Drawing The Symbols The Wrong Way?


Recently we asked on Facebook what’s the most difficult symbol to draw. The response was quasi-unanimous: HSZSN! We’ve got some good news for you!

Question: Will the symbols still work if I draw them the wrong way?

Short answer is: Yes!

Now to elaborate, as we mentioned before, one of the cornerstones of Reiki is that it’s guided by intent. And if we focus our intent to invoke HSZSN, or any other symbol for that matter, it will be activated whether we draw it or not, and if we do, whether it’s correct or not.

Two versions of Cho Ku Rei
Two versions of Cho Ku Rei (mirrored)

Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen in particular has a lot of versions and is being taught in different ways by different Reiki masters. That definitely does not mean that only some practitioners, who draw it “correctly”, can invoke it.

When you invoke the symbols, what you’re actually doing is connecting to the energetic signature of that symbol, and to the metaphysical energies associated with it, and this connection will be established based on your intent, not on the way you draw.

It does help to “formalize the process” or “handshake the connection” by consciously drawing the symbols. After all, that’s what they’re meant for. But remember that the correct way to draw them is the way you personally draw them.

So don’t worry about it. Even if you draw it wrong, it will still work!

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  1. I was taught to draw the power, emotional, and distance, symbols by one reiki master and the master symbol by another…and have since received distance attunements to reiki and given the symbols in a different format of drawing. I feel more comfortable drawing some of the symbols differently to how I have been taught…will this make any difference to their power? I ask as my first Reiki Master said because he drew a certain symbols in-correctly when he first practiced Reiki it had an effect on the effectiveness of the symbols use…yet if I am to follow the above then surely he was mistaken…please enlighten….Tracy

      • The Divine energy is beyond time and space. We are multidimensional. It’s the energy, intention, flow, allowing… that we’re dealing with here.

      • ive passed all my attunements by distance , using chi ball method placing it above the persons crown allowing them to receive the attunement at a time that suits them best , usually set a 3day time frame. works perfectly everytime

  2. The way you feel most comfortable drawing symbol s the correct way. Try to ‘test’ the symbols on yourself, drawing each of them differently and which one will raise your vibrations and frequency will be the correct way. I always had the problem drawing
    Sei Hei Kei for some reason (HSZSN was the easy one) so I found a way to draw ‘my way’ and it does work, either on me or my clients. Your intention of sending pure , healing energy for this persons highest good is always the key for drawing any symbols.

  3. Dtrawing the symbols corectly or uncorectly have secondary importance. Praying to wish their helps of the thrapic angles and souls begining sesions at your reiki works most important. Because you have to belive that they will make the necessary corrections on your wrong sybols. But you always to try to draw correct sybols are essential. Declerating your wishes at the beging according to the Reiki rules much important.

    • If you dowse the symbols as they’re taught FOR ENERGY SIGNAL
      STRENGTH, then invert them, yes, invert them,you’ll find out
      that ALL Reiki symbols are being INCORRECTLY taught!!

  4. If someone want to create his own system, then he can use any symbol he likes. But if you want to say, that you are a Reiki practitioner or Reiki teacher, then you have the duty to use the symbols that MIKAO USUI taught to his students _/|\_

    • Reiki is as unique and individual to all that use it and if the person channelling this wonderful energy chooses to draw the symbols albeit whether they draw it “rightly or wrongly” according to others opinions…..then it is right for that person. It saddens me that people are telling others what they should and should not do and for some people (myself included) yes drawing the symbols does create magical results!!!………but equally just the intention of using Reiki creates magical Results ……I have respect for other Practitioners that don’t feel the need to draw them..or draw them differently to myself…..as long as intention of love is at the core and people abandon their EGO…………Reiki is Magical!

  5. Dear Admin

    I was attuned for Reiki 2nd degree in 2004. For some reason, I was unable to complete 21 days sel-fcleansing session. I practiced Reiki from 1997 to June 2006 regularly. Since July 2006 my Reiki practice has been discountinued till now. I want to know, Am i still attuned for Reiki 2? or I have to attune again. Sorry for my poor English. Thanks

    • Once you are attuned, you are attuned for life. You could, not use it from now, till the time you are 80, then at age 80 decide to use it. It will be there. It is a part of you.

