or Galdrastafir and a comparison of them with the figures found in the Voynich manuscript may shed light on the calendar chart and the work as a whole.
  16. In her paper, "Time and the Indo-European Gods in the Slavic Context," Emily Lyle associates the three Dumézilian functions (three sons) with the three seasons, priests with spring, warriors with summer and food producers with winter (1990:4,86). Then she combines the three into a four-part whole, with their mother, an overarching woman, representing an intercalary period (seen in many ancient calendars) as well as the entire year. This intercalary period in the winter is equated with Eliade’s period of eternal return when the old again is regenerated. The Voynich manuscript appears to have such a calendar with the seasons personified, as well as the overarching woman. Further study of this may yield rich results.
  17. A history of women, water, and ritual may shed light on the graphics of the Voynich manuscript as well as the text. Some traditions to explore are sacred spring keepers, Nerthus, Melusine, women's water drumming, Rauna, and many folk traditions captured by James Frazer in the Golden Bough.
  18. Legend has it that a Women's Land or Terra Feminarum lay in the Baltic, possibly at one time encompassing a territory from Norway to Karelia. A handful of ancient historians mention it, as discussed in the blog. What is known about this mysterious legend and what is not known? What archaeological discoveries may shed light on why the legend persisted?
  19. In the Baltic isles, boat travel was ancient, and in Finland many place names suggest that there were boat landings for men and boat landings for women. This means that even in medieval times these women had their own boats. In addition, they had their own skis in the winter. What might be the cultural ramifications of women having their own means of solo transportation this early in history? 
  20. There appear to be similarities between the myth of the Selkie and the myth of the Huldra. One is prominent on the northern isles of Scotland, the other along the west coast of Norway. What could have accounted for this myth? Are there perhaps any ties to historical events that would weave threads of truth into the fabric of these stories? Any ties between them and the legend of the Venusbergs, the Hörselloch, Finnish Huuhta Swidden Culture, and the Sithonia tribes?
  21. The Voynich manuscript depict buildings with red roofs and onion domes. In addition, the swallowtail crenellations may or may not indicate certain regions such as northern Italy or the Khanate of Kazan. Further study is needed on the architecture rendered in the manuscript to try to pinpoint a possible point of origin.
  22. The Voynich manuscript depicts the typical implements of a north European sauna/spa/banya: a bucket and spoons. Tracing this tradition throughout history, especially with regard to its use in childbirth and applying correlations to the Voynich manuscript could shed light on the work's origin and cultural context.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A Voynich Word List

Here are over 90 words found in the Voynich manuscript transcribed and translated. You can find an ongoing spreadsheet with these words here: Voynich Lexicon

For the transcription alphabet and an explanation of how it was derived, go to Transcription Alphabet and The Handwriting.

For an introduction to this blog, the Voynich manuscript, and the theory covered in this blog, go to Introduction

For a discussion on the language candidates for Voynichese and why it appears to be a mixture of Balto-Finnic and Old Norse with some Slavic, go to Language Candidates.

In Finnish, the word elokuu and elokuussa signify August (crop month)

tet: Finnish (personal, dialectal, including Kven) you (plural; in archaic English: ye)

Esaikkaisa, a word found on f23r could be an old spelling of the Sami word Isogaisa meaning superb.

Torup is in fact a name used throughout a region in western Denmark, as follows:

Graphic possibly on the spring thaw

Voynich word
Possible Meaning
play (I'm at last taking basic Norwegian and this word is now an absolute no-brainer)
A start, beginning, inception, incipience. (Finnish) Partitive singular form of alku.  From the verb alkaa (“to begin”) + -u.
From Proto-Finnic *alkadak, from Proto-Uralic *alka- (“beginning”). Cognates include Mansi овл (ōwl, “head”).
Name of a nature deity akin to Lagran Madre, la Madre de i dei, Ope (Ops), Cibelle, Vesta, Ceres, Proserpina, and others* Phes - From Proto-Indo-European *bʰehos (compare φάω (pháō), φαίνω (phaínō)). Cognates include Latin iubar (“radiance, light”), Sanskrit (bhās, “light, brilliance”),  (bhāsa, “luster, light”), and Old English basu (“purple”).
heat  (Finnish)
summer/gather/fallow (related to Proto-Finnic *kesä; Proto-Samic *keasē.)
when - From Old Norse þá and þó (adverb); and Old Norse þá er (when, conjunction), and German da (because, conjunction)
walk or path (Livonian)
to go, to travel. From Old Norse fara, from Proto-Germanic *faraną, from Proto-Indo-European *por- (“going, passage”).
refresh, waken
(a keperss)
From Middle Dutch keper, from Latin capreus, capreō, from caper (“male goat”), the same metonymy as modern Dutch bok. Cognate with Middle High German kepfer, French chevron.
the elk
kind (of animals)
south: from Old Norse suðr, from Proto-
Germanic *sunþrą.
moon/month - From Proto-Finnic *kuu, From Proto-Uralic *kuŋe. Cognates include Estonian
kuu and Hungarian hold.
thus or also
to go, to travel. From Old Norse fara, from Proto-Germanic *faraną, from Proto-Indo-European *por- (“going, passage”).
a fish in Germany/Poland OR a river in Poland called the Ukleja (formerly
in Livonia)
make a musical sound