Reiki Symbols and Their Meanings

Reiki is a Japanese technique to aid in stress reduction and relaxation. A rested and relaxed body is more able to stay balanced and therefore be a healthy body.  Reiki promotes physical healing when the body is performing at an optimum level of rest and relaxation.

Reiki is administered by a laying on of hands in strategic positions and has been in use for thousands of years. It is a very simple technique and anyone can learn to heal with Reiki.  Even children are able to learn the hand positions and practices to heal themselves and others.

Reiki SymbolReiki – pronounced Ray Key and meaning Universal Life Force Energy – is a hands on practice to balance the energy fields within the human body. A person learns Reiki from a Reiki Master-Teacher by a process involving more than just a class or workshop.  The actual muscle of the practice is given through a process called an Attunement.  Depending on the Master and the particular style of Reiki being taught, these attunements are given in a series throughout the specified time of the workshop. Once someone has received a Reiki Attunement they will have Reiki forever. It does not wear off, and it cannot be lost. Although Reiki cannot be lost, it is interesting to observe how the power of using Reiki becomes stronger as a person practices.

Learning Reiki

Reiki is passed down from a Reiki Master to his or student, usually during a class or workshop. There are no symbols given in Reiki training at the first level or first degree. However, if a 1st level practitioner chooses to further their development of Reiki they may decide to go on to take the second level (or second degree) and follow that up even further with advanced classes and Master training.  During the second degree training and also at the Master level, the student will be empowered with the Reiki symbols. These symbols are there to enhance and deepen the practice.

Reiki Symbols and Their Meanings

The Reiki symbols when given add to the empowerment and strengthen the versatility of the practice. It is part of the Reiki tradition that the symbols stay sacred, therefore unless one is a Reiki practitioner with at least level two training the symbols are supposed to remain confidential. The ideals behind the secrecy of Reiki symbols and their meanings lies not within the knowledge of the symbols, rather that the symbols without the Attunement are just that – symbols. They really mean nothing on their own unless they are given for use complete with the Master’s Attunement.

Revealing the symbols to those who have not attained the knowledge and practice required could cause confusion as well as showing disrespect for the tradition.  So out of respect to the tradition and to the practice of Reiki, the symbols are kept hidden. Talking about the symbols and how that part of the practice evolved is not a violation of that trust.

What Are Reiki Symbols Used For?

The basic Reiki symbols given with the second degree attunement are:

  • The Power Symbol – using this symbol calls upon the higher power to help increase the power to heal.
  • The Mental Emotional Symbol – the translation of this Kanji reveals the definition “create a new habit”.  It may be used for any mental or emotional issue.
  • The Distance Healing Symbol – Reiki energy transcends time and space.  It may be sent to a person across the room, across the country, as well as to past or future events.

Reiki SymbolsSome of the Reiki symbols are words from the Japanese language and their translations may be found in an English/Japanese dictionary. Others are derived from a combination of Sanskrit (an ancient Indian language) and Japanese Kanji.  There are symbols to engage the power of Reiki, to help balance the emotional and mental aspects of the practice and to use for long distance healing.  Those three things are the engines that the Reiki attunements will power up in order to drive the practice forward.  It is interesting how so many people view the sacred symbols are the piece of Reiki that holds the power, when in fact it is in the attunements themselves that the source is connected.

In order to activate the symbol, it must be drawn correctly. As in many other traditions where information is passed down through a lineage, each teacher may put a slight variation on the way they draw them. The symbols were never meant to be exact, and slight variations will not disturb the practice. In the past many teachers would not allow the student to copy the symbols, they had to be memorized. Therefore, with less than perfect memories there came variations of the symbols. Nonetheless, they work the same because of the Attunement.

The power of the symbols is not in their outward appearance but in the empowerment that comes from the Attunement. Keeping that in mind, the correct way to draw the symbols for any individual practitioner is the way they were taught by their Reiki Master at the time of the Attunement.  The symbols will still work despite a slight difference in form.

Whether a person is in the room with you or across the ocean, it is always a good idea to request the permission of the receiver before beginning any energy work with them. That is common courtesy, but it is not necessary in order to be effective. It is said to be more efficient if the person is receptive, but energy is going to go where it needs to go and help where it needs to help, so if a person is hurt or injured and the Reiki practitioner cannot get their permission, they may still give or send the healing energy of Reiki to that person.

The important part is to remain respectful at all times of the person you are working with and respectful of the practice of Reiki itself. Then, everyone will reap the most benefit possible with this powerful, yet subtle healing art.

Self-Healing Expressions ~ Bringing the Self to Healing, one lesson at a time
Self-Healing Expressions ~ Bringing the Self to Healing, one lesson at a time
Self-Healing Expressions provides free and affordably priced self-paced email courses on holistic and personal growth topics. Course topics include Shamanism, Discover the Goddess, Aramaic Lord's Prayer, Dreams for Healing, Grief Healing, Pet Loss, Finding Your Spiritual Soul Mate, Empowerment, Healing Foods, Laugh Therapy, Journaling, Coping with Dis-ease, Angels & Spirit Guides, Miracles, and more. Site also features metaphysical articles, grief-healing articles, and guided meditations. View catalog now!