Keys, andÂ the locksÂ or padlocks they fit, are fascinating symbols, and have often been featured in many different genres ofÂ tattoo designs. Since the earliest times, great steps have been taken to secure personal property, be it material, familial, or spiritual. To protect a treasure chest filled with gold or a heart just as pure, humans have found ways to keep looters at bay. Locks and keys speak of the value of what is locked away, and imply ‘restricted access’. Neither was heaven accessible without the prescribed ‘keys to the kingdom’, of which Christ made Peter the guardian.
‘Key to my heart’ is a metaphor for exclusive love, a meaningful symbol full of magical and mystical meaning.The lockÂ which can only be opened by one special key has long been a symbol of marital fidelity. A popularÂ tattoo designÂ is of a heart with a keyhole, symbolizing the search for the one true love who has the key to unlock the heart.
Keys represent the forces which open and close, bind and release, and mark the arrival at a new phase or status in life, such as reaching adulthood at 21 years of age, or ‘getting the keys to the car’ when an individual turns sixteen and can legally drive a car. The ancient Egyptian ‘ankh’ – a key-shaped cross – symbolized transition from this life to the next. For aÂ new homeÂ owner, the handing over of the keys to the house is far more symbolic of taking ownership than the signing of any legal documents. The possessor of the keys to the castle, is indeed King in his own home.
The lockÂ and key played a significant part in folklore and fairy stories and were symbols ofÂ magic andÂ power. Keys lost and found were a favourite theme. The key has also become a symbol of surrender. A lock or a key can stand for both liberation and imprisonment. When a vanquished king or nobleman handed over the keys of the city to the conqueror, it acknowledged his defeat. The famous French Bayeux Tapestry depicts the defeated Duke Conan giving the keys of his city to William, Duke of Normandy, otherwise known as William the Conqueror. In turn, one of greatest honours that can bestowed upon an individual is to be given the ‘Key to the City’, and declared a free man of that community, to come and go as one pleases, unrestricted and with total freedom. Padlocks tattoo design done in morbid tattoo parlor in cash and carry mall makati manila.