f72r, right.  ZODIAC FOLIOS: VIRGO

f72r, Virgo, Voynich Manuscript. Credit: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

 

The Virgo folio is assigned to the month of August and the events for this month are shown below: 

August

1st

1st

Venus greatest elongation east.

Jupiter at conjunction

There are no main markers on the folio but notable features include a nymph with no star next to a nymph with both hands behind their back and a nymph in a tub which I link to the representation of Venus and the greatest elongation east of Venus in August which coincidentally occurs in the constellation Virgo at the point of the Autumnal Equinox.  The folio includes an unusual nymph with both hands behind her back and a nymph with no star, there are also many male nymphs and the subject of the conjunction of Jupiter with the Sun may be represented, its specific property as a superior planet to conjunct solely behind the Sun, unlike the inferior planets.  The male nymphs on the left of the outer ring of nymphs are wearing hats which I have associated with the rings of Saturn, one of the nymphs may be the Moon wearing the hat seen in the Gemini folio.  Saturn is the only planet visible through the night on this day, Venus is visible at dusk only and the Moon is visible near SN 1054 and follows the rising of Saturn.  The male nymphs to the right of the folio may represent Mars and Jupiter.

f72r, Virgo, Voynich Manuscript. Credit: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Overlay by P. Han showing main points of interest on the folio.

The central figure holds a star which I have assigned to represent a supernova.  The star held by the central figure may refer to a fifth supernova and the iconography of the Virgin clothed in the Sun is well known, although a future reference.  SN 1006 is a very well recorded  extremely bright supernova which would just skim the feet of Virgo in relation to a North Pole centred Chinese style star map but appear to be more in line with Libra, so this may be an alternative explanation for the star held by the central figure.

If the elongation of Venus in Virgo is assumed to be the main event of this month, then the markers on the central figure (hands pointing and eyes) centring on Venus in Virgo line up with the hands (yellow lines) marking Venus and the eye markers marking SN 1054 and SN 5 BC, but as neither of these are in the sector of Virgo.

f72r, Virgo, Voynich Manuscript. Credit: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Overlay by P. Han showing eye (red and black) and hand (yellow/red, yellow gives direction) markers of central figure.

One of the eyes at first glance appears to be looking at SN 1604 (black line) but on closer examination has a very clear vertical line for the pupil which is in line with SN 1054.  Both these supernovae however were mentioned in connection with the star of Bethlehem by Tycho and Kepler though in different context and as such may both be expressed by the eye markers.  In the merged star map and folio below the relative positions of Venus and the head of Virgo have been kept and in this example the star held by the central figure on the folio is located within the constellation Virgo.

Celestial North Pole centred star map, 01/08/1054, Kaifeng, China. Credit: Redshift6/f72r, Virgo, Voynich Manuscript. Credit: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.  Overlay by P. Han showing eye and hand markers on folio f72r central figure compared to actual star map.

Alternatively, the star held by the central figure may refer to SN 1572, although SN 1572 is in the sector marked by Pisces on a North Pole centred Chinese style star map it is directly opposite Virgo and the Virgin looks directly at SN 1572 through the North Pole.  However, the full body position of Virgo is not preserved in this example and the central figure on the folio is clearly not looking at SN 1572, this seems a less likely explanation.   In conclusion the Virgo figure most likely details the positions of  SN 1054 and other supernova in August but also an unknown supernova within the Virgo sector.

 

BACK

Copyright 2010 P. Han