The key is symbolic of the power to open and the power to lock. This concept is displayed in the symbol of the dove and the key, signifying the spirit that opens the gates of heaven. In Roman mythology, Janus, the god of doors and new beginnings, was generally represented by a doorkeeper’s staff and key.
The goddess Hecate was the keeper of the key that unlocked the door to the underworld, which opened the way to the mysteries and secrets of knowledge found in the afterlife.
In symbolic language, a key often signifies initiation and the knowledge the owner of the key will soon possess. The colour of the key is important as well. The silver key represents psychological understanding, the gold key signifies philosophical wisdom, and the key made of diamond confers the power to act.
To find a key signifies the stage prior to the actual discovery of the treasure, found only after great difficulties. There is also a relationship between the key and the Egyptian ankh (sign of eternal life). We often see engravings of Egyptian gods and goddesses holding the ankh by the top as if it were a key, especially in ceremonies concerning the dead. As an archetypal symbol, the key represents the knowledge
or ability to open up the gates of death to immortality.