Reiki Symbols

Symbols have been used in all cultures since the earliest times.  They possess a power that words can never have, containing as they do a multitude of meanings. They speak to the intellect, to the emotion and to the soul.  Many of the symbols that we still consider powerful today have their origins in ancient cultures, when they were widely used in art and religious ritual. Reiki symbols are an important part of the Reiki healing method.

Usui, a Japanese monk, put Reiki into its current form at the end of the 19th century. After extensive research into ancient scriptures, he spent 21 days sitting on the Holy Mountain, fasting and meditating on sacred symbols and mantras that he had found in the Buddhist texts. 

It is said that on the 21st day he saw each symbol in turn in his mind, surrounded by brilliant golden light. When he stood up he realised that he had changed. Usui soon discovered that if he laid his hands on someone who was in pain, they would rapidly feel better.

 Reiki symbols carved in stone -

 There are four symbols that are traditionally used in the practice of Reiki.  The forms of these symbols first began as Japanese and Siddham script.  However, because they were passed down orally, they have taken on slightly different forms.  Most of these characters were traditionally seed characters, which mean that they were attributes for deities in the tradition of Japanese and Siddham culture.

He then decided that he should pass on his skills and so created the current form of teaching and practice of Reiki. Usui found that by using the symbols in a certain way he could transmit the empowerment of energy to others so that they too could start healing.

Many believe that the symbols hold power in the Reiki method.  However, they began as a trigger for someone to think in relation to healing.  These triggers help the mind to think about certain things and instances.  By having these triggers in place, it can then allow the student to move into an inner area that may be blocked.  It is like having a reflex to an area in the mental mind. 


 The Essense of Reiki is a very popular Reiki Master Home Study Course that enables you to study to Reiki Master level from home. It is easy to read and is available to download to your computer immediately. It also comes with three MP3 meditations; ‘HeartBbeat’, ‘The Light Meditation’ and ‘Reiki Meditation’.

Symbols do not necessarily need to be physical objects when using Reiki.  Frequently Reiki healers will use sounds, images, gestures or words in order to trigger something in someone’s mind.  Traditionally, calligraphy was used in relation to these symbols; however, this is not necessary when going through the healing process. 

Each of the different training parts in Reiki involves one or more symbols.  The symbols that are used in Reiki healing serve purposes in the process for those involved.  In order to understand the symbols, it is important to understand the function that they serve.  

The Reiki symbols were chosen specifically for improving the body and the soul.

 Reiki symbol for power and energy The first of these characters is a power symbol, also meaning to fix miraculously.  This first symbol is supposed to be used to trigger an increase of power and flow of energy that moves through the one that is being healed. 


 Reiki symbol for emotional healing The second symbol is an emotional healing symbol. It originates from a Buddhist figure that is said to bring Infinite Life and Light.  It has also been associated with the love symbol.


 Reiki symbol used in distance healing The third symbol used in Reiki is the distance symbol.  This is used to cancel space and time, which is used in reference to distance healing.  By cancelling this distance healing, one is said to be able to reach a higher consciousness level.


Reiki master symbol  The fourth symbol is the master symbol.  This is often translated into great illuminating light.  This symbol is the healing symbol in Japan, and is to be used when curing disease and taking away pain.

There is currently controversy over the Reiki symbols.  The teaching of the traditional Usui School is that the symbols are sacred and must be kept secret.  In the second-degree class, the student is taught first, how to draw the symbols in the air.  Any paper that they have drawn on is usually ceremonially burned at the end of the class of the student is asked not to reveal them to anyone. The student is expected to memorise them completely by the end of the class.

In addition to these symbols, several other modern Reiki methods have invented other triggers and symbol methods in order to help others heal. Reiki symbol methods allow associations to be made with different levels of healing.

The universal use of the Reiki symbols, taught during the second degree and in the Master's training are an important aspect of Reiki, and differentiate it from other healing methods in that they introduce the esoteric and occult. (Occult meaning revealing that which is that which is hidden.) The Reiki symbols help us to reveal aspects of ourselves hidden deep within us.  We come to know these and in doing so transform ourselves. 








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