The so called “bird glyphs” from the Voynich Manuscripts f1r are typical of those details which seem to cry out “THIS is what I am!”, while not actually helping one bit in that direction. There is just enough to give the impression of obviousness, and just not enough to remain infuriatingly distant.
I had thought that these may be meant to be the Phoenix, both flying and burning, when I first studied them. I’m not so sure now, thanks to the Aztecs.
But first, some other thoughts on these “weirdos”. They have been compared to the Aries sign, as found in a possibly lost manuscript, the Codex Taurinensis. As you can see if you click on that link, this is a very close comparison… in form, if not in context. Recently, P. Han has found a similar symbols on a 1208 Arabian Astrolabe. They are also close in appearance, although when blown up I do think that they are possibly formed of two “C’s”, back to back. I think there have been other, non-Aztec comparisons found, none of which I found very intriguing. However, from Knox’s page, which muses on these glyphs, I was directed to the Codex Mendoza and the Codex Aubin. The striking thing about these, in my opinion, is that the very similar glyphs are used in the same context and position as in the Voynich… that is, as a paragraph header. Compare to the the Codex Mendoza, shown below, they are not only in the same position, but note that they are also on the first folio.
And that context I find most intriguing, because as I pointed out on a recent post to the VMS-list,
The Aries comparison is very close, but the placement is different. First I think we might assume that the use by the Aztecs is a different one… as a paragraph header and not a sign of the zodiac. Would I be correct in that assumption? I see that no one is clear on how it is used when in these codices, in this way. Anyway, if one has to choose between the two uses, as a header or as Aries, I would consider that it’s placement would be the best indicator, and I would go with header.
Also pointed out on the Knox page is the Codex Aubin. As seen in this Codex, the glyphs are again placed as a paragraph header. Below is a closeup:
And then, this morning (9/12/10), I was surprised to find yet another example, in the mysterious and now missing Codex Cardona. It seems this manuscript never left the New World… unless it is in the hands of an unidentified Spanish Hotel magnate, that is, and she/he was able to smuggle it back to Spain. In any case, it was photographed in 1985, so we are lucky to have images from it. From what is seemingly page 33, or 39, or 99, we have our familiar paragraph heading “bird glyphs” again:
There are some points I would like to make about these documents, and these glyphs. First of all, the comparison to the Voynich f1r glyph is really startling. Also the context, as I pointed out, is identical: They are in the left margin of text, seemingly either to mark the text, or to illustrate some thought in the text… I don’t think this is known for certain. I would say that, in my personal opinion, it is not at all unreasonable to think that there is a possibility that the Voynich author was aware of this use, of these glyphs, and chose to use them on Voynich f1r.
Secondly, I have stated that although I do accept that the Carbon-14 dating makes my original New Atlantis theory unlikely, I also still have felt that the Voynich is post-Columbian. In my opinion, the f85v animal is an armadillo. I also have continued to sense there are other New World influences in the Voynich- indirect and inaccurate, as might be expected if the document were influenced by, but not specifically copying, many styles and items from a wide range of existing documents and their described disciplines.
And another important point is that they are exceedingly rare. There are very few similar examples of this symbol, and as a paragraph header, only the Aztec Codices.
So at the risk of threatening the temper of my “True Steeled Sword”, I point out another interesting connection. When I was first reading the history of the Codex Mendoza, I went through several stages. First I saw that it was created under the orders of the Spanish, by the Aztec scribes, in order to explain the culture of the Aztecs to the Spanish, and possibly King Philip. And it was obvious that there was no direct connection with my old New Atlantis theory. And a few sentences later, I saw it was captured by French pirates… and thought “Oh no!”, and swear I said, “I just hope it didn’t end up in Britain”. You see, I don’t want to be tempted into finding any connections with my theory, as it is externally and internally suppressed. But my worst fears were realized when I read down, and it turned out that one Richard Hakluyt actually owned the Codex Mendoza. Why would that matter? He was an early explorer, promoting the British settling of the New World, along with Harriot, Raleigh, Francis Bacon, Strachey and so on. In other words, the very document with this very rare bird-glyph-as-paragraph-marker was actually in the hands of one of the prime influences on the literature, mythology and lore of the New World, which in turn inspired Shakespeare’s Tempest, and Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis.