Key magic

Key Magic, Myth and a Lock & Key Spell for Protection

Keys are a worldwide symbol of good luck and new opportunities. They open doors to new worlds, new faces, and fresh beginnings. They also lock doors and protect us from taking certain destructive paths and protect us from intruders. Keys have been a part of folklore and magic for centuries. Let’s explore the importance of key magic and how to incorporate keys into our spiritual and magical practices.

The Key’s Magical Properties

Keys have certain magical properties that can be harnessed and used in one’s rituals and spells including:

  • Protection (when locking something up)
  • Openings and New Opportunities (when un-locking something)
  • Safeguarding treasures and important documents
  • Doorways to the physical and spiritual realms
  • The keys to life, death, and rebirth
  • Dream work and “unlocking” psychic abilities
  • Good luck and fortune
  • Knowledge
  • New House
  • New Car
  • New Business
  • Love (as in the Key to someone’s heart)

Magical Keys of the Gods

Certain gods and goddesses are known to be key-bearers. We see them wearing keys on their belts or around their necks. Or they’re known by their culture for opening doors and pathways for those who ask them.

Hecate is an ancient Greek goddess of witchcraft, the life/death cycle, and of the crossroads. She’s known as Lady of the Keys and is said to be the goddess who opens the doors/portals to the spirit world.

Berchta, an ancient Celtic alpine goddess, wears a set of three golden keys on her belt. She is a psychopomp, escorting the souls of children to the other side, and therefore carries keys to the spirit realm just like Hecate. A similar Germanic goddess who carries a set of golden keys is Walpurga, of whose name is believed to have been given to the holiday Walpurgisnacht.

Truly any liminal deity bears keys of some kind, including: Minerva, Hermes, Papa Legba, and Ellegua.

Menshen: God of Doors and Keys

The Chinese God Menshen is a god of doors and gates and therefore presides over keys as well as bears them. Being that Menshen is a threshold deity, he is also a liminal deity. He guards doors that are portals to other places and in the spirit realm are portals to other worlds. When his presence is in a home, he holds the keys that lock your door from intruders or opens it to loved ones.

Key magic is ancient and powerful.
An elaborate lock, doorknob and door knocker on a Medieval door.

Medieval Iron, Blacksmiths, and Church Key Magic

In modern times, it seems we’ve forgotten the magic of small contraptions like locks and keys. But imagine what our ancient ancestors endured before the invention of locks and keys! There was once a time when people didn’t have locks and keys or even heavy doors to protect their homes from outside threats. We know that keys and locks existed as early as four thousand years ago, whence began their magic.

Protective Iron and Sacred Blacksmiths

In Medieval times, locks and keys were made from iron, which in and of itself had protective properties. Iron was believed to ward off evil spirits and dark magic, which is why locks and keys were made of it. Spirits can get through small spaces like locks but not if those locks are made of iron! This is why blacksmiths were considered magical people: they made things with iron! They forged protective magic with their hands, tools and fire.

Magical Church Keys

If we look at Medieval locks, we see how important they were. They were iron but also decorated or forged with symbols like dragons and lions. This added extra protection to the keyhole/lock from evil spirits. Some old churches in Europe still bear their Medieval iron locks and keys.

Old lore says church keys were especially powerful in that they held healing properties. To pour water through a church key and let a sick child drink it meant healing was inevitable. It was an honor to be trusted with the keys to a church or any important building just as it’s modern tradition to grant the mayor the “keys to the city”.

The grimoires, Holy Bibles, and other sacred texts of the church were frequently kept safe by lock and key. Some were even chained to their shelves! The lock and key obviously kept the book safe within the Church’s walls and from thieves easily walking off with them.

The Keys of King Solomon

King Solomon is said to be one of the greatest sorcerers of all time. He commanded a whole host of celestial spirits like angels, demons and djinn. The Key of Solomon is a grimoire written in the fourteenth century that’s attributed to King Solomon’s magic. The “key” in this regard is representative of Solomon’s magical abilities and spells to open doors to the spirit or celestial realms.

The Key as a Female Symbol

The key as a symbol is seen in nearly every culture. In ancient Norse culture, the key was a symbol of female power. Women were given the keys to the household and therefore became the key-bearer of the family. It was an honor and tradition. She wore the keys on a belt or cord along with other sacred tools like a knife and sewing tools. Beccause of the association between keys and women, keys have been used in the childbirthing process. To place keys under a laboring woman’s bed aids her delivery. To learn more about the lore and power of keys in history visit

There are so many ways to use keys in your practice!

