Article by Angie Webster
The Reiki symbols are a subject of some fear and controversy. I recognized that I had avoided the subject of the symbols as much as possible and after some self-exploration I have realized that this was due to fear. I think whenever we are told that something is secret or hidden and must remain that way, it places a layer of concern over it. Maybe that isn’t the original intent behind trying to shield the Reiki symbols, but it is possible that this contributes to much of the fear that many have around Reiki now.
When I began to be interested in energy medicine and started to seek out information about Reiki, I came across the information regarding the use of symbols. That seemed a little strange to me at the time, but I wasn’t deterred until I heard that they were kept secret and were considered sacred. That triggered lots of fear in me back then. I had fear-filled images of secret societies or cults or strange, extreme religious organizations. No matter what I read that said Reiki isn’t affiliated with a religion, it didn’t help me feel better. I felt that would be what many cults would say! There are still lots of people out there who think like this and their blogs and websites are everywhere. They are very fearful of Reiki, the symbols and the attunements. These are the very true and real (though not accurate) fears they have.
My fear almost kept me from looking any further into Reiki. I knew I was meant to work with energy medicine, but I was not sure that Reiki was right for me if secret symbols were involved! Especially if I couldn’t even see what they looked like or know what they meant. Fortunately, I was able to do a Google search and find many images of the symbols, explanations of their meanings and even videos about them. I soon felt relieved and continued forward on my Reiki path.
However, once I took my first Reiki class, I too was convinced that the symbols must remain guarded. I must admit that I never fully understood why, though I was again very fearful about it. It was as if I was afraid something very bad might happen if the symbols were to be shared. Which is strange since already knew they were readily available on the internet and in many books for whoever might like to see them. Yet I absorbed this fear from others in the Reiki community and began to wear it like a badge, even though I wasn’t sure why. I vowed to understand it. Both the reason to protect the symbols and the fear of letting them be seen.
The Reiki symbols, like all symbols represent something larger. They are not simply something in and of themselves. They are energy which represents and carries the energy signature of a larger energy. The reason they hold that larger energy is because we agree that it does. We give it the intention to mean that and keep giving it that intention over and over. With time, the energy of the symbol grows stronger with the energy of the intention and it holds that. If it were not for the intention, the symbol itself would mean very little because it would not hold enough energy.
A symbol that has been infused with a lot of meaning will carry that meaning strongly. Any emotion the symbol has attracted to it will also be attached to it, such as the deep respect and sacred feeling the Reiki symbols carried for so long. The symbol of many religions, such as the Christian cross, are examples of symbols that carry deep respect and sacredness, as well.
The Reiki symbols are placeholders for the healing energy of the Divine and the different frequencies that can be brought through. They deserve very deep respect, not because of the symbols themselves, but because of what they represent and the deep meaning it can have to each person who works with the energy or experiences it on a healing level.
We don’t need to pretend we are hiding the symbols or that we can’t talk about them. They have not truly been hidden in some time. But we can do our best to discuss them and use them with the respect they deserve, without making the display of them something frivolous and commonplace. We can each look inside ourselves and ask what that means to us.
I feel it is important to discuss the symbols in an open but respectful manner so that fear energy is no longer a part of what is being infused into Reiki as it becomes more well-known and mainstream. It is my hope that energy healing will become widely used by all people and it would be a shame if either fear or disrespect of this wonderful tool were to hold that back.
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Angie Webster is a Reiki Master, Teacher, and Author. Angie’s primary focus is animal Reiki, which she adores. She teaches online classes on energy healing, flower essences, herbalism, and personal growth. Angie often works with nature healing and Earth healing, hoping to better understand our connection with Mother Earth. Angie is the author of Animal Reiki: How it Heals, Teaches & Reconnects Us with Nature and Reiki from A to Z. You can follow her at: angie-webster-healing.teachable.com and on Facebook (facebook.com/angiewebsterhealing).