26 Jan 2010

Zodiac Ketubah – old tradition in new contemporary way

Posted by Moshe Mikanovsky

In this post I want to focus on one of my latest Ketubah designs, the 2odiac Ketubah. There are few things quite unique about this Ketubah.   

Zodiac Ketubah - Our Sign

2odiac Ketubah - Our Sign


First, the Zodiac as a Ketubah theme is not widely used these days. Looking around at other modern Ketubah designs, I didn’t find many samples of artists that are using Zodiac symbols in the artwork. I believe that this is due to the contemporary notion that astrology and zodiac signs are not Jewish and therefore should not be part of the Jewish tradition of the artistic Ketubah. But, there is actually much historical evidence for using the Zodiac in Jewish art. The most famous of these are the two mosaic floors found in two ancient synagogues in Israel. The 5thcentury Hammat Tiberias’ synagogue floor, and the 6th century Bet Alpha’s synagogue floor, both depicting the Zodiac wheel and 12 signs.  

Hammat Tiberias Synagogue Mosiac Floor

Hammat Tiberias’ synagogue floor, mosaic, 5th century (source BibleWalks.com)


Bet Alpha Synagogue Mosiac Floor

Bet Alpha’s synagogue floor, mosaic, 6th century (source bib-arch.org)


Throughout the generations, many Jewish life cycle articles were decorated with Zodiac signs – Torah ornaments, Passover Haggadah books, Purim’s Book of Esther scrolls, synagogue wall and ceiling decorations, and Ketubahs. The Italian city Padua provided us during the late 18thcentury with some fine examples of artistic Ketubahs that incorporate many symbols in them, including the Zodiac signs. The following two examples are from the collection of the Jewish National and University Library:  

Padoua Ketubah

Ketubah, Padua, Italy, 1722, 87 x 60 cm. Parchment


Padua Ketubah

Ketubah. Padua, Italy, 1718, Umberto Nahon Museum of Italian Jewish Art, 45 X 58 cm. Parchment


Seeing that the Zodiac was one of the themes used in traditional Judaic art and Ketubahs, it was just natural for me to use it as well. Living in the 21stcentury, and designing my art for Print on Demand reproductions, I had the advantage of modern day’s technology. And here comes the second aspect that makes this Ketubah so unique!   

The bride and groom choose their own Zodiac signs, and these are electronically incorporated in the final design, not different than the customized text, printed in the final Giclee print. This is, if I may, brilliant! No more need to have all 12 signs on one hand, making each Ketubah customizedspecifically for the couple’s personal birth-signs. Moreover, a left gazing Taurus can be electronically switched to stare to the right, if needed. The following examples show a Leo and Pisces in one, and two Leos facing each other in the other. 

Zodiac Ketubah Examples

Examples of customized 2odiac Ketubah


With the added flexibility of electronic print on demand, I have also created a library of products using the Zodiac signs, which can complement your wedding day needs, such as small wedding favors, postage, etc. You can see them all in my Zazzle store like these postage stamps of Leo and Pisces:   

Zodiac Ketubah Stamps

Examples of customized Zodiac stamps


Or “Save the Date” magnet like this one, reminding Sarah & Mark’s guests that today is their wedding. For this type of customize product, please contact me, to choose the two Zodiac signs.  



Save the Date Magnet

Example of customized Zodiac Save the Date Magnet



To purchase my 2odiac Ketubah, please visit KetubahKetubah. To view my other Ketubah designs, visit myKetubahs section in my gallery, or go directly to KetubahKetubah

With Mazel Tov wishes,  


PS This Ketubah is part of my lifetime promotion for my clients. For more details, please read “Ketubah, Art, Love, and the “Moshe Was in Our Wedding” Lifetime Promotion”   

More related posts:   

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