Sometimes I see stuff sold on eBay or elsewhere that namechecks the Voynich Manuscript in a very superficial way, like a fine sprinkling of mystery pixie dust to elevate the ordinary into the not-quite-so-ordinary. But pretty much all I’ve seen before pales when compared with this handmade jewellery sales pages patter for (I swear it’s true, I couldn’t make it up) “NECKLACE of naiad nymph erotic magick sex slave voodoo multi lovers rare djinn“.

What kind of rare genius could construct such a wondrous-sounding sequence of allusive words? Well…

“I am one of the very few. As the last single translator of the Voynich manuscript, I am the only one who knows secret norse runic knowledge, and I have made a rare & amazing strange items to share. I come from a secret sect in Iceland of Ásatrúarfélagið Alchemists of The Exalted Most High Ones of Ásatrú. As a Most High One, I have influenced world leaders and everyday people alike. My power comes from secret sources long put aside by the waning influence of Germanic Norse Paganism and forgotten by modern man. After my teacher died and I am not teaching any further, my death shall mean my secrets will die with me. Knowledge of how to translate the Voynich manuscript with runes is something no other priest, witch, or other energy worker has. Most have no idea of its meaning whatsoever. My talents are more ancient than any other source on heaven, on earth, or in the secret hollow earth cities run by the reptilians.”

Sooooo… what do you get for your 19USD or so? Apparently “two bone beads around a coyote tooth on a hemp necklace“, which yields “an item of ultimate power and wisdom, made with runic wisdom. In this case I have harnessed the powers of the Voynich Runic Writings to achieve amazingly powerful positive results“.

What strikes me most from this is that at some point in the last couple of years, the “mysterious Voynich Manuscript” cultural meme seems to have broken out of its ‘hoodoo history’ micro-cage and gone diffusely viral into the world at large. I doubt if this was triggered by anything so rational or sensible as the Voynich Centenary Conference, or even by the whole Voynich centenary itself: rather, it seems to have “just grow’d”, one twisted little step at a time.

So in many ways I suspect the whole idea of the Voynich Manuscript now finds itself at a kind of Koyaanisqatsi-like paradoxical tipping point: a physical object that remains too incredible to be properly researched, yet which is well-known enough to find itself retrospectively attached to intangible / ethereal / insubstantial subjects that lack external credibility. In our culture at large, is it too credible or too incredible? Really, I just don’t know, sorry. 🙁

15 thoughts on “2012 Advent Calendar Day #7: Voynich naiad nymph necklace…

  1. Diane O'Donovan on December 7, 2012 at 5:43 pm said:

    Funny, I was just writing a post on something of the same lines, but scrapped it – thought it sounded too pointed.

    It seems to me the problem isn’t really this one 15thC manuscript, its some peculiar deformation that’s occurring in the way people approach historical studies.

    Perhaps it began with Braudel, or Dan Brown, or the Hitler Diaries – who knows – but it seems to be growing apace.

    Instead of learning the field, reading the evidence and investigating until the evidence presents a conclusion, people increasingly write the conclusion as a kind of ‘plot’ for which the research is no more than a colouring-by-numbers and keeping inside the pre-determined lines.

    That’s fine for an essay set by a person who knows the field well, but writing your own question, and finding quotes in support, and then writing q.e.d. at the end isn’t really research worth a bean.

    That wouldn’t matter so much if this sort of approach didn’t kill the field that it touches.

    Too much ego becomes involved in the scenario, and in that environment, contrary evidence is simply treated as irrelevant.

    With Voynich research, I’ve always been amazed by the infrequency with which people have paused to consider that book and ‘authorship’ need not be contemporary

    So, with apologies to Schopenhauer..

    The task here is not so much to see what no one else has noticed, but to think see what everyone has seen and understand it as no-one has yet thought to do.

  2. Diane: I wouldn’t even mind if people learned the field, read the evidence, and investigated until the evidence presented a reasonable hypothesis. The modus operandi of (1) you know almost nothing in a field and yet (2) you conjure up (and then cling tenaciously onto) an extraordinarily unlikely hypothesis is… wearing for everyone else, I think. 🙁

  3. bdid1dr on December 7, 2012 at 7:12 pm said:

    So, how is one to determine if a particular subject has already been discussed, maybe ad nauseum, some 60 or 70 pages and over a span of several years? Just using Nick’s blog as an example. An example that comes to mind is the “Blitz” discussion.

    Nick, Diane, et al, have you already looked into the “Clusius/Dodoens” connection ad nauseum? Do you have “words in text” indexing/searching available on your website? Boy, that would certainly cut out a lot of extraneous material.

    What makes me even sadder are the bibliography notes which appear on many “wiki” contributions. When one attempts to link to some of them, one arrives at a “dead end” or a university’s “sign in” (present credentials?) page.

    To quote Diane, “just saying” : ‘jes sayin’ ! 🙂

  4. bdid1dr: to search my site (including comments) with Google, you can try typing this kind of string into Google’s search box…. Dodoens

    To search just the text of posts (i.e. not the comments), go to the home page (or indeed any page on the site), and type Dodoens into the search box at the top of the rightmost column. This immediately yields two pages you may not have seen from 2008 and 2010:

    And yes, I have already looked at the Clusius/Dodoens connection ad nauseam. 🙂

  5. bdid1dr on December 7, 2012 at 7:27 pm said:

    Ooops! I just now “discovered” Nick’s subject indexing at the bottom of this discussion page. Sometimes I’m cruising at the “speed of light” between various topix and pages. I’ll be heading toward “That Which” in a little bit.

