Reiki Symbols: The Building Blocks of Energy Healing
Like many forms of energy healing, Reiki makes use of several symbols to help direct energy and let the practitioner focus his or her energy where it needs to go. The details of Reiki symbols and their meanings are confidential and revealed during Reiki attunement, but it can be helpful for everyone to understand the basic practices.
Reiki Healing Symbols
There are a variety of Reiki symbols used by different Reiki healers and different schools of Reiki. The original system of Reiki was discovered by a Japanese Buddhist monk, Mikao Usui, while meditating on a mountain. Usui laid out four Reiki symbols, which were based on Japanese kanji as well as Sanskrit lettering. In Usui Reiki, these symbols are taught beginning at the second level of initiation, with additional ones being taught at the third level and a final one taught when the student becomes a Reiki master.
However, as time has passed, Reiki practitioners have incorporated other forms of energy medicine into their practice. Some traditions, like Karuna Reiki, use additional symbols in addition to the traditional Usui Reiki symbols. These symbols are typically based on Sanskrit characters. For example, Karuna is a Sanskrit word often translated as “healing,” but which more specifically refers to any action that reduces the suffering of another beaing. Karuna Reiki uses twelve symbols, four for attunement and eight for specific healing needs. Most people who practice Karuna Reiki are also Usui Reiki masters.
Learning Reiki Symbols
Although Reiki is something that everyone can do, it is traditionally passed down through ceremonies known as attunements or initiations. These usually involve short Reiki classes where students learn the basics of energy healing, hand positions, and the history of Reiki and energy medicine. At the end, the Reiki master performs a simple ceremony where he or she uses energy to open the student to Reiki energy, then reveals the Reiki symbol or symbols for that level. The specifics of the training and the ceremony itself will vary from school to school, even within Usui Reiki. For example, in some traditions there is no symbol involved with the first level of Reiki attunement. However, in others the initial healing symbol is taught during the first attunement, and only the Reiki distance symbol is taught during the second attunement.
One universal aspect of Reiki initiation is that there is at least one symbol known only to people who attain the last level of attunement. These Reiki master symbols are what allows Reiki masters to attune others. This is not meant to exclude anyone, but rather to ensure that Reiki practitioners are educated and capable. There is no formal Reiki certification, so it is important that people who wants to learn Reiki learn from experienced teachers.