The Reiki Symbols
Have you ever been in a Natural Health Food or New Age Store where you observed a person making ‘Air Drawings’ over the head or body of a person sitting in a chair? If so, you probably observed an Energy Healing Treatment that utilizes some form of drawn symbol. Symbols have been used by various cultures for centuries and their visual impact has more power than words as they speak to the soul and intellect of an individual. Depending on how a Symbol is used determines either a negative or positive response from an individual. Think of the various methods to display the sign of peace; it can be drawn, expressed visually with the use of the V-Shaped index and middle finger, it can be a hug, or even a shake of the hand as is often expressed in Religious Ceremonies.
Reiki is taught in three levels, or degrees, and Attunements, or initiation sessions. It is during the 2nd Attunement session where the three Reiki Symbols are introduced. The purpose of the Reiki Attunements is for the Reiki Master to pass on the ability to channel Reiki to another, as this process gives the healer easy access to the Reiki energy associated with the Symbols.
Many practitioners view the attunement process to be sacred and should be kept secret from those who have not experienced the 2nd level Reiki Attunement process. The basis of this secrecy is a personal issue of respect for the Symbols, as well as the acknowledgement that only those who have received the Reiki energy transfer can truly understand the use and energy evoked by the Symbols. While they are simply symbols, the sacredness lies in the flow of energy as each symbol connects the user to the Universal life force – Reiki.
The Symbols used in Reiki are like keys opening doors to a higher level of awareness. They are Japanese in origin, with most of them using a combination of the Japanese language as well as Shamanic and Sanskrit. Originally, the symbols were memorized and never drawn on paper, which is why today there are many variations of the Symbols used in Reiki Sessions. Each Reiki symbol has its own energy and power, and this energy and power are activated when Reiki practitioners draw the symbols in the air, on the palm of their hand, or visualize them in their mind.
Today there are over 50 variations of Reiki and within those variations there may be symbols representing a practitioner’s own beliefs and philosophy. Therefore, to avoid confusion, only the Traditional Classic Usui Symbols will be presented here.
Traditional Usui Reiki Symbols
There are three Classic Usui Symbols transferred in the 2nd Reiki attunement process by a Reiki Master. A fourth symbol is utilized when a Reiki Practitioner is initiated as a Reiki Master/Teacher.
The three Symbols are:
- The Power or Choku Rei Symbol
- The Emotional / Mental or Sei He Ki Symbol
- The Distance or Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen Symbol
The additional fourth symbol used for the Master/Teacher level is called the Dai Ko Myo or Master Symbol.
The First Reiki Symbol: Choku Rei
The first Symbol, known as the Power Symbol, is pronounced ‘Cho-Koo-Ra’, which is interpreted as “to put all the power of the universe here”. It is used to increase Reiki power, and is often used to focus the Reiki on a specific location, such as the top of the head of a recipient at the beginning of a healing session. It is also used at the end of a session to seal in the energy and power, present in the recipient.
This symbol is oriented to the healing within the physical body, and it is also considered to be an all-purpose symbol which can be used anywhere, anytime for anything. It is often used to clear negative energy from a room or to bring about spiritual protection. Other uses include the use on plants or animals that need healing. Some practitioners have mentioned its positive use against traffic jams when the intent is to open the disharmony of the vehicles. Now, that is an interesting application.
The Second Reiki Symbol: Sei He Ki
This Symbol, pronounced ‘Say-Hay-Kee’, means “God and humanity become one or coming together”. It is used to balance the right and left side of the brain bringing a sense of peace and harmony to the recipient. Often, it is used to heal relationship problems and the many negative challenges resulting from these troubled relationships. Emotional issues of anger, fear, sadness, or distress can also be addressed by this symbol.
This Symbol works with the causes of illness or disease. When the body exhibits symptoms of disease, it is felt that the body is giving a message that something needs to be attended to or addressed. In addition, practitioners will use this Symbol for psychic protection, healing of past traumas, healing of addictions related to smoking or weight control, aligning upper Chakras (more about them later), and removal of negative energies and ‘bad vibrations’.
The Third Reiki Symbol: Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen
The meaning of this Distance symbol is “May the Buddha, Christ or inner physician in me connect to the Buddha, Christ or inner physician in you to promote harmony and peace”. Practitioners will choose which entity to address when using this symbol. Pronounced ‘Hahn-Shah-Zee-Show-Nen’, this symbol can travel over miles to individuals or situations to bring about calm and peacefulness, as well as healing. Distances are no barrier to the impact of this Symbol has on specific situations. This healing Symbol can also travel in time –to the future for storage when needed and to the past to address a trauma that has had an impact on the recipient’s thoughts or actions.
The Fourth Reiki Symbol: Dai Ko Myo
Reserved for the initiation given in the Reiki level of Master/Teacher preparation; it signifies clairvoyance and expanded wisdom of the Master/Teacher. Pronounced ‘Dye-Ko-Me-O’ and interpreted as “Great Being of the Universe, Shine on Me”; the symbol heals the soul and spiritual state of a recipient and connects the individual with their greatest potential as a Reiki practitioner. This is the most powerful of all the Symbols and can only be used by a Reiki Master.
Finding a Reiki Practitioner
Reiki is a very subtle powerful healing energy method that when used with the appropriate intention can result in profound outcomes for the recipient as well as the practitioner. Many Massage Therapists and Bodyworkers are also Reiki practitioners.
Search altMD to find a Reiki practitioner near you.