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The Three Degrees of Reiki

Article by Haripriya Suraj, Reiki Master

Across the world, Usui Reiki is generally offered in three degrees:

Degree 1

This is the level in which a person is attuned by a Reiki Master for the very first time. This makes the person a channel for the energy to flow through.

After an attunement to the first degree, the effect of Reiki is most often felt on the physical body. Life force energy gushes through the new channel and clears away the first layer of accumulated toxins from the system. This often results in a physical healing crisis in which many channels experience symptoms such as running nose, fever, stomach disturbances, aches and pains, etc.

Once the energy settles, most channels experience a sense of relaxation and wellness. Placing their palms over their body feels wonderful and many people say they have never experienced this degree of relaxation ever before.

Others find that they have more physical energy than before and all traces of lethargy leave their system.

Each person is different and some people also experience a sudden surfacing of past emotions.

People also feel a greater sense of connection with Source or the Universe. This helps them feel more safe and at peace. They begin to take things easy and life flows a lot more smoothly.

Degree 2

The second degree attunement empowers the Reiki channel to work with three Reiki symbols that add more power to healings. The second degree attunement also makes it possible for the practitioner to channel more Reiki than before.

At this level, the energy works more on the mental and emotional layers of the aura. It also continues to work on the physical body as the body, mind and spirit are inter-related. But the focus is more on mental-emotional healing.

After a second degree attunement, many people experience a mental-emotional healing crisis in which they find that troublesome patterns from their past return to their awareness. These could be unresolved emotions, fears, phobias, suppressed memories and the like. This is not always a comfortable phase to go through but it is an essential aspect of healing. The reason they come up is to help us take responsibility for our lives and to make the choice to heal them so we can then set ourselves free from the past.

Degree 3

The third degree attunement empowers the channel to work with one of the most powerful healing symbols- the Reiki Master symbol. After this attunement, the person is able to channel much more Reiki than at the previous two levels.

At this level, just the intention to send Reiki works and the practitioner’s thoughts and intentions gain added power.

The energy now begins to work directly on the level of the soul and facilitates spiritual healing. Many Reiki channels experience profound transformation after getting attuned to the third degree. They are guided to view life from a higher perspective- through the eyes of the soul- and to heal from that place of wisdom and understanding.

The Three Degrees of Reiki

Image by Bonnybbx

Layers of toxic patterns stored at deeper levels of being come up to be healed. Healing always happens in stages and soon after we heal one layer, the next layer comes up. This process continues even after the third degree and goes on until we learn our lessons and healing is complete. Toxic patterns and trauma from previous lives also come up to be healed.

The third degree is further split into three levels (some teachers also offer it in two levels) –3A, 3B and 3C.

Level 3A is sufficient for those who wish to work with the energies of the Master symbol but do not wish to teach. Level 3A practitioners are often conferred the title of Reiki Master-Healer.

Those who wish to teach Reiki go on to do Levels 3B and 3C, upon completion of which they are conferred the title of Reiki Master-Teacher or Reiki Grandmaster. Taking on the responsibility of teaching others makes it necessary for the practitioner to do more work on himself or herself. Levels 3B and 3C offer deeper healing opportunities to those who get attuned and stay committed to the path.

So, we see that every level of Reiki is unique and offers unique energies to practitioners. It takes time for the system to absorb, integrate and work with the energy that is offered after each level. Rushing through levels may not be ideal because then we may not utilise the full potential that is offered with every attunement. It would be wise to trust our intuition and to move up to each of the higher levels only when we feel ready for them.

Though there are some exceptions, for most people, trying to do all levels in a short span of time can cause confusion and possibly an energy overload. An energy overload occurs when we have more energy than we can channel running through our energy field. It can make us feel ungrounded and uncomfortable. More importantly, we deny ourselves the opportunity to experience the depth of healing that is offered after every attunement.

So, take it easy, go slow and make the most of each degree!

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Haripriya Suraj
Haripriya Suraj

Haripriya Suraj is a Reiki Master, Angel Healer and Starseed Lightworker. Reiki is her constant companion from which she derives peace and contentment. She is deeply connected with the Stars and Angels and they form an integral part of her Reiki practice. Her core mission is to help bridge the worlds of Spirit and Science and to help Lightworkers connect with their unique soul missions. Haripriya offers Personalised Starseed Transmissions, apart from workshops in Reiki and Angel Healing. She resides in Bangalore, India. Reach Haripriya at lightworkersonearth.com, empoweredmedicine-hospitaldiaries.com on email at angelhealingbangalore@gmail.com and on Facebook at Angel Light.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Danny picard August 26, 2015, 12:18 am

    I appreciate your article and value your work tremendously, however not all lineages are taught as you mentioned.

    Some have 4 degrees, or 3 + Apprenticeship, some also only have 3 degrees where the 3rd and 4th have been combined into one, allowing the student to move to teacher when they feel they are ready. Just like meditation, there are many different types. There are as many ways to teach reiki as there are reiki teachers. We need to move away from saying “it can only be this one way”
    It’s 2015, soon everyone will be able to experience reiki by simply being as we ascend into 4th and 5th dimensions.
    We need to move towards “I’m grateful and blessed for you to have found reiki to further help expand your consciousness.”
    Many blessings, thank you for sharing.

  • Joy January 25, 2016, 1:39 pm

    This is a great article. Thank you Haripriya for sharing, I always enjoy reading your Reiki articles.

    Everyone’s Reiki path is unique. I feel I benefited from taking time and I am still learning. Recently I have started teaching Reiki; this after 13 years! Mostly as a result of people asking me to teach them Reiki..

    I was taught the first and second levels by two different Reiki Masters over a year. I received my third degree by distant attunement. I honestly feel that my Reiki has beome more powerful over time with practicing and continued learning.

    Especially since practicing self Reiki daily there has been much learning, expansion and deep enjoyment…enjoy your journey.

    Thank you Haripriya



  • Vijay Misra April 5, 2016, 4:14 am

    i love to read all information and topics you have mentioned what i would like to share is peace and love feelings which i get as reward as a reiki master healer

  • Nicole Bell February 24, 2018, 11:11 am

    Thank you for this information! I found it interesting that if you don’t spread out your levels you can get overloaded. I am level 2 reiki.

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