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The Secret of the Reiki Symbols Revealed

By Geoff

In Reiki, symbols play a very vital role. If we want to understand what task they can perform for us, we have to take a look at their origin, form, and basic functionality.

But first, let me say that a lot of Reiki masters think that the Reiki symbols are sacred and, as such, they can be used only by the initiated students at the level 2 Reiki.

Some tests indicate that Reiki symbols offer little or no value to the students without initiation or prior Reiki experience. These tests also show that only through Reiki initiation one can charge the Reiki symbols with adequate power to be useful in metaphysical work and healing.

If you also think so, stop right here and try to follow the proper way of initiation and building student teacher-relationship from the get go. Otherwise, if you are curious to know a little bit more without going too deep into the world of Reiki, read on for more information.

healing Reiki hands

Story at-a-glance

Today, Reiki symbols can be used by anyone, but the best results can be achieved after Level 2 Reiki Initiation.

There are three basic Reiki symbols: the Power symbol, the Distance symbol, and the Mental/Emotional symbol.

If you use them properly, you will be able to unlock the doors of the subconscious mind and establish contact with come powerful Universal healing energies.

Here is the rationale why I think that these days the Reiki symbols can safely be presented to anyone willing to start to work with them in good faith and with proper respect. Today, these symbols can be found in a number of Reiki books, as well as online. That’s reason enough why you could decide to go on and learn the secrets of Reiki on your own.

Using Reiki symbols is not as simple as one might think, though. It is no accident that they are considered keys of the secret chest of Reiki therapy practice. They are more like sacred icons that can be used to increase the energy field of a person.

For some, the meanings that Reiki symbols illustrate may sound surprising. But, again, it is up to you to look and understand them as they really are.

Where did Reiki symbols originate from?

These symbols are originally taken from the Sanskrit language, only to be transformed into Japanese at a later time, so that they are now in part based on the Kanji 1 writing system of Japan. Sanskrit is believed to be the mother-tongue of many other languages.

The Vedas are the oldest sacred texts of ancient India and some of the oldest writings known to us. And, the Vedas are written in Sanskrit.2 There is a strong connection between the language of the Vedas and the spiritual world, as Sanskrit is in fact the language of the spiritual world.

Mikao Usui photo

As for the Reiki system itself, it is associated with Mikao Usui3, who rediscovered the original system which is now called Reiki. While today, Reiki has taken many forms, Mikao Usui's tradition has been passed down through a number of Reiki grandmasters.

The Today there are many variations of these symbols and we can’t say that some of them are right while the other are wrong. There is no established proper way of drawing them.

The importance of the intent

It is vital to link all Reiki symbols with their correct purpose. The intent of the Reiki practitioner while working with these symbols is of paramount importance.

Before we can adapt and use these symbols, it has to be understood that they are crafted with a strong connection to the Divine covenant in mind. This sacred relation has to be maintained by the one who wants to adapt them in practical applications.

Symbols in Reiki are keys

All symbols in Reiki can be considered special types of keys that open the doors of our higher mind. In fact, this function is not special to the Reiki symbols, it is true for any type of symbol. The Reiki symbols activate certain centers in the brain that enable the student to open the doors of the metaphysical world, get in touch with the universal life force, and sense the energies that the symbol represents.

Symbols in Reiki

image of Sei He Ki symbol

So, let’s see what types of Reiki symbols we can distinguish:

In Traditional Reiki 4 , we can identify only three symbols: the Mental-Emotional symbol, Distance symbol, and Power symbol.

Other, less traditional forms of Reiki have their own symbols.

The Mental-Emotional symbol (Sei He Ki)

The Mental-Emotional symbol (Sei He Ki 5) is directed toward creating a spiritual unity between the Divine and the person seeking help. As its name suggests, it is used in achieving mental and emotional health. It can be used to heal disturbed relationships and fight against fear, anger, depression, and grief.

It is used when there is a need for mental and emotional healing. Its general meaning is “Unity between God and people”. It is useful for cleansing, balancing, purification and protection of the body and the mind. Moreover, it helps bring together the body and the mind.

Sei He Ki directly searches for the mental and emotional causes of the disease. These causes are hidden somewhere in the subconscious mind. Sei He Ki helps bring them to the light of the conscious mind. It also helps maintain the balance of left and right brain hemisphere.

The Distance symbol (Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen)

image of Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol

The Distance symbol (Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen 6)is used to increment forces or energy across space and time. For a beginner, it is the most unusual symbol of all symbols used in Reiki. You will use it whenever you want to send someone Reiki at a distance, for example, if you need to send energy across the room, across the town, or across the globe. It is important to realize that the True self or Buddha of one person is connecting to the Buddha of other person. What’s even more peculiar, it can be used to connect the present time to some events either in the past or in the future.

In that sense, one can use Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen as a means to access the Akasha, the spiritual library that contains the past and future records of each individual. This is important, for example, in karmic healing and healing of our past traumas. With this symbol, you can bring these issues to the light of the conscious mind and release their influence on patient’s present life.

The Power Symbol (Cho Ku Rei)

image of Cho Ku Rei symbol

Probably the most important symbols used in Reiki is Cho Ku Rei 7 or the Power Symbol. The meaning of the Power symbol is “Put the power of the universe here”. Not only does it grants you more energy and boosts your ability to direct the energy of Reiki, it also brings protective energy and increases the strength of the other Reiki symbols.

This symbol helps increase the amount of energy flow in the body. It is used mostly at the beginning of the healing therapy, or whenever there is a need for increased power.

Additional Symbols

The Master Symbol (Dai Ko Myo)

As we already indicated, there are numerous additional symbols from different Reiki schools. Dai Ko Myo or the Master Symbol is another Reiki symbol with deep importance. It is not part of the Usui’s Reiki method, and it can be used only by Reiki Master. It combines the power of the previous three symbols. Dai Ko Myo vibrates at the highest rate of vibration and brings spiritual transformation. The essence of this symbol is healing of the subtle auric bodies and the higher chakras. It brings the Light of the Awakened Heart or The Light of the Buddha. It indicates that an important elements in every healing is the healing of the soul.

The above symbols have numerous slightly different representations in terms of form and shape. All of them will work just fine because they incorporate the intention and connection with the spiritual energies they represent.


1. What is Kanji? <<
2. Vedas and Sanskrit <<
3. The life of Usui Mikao <<
4. Complete Book of Traditional Reiki <<
5. More about the Sei He Ki symbol <<
6. The danger of the Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol <<
7. More about the Reiki Power symbol <<

About the Author

Geoff is a Reiki Master and natural health healer.


The above guest post is published based on the premise that it will be helpful and informative. The opinions made within it are those of the author and not of The links you may find within this post do not necessarily imply our recommendation or endorsement of the views expressed within them.


Ramnath says:

I have done Reiki I & II and want to do remaining symbols. From where i can learn it online and attain the Masters. Regards

sunnyray says:

Hi Ramnath,

Thanks for the comment. It should be possible but I have no idea how or where. I'm sure you can find some good online courses, though. Maybe some of the visitors will have a good tip for you.

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