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The REAL meanings and uses of the Reiki symbols

Master Usui has indeed been gone for a while now. Yet, his teachings have preserved and informed generations of loving practitioners to continue his journey of spreading Healing throughout the world.

Regrettably, when wisdom is passed down from teacher to student, and as in the case of Reiki from thousands of teachers to thousands of students, these tend to be re-interpreted and slightly changed according to the teacher’s own understanding and construal.

Undesirably, this has caused Reiki to have become watered down, and not as effective as one would wish.

This is why, when we read about the benefits of Reiki in most of the publically available and in the most popular articles, we are mainly told about the calming and soothing effect, and about some very limited therapeutic outcomes.

This is very unfortunate. Reiki practitioners are very loving people with an extremely strong desire to help in general, and to Heal in particular. Because of this, many practitioners resort to “charge” their Reiki practice with things like crystals, kundalini, and many other techniques. Yet, this is not necessary. If used appropriately, Reiki can be very effective at treating all kind of ailments.

Over the course of many meditations, I was lucky enough to have been reminded by my Guide and Teacher of some information about the principles behind how to make Reiki work as intended, and I was asked to I share freely this information to enable other practitioners to fulfil their frustrated potential of Healing the world.

What is Reiki

It seems that most practitioners are familiar and reminiscent of the Ki part of Reiki, which is the Life Energy. I hear many speak of the Energy going where it is needed, as if by miracle. What we tend to forget is that this Energy is already there, in everything and everyone.

The important aspect, which we must never forget, is that this energy is actually manipulated and directed where needed by a Higher Intelligence. This is the Rei.

Reiki is the life energy being directed, manipulated and used by a Higher Intelligence to Heal body-mind-heart-and soul. It is important to understand that without this Higher Intelligence, Ki is simply a passive energy, present and working, but not doing much else.

This is where the four symbols come into play. More on this in the next section.

Before moving on, there is another important concept whose understanding is vital to the success, or otherwise, that we will have as teachers and practitioners.

We do not need to use symbols! This is so true. Intention is all that is required. Those more adept at the use of intention will have probably noticed that when one expresses intention, the crown chakra activates (I am using the term chakra simply as it is generally universally accepted name, but in reality we can call it anything else), but energy flows outward instead of inward.

If symbols are not needed why are they there? They are, put it quite simply, an invaluable tool in understanding the mechanics of Spiritual Healing (Reiki) and how, where and why we need to focus our intention. Symbols also help us in determine the background work we need to do on ourselves to be effective Healers. Symbols are mainly by the practitioner to work on the self.

The symbols

Without further delay, let us consider the symbols. In order to achieve a sensible conclusion on what they are, and how to use them, we need to take a step back, and look into what makes a person.

I mentioned above that Reiki brings Body, Mind, Heart, and Soul into balance, thereby Healing a person in its entirety. This, however, has many facets, and many implications.

Our bodies are limited to the current and present form we assume in this lifetime. Mind, Heart, and Soul, however, transcend time and space.

We consider Mind and Heart as two separate entities, simply because they are housed in two different organs in our body. However, research suggests that they work in unison with one-another. Reactions in the brain are associated to reactions of the heart. And there is sufficient empirical evidence to suggest that the Heart is the first to react, and the brains react a little later. This is why there is only one symbol for the both of them.

Those who accept the idea of reincarnation will be quick to understand why we transcend time and space. Those who don’t, however, will tend to accept the fact that our Soul is older than our body. For those who don’t like either of those approaches and who are keen on scientific evidence, Quantum Physics has some detailed theories and calculations that show that time is not linear, and we live through different time events. Whichever the preferred point of view, this is why there is a symbol to enable us to overcome time and space constraints.

Finally, we need to consider about the Rei in Reiki. The Higher Intelligence that enables the Healing to happen. And this is where the Master symbol comes into play.

It should be noted that there is not a specific symbol for Healing the body. This is because the body is self-Healing. Once we are able to bring balance to Heart-Mind-and Soul, the body will follow. However, one important point to consider is environmental factors. If we bring balance but the person persists in having an unHealthy life style, there is little we can do. However, if a person achieves a certain level of balance, they will themselves naturally change their lifestyle to match.

