5 Traditional Reiki Symbols and Their Meanings Explained

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Reiki is an ancient practice that heals the body on mental, physical and emotional levels. It is based on the principle of movement of energy through touch. Reiki has several sacred symbols that allow people to use the energy for a specific objective.

In a majority of cases, these symbols impact the subconscious mind. It alerts the body and alters the way in which the Reiki energy functions in the body. In this article, you will learn about the different Reiki symbols, their individual meanings, and what do you need to know about them.

What are Reiki Symbols?

A Reiki symbol is a form of healing that was developed around a hundred years ago in Japan.  Mikao Usui was the person who developed it. The word “Reiki” is the combination of two Japanese words. Rei means “spiritual power” and Ki means “energy.” So, the meaning of Reiki is – “spiritual life force energy“.

Reiki healers perform gestures and move their hands on the body along the five conventional Reiki symbols. They manipulate the movement of universal energy through the body to promote mental and physical healing. A typical session of reiki is of sixty to ninety minutes. The person is made to lie down on a table. Direct physical contact between the practitioners and the person is rare.

They start with either the feet or the head of the person and gradually along the entire body as they change the “ki” energy of a person. There are five Reiki symbols that are considered highly sacred. Each of these can be referred to either by their intention, Japanese name or a symbolic name that displays its objective in the practice.

What Is The Significance Of A Reiki Symbol?

Each one of us is a channel through which the universal life force energy moves in the body. This energy can manifest via Reiki symbols/intentions.  Looking from the spiritual level, each Reiki healing symbol works as a gateway to specific kinds of energies. These energies manifest the life force energy within our bodies differently.

Each symbol is associated with a specific type of energy and vibration. It alleviates the energy level of the body, spirit, and mind, while healing you from inside. The main objective is to enhance the vibration and find out the root cause of the problems. Once the problem is identified, the healing begins by opening up the primary energy center and channels.

Reiki symbols belong to varying systems and levels. Each of these levels represents a spiritual brink that a person has to pass to attain an efficient state of awareness, higher consciousness and healing. The symbols differ in terms of vibration and power.

Reiki symbols benefit a person in the following ways –

  • concentrate the power and energy to a specific place;
  • harmonize and balance the system;
  • promote emotional and mental healing;
  • opens up a dimension to a specific space or place;
  • heals and opens communication and emotional blocks;
  • surrounds and fills yourself with energy;
  • connects to a specific angel/archangel;
  • balance energy centres as well as energy fields;
  • align your chakras;
  • brings abundance in life;

and more.

5 Reiki Symbols and Their Meanings

Mastering the Reiki symbols is the first step towards a higher state of consciousness, and awareness.

1. The Power Symbol or Cho Ku Rei Reiki Symbol

This symbol is used to raise or lower power (based on the direction in which the symbol is drawn). Its intention represents the ability to enlighten spiritually. This symbol is identified by drawing a coil. It shows the expansion and contraction of energy or transfer of energy that flows within the body. Reiki practitioners believe that power comes in various forms with cho ku rei. It serves as a catalyst to promote physical healing, purification and cleansing. It helps focus on one’s attention.

The best way to visualize the power symbol, is to imagine a “switch”. It implies that once the switch gets activated, the Reiki practitioner gets the power to illumine, enlighten, and channelize energy in their body.

Ways to use the Power Symbol of Reiki

Cho ku rei is used at the beginning of a Reiki session. It helps lift Reiki power at any time when required during a session. One of the ways to use it is at the time of healing an injury. This technique has the ability to give relief from mild pains and body aches to chronic and painful injuries.

Cho ku rei is found to be immensely beneficial at the time of clearing negative energy that might get stuck at the time of the Reiki session. People who wish to eliminate negative energy from their daily life, should draw the symbol on all the walls of their rooms. It will work magically and fill the entire area with light and positive energy.

Another very important use of the Cho ku rei symbol is to heal or boost your relationships. It is useful when you are experiencing a down phase in your relationships or when it is going through a rough phase. Draw the power/cho ku rei symbol on your business cards to activate it before appearing for a job interview or communicating with your loved one. You will start to see positive changes in work and personal life.

Cho ku rei acts as a safety jacket against misfortunes that happen due to impure energy. So, when you activate the power symbol, it purifies your energy systems. This symbol is also beneficial to infuse positivity and remove negative energy from the food. In this way, it gives a nutritional boost to your meals and makes it healthier.

2. The Harmony Symbol or Sei Hei Ki Reiki Symbol

The