Think a moment about not having a name. Your name is your symbol. It identifies you among countless other human beings. It is an important part of who you are, yet, your name is not you. At a deeper level, your name is sacred. It identifies the energy that created you and through which you create. Your name defines you but your divine nature is independent of that name.
When Dr. Usui received information about the nature of Reiki, he became aware of four symbols written in Kanji, a Japanese-styled writing. These Reiki symbols are now used during the attunement process when the Reiki master activates energy channels in a person’s energy field. The Reiki practitioner also uses these symbols to activate energy channels during a healing massage session.
Since the time of Dr. Usui, many different types of Reiki symbols have been created. Different Reiki lineages have been established as different types of healing energy streams have become known. Some Reiki practitioners develop their own personal symbols specific to their individual healing practice. There is no right or wrong symbol nor is there one symbol more powerful than another. Each symbol represents different types of healing energy, much in the same way a person’s name represent the individual.
All these symbols are considered sacred. For many years, Dr. Usui’s symbols were only revealed to those learning to become a Reiki practitioner. Mrs. Takata, the Reiki master who brought the practice of Reiki to the United States, required her students to memorize the symbols during her classes without writing them down. This secrecy was used to stress the sacred nature of these symbols.
Now these symbols can be found everywhere. This can be viewed appropriate and working for the highest good for this particular time. The only problem that may be construed is someone assuming the symbols can be used without first going through the attunement process. This is not the case. In order to use the symbols, the symbols must be first to be placed into a person’s energy field by a Reiki master in order to activate that particular stream of energy.
In the United States, the Reiki lineages following Dr. Usui’s traditional methods use the only symbols Mrs. Takata ever wrote down and did not destroy. Three of these symbols are introduced during the Reiki II instruction and the fourth introduced during the master training.
Intention is key to the symbols and to Reiki practice. The intention and the reason why a practitioner uses the symbol is what activates the symbol. There is no power, force or energy behind a symbol when there is no intention for its use. For example, placing a picture of a symbol on the wall for decorative purposes serves the purpose to decorate. Placing a symbol on the wall to create a sacred healing space makes the space sacred. Two identical symbols become two very different symbols based on the intentions of hanging the picture on the wall.
The four traditional Reiki symbols are:
Choku Rei (CKR), known as the Power Symbol, increases and focuses the Reiki energy.
Sei Heki (SHK) is the mental/emotional symbol. This symbol focuses on mental and emotional issues and is a powerful aid to addictions recovery.
Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen (HSZSN) is the distant healing symbol and can be used to focus energy across space and time.
Dai Ko Myo (DKM) is used by Reiki masters in their healing sessions and attunements.
The descriptions of the traditional Reiki symbols are intentionally brief. The most appropriate way to learn the specific nature of the symbols is through your Reiki master teacher. You will be following the lineage of your teacher and information you receive will be very specific to that lineage. The Reiki symbols you receive during the attunement are also specific to that lineage and, like your name, will become important and powerful symbols of your divine nature.