Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Voynich Manuscript: Indigo Milk Cap

The indigo milk cap (Lactarius indigo) is edible mushroom. Like the rest of the genus Lactarius it exudes fluid (called 'milk' or 'latex'). The liquid of this particular mushroom is blue. The indigo milk cap grows in Eastern North America, East Asia and in Europe is found in Southern France.
I couldn't resist the temptation to add the indigo milk cap to my Voynich manuscript plant id list as possibility for the mushroom on fol. 99v (per Beinecke library). The VMs fungi also appears to be squirting something blue.


  1. Oh my, Ellie! Several weeks ago I tried to pull up folios 98 and 99 on Boenicke's search feature for mss 408 (so-called Voynich). Nothing. No response from Boenicke when I queried them about the missing folios.
    Ennyway -- Thank you for the marvelous portrayal, here, on your blog!
    Take a look at Vms folio 86 (I still have not been able to determine if it is r3 or v3 of the foldouts) which portrays a mushroom in each corner of the central, illustrated, folio. I identified and translated the discussion and accompanying illustrations. The story being told is the legend of Alcyone and Ceyx being transformed into kingfishers (birds who nest on or near water -- but are NOT swans). The writer/illustrator of the Vms was desperately trying to caution people against the hallucinatory and deadly consequences of eating the wrong mushroom (alcohol inky) which looks very much like the edible coprinicae. The discussion continues ad infinitum on the four sides of the central folio. (Check out the poor delusional people hiding behind mushroom stems and pleading for help.
    I've also mentioned that I wouldn't be at all surprised if someone could validate my suspicion that the 'wrong' mushroom may have been fed to your 'orphan' pope (an in-between pope, for the Roman and Byzantine faiths). If I remember correctly, he died within three months of his appointment?

  2. Hi, again. I'm puzzled that you haven't responded to my post. I'm still wondering why I was not able to find folios 98 and 99 when I visited Boenicke several months ago. Ennyway, I've done full translations on 20 folios so far. I am more certain than ever that Charles V (Holy Roman Emperor) was the recipient of the VM (which was a rough draft on vellum). Charles V sponsored Columbus's explorations, through funding by King and Queen Isabella. The rest of the story was told by Spanish missionary Sahagun. Sahagun's final draft, of some twenty years documentation of his missionary work, ended up in various European and North American museums and Universities. I'll be visiting Boenicke again to download folios 98 & 99. BTW, several months ago Nick did a comparison of folios 97, 98, 99 with the folios of phamaceutical/recipes in folios 100 et seq. So far as I can tell, he hasn't come to any conclusions yet.
    What's up? :-)

  3. Hi BD, sorry - end of the school year for the kids and the things were hectic. There are some pages that are missing in the manuscript. They are missing on the old scans too - the pages were lost somehow (I think Voynich found it like that). Did you actually go to the library? How does it feel to hold the VMs?

  4. No, no -- my 'visits' to Boenicke are all 'ethernet'/'cyberspace' visits. Thanks for the explanation of the missing folios.
    So, are we now being validated as far as our hunches about Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, and his Hapsburg relatives? Ferdinand & Isabella financing Columbus; Rudolph/Bohemia and his Austrian cousin/uncle (just to name a few). By the way (BTW), have you seen any posts, anywhere, from Diane O'Donovan lately? There have been 'tetchy' conversations, here and there, at times. Oops, time to eat! I'll keep in touch.