Understanding Reiki Symbols

Students of Reiki are introduced to the four sacred symbols over the course of their training. These symbols are regarded as confidential, as it’s believed that they hold sacred and powerful healing capabilities. Understanding Reiki symbols can help to enhance your experience with this alternative form of therapy.

Where Do the Symbols Come From?
The four Reiki symbols were designed using a combination of Japanese Kanji script and Sanskrit. The origin of the symbols is somewhat contested, but it’s likely that the original Reiki master, Mikao Usui, discovered and designed them following a religious experience.

This eventually led to Usui founding of Usui Reiki. Usui was known as a scholar with knowledge and experience that crossed several cultures, and the symbols are believed to be a combination of sacred Buddhist symbols, Sanskrit characters and Japanese Kanji.

What Is the Purpose of the Symbols?
Reiki practitioners believe that the four Reiki symbols represent distinct flows of energy. Drawing, reciting or visualizing each symbol awakens the corresponding flow of energy, which works to heal the patient. Proper diagnosis and use of the symbols is only taught in advanced and master level Reiki classes.

The identity of the sacred symbols is revealed only when students have reached the highest level of Reiki training. Students must memorize the symbols in Reiki classes and eventually learn by:

  • Calling them by name
  • Tracing their shape
  • Visualizing them in a meditative state.
  • Why Are the Symbols Secret?
    Reiki practitioners believe that the four Reiki symbols are sacred, and maintain the symbols secrecy out of respect for their power. While the symbols are available through a simple online search, practitioners prefer that the symbols be regarded as sacred and powerful to discourage misuse.

    Reiki masters believe that novices who view the symbols as shortcuts to manipulating energy flows may misuse the symbol’s power, and damage the integrity of the practice. Practitioners believe that Reiki energy can never be destructive, but that its power lies in the reverence of its ceremonies.

    As Reiki practice became more popular, minor changes were made to the four primary symbols, and today these alterations are embraced. Western Reiki teachers often tailor their designs to individual students’ abilities.

    If you’re interested in the different levels of Reiki training, you may want to learn about possible careers in Reiki.