Where to Acquire Your Magical Keys and Locks

Sometimes it’s easier to find keys that are separate from locks. Why? Because many of us already have a huge ring of keys…some we don’t even know what they go to. Locks are frequently a part of the structure of things like doors and chests and the like. Here’s where to find keys and locks to use in your magic:

  • Use old keys of your own that no longer have a use
  • Find old, antique skeleton keys in antique stores
  • Keys can be found in thrift stores
  • Order keys of all kinds online
  • Safety locks and keys can also be ordered online and sometimes found in second hand shops
  • Save old combination locks and the like to use in magical ritual in the future

Simple Ways to Do Key Magic:

Old keys always call to me. Any time I’ve found them at a thrift store or yard sale, I pick them up and keep them. There’s a reason keys are so powerful. In addition to using keys as offerings to your ancestors and liminal gods, they can be used in your craft easily in these ways:

  • Worn around your neck as a good luck charm
  • Hung above an ancestor altar as “keys to the other realm”
  • Hold in your hand while meditating to learn a secret or to unlock your shadows for shadow work
  • In any spells for finding lost objects
  • In love and healing spells to unlock hearts and cures
  • During divination (tarot, oracle, runes, scrying) to unlock secrets from the spirit world
  • As a representation of liminal deities like Hecate or Berchta
  • Put in spell bags, bottles and jars for “locking” things like protection of home and self or keeping secrets or “unlocking” things – new opportunities, new powers, new friendships, old memories, etc.
  • Place under your pillow to unlock prophetic dreams and astral travels

A Lock and Key Spell for Protection of Magic or Secrets

Using a box in spellwork isn’t a new concept. In fact, these are called wishing boxes, spell boxes, or witch boxes by various magical traditions and cultures. The reason a box is so powerful of a spell carrier is because it’s mysterious. It can hold almost anything that fits within it, unbeknownst to the person who doesn’t hold the key. The box with lock and key is incredibly protective and can be viewed as a means of sending one’s intentions into the dark “ether”.

What You’ll Need:

  • A small box with a latch
  • A lock and key
  • White candle and lighter/matches
  • Paper and pen
  • 3 protective herbs (rosemary, dragon’s blood, thorns, etc.)

How to Prepare:

  1. First, cast the spell on a Waxing or Full Moon for full potency. But it can be done when needed.
  2. Gather your supplies.
  3. Cleanse your space and all supplies (by smudging, spraying, or whatever cleansing method you prefer).
  4. Light incense, light candles, turn down artificial lights, turn on magical music to set the mood.
  5. Light your red candle and say, “I call on the ancient blacksmiths in my bloodline to fill this candleflame with your iron wisdom and alchemy. May it fuel my lock and key spell for protection.”

How to Cast the Key Spell:

  1. Next, write your clear intentions (whatever it is you want to protect or keep hidden) on the piece of paper and fold it 3 or 7 times towards you. Be careful what you write, as the lock and key spell is powerful. I recommend something like this, “protect my magic/secret from all evil forces or spirits that seek to interfere or use it for evil. By the power of flame, lock and key. So mote it be.”
  2. Place the piece of paper in the box. Then sprinkle your 3 protective herbs over it while stating what each herb’s job is (rosemary to purify, thorns to protect from intruders, etc.)
  3. Next, close the box and visualize protection around whatever it is you’re wanting to protect. Visualize it being locked away and hidden from harm, intrusion and the evil eye.
  4. Take your lock and hold it far above the candleflame and say, “may this lock serve to ward off evil and negative energies.” Then place the lock on the box’s latch.
  5. Then take your key and hold it far above the flame and say, “only I bear the key to this box. Only I shall unlock its power.” Use the key to lock the box if need be, then place the key around your neck or in your pocket.
  6. Lastly, take the box and put it somewhere inconspicuous OR on your altar for your ancestors or gods to watch over.
  7. Keep the key somewhere safe and hidden. If you ever need to open the box, make sure to tell the box you are the key-bearer before opening. The spell is released once the box is opened.
Key Magic, Myth and Uses in Witchcraft Plus a Spell!

11 thoughts on “Key Magic, Myth and a Lock & Key Spell for Protection

  1. My love passed away recenly and on the 40 day i found a lock at the feets of the grave. I think someone from the family circle placed it but im not sure aboit its intentions. Is this supersticion or smth to worry about?

  2. Question: I bought a bag at the charity shop and found the lock with a key on a safety pin inside. They do not belong to the bag as there are no zips. What do I do? I like the bag but am scared to touch a lock and key. On the same day, I lost my favourite red scarf.

  3. My Grandfather had a lot of keys that were not made for opening any doors at all. After he passed away, I got them. I’ve been wondering what to do with them. This article was very helpful for getting inspiration.
    Bright blessings,

  4. Question, for the Lock and Key spell, under ingredients it says a white candle is needed…but step 5 says “Light your Red candle…”. Which color is recommended?

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