Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Magic of Keys


   Unchanged in shape since the fall of the Roman Empire, the key has a number of meanings -- trust, secrets, temptation, knowledge, protection, initiation, opening and binding. A key hung upside down near the bed will keep away bad dreams. A silver key means temporal power, while a gold key represents spiritual power. Skeleton keys have the ability to unlock all doors in a building. Hecate, the Greek goddess of witches, is known as a keeper of keys. The two-faced Roman god Janus is picutured with keys, as a god of gates and doorways. The Keys of Solomon are grimoires supposedly relating the spells and rituals King Solomon was taught by the mysterious Queen of Sheba.
   In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Alice finds a gold key that fits into a tiny door for which she must drink an elixir to shrink and enter another world. In the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, another gold key opens a door which leads to an evil fairy who sends Sleeping Beauty into her enchanted slumber. In the fairy tale, Bluebeard, an innocent girl marries a nobleman who gives his bride the keys to the house and warns her not to open a certain door -- behind which are the bodies of his former wives. In Alice, the gold key represents initiation into the world of spirit. In Sleeping Beauty, the gold key reveals a secret, the spirit enemy of Beauty's family. In Bluebeard, the key is temptation.
   In Thorn Jack, the moth key plays an important role, opening doors for the heroine that represent initiation into a hidden world.

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