  6. bdid1dr on December 7, 2012 at 7:36 pm said:

    AND thank you for the directions/indice/and quick response to my “lost in cyberspace” plaint!

  7. Diane O'Donovan on December 8, 2012 at 12:52 am said:

    Absolutely. i have no patience with the conjuring of hypotheses from a pre-determined and arbitrary limit dictated chiefly by what the person thinks – quite subjectively – is likely.

    But the reality is that this seems to be a growing habit.

    I’m reminded of an old story about the difference between the Christian and Jewish idea of heaven. The Christian heaven is walled, and gated, and guarded by Peter who quizzes the applicant and only accepts people who give the correct list of negatives: didn’t drink, didn’t smoke.. and so on down the list.

    The Jewish heaven is unwalled and ungated. No guard. And when the deity himself approaches the applicant, he turns him to look out on the world. ‘Here is what there was for you: now what did you refuse?’

  8. Diane O'Donovan on December 8, 2012 at 8:29 am said:

    Here you go Nick – something for those low blood-pressure days. You might want to save it till then.

    Couple more bingo-points. 😀

  9. Very disappointed the necklace had already been sold. Sounded like an incredible deal – 20 bucks for a 250,000 year old nymph!

  10. bdid1dr on December 8, 2012 at 11:49 pm said:

    Diane, I visited your blog; great stuff! I shall be returning to your blog more often now that things seem to be coming to a common “focus”. It also reminded me to return to a very good source/biography of Rudolph II (which I briefly mentioned several months ago:

    The Follies of Science at the Court of Rudolph II — perhaps this link may work (I still haven’t been able to discover which campus of the University of California posted the link and the several url’s and Library of Congress info. What is of “Compelling” interest to me is the citations:

    by Henry Carrington Bolton, published 1904 by Pharmaceutical Review Publishing Co. Milwaukee

    Two items sent up “red flags” for me:

    Publication date: ? Just when did Mr. Voynich travel to Italy/Rome to obtain THE manuscript?

    Mr. Bolton, “Follies of….author, makes reference to Hradczany Castle as being built by (and named) “Rosenberg”. It looks like I might be extending an apology to ProfZ (as far as identifying the structure as having “swallowtail” merlons.

    Ennyway, a couple of other references in “Follies” discloses that Rudolph received his education at the court of Phillip II of Spain and Benedictine monks. Author Bolton also discusses Rudolph’s fascination with alchemy and John Dee.

    So, Nick, as far as Advent calendars go, (and their creation by various monks involved in calendars, books of hours,…..)
    where are we headed next? I’m heading back to Diane’s blog for the afternoon/evening.

    Cya later!

  11. Diane O'Donovan on December 9, 2012 at 3:45 pm said:

    bdid 1 dr
    Thank you for compliment. It’s #3 (i keep count) 😀

  12. bdid1dr on December 10, 2012 at 9:24 pm said:

    Well, having done a quick tour around some other recent discussions of the Vms, and particularly folio 86, I am disappointed that no one has remarked on my identifying the story/legend being told on folio 86v3:

    It is all about the earliest mention of a particular field mushroom which can cause hallucinations and even death:

    The writer illustrates his identification of this edible mushroom by drawings of birds floating on a fast-moving stream of water, birds nesting on that same surface, men hiding behind the stems of that “melting-down” mushroom — apparently in the throes of nightmare and begging for help.

    If you’d like to see my glyph-by-glyph and word-by-word translation of this classic legend which also became a sailor’s prayer, just pull up the story of Alcyone/Halcyone and Ceyx/ The name Halcyone eventually became the medical word hallucination.

    So, I did a little more “digging” (the ONLY way to collect field mushrooms) to find out who was writing about mushrooms in the 15th/16th centuries: Clusius (who had been taught by Dodoens). Dodoens had designed the botanical gardens which Rudolph II inherited along with title of Holy Roman Emperor. (Rudolph, as a child, was educated at the court of Phillip II of Spain. Rudolph’s teachers were Benedictine monks).

    I’m still beady-eyed, but haven’t lost my mind yet! 😉

  13. bdid1dr on December 10, 2012 at 9:38 pm said:

    Correction to my earlier post re Mr. Bolton’s offering: he referred to that castle as “Hradchin”. So, it may not be Hradczany. (?)

  14. While I’m at it (with classic legends/gods), check out folio 82v, which is about Artemis/Diana — hot springs and temples (many concentrated on the island of Lesvos?) A particularly interesting spring, Skala Thermi (no longer in use, but a tourist stop) has a photo of its interior — which arches can be compared with several pages of the Vms.

    A-a-a-h 🙂

  15. Diane O'Donovan on December 15, 2012 at 6:24 am said:

    For anyone interested in this manuscript –
    I have had difficulty today accessing the site. Has anyone else had the same experience?

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