The Zodiac

  • Jules JanickEmail author
Part of the Fascinating Life Sciences book series (FLS)


The Astrological section of the Voynich Codex contains 10 of the 12 zodiac signs (or constellations): Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius. The missing zodiac signs, Capricorn and Aquarius, are presumed to have been in a missing folio. Each of the traditional signs is surrounded by concentric rings of 29 or 30 nude or clothed nymphs that must represent days or degrees. There is evidence of gender separation as the signs of Aries and Taurus are divided by sex, and the Gemini twins are a male and a female. Most significant is the fact that some of the traditional signs are replaced with animals indigenous to Mexico. Thus, the fish in Pisces resembles an alligator gar, the crab in Cancer is represented by Mexican crayfish, the lion in Leo is replaced by an ocelot, and the scorpion in Scorpio is replaced by a jaguarundi (similar to cat-like images found in northern European zodiacs). The substitution of indigenous animals in the traditional zodiac signs provides evidence that the Voynich Codex is a Mesoamerican work.


Aquarius Aries Astrological section Cancer Capricorn Constellations Gemini Leo Libra Pisces Sagittarius Scorpio Taurus Virgo Voynich Zodiac 

Literature Cited

  1. Aguilar-Moreno, M. 2007. Handbook to life in the Aztec world. New York: Oxford University Press p. 271.Google Scholar
  2. Brotherston, G. 1998. European scholasticism analyzed in Aztec terms: The case of the Codex Mexicanus. Boletim do CPA 5/6 Campinas, Jan/Dec.169–181.Google Scholar
  3. Codex Mexicanus. 1571–1590. World digital library.
  4. Karttunen, F. 1983. An analytical dictionary of Nahuatl. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.Google Scholar
  5. Knight, K. 2009. The Voynich manuscript. MIT. 1 May.
  6. Montemurro, M.A., and D.H. Zanette. 2013. Keywords and co-occurrence patterns in the Voynich manuscript: An information-theoretic analysis. PLoS One 8 (6): e66344. Scholar
  7. Palmer, S.B. 2004–2012. Voynich manuscript: Months.
  8. Pelling, N. 2006. The curse of the Voynich: The secret history of the world’s most mysterious manuscript. Surbiton: Compelling Press.Google Scholar
  9. Rogers, R.C. 2007. The resilience of Aztec women: A case study of modern Aztec myths. Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences 1 (2): 1–18 footnote 4.Google Scholar
  10. Smith, M.E. 1996. The Aztecs. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  11. Tucker, A.O., and R.H. Talbert. 2013. A preliminary analysis of the botany, zoology, and mineralogy of the Voynich manuscript. HerbalGram 100: 70–85.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Horticulture & Landscape ArchitecturePurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

Personalised recommendations