  6. Drawing the symbols is a ritual, a nice ritual I believe – however, some recipients of Reiki are not so keen when they see me ‘waving my hands about’ over their heads…… I very often do not draw them, but visualise them, or simply say the word for them in my head. When I was first learning, I couldn’t remember the Japanese name HSZSN so used to just say DISTANT. No matter which way I invoke the energy it still works, with no better or worse outcomes – because, in each way, the thing that remained the same was my intent.

    Practice, play, find what you’re most comfortable with. Everything evolves. Dr Usui was a very intelligent, intuitive man – I doubt very much he would be displeased with anyone building on the teachings he has left us all.

  7. Here is the main thing I was taught when I was attuned to Reiki, “YOU CAN’T DO IT WRONG!” It is all about intention, if the correct intention is there, that is that Reiki is being sent for the person’s greatest good, that is all you need. I still use the symbols but I am much more aware of my intention then how I draw the symbols.

  8. I am a third degree practitioner and on veiwing many books and write ups, am confused about the symbols. It seems that different schools have different symbols. Please show the right way and method of drawing the Four Reiki symbols. Dai Kyu Mio, Cho Ku Re, Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen & Zei Hei Ki.
    Thanking you.
    warm Regards
    Prathap Kumar Ayyappan Nair

  9. I went though level 3 and my Reiki Master told me with the symbol you cannot do it wrong just pray then ask you sprit to guide you that does work

  10. Hi there,
    It is my experience that all the variations in drawing the Reiki symbols is due to Western folks not knowing how to write Kanji. That and most of the initial students taught by Mrs. Takata had to memorize them for there were no copies handed out.
    Due to the intended use by the practitioner to have said drawn symbol mean a specific thing, even incorrectly drawn ones have the vibration of the original.

    As for the issue of intention – this is using ones mind/ego no matter how noble the goal is.
    Reiki is not a system of intent. Reiki is not dependent upon belief for its validity. The term, “intent,” means a mentally anticipated outcome driven by an egocentric course of action directed toward a predetermined goal or a desired result.

    Intention is an ‘act of mentally determining a course of action to achieve a short-term personal goal or result.’ The power of intention works for the achievement of personal goals in the ordinary world. However, Reiki is not an egocentric, mind-driven system but one that is guided by Supreme Consciousness.
    Quote from Mary Goslen to an e group August 2012

  11. I was taught that I was to use the symbol the way I was taught. Quite a few variations from teacher to teacher.
    If there was a wrong way I was told that this would be corrected spiritually.

  12. When I draw the symbol, they sometimes get warped, change shape slightly… would that be some form of guidance… or is it just my imagination…

  13. I was told by someone I stumbled upon ( buying spices in a Hindu store) after introducing myself and talking about the spices. He outright asked me if I practiced reiki. I know nothing about it I said which was the truth. And he said are you sure? Because I felt your energy in your hand shake. I said I’m sorry I don’t know anything about it. So he says then you have received distance attunement from someone who you don’t know about. This gentleman was visiting from India. And told me… If you really know nothing about reiki find a guide or master. After that incident I read about it. But have no idea how to follow up on it. What should I do? Ignore it or follow up?

    • It sounds to me like you are being guided to at least learn more about Reiki. You may have a Reiki master/teacher practicing or living near you who might even be advertised in your phone book or local newspaper. If they aren’t listed as such, they may be listed as massage therapists so that may mean some detective work in calling different ones up to find out. Follow your intuition and guidance as to your learning and who you take a course from. I personally would suggest that you get your Reiki 1 training in person from someone that you feel relatively comfortable around (talk to them and/or get a session with them first), but after that if distance training and attunement is your preference go ahead and get it that way as long as you are comfortable with it that way.

