Skeleton Keys

This is an old blog post of mine which I think deserves re-posting. It has also been turned into an Youtube video by a friend of mine, CricketSong from Lunar Wisdom (with my permission, of course). 

Let’s analyse this often over-looked magical ingredient for a bit.

A ‘skeleton key’ according to the dictionaries is a key with a portion of the bit (the serrated edge) filed away to enable it to unlock multiple locks, a master key, a key that can open any door in a home, also called a ‘passkey’.

The skeleton key has very deep symbolism attached to it, the basic ideas being ‘unlocking’ and ‘opening doorways’ – of any kind. Unlocking new solutions, ‘finding the key to the problem’ sort to speak, opening doors both physically and spiritually.

Just think of all the phrases like ‘the key of life’, ‘the key to my heart’, ‘key phrase’, ‘the key of wisdom’ and others such as these. If having ONE key opens a whole new possibility, imagine what having a skeleton key can do.

The skeleton key has been found in ancient lore as well– the Greeks associated it with Hecate (She held the key to all magic) and the Romans attributed it protective properties (securing the doors of the home and keeping evil from entering).

A skeleton key can be used in any rituals aimed at opening doorways, finding new possibilities, finding ‘hidden treasures’ of information and knowledge (physically, spiritually, mentally), breaking mental blocks, breaking magical blocks, etc.

A skeleton key can also be infused with talismanic attributes – especially during times in your life when you feel you can’t pass through a certain situation, you find yourself stuck and without hope or ideas, when you lose inspiration, when you go through periods of intense change in your life. Thusly, you will basically hold the keys of unlocking new prospects and finding solutions.

You can also use a skeleton key as a home protection amulet, perhaps tie one to a bundle of protective herbs or to a charm bag of protective herbs and salt and hang it above the front door (and back door if you have it).

Skeleton keys are also  associated with psychopomp Deities such as Anubis, Deities that guide a soul through the Underworld or Afterlife. They possess the means of unlocking safe havens, corridors’ doors, hidden places and judgement chambers, etc. (‘The Keys to Paradise’ – this is something that can also be found in Christianity – St. Peter is said to hold the keys to Heaven).

They are powerful instruments to lock and unlock doors at will, of finding that which is hidden, breaking barriers and finding safe passage, and breaking free.

The skeleton keys are also strongly associated with the magic of crossroads. Just by bringing your key at a crossroads (especially during the witching hour or on specific days) you would be opening to doors to anything your heart desires – be it new projects, solutions, wisdom, love, success, financial prosperity, etc.

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5 Responses to Skeleton Keys

  1. Yes i love using skeleton keys in magicke and Vodoun. The crossed keys are like the crossed bones under a skull and crossbones. They can represent Legba and his darker form of Exu and Ghede, in fact any deity that is an “opener of the way”. When my Dad passed I got all of his and my Grandpa’s skeleton keys which i have on a ring to jangle like a sistrum of Isis. My gf is into Hekate too so i gave her all the ones that had three circles at the top for her triple goddess attribute. Also a skeleton key is both male and female end so it is a tantrick whole.

  2. thefirstdark says:

    Reblogged this on The Darkness in the Light and commented:
    Add your thoughts here… (optional)

  3. SilverShadow says:

    Keys are something close to my heart as my matron is Hecate. I’ve also used keys in hoodoo several times for road opening. All amazingly useful, keep some handy and pick them up at second hand stores when you see them. Never know when you’ll need to bury some at a crossroads.

  4. Senneferet says:

    Sorry to be commenting on an old post but keys are very important to me as well. I’m not entirely sure what their purpose/meaning will mean for my future but I do know they are symbolic. Apologies if I am rambling but the brain fog is thick today. My blog post can explain it a little better http://senneferet.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/i-got-key-i-got-secret.html

    • There’s never a problem with commenting on older posts, dialogue is something I always encourage.
      I checked out your post and I personally think the associations you’ve made and symbolism you have discovered makes a lot of sense. Keys are very much linked to chthonic deities and for me (as devotee to both Anubis and Seth) they have proved immensely useful and heavy in symbolism – to me, Anubis has always been a key bearer and a door keeper. Interestingly enough, I have a piece of obsidian (which I intimately connect to Anubis), a palm stone, which I call the Gateway – it’s a magical instrument which I use for various purposes including divination. For this I have actually found a key pendant (silver and amber) which I use a lot in conjunction with the Gateway.
      I’m very sure you will find your own symbolism and usage for keys, much like I have (and I know a few other practitioners who have their own as well). Don’t let anything discourage you!
      When reading your post I actually remembered reading something about symbolism connections between these two gods – keys were mentioned – but unfortunately I can’t remember it exactly. I will keep it in mind and see if I can find the references again.

      P.S. I thought of Scooby Doo too when I saw the image in your post! In fact, the resemblance is uncanny! xD

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