There’s been a lot of speculation and suggestions on why the Zodiac section starts with Pisces instead of Aries. If you look at the Zodiac Nymph Overview file I mentioned below, you notice there are more aspects (details? characteristics?) to the Pisces, Aries, and Taurus folios than any of the others. My idea is that it starts with Pisces simply because that sign is involved with the information shown (i.e. of interest to the Author) , and having it several folios away would be inconvenient.
I’m making modifications to the Nymph Overview file, and will replace the one there shortly. I’m adding another table with my ideas for the meanings.
As I mentioned below, I recently had the idea that the stars with a tether in the Zodiac section might represent a comet’s path through the sign.
I think folio f68r2 shows the comet C/1490 Y1. It passed through Pisces in January of 1491, and its tail passed through Aries. There are 29 stars with tethers in the Pisces folio, along with 12 in Aries Dark and 4 in Aries Light.
I also think f67r1 shows a total solar eclipse in Pisces in 1485. In that case, if each nymph is 1° of the sign, the cans might indicate that the sun “covered up” the sign.
I uploaded to my MediaFire folder a file, Zodiac Section Nymph Overview, that lays out their characteristics.
There isn’t much in the way of humor involving the VMs. I’ve seen a few cartoons and a parody of a Zodiac folio with Mickey Mouse in the center, but that’s about it.
So to change that situation, a couple of years ago I did a series of cartoons using the gallows letters as the protagonists. At the moment there are twelve, but more may be forthcoming, if I get inspired again.
These can also be found on the J.VS site, and my deviantART page.The link is above.
The article in Sky and Telescope magazine years ago is what alerted me to the existence of the VMs. I found it to be fascinating, and after several months of research joined the main email list. My 10th anniversary there is on 21 Dec 2012, so that will be to blame for the end of the world. : )
A few years ago I was invited to join the Journal of Voynich Studies, an online journal and library (link in the sidebar) with important research available. I felt honored to be taken seriously enough to get the invite.
My work was also mentioned in Kennedy and Churchill’s book The Voynich Manuscript. I even made the index! : ) However, what is there is outdated now.
The dating of the vellum a few years ago to 1404-1438 provides a lower limit to the creation of the book, but does not preclude a later date.
I work primarily with the Astro/Cosmo section, and to a lesser extent the Zodiac and Recipes sections. (I agree with GC that the Recipes section is an Almanac, so I will be using that term from now on.)
It is my contention that the Astro section depicts real astronomical events, as well as astrological interpretations of them.
I have recently had the idea that the Zodiac section might be a detailed analysis of the events depicted. For example, If each nymph represents 1° of the sign, then the stars with tethers might represent a comet and where they appear together is the comet’s path through the sign. I haven’t yet started investigating this idea.