    • Interesting post. I recently “took” Reiki I – and I was told that many people in the group had already become masters… even if they didn’t know about it. Once you “take” Reiki I, II, or III – it will be with you forever. Connect these two thoughts and you get this: Reiki transcends lives, so it was suggested. Meaning, you could have been a Reiki master in a past life – which you have brought into this current one. It becomes a matter of “unlocking” that past experience.

  14. I’m thinking, we humans are rather linear and 2 dimensional in our understandings. The drawing of the symbols is not onto ‘paper’, but into the non-dimensional or multi dimensional space that is without boundaries of time or distance. Example: If you are floating in space which way is ‘up’? The same thing applies for all of the symbols; it is correct depending on ‘where’ you’re looking from! The infinity symbol (8) is correct no matter which way it’s drawn too, as is a circle or ying/yang!

  15. A mathematician, or physician can actually calculate the energy of any form whether it be a triangle, square, circle etc. So basically any shape or form carry a specific energy that can be calculated for those who know how. Same as colours or sound frequencies. This naturally lead to understand that symbols do carry specific energies. Therefore, when I read that only the intent matters, I cannot completely agree as yes, it does a big job but symbols are what they are and carry the energy that they do carry. Too many people have taught not fully understanding themselves and therefore too many people do believe that it does not really matter. Symbols, like colours or sounds are not just words/mantras (where indeed, a same word can have a different energy according to the way it is spoken or thought and the intent used). I believe that by the intent, guides or higher powers might act to put the symbols right on your behalf but their correctness does matter. I was extremely lucky to have been taught the way I was. When the question was raised and in order to make us realise the difference and not just “being told the way it was supposed to be” we/I had to meditate or rather “feel” some of the symbols drawn in turn correctly and incorrectly in front us/me. The most drastic effect for me when was the SHK was drawn with a really big gap between the two main lines. I felt really light headed and even nauseous for a few minutes. I didn’t have a clue at the time of which one was supposed to be correct or meant so it couldn’t be just “in my mind”, my Master then explained the reason why in a way that left no doubt to me as I had felt exactly the same thing. I think it’s far too easy to put everything on intention and even in some ways, disrespectful towards the symbols, which were once used as sacred and I guess I understand now why they were supposed to be kept “secret” until taught. Symbols of all kinds have been used in hundreds of civilisations over time with a purpose. Putting aside the fact that at least some of us would have some natural innate healing power, wouldn’t that invalidate the entire Reiki system in some ways? not just its history?

    • @Christine… interesting post… I got my attunements from a direct pupil of grandmaster Nirula, in New Delhi… over the years, I’ve forgotten all the symbols except SHK, which I use daily… but while drawing, sometimes a turn becomes a loop, then I have to visually return the loop to a turn… I was wondering if that was some guidance from the symbol itself, as they have been historically known to change slightly… or was it some negative external energy, which I know has been affecting me for a long while… your post implies that they should not change at all… alas, I’m no where near as sensitive as you…

      • Wonderful explanation and complicated symbols and actions explained.I have some other symbols to share with you,please send me your mail address.

  16. One must remember that when Takata taught, she never allowed her students to keep their notes. Not surprisingly, the last half of the HSZSN differs from lineage to lineage. It was a lot to remember! I agree that the intention is what activates the symbol, so to honor your lineage, draw the symbol the way you were taught. Sometimes I teach master class to students who didn’t study level I or II with me, so if they draw the symbols differently that I, I introduce them to the way we have been drawing them down through our lineage of that leads back to Ethel Lombardi and Hawayo Takata…and then let them decide. It is also interesting to test the symbols on yourself or others to “feel the difference” when the Cho ku Rei is drawn clockwise vs. counterclockwise. The different is the feeling of “putting the energy IN and the other tends to pull energy OUT of the body. When activating Reiki, I always use the counter-clockwise version.

  17. We sometimes tend to put too much importance to the symbols or how they might be properly drawn/used. They work fine in their original and simple form and I know from 20 years experience that it’s your intention, (amoung other things) that assists during healing that makes the symbols magnificent in many ways, as needed, as always. Make your symbols how you make them and they will always bring forth the perfect energy, as necessary, as always. It works every time.

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