A Mexican astronomer claims to have found the representation of a solar eclipse in the Voynich manuscript. Is this a serious theory or yet another nonsense?

The Voynich manuscipt not only is “the book noone can read”, but also “the book with the illustrations noone can make sense of”. In fact, it is quite remarkable that hundreds of pictures can transmit so little meaning.


A book full of nothing

Among other things, …

  • the Voynich manuscript contains about 130 pictures of plants, none of which can be identified,
  • most of the persons shown are naked, which makes it impossible to identify clothing,
  • the clothed persons are so small that it is difficult to identify any details,
  • the rosettes don’t say anything,
  • the castle shown on one of the fold-outs has never been identified,


  • the stars shown in the Voynich manuscript do not represent any real stars.

One of the few motives in the Voynich manuscript that has a meaning at all are the Zodiac signs, which stem from astrology (the following picture shows Sagittarius and Libra).


However, this doesn’t help much, as astrology has been praciticed just about everywhere at any time in Europe in the last 1000 years. Two other pictures in the Voynich manuscript that have a meaning show TO maps.


However, this doesn’t lead to any conclusions, either.

All in all, the Voynich manuscript pictures don’t contain anything that refers to a certain region, place, religion, person, time, ideology or science. The missing of any substantial information in the illustrations is one of the things that makes the Voynich manuscript so mysterious.


A solar eclipse in the Voynich manuscript?

Andrés Eloy Martínez Rojas, president of the Mexican Astronomical Society Urania, has now claimed to have found another meaningful detail the Voynich illustrations. This claim is covered in an article published by the Mexican news portal La Jornada. As it seems, this new theory hasn’t received much media attention so far. The only publication in English or German about this issue so far seems to be an article on Grenzwissenschaft Aktuell, a German parascience blog written by crop-circle enthusiast Andreas Müller. Many thanks to Jan Schlotterbek and Thorsten Voß for bringing this article to my attention.

According to Martínez Rojas, two Voynich manuscript illustrations contain references the solar eclipse of 1409. Here’s reference number one:


Martínez Rojas’ claim has one thing in common with many other Voynich theories: it is poorly explained by its founder. In this case, I simply don’t understand what “B” and “C” mean. The explanation given on the original diagram is unreadable. “A” seems to refer to the alleged Voynich solution of Stephen Bax (which has never been accepted by the Voynich community). According to Bax, the word below the “A” means “Taurus”, while the stars left of it represent the Pleiades. As a whole, the star constellation shown here allegedly resembles the one during the solar eclipse of 1409.

Here’s the second reference:


This illustration shows the star sign Aries (March 21 – April 20) surrounded by 15 women. According to Martínez Rojas, this motive stands for April 15, the day of the solar eclipse in 1409.


A new break-through in Voynich research?

If Martínez Rojas is right, the two pictures discussed above render by far the most concrete clue that has ever been found in the Voynich manuscript illustrations. This would certainly be a break-through in Voynich research.

But is Martínez Rojas right? I don’t think so. The astronomical interpretation of the rosette on the first picture doesn’t look very conclusive to me. Of course, this might be due to the fact that I simply don’t understand what he means, but I’m still not very impressed. If a reader can  say more about Martínez Rojas’ interpretation, I would be interested to learn.

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Kommentare (21)

  1. #1 Name auf Verlangen entfernt
    4. Februar 2017

    An astrologer might contribute a little voice here – since the manuscript is obviously astrological. April 15, 1409 Saturn was not (as shown and suggested) in opposition to the Pleiades (siderical Taurus) on April 15 – (Julian Calender) but in Aries himself. However, the idea is not that bad – since we see the Pleiades opposing Antares und Atria at the Eclipse. May be, the manuscript gives medical advice on a sign by sign level before and after the Eclipse the same year.

  2. #2 Rich SantaColoma
    4. Februar 2017

    I’ve long felt that those working on finding various celestial patterns in the Voynich may be “onto something”. This new suggestion you write about is no exception… I find it very interesting.

