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Re: Voynich -- Opening The Doors #4

There is of course quite a lot in Dana's most recent post
which may be challenged.
The problem is that many (if not most) of the images in
the VMs are open to various interpretations. It is not
clear to me how one can decide which is right.

>      I imagine that there has already been a considerable amount of
> discussion concerning Alchemy in the Voynich manuscript. In fact,
> Alchemy seems to have a major role in the VMS.

Alchemy has been discussed, and people who really know the
subject intimately are of the clear opinion that alchemy is 
_not_ one of the main subjects in the Voynich MS. It is 
evidently possible to assign an alchemical meaning to some
of the illustrations, but what's important is
that none of the main alchemical subjects, nor any of the
main types of alchemical illustrations can be found in the
VMs. At least that is how I understand Adam McLean's argument.

> A key to recognizing
> the connection to Alchemy can be found at the bottom of folio f79v
> where we see a group of animals including a naked nymph with a fish
> body and tail, a salmander, maybe a white dog, a white horse
> (donkey?), and what looks like the carcass of a ram arched above the
> horse's head. I have seen this carcass before. Could this be the well
> known Golden Fleece...

In this page I see a lot of heraldic elements, so we have at 
least two different interpretations. The cross is clear. The
mystery object below could be a garter (knights of the garter) 
then the salamander, the golden fleece and what to me looks like
a heraldic lion (with claws and all).
Now what all these heraldic signs would be doing here in the VMs is
unclear to me, so I will not say that my interpretation is the
right one. 


> I believe
> the VMS botanist was interested in vascular plant physiology and the
> cycle of flow of nutrients and liquids within plants. 

I don't know. Wouldn't this be a subject for a much later age than
where the VMs probably comes from?

> I wonder if the tray at f78v connects to the tubes at the left
> side of 81r? 

Well noticed. They do. This tells us that f79 and f80 may be in 
the wrong place...

> On the first page of the VMS there are two large characters
> that look like they may also be a reference to alchemy. The
> first looks like the double-headed eagle and the second looks
> like the Regulus symbol referenced in D'Imperio's
> "The Voynich Manuscript -- An Elegent Enigma" (p.120) with
> smoke rising in the middle.

The first symbol looks exactly like the astrological Aries
symbol in the old style. Unfortunately, I cannot find anymore
the gif of an old Greek illustration that contained it. It is
indeed also similar to the Regulus symbol given by d'Imperio.
These are both astrological symbols.
The second one looks very similar indeed, with smoke rising
in the middle, but I have not yet found a satisfactory 
explanation for it.

More could be said, I'm sure. One really has to be very careful
building a hypothesis about the origin of the MS based on
assumed interpretations of the illustrations, in the face of
so many alternative explanations.

Best wishes to all,