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The Sacred Symbols and Sounds of Reiki

The Sacred symbols and sounds of Reiki are tools that help us understand Reiki and ourselves more intimately. They shine a spotlight on the qualities of Reiki and help us to understand Reiki as a whole.

woman under sakura tree

The founder of Reiki, Mikao Usui, knew Reiki could help people return to wholeness and attain enlightenment, so he created a complete system that would be easily understood and accessible to everyone.

Gathering information, techniques and wisdom from many spiritual disciplines that he’d studied over the years, he was able to condense the essence of the teachings into simple yet sacred symbols and sounds. This allowed Usui Sensei to teach complex spiritual ideas to common folk, who were often uneducated and too busy working their farms, or caring for their families to undertake in-depth spiritual study.

The Use of Sacred Symbols and Sounds in Reiki

Usui Sensei taught a total of 4 Sacred Symbols with corresponding Sacred Sounds. Each symbol and it's sound are two sides of the same coin, one side of the coin uses vision while the other side uses sound to teach us about an aspect of Reiki. They are not separate to Reiki, instead they shine a spotlight on the qualities that reside within Reiki and help us to understand Reiki as a whole.

Symbols are easy to understand pictures that hold complex meaning, thoughts, feelings and ideas. It is often said "a picture is worth a thousand words" and this is why they're incorporated into the teachings. The Reiki symbols are teaching tools that attempt to visually express the complex ideas within Reiki.

Sound is also incorporated because the spoken word is revered as being very powerful. In Japan where Reiki originated, it is believed that words have a spiritual force that is released when spoken aloud. These powerful sound vibrations are called kotodama, translated as "word spirit".

The Reiki symbols and sounds carry an energy that can be experienced by developing a relationship with them. With practice we get a "feel" for them. Over time they reveal a deeper meaning and their effects are better understood.

The first 3 sacred symbols and sounds are introduced in the second level of Reiki training (Okuden). They guide us to our "inner" realm, so we may uncover the spiritual truths held within our own being.

The final symbol and sound is revealed in the third level of Reiki training (Shinpiden), when practitioners have established a strong, personal Reiki practice. Through practice with these symbols and sounds, we deepen our understanding of ourselves and what Reiki really is.

Working with the Sacred Symbols and Sounds we learn:

  • The answers we seek externally can be found within.

  • We are simultaneously earth energy & heaven energy and our power lies in their harmony.

  • We are the universe and the universe is us!

  • That we are powerful, infinitely compassionate, and interconnected with all things.

  • That we suffer emotionally and physically because we have forgotten our divine origins - who we really are.

Who are we really? First and foremost we are spiritual energy - Reiki! As spiritual energy our true self is described as divine, boundless, pure potential, non-dual, encompassing all that is in non-judgement, compassion and unconditional love. When we remember this truth, we reclaim parts of our soul that were lost, forgotten, hidden and denied. We return to wholeness, we heal.

By working with the Sacred Sounds of the Reiki Symbols through chanting we can:

  • Develop stronger concentration levels during meditation - and consequently our Reiki treatments.

  • Stimulate our Hara - the foundational energy centre of Reiki Practitioners, located in our lower belly in the centre of our physical being.

  • Experience the essence of each symbol, and therefore come to a deeper understanding of Reiki as a whole.

The sacred symbols and sounds of Reiki help us gradually remember the truth of who we are. It’s only when we have remembered this ourself that we are in a position to hold space for someone else’s healing.

If you'd like support to remember who you really are, and allow your spiritual gifts to bless others, join me for a Reiki or Meditation class.

With love and gratitude,


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