Reiki Symbols: Information about Reiki, reiki questions. Reiki energy training workshop ...

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The Reiki Symbols
You will probably have heard that Reiki involves the use of symbols in some way. So what are these symbols, where do they come from and what are they used for? Well the symbols turn up in two important areas of Reiki: they turn up in the 'attunements', the connection rituals that Reiki Masters use to connect you to the energy, and they are also used when giving treatments. You are taught to use the Reiki symbols on the Second Degree course. The symbols are seen as an integral part of Reiki, so you can only channel Reiki because you have been attuned to the symbols, the symbols only work for you because you have been 'attuned' to them, and the symbols are used routinely when you treat or send distant healing. There is no 'standard' way to attune someone to Reiki: it has developed and evolved in many ways in different 'lineages' as Reiki has been passed on from one teacher to another in the West. So when people refer to an 'attunement' they can be thinking of very different rituals. Some attunements are so different - in terms of the way that they are carried out and the way that they are supposed to work - that they are almost contradictory, but all variations seem to work. One assumes that Mrs Takata - who introduced Reiki to the West - taught all her Masters the same connection ritual, but since then there have been many changes, alterations and add-ons to the rituals used. But no matter what variety of 'attunement' is used, they all revolve around putting the symbols 'into' the student in some way: into their crown, into their heart, into their hands. Students in the West are taught many different ways of working with the symbols when they treat and send distant healing, so there is no one 'standard' way of using the symbols either. There is no agreement or consensus about what you should do with them and how they should be used. There are three symbols taught on Reiki Second Degree courses, with a further symbol - the Usui Master symbol - which is taught on Master courses. Below you can see the four Reiki symbols, with the 'Master symbol' on the right. These are copies of symbols that were taught to a Japanese man called Tatsumi, who was one of the Master students of Dr Hayashi (who was in turn one of Usui Sensei's Master students). The symbols were published on Rick Rivard's Reiki Threshold web site, and presumably are similar to the symbols that Dr Hayashi would have taught to Mrs Takata.

When Reiki was first taught in the West, you were not allowed to keep 'hard copies' of the symbols. You had to commit them to memory, and when you passed them on to your students they had to commit them to memory too, and were not allowed to take home hard copies. Because of this there has been what amounts to 'Chinese whispers', with slight variations being passed on to the next generation. These alterations are then amplified as the symbol is passed from Master to student, from Master to student, so there are many different variations of the Reiki symbols in exsitence in the West, some closer to the originals and some further away. So there are no standard renderings of the symbols in the world of Reiki. Having said this, they still seem to work, though if you have the chance to use a symbol that seems closer to the originals then that is probably a good idea.

Some Revelations about the Symbols
Interestingly, the vast majority of Usui Sensei's students never even got to see a symbol, they were not taught to use them and they were not attuned to symbols by way of connecting them to the energy. Most of Usui's students used meditations and/or chanted Shinto mantras to learn to become familiar with the different energies taught. But it seems that the later students - the Imperial officers - had trouble in getting to grips with the energies in the more traditional way that Usui used with the other

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Reiki Symbols: Information about Reiki, reiki questions. Reiki energy training workshop ... Page 2 of 2

students. So Usui - together with one of his senior students called Eguchi - introduced symbols for them to use. The symbols were a tool, a visual focus to help the student learn to assimilate or become familiar with a particular energy; the student was not 'attuned' to the symbol in the way that we understand in Western Reiki: they were simply given the symbol to use as a focus. And because Usui Sensei's system had been up and running long before the symbols were introduced (in about 1923), of course his connection ritual did not involve the use of symbols either. Information coming from a group of Usui's surviving students in recent years has really turned the Western view of things on its head, since now we know that: 1. Symbols do not need to be used when connecting someone to Reiki. Usui Sensei's "Reiju empowerments" did not use symbols but they do connect you to the energy. 2. You do not need to be attuned to the symbols in order for them to work for you. Once you are connected to the energy and now we know how to do this without using symbols - then the symbols will focus the energy in a particular way. In fact I believe that once you are connected to the energy then any symbol will push the energy in a particular direction without the need to be 'attuned' to it. And there were more revelations to come, because the way that the symbols are used in the West when carrying out treatments or distant healing also bear no resemblance to the way that the symbols would have been used in Usui's time. For example, in 'Western' (Mrs Takata inspired) Reiki the first symbol (the spiral) is referred to as a 'Power' symbol that you visualise on top of other symbols to 'empower' them or 'activate' them. But there are no such connotations in Usui Sensei's system. This symbol simply represents earth ki, the energy of the physical body. Also, Usui's students were taught to keep things simple, so when the Second Degree students were introduced to the energies they would have used them individually and not mixed them together, as is they way the symbols tend to be used in the West. The second symbol - called the mental/emotional symbol in Western Reiki - was seen as representing heavenly ki, an energy that made a link with the spiritual and brought the two energies into harmony. The third symbol, which in the West is seen as a distant healing symbol, something that makes a long-distance connection with the energy, is viewed by Usui Sensei's surviving students as a symbol that elicits 'oneness' within the practitioner. Oneness is a state that allows you to transcend time and space, a state of oneness is when you realise that there really is no distance between yourself and the recipient, and there really is no distinction between yourself and the recipient.

On our ReikiEvolution courses we use Usui Sensei's Reiju empowerments to connect our students to the energy at First Degree and Second Degree levels. And although we teach our students the Reiki symbols, we explain how our students can work with their energies in the original way, and demonstrate how to fully experience, to fully assimilate, the various energies. Thus we echo Reiki in its original form, within the format of Western-style Reiki courses.

To read more about the symbols and their origins, please visit James Deacon's site. The main site is here: All Energy - Therapies Web, but do look at these specific pages: The Reiki Symbols More About the Reiki Symbols

ReikiEvolution, 5 Rose Lane, Pinchbeck, Spalding, Lincs. PE11 3RN Tel: 0845 458 3004 (Local Call Rates) or +44 (0) 1775 722082 e-mail us here: ReikiEvolution web site:

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