    Those who are also interested in it might refer to the work of my late friend, Robert Teague… an excellent amateur astronomer, who spent much time looking for such patterns. I think he may have been correct in many of his findings. Here is his list of them, but of course one can look through his pages to see the reasoning and graphics he used to come to these opinions:


    Also, Berj Ensanian has felt the “wave”, or “curve” seen below the red “A” in the illustration above, may represent the mathematical relationship, the “Pleiades-Moon Curve”. Here are notes and images from the Journal of Voynich Studies, with additional work and graphics by P.Han:


    And Ms. Han herself has a site, with such possible interpretations:


    There are more contributors to these concepts I’ve seen over the years, and I apologize if I’ve left them out. But in general, I think any work in determining possible celestial patterns is worthwhile, as is that of the gentleman you write about today.

  3. #3 Klaus Schmeh
    4. Februar 2017

    Alexander Ulyanenkov via Facebook:
    According the text in VMS – there are nothing about Solar eclipse. Just instructions how to plant some plants and trees.

  4. #4 Klaus Schmeh
    4. Februar 2017

    Elitsa Velinska via Facebook:
    Ha-ha, Klaus, do you really want to poke the wasps nest 🙂 The only thing in the article I agree with is that the group of seven stars may represent the Pleiades. I’ve seen similar chart in 15th century manuscript E6 of the University of Cambridge in which group of 7 dots next to Aldebaran in the Taurus segment are meant for the Pleiades.

  5. #5 Klaus Schmeh
    4. Februar 2017

    Elitsa Velinska via Facebook:
    Your first example of TO map fits very well with 15th century geocentric model of the world from 1400-1420

  6. #6 Klaus Schmeh
    4. Februar 2017

    Elitsa Velinska via Facebook:
    Few people independently suggest one of the women may represent Cassiopeia

  7. #7 Klaus Schmeh
    4. Februar 2017

    Elitsa Velinska via Facebook:
    Also there is enough detail to see the archer is holding a crossbow – there are tons of examples of such representation of Sagittarius in 15th century Holy Roman Empire https://stephenbax.net/?p=1656

  8. #8 Klaus Schmeh
    4. Februar 2017

    Elitsa Velinska via Facebook:
    I would say there is enough evidence the pictures may not be random. About the text – I have nothing to say

  9. #9 Klaus Schmeh
    4. Februar 2017

    Alexander Ulyanenkov via Facebook:
    Just want to point out – the VMS was written in the end of 16th century

  10. #10 Klaus Schmeh
    4. Februar 2017

    Alexander Ulyanenkov via Facebook:
    The last page of VMS, 2nd string starts from ” Run Donestone est enode hand…” (estenode – can be astenic or est enode can be – using another hand” – in any case author used another hand, because main one was ill). VMS – is the “BOOK OF DUNSTAN”…

    Author is John Dee, supporter is Edward Kelly.

    All codes and explanation you can find in the article “Voynich manuscript or Book of Dunstan coding and decoding method”.

  11. #11 Klaus Schmeh
    5. Februar 2017

    Wolfgang Wilhelm via Facebook:
    Meine Videoempfehlung zum Voynich-Manuskript #1 Stephen Bax Voynich – a provisional, partial decoding of the Voynich script [47:11] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpZD_3D8_WQ #2 Stephen Bax Voynich manuscript: script and language [1:13:09] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gj3Bgih3LkI #3 Loving Logic Voynich Manuscript decoded partial analysis of star page 68R [50:54] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVKlmXCZ_RM #4 Volder Z (Derek Vogt) how to solve the Voynich Manuscript, part 1: phonetics & alphabet [37:46] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cRlqE3D3RQ #5 lder Z (Derek Vogt) how to solve the Voynich Manuscript, part 2: putting the pieces together [33:56] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nHbImkFKE4

  12. #12 Klaus Schmeh
    5. Februar 2017

    Alexander Ulyanenkov via Facebook:
    Exactly right.

