Usui Reiki Symbols Explained

Usui Reiki Symbols Explained

reiki symbols

The Reiki symbols are tools or triggers that enable you to connect with and enhance energy, that exists separate from the symbols. The symbols do not possess power on themselves, they are like switches that that can turn the power on, they facilitate the connection with different aspects of the universal energy. When anyone attuned to Reiki visualizes, draws or intones the name of any of these symbols it helps them connect themselves with the Reiki energy and activate the function and specific purpose the symbol represents. 
Each one of the Reiki Symbols represents a specific energy frequency and function for healing and spiritual enhancement.

The methods to get attuned to the different aspects of the energy has changed over the years. In the beginning, you would spend years meditating on each aspect of the energy and receive attunements weekly, this process took a long time to be completed and couldn’t keep up with the demand for more healers. To solve the gap between the training time and demand is that Dr. Usui developed the symbols. The symbols facilitate the connection to Reiki and speeds up the entire training process from a “schooling” point of view.

The symbols have been created or discovered (depending who you ask) based on Japanese Kanji, though you can see the influence of Sanskrit in Cho Ku Rei and Hei Sei Ki. It is important to understand that it is a Japanese Buddhist practice to combine kanji with Sanskrit in their sacred writings, there is nothing unusual in this. 

There are many theories in how Dr. Usui got to these symbols and it is widely accepted they are not his own creation. He probably had knowledge of at least part of them through his studies. I won’t go into the full theory but if you are interested there is a great article at


To begin with, there is no such secrecy anymore, they are all over the internet. The problem with being so widely publish with little or not context is that they can be miss understood, miss used and so on..
Some cultural context indicates that the secrecy story was born to honor them and avoid having them connect with lower vibrations or reducing their perceived value. Another reason for the so called secrecy was related to discouraging the practice of Reiki without attunements. The more you learn, the more you realize you don’t actually need them to connect with the universal energy or the symbols. Dr. Usui did not provide attunements, but several factors were different than they are today. 
Originally, students spent years getting acquainted with the nature of each energy vibration using energy exercises, meditating, getting daily empowerment, chanting…etc therefore they didn’t use symbols or attunements as we know them today. The fast moving world in which we live today makes us want to rush a mindful journey and get the results NOW. We look to channel energy in 24 hours, with little effort, and for $50.  Truth be told, getting attuned is a fast track to opening the flow of energy and getting the energy of each symbol imprinted. Nowadays, to practice without these “rituals” might degrade or at least impede the full experience of working with Reiki.


The symbols can be activated in many ways;

  • Draw them: in the palms of the practitioner hand, the auric body of the client, the space you are working on (if cleansing a physical space, like a house). etc.
  • Visualizing them: in the third eye or where you intend to use them
  • Changing them, saying them out loud
  • With intention, just think about them
Intention is the main ingredient, just willing them to work in my experience take away from the journey. I rather focus intensely going into a meditative state or doing a physical representation that helps me stay in the present. It is not necessary to draw or pronounce the symbol perfectly though of course is preferred, and the practice of them will reward you in many different ways. No one can take away from you the peaceful time spent practicing the drawing or the feelings the symbol meditations bubble up while trying to understand them. How some feel cold, others warm, electric or peaceful..etc. you need to experience these things to fully become aware of the nature of each vibration. But don’t be discouraged, no matter how failed the drawing is you will still get the benefits of the Reiki system.

Quick Look at the symbols

I’m bringing a great summary page from, my favorite reiki blog. 

Enjoy the journey and let me know if you have any questions



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