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  1. What is Reiki?
  2. The History and Origins of Reiki
  3. The Reiki Principles
  4. Auras and Colors
  5. Introduction to Chakras
  6. Working with your Healing Guides
  7. Benefits of First Degree Reiki
  8. Hand placements
  9. Healing Benefits of the Hand Positions
  10. Reiki Ethics
  11. First Reiki Symbol and the Healing Session
  12. Preparing for a Reiki Attunement
First Reiki Symbol and The Healing Session
by Terri

Contrary to the story of the symbols "appearing in a bubble of light," the symbols used in the Usui healing system are part of Taoist and Buddhist practices. It is believed that Usui, who had a background in Buddhism, simply "borrowed" these symbols for use in his system. All other symbols which have been given to me, and I will give to you (but not "attune" you to them; unless you specifically request it) are either not "Reiki symbols," or are symbols channeled by various Reiki Masters. 

These symbols are not "secret" (though I do know a few Reiki Masters who believe that they should be), but they are to be kept sacred. This is not because they hold some secret esoteric "power." They don't. The only power the symbols have is that which you lend to it. They're just symbols... a tool used to focus the Reiki energy. 

In order for these symbols to work... to be of use to you... you must be attuned to them. The same concept would apply if I were to hand you the alphabet, written on a piece of paper. Unless you know how to use this "tool," and know what to do with the letters, it's useless knowledge. However, once you do learn how to make use of this thing called the "alphabet," it then becomes, as they say, "mightier than the sword." 

What transpires during the attunement is that you are given "control of" the symbols, and taught how/when to use them, which enables you to make good use of that symbol. By drawing the symbol, a body-mind-soul/spirit connection is made. 

As mentioned earlier, the first symbol taught in Reiki is the Cho-Ku-Rei. As to when this symbol is given depends on the Reiki system, and on the Reiki Master/Teacher. Most Traditional Reiki Masters do not give any of the symbols during level one. It is my personal belief (and practice) that the Cho-Ku-Rei should be given during the Level I attunement, since this one is the "energy switch." 

The Cho Ku (Power Increase) represents honesty, simplicity, cheerfulness, correctness, return to normal, repair. Rei is soul, spirit, spiritual. According to Tibetan Buddhist teachings, the symbols' original use was not for healing (which is a "worldly" matter) but Enlightenment to help others. It is the beginning or entrance, generation stage. The first step, the first experience, and in "Reiki definition," the light switch. The Cho Ku Rei focuses on the physical body in healing.

In Traditional Reiki, the Cho Ku Rei is drawn counterclockwise, which is how I was taught. However, there's a school of thought in some metaphysical circles that the clockwise motion is the direction of invoking and increase, and counterclockwise is the direction of dispersion. 

In reality, this would depend on which Hemisphere you lived in. In the Northern Hemisphere, clockwise is used for invoking/increase; in the Southern Hemisphere, it would be counterclockwise. Therefore, pick one way and stick with it. For me, the counterclockwise "feels" more natural. The important thing is that the symbol (ALL Reiki symbols) be memorized and drawn exactly. 

  • Use at the start of a healing session to increase power at each #1 position; head, front and back of torso, and on any problem areas.
  • At the end of a session to seal in the healing energies. 
  • To clear a room of negative energies.
  • May also be used for protection, drawn on a piece of paper and placed under items such as your reiki table, crib, bed, etc., to treat your food and water, and can also be drawn over your head during meditation and over acupressure points.

Cho (choke) Ku (coo) Rei (ray)
Cho - Ku: honesty, simplicity, correctness, return to normal, repair.

Rei: soul spirit, spiritual


Use meditative or Indian drumming music, soft lighting, and candle(s). Although you may talk, it is best to have a quiet healing setting.

Ask the client to not cross their arms or legs.

Make sure you are comfortable as well as your client.

You might want to provide an explanation of your session. Encourage them to let you know if they become uncomfortable in any way; temperature, hand placement, or pressure.

Center yourself before starting and connect yourself to the Reiki Source. You may also ask the Reiki guides to come to help in the healing. Finally, ask that the healing session be in the highest and best interest for the client and yourself.

Invoke the Reiki symbol(s).

Keep your hands touching whenever possible, and fingers together.

Move your hands gradually when changing positions.

Concluding the treatment: "I ask that "client's name" continue to heal, harmonize, and balance on the physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual levels."

Press your palms/fingertips together to conclude the treatment and re-center yourself. You may also wish to wash your hands.

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