The Voynich manuscript is said to be the most mysterious manuscript in the world. For centuries numerous amateurs and professionals have tried to decrypt its text.
My study of the Voynich manuscript started as a part of my ongoing sculpture project Humming. Humming refers to songs without words, the sound of flying insects, or the dark and unperceivable hum from the Big Bang. The project was meant to explore how we experience reality without words. To me, the Voynich manuscript felt to be wordless with its unreadable text. The strange illustrations extended the limits for my imagination about how the world could be understood.
The first time I saw an illustration from the Voynich manuscript was when I researched plant illustrations for Humming. The first time I saw an illustration from the Voynich manuscript was when I researched plant illustrations for Humming. The illustration showed a plant that was totally strange and unidentifiable. At the same time, it was also familiar. I found it to be highly original, drawn with a free hand, and shaped with a lively and strong character. The text surrounding the plant was like a beautiful hum.
I got caught by an intense and enduring curiosity about the world view the Voynich artist(s) possessed. What kind of relation did the artist(s) have to the plants? What knowledge of the plants did she or he possess? And why were they drawn this way?
By time, the visual content of the manuscript got more and more familiar to me. I learned the forms of the plants, and the forms of the cipher, the shapes of the words, their spaces, their rhythms. After three years of visual studies, what started out as an exploration of a wordless existence, backfired. I found myself obsessed by and determined to find the meaning behind the words.
October 2021 I published the paper Cracking the Voynich Cipher. It proposes a decoding of the Voynich cryptogram. The decoding is tested in the botanical section of the manuscript. It reveals 104 plant names. These are names of plants that match the illustrated plants in the manuscript. The plant names are all found as one of the first words in each herbal text and they are all related to vernacular Medieval English plant names.
My studies have since October 2021 been continued and collected in the site: https://crackingthevoynichcipher.com
To read the paper from October 2021 it is necessary to download the font EVA Hand A. It is free for personal use.