Reiki: Meaning and Origin of Symbols


Reiki healing process is done by tapping into the lifeforce energy by touch, which is mostly through the interface of the palms to revamp the mitigation process. Reiki treatments can be used in any type of affliction, be it physical, mental or emotional.

The credit of discovery of the Reiki symbols goes to the founder of the Reiki culture, Dr. Mikao Usui. After a span of 21 days of fasting and meditation, he came across some Sanskrit symbols in the cave on the holy mountain of Kurama Yama that was a part of the process of enlightenment. Sanskrit is the most ancient language of the ancient Indian scriptures, precisely, the Vedas. The Reiki symbols are based on a Japanese system of writing, the Kanji, the base being the Sanskrit symbols. The interpretation of the various Reiki symbols was procured from the diverse branches of Buddhism. Reiki symbols act as a bridge for constructing the bond between the practitioner and the lifeforce energy.

Reiki symbols are used in the Reiki method of treatment to take it to the next level. They are essentially five in number, specifically, power, harmony, distance, master and grounding symbols. They are the keys that open the gateways to a higher mental state of spirituality, psychic control, and power. Each of the five symbols is meant to serve a precise motive. They are only accessible to those who have crossed one or two levels of Shoden and these symbols are sacred, directed to be secretive. Keeping them is a secret is a way of displaying their holiness and also maintaining the sacred connection of the symbols to the ultimate power. The diverse symbols swiftly establish a connection with the vital energy force. They are usually based on a belief and serve a specific resolve which helps in attaining the anticipated result. The Reiki symbols do not comprise of any type of power or energy source within and were devised as an instruction means for the Reiki Shoden. It is the power of belief and concentration of the Reiki master that energizes or gives power to the symbols. The use of these symbols has no prerequisites including the ability to meditate or having years of spiritual practice. 



The Reiki symbols can be accessed and activated by various methods. It can be either by drawing through the hand over the body of the stricken, by visualizing the conventional symbols, saying the name of the symbol out loud or even just confined to one-self. The most essential element for harnessing the vital force energy through the means of the symbols. Reiki practitioners use the technique of attenuation and encircle the hands over the patient’s body over the outlines of the customary symbols. Most of the Reiki symbols aim to produce an effect on the human subconscious mind.

Reiki symbols were never meant to be copied by the students learning the practice of reiki and are accessed only through one’s memory. There is no established or perfect method of drawing the symbols nor any erroneous approach. Every Reiki master has its own particular technique through which they feel connected to spiritual energy.

The process of attenuation takes place with the use of the five Reiki symbols. The first is the power symbol, which a Reiki therapist uses to manipulate the lifeforce energy in order to increase or decrease its power. The next is the harmony symbol which is associated with cleansing. It promotes the healing of the mind, emotional as well as mental. The distance symbol is used when the energy healing force needs to be used across extensive ranges. The fourth is the master symbol, which is a representation of enlightenment. It is the most complex among all the Reiki symbols. The final stage of attenuation is referred to as grounding. It is a process of tapping into the power within one's self.


The use of Reiki symbols is thus, a remarkable process formulated by Dr. Mikao Ususi to connect and harness higher energy power even without the necessity of much practice or meditation.

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