Key Symbolism and Meaning


Revealing the Key Symbolism and Meaning in Various Cultures: When man evolved he took certain elements of the evolution with him. This has been passed down generation to generation and has become the tradition we follow today. Every culture has specific symbols and these have their specific meanings. The reason for this is based on the language and the traditions that the specific people follow.

Meaning of the key symbol

Keys represent the success in life. They also represent knowledge and true path for that belief or culture. In a more general sense, key stands for freedom. From the romantic point of view, the key represents the way to the heart of the person. Key have denoted power and authority and this is perhaps the best notation of the key symbol.

Superstitions and practices related to the key

Keys are used in many customs to denote entry to special people who held the key. For instance, in Christianity, St. Peter is shown with two keys. Jesus entrusted these keys to him and told him that he was the guardian of the way to heaven. According to the words of Jesus, anything you hold as good on earth, you will receive in heaven and the things you consider foul will be lost on earth and everywhere else.

Keys of the Pope and the saints

The flag of the Holy See has the two keys – one gold and one silver. They remain crossed and bound by a golden cord. The gold key symbolises the power of the Pope to dissolve any sin and open the doors to heaven. The power of the silver key lies in the way he may lock the door to those who are unworthy of being in heaven. Thus, the silver key shows us the spiritual authority of the Pope while the gold key stands for the power of heaven.

Another place where we see the attribution of the keys is for St. Martha. She has the keys and the broom as her attribution. She was the sister of Lazarus, the friend of Jesus who rose from the dead.

Keys of Janus

The most popular symbolism of the key we see in the gatekeeper Janus. The month of January is named in his honour. He was two-headed and so could see forward and backward at the same time. He could see the past and the future and so he could give anyone new opportunities and success. He carries keys in his left hand and his staff in the right. Janus is shown as the beginning and the end.

Closing of the Gate

The Ceremony of the Keys takes place at the Tower of London every night for the past 700 years. This gate closing ritual is done by the Yeoman Warders at 9:52 PM. The Warder carries a candle lantern and the Queens Keys. It symbolises the securing of the members of the Royal Family but of late it is more about the securing of the crown jewels.

You cannot take any pictures of this ceremony. But, if you book in advance you can get to attend this ceremony. The Yeoman Warders are often called the Beefeaters. Thus, the key stands for the solidarity of the people in this ceremony.