Should the Reiki Symbols Be Kept Secret?

To share or not to share...

by Reiki Training Classes in Healing With Reiki, Reiki Articles
boy with finger over mouth

Dr. Usui founder of Reiki

If you search for Usui Reiki symbols and their meanings, chances are you’ll find a number of websites, some with the symbol names and pictures on them, some without. Should the Reiki Symbols be kept secret or shared? I have mixed feelings about this.

I wonder what Dr. Mikao Usui, the founder of Usui Reiki Shiki Ryoho, would say.

On one hand, Dr. Mikao Usui was very clear about keeping the Reiki symbols confidential and sacred, to be passed down from Reiki Master to Reiki student through the attunement process only.

If a Reiki practitioner wanted to talk about a symbol among people who hadn’t yet been attuned to Reiki, he or she was supposed to use the proper Reiki symbol name only. For example, if I wanted to mention the Power Symbol, I would call it just that, “the Power Symbol”, instead of its actual name. The actual names and drawings of the Reiki symbols were kept only for those lucky initiated few.

energy communication

But on the other hand, we are now living in the Age of Aquarius, the Information Age where someone in China can share a thought, poem or opinion online and the next second someone in Mexico will be reading it.

How we communicate these days is light years away from how we did just 100 years ago. When Dr. Mikao Usui rediscovered Reiki on Mt. Kurama-yama that fateful day in the early 1900’s, there was no Internet. People weren’t communicating online, and sharing ideas and information the world over. In my opinion, that is why we as humans created the Internet in the first place – as a precursor and a way to start practicing communicating telepathically.

Japanese traditional paintingNow, Japan has a very traditional society and culture. A person’s honor is of the utmost importance, as is showing respect where respect is due. So, do we share the Reiki symbols for everyone to see, and thereby risk diluting the potency of them, or do we show respect to Dr. Mikao Usui, keeping them sacred and behind closed doors and preventing the general public from having access to them?

Although I do want to honor Dr. Usui’s teachings with regard to the Reiki symbols, another part of me wants everyone who desires access to them to have them, even at the risk of people using them incorrectly or having a lower “quality control” on the teaching of this beautiful healing practice we call Reiki.

First of all, I believe most people who want to learn Reiki have good intentions in doing so. And since we all know that intention is everything when it comes to Reiki, why not let them see the symbols?

After all, the Reiki symbols themselves are not what’s sacred when we really think about it, but rather it is the tradition and the practice of Usui Reiki Shiki Rhoyo.

By definition, a symbol is “a thing that represents or stands for something else.” Perhaps the Reiki symbols themselves are not what we need to focus on protecting, but rather the value and sacredness of what the actual healing practice they stand for.

Reiki loveThis particular symbol is not a Reiki symbol! Just the Japanese kanji for “love”, or “Ai” in Japanese. Which just so happens to be the first part of my mom’s name “Ai-leen.” :  )

Also, part of what makes the Reiki symbols so powerful is that so many people over the years have placed their focus and attention onto them while in the sacred healing space of a Reiki session.

What we focus on expands, isn’t that right? So, doesn’t it stand to reason that the more people who focus on the Peace Symbol, for example, one of my personal faves, the better?

This dilemma begs the question of the importance of the Reiki attunement as well.

An attunement is such a powerful experience – I have been attuned many a time and each one was unique and special.

So if the Reiki symbols are made public, will that take away from the magic and mysticism of first receiving a Reiki attunement and then learning about the Reiki symbols instead of the other way around? If everyone is using the symbols before they are attuned, will this in a way render Reiki attunements obsolete?

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Should Reiki symbols be kept secret?

  1. Marnie says:

    First I believe that something does not have to be secret in order to be sacred.
    The age we live in today is very different then when Usui lived – and people are different. This is, as you said it is the age of information. People are curious and want to soak up as much information as they can. I do not want to stiffle that curiosity but encourage it. If someone wants to know the symbols I feel good about revealing them. The symbols do not belong to me so I have no right to hide them.
    I don’t know if the symbols can be used properly without having your student-attunment first or not. If they can’t then no harm will be done. If they can then again no harm can be done as Reiki causes no harm. I honor the symbols as well as the practice of Reiki. I would not display the symbols but if asked I would reveal them and make it known that they are to be respected in the highest regard.

    Lastly . . . you can’t put
    the toothpaste back in the tube no matter how hard you try. The symbols are out there, and we can not change that. We have to decide how we are going to react to this. I suggest if anyone is uncertain about how they wish to deal with the symbols, to meditate or commune with their higher power on the subject.

  2. Shane says:

    Personally, I think the symbols are imbued with power and meaning through the experience of attunement. The Reiki symbol alone is just a symbol; it is the Reiki attunement that unlocks their meaning. However, I personally like to be fairly discrete about the Reiki symbols simply as a gesture of respect and gratitude to the ascended masters who gave us these wonderful tools. A Reiki master teacher of mine suggested displaying only parts of the symbols publicly without giving the whole thing, such as just the third stroke of the power symbol.

    1. Reiki Training Classes says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Shane. I definitely agree with you about showing reverence and honoring the masters who’ve come before us.

    2. Caroline Sayers says:

      I believe that we should respect and honour the wishes of the Reiki Masters by keeping all Reiki Symbols secret if we have trained in this module. I also believe that for those not attuned or trained in Reiki healing have not earned the right to use them and it is important to understand their uses. Misuse is disrespectful..

  3. jashia says:

    Can you get a certifications in this if you take your online Reiki video program?

    1. The Reiki Master says:

      Hi Jashia,

      Thanks so much for your question! Yes, you will receive a Reiki certificate with your name handwritten on it in calligraphy for each level you take. If you take the Reiki I online training, you receive your Reiki I certification, for Reiki II you receive a separate Reiki II certificate, and so on.

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