Cho Ku Rei

Cho Ku Rei is in fact an invocation, a summoning. We are asking the Higher Intelligence to come to our aid, to assist, to do whatever appropriate in the circumstances.

It is quite common to feel a burst of energy coming through. Some may feel energy entering the body through the crown chakra, filling the whole body, and exiting through the hand.

It should not be uncommon, however, to also feel a “presence”. This is at the heart of Spiritual Healing. This is what enables us to actually Heal someone.

It is important to appreciate that the type and flow of energy, as well as who will help us in our Healing endeavours, is entirely dependent on our Spiritual Development, on our Vibration, and on our usage and understanding of the Master symbol.

If our belief in Spiritual Healing is not strong enough, if our understanding of the Divine Energy is lacking, if our ability to live by the five principles is incomplete, so will be the power we call on with Cho Ku Rei.

When we first begin our Reiki journey, we may simply receive energy. As we progress, both Spiritually and Professionally, Guides and Higher Spirit Healer will come to our aid.

This also implies that the higher our Spiritual Development and the greater our adherence to the five principles, the greater will be our ability to Heal.

Sei He Ki

This symbol is the one that allows us to access Heart-Mind and to a certain extent the Soul. When invoking this symbol we are simply asking the Higher Intelligence to fill the person with the Creator’s Eternal Loving Life Force.

There is absolutely no need to use this symbol with Clients. If we trust the Higher Intelligence to work on someone, we should already know that It will do whatever is necessary to Heal them. After all, we would never tell a brain or heart surgeon how to perform a procedure.

This is, nonetheless, a powerful symbol to use on ourselves. It is a recognition that in order to be effective Healers, we must first Heal ourselves. We must tackle all our fears and insecurities no matter how painful or difficult this process may be.

Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen

This is another symbol that we do not need to use on our Clients. Again, we trust the Higher Intelligence to do what is necessary.

When we work on ourselves, and particularly when using Sei He Ki, it is important that we use this symbol too. So that we can deal with whatever issues, at whichever time, wherever and whenever these occurs.

It is another symbol that can make pain and bad memory surface, but it is nonetheless important to use it to ensure we can be as good a Healer as we possibly can.

Also, with time and correct use of this and the other symbols, by healing our past, our souls, hearts and minds, and transcending time and space, this symbol will enable us to become at one with our higher self.

Dai Ko Mio

This is probably the most misunderstood and wrongly explained symbol of them all. While it is true that it is the Spiritual symbol, it is not true that it is designed to Heal the soul, or that it encompasses the other symbols.

This is the Master symbol not because it makes us a master, but because it enables us to communicate with the Master, with the Higher Power that gives the Energy and Provide the Healing, with the Creator.

This is another symbol that we need to use on ourselves to help us develop a close and personal relationship with the Higher Intelligence that guides the Energy that Heals.

The greater our ability to live by the five principles, and the higher our vibration, also the closer our relationship with the Divine, the Greater Intelligence, and the more powerful the Healing we will be able to channel.


There are a few points that I hope I have been able to explain to the reader. Indeed, the concepts given to me during my meditations are deep rooted in principles of living a Spiritual Life, and I can only hope that I have expressed these ideas in a manner that is consistent with the teachings that my Guide decided to impart.

  1. The first point, is that we need to ensure that we call on a Higher Power before we begin any Healing session. 
  2. The second point is that we must work on ourselves to ensure that we lead a life that is consistent, and justifies our relationship with this Higher Intelligence, so that It may come to our aid and Heal. 
  3. The final point is that the higher our level of Spirituality, the greater the Healing. 

Everything else will follow.

None of this information is new to any practitioners. We have all been told at various stages. However, due to the external factors, such as articles, reports, experiences and many other contributing circumstances, which include marketing of irrelevant but lucrative alternative forms of Reiki, our belief in this Spiritual Healing method becomes shaken, corroded, corrupted, and we do not fulfil our intended potential of truly and effectively Healing.

Hopefully this article serves as a little reminder to those who need it. As my Teacher said: 
“Trust Rei Ki. Heal! “


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