  13. #13 Name auf Verlangen entfernt
    7. Februar 2017

    Hi there! Just a few thoughts and questions:

    The queen of the night – this Lady might be pretty confused about her quick conclusion – but for shure her knowledge about the plant ist remarcable, is´t it? And as you drift on through the net – there are lot of plants to be identified …

    Obviously the theme of this book: connect medical plant advice to dates and constellations. And all over: have fun at the ! I´d say, it´s written by a master healing paracelsic Doctor of the late middle-ages – by ductus, that really can be found in the time, those castles truly existed – 1200 to 1400 – at late keltig/roman or happy Arthus-middelages – all having fun – no deseases from the new world, jet – and other things coming along, Karl IV descripes in his autobriografie – as well as todays wiki, too: “swarms of The grasshoppers have had a long relationship with humans. Swarms of locusts have had dramatic effects that have changed the course of history, and even in smaller numbers grasshoppers can be serious pests.” Europe changed – and it showed just the signes, bevore humans came to changed the style – through experience of extrem times, athmospherical not reflected in the book at all. So it´s early 13. th. century – the sign of Sagittarius does – the way I see it – clearly show a time period in clothing – so do the caps in Twins. See the men wearing dresses? Stil roman style …

    Stupid question: what´s about the names of the zodiac-sings – all of them are shown and namend? – does that give a clue to the phonetic decodation? It might be a personal guide for a beloved friend in higher position on her way to the thermal baths – an annual cure with an astro-medical manual – what plant at what time – and the easy to read message is: have fun. May be very well written by an just for us namely unknown female Master-Medical on court in a region, Scorpio isn´t commonly known, putting in, well fitting, the dragon instead …

  14. #14 Name auf Verlangen entfernt
    7. Februar 2017
  15. #15 Name auf Verlangen entfernt
    7. Februar 2017

    … to the lady, who knows about the flower …

  16. #16 Michael
    8. Februar 2017

    @Name auf Verlangen entfernt, #13:

    The “zodiac names” are not written in voynese, but in readable latin script and thus give no clue to the phonetic decodation of voynese. They’re actually not the names of the zodiac signs, but the names of the corresponding months.

  17. […] You can find a report in Spanish here from a Mexican newspaper and also a rather unhelpful blog report by Klaus Schmeh in English here. […]

  18. #18 Name auf Verlangen entfernt
    15. Februar 2017

    Hi everybody!

    on my page, you find an easy to read chart of the Eclipse in question with comparing siderical signs in the back. In 1409 the Aries-Ingres was on March, 11. Saturn – as I sad, was not in opposition to the pleiades. But close to the were Mercury and Venus, nice to be seen during the Eclipse – so were other stars.

    Have fun!


  19. #19 Name auf Verlangen entfernt
    16. Februar 2017

    Dear Stephen,

    it takes a few days, to really get in position, but sometimes new fresh thoughts will bring inspiration. Thinking about your questions about the star names in sought places, I found: the last on the top right is very similar to the one and only named on the “mars” pisces “chart” (70v), so I looked for a name, important for the ancestors. First of all, the symbol of pisces is not drawn the correct way: usually the fish themselves are not in the centre of the iconic picture, but at the end of the fishing rods, this gives a note to little sloppiness of the artist – one of the important stars there is “Al Pherg”, also called “Kullat Nunu” – with little combination one can find this name Alphora(z) by a description from Thomas of Cantimpré, a scholar of Albertus Magnus, author of liber de naturum rerum. Now if you read the name of the star in 70v, it´s not coded at all. The very small “Alphora(z)” was interpreted as a picture of Christ himself, reborn from eyes and head.

    If you count all the stars in the closed section – they are 60 in total number – if I am not wrong – the others are 1,2,3 and 4. 60 is the rhythm of Saturn and Jupiter, forming the salomonic seal in the sky, 4 is the number of materialization, getting on earth, being real: also “many”. Except the Pleiades with the rope connecting it with the Eclipse, we must therefore not necessarily look for the fitting constellation, but for a process, unfolding in time periods of 4 and 60.

    So far these thoughts, hope they are helpful – I will be back with other examples within a few days.

    Have fun!


  20. #20 Dirk Haar
    4. Mai 2017

    May the dublicate Zodiac sign may stand for sowing and harvesting (of plants of medical use) ?

    [And about dates like 1409: I always wonder if the 17th century calendar correction was taken into account (while this may not have an effect on the Saturn/Pleiades constellation).]

  21. #21 Luis Crassus
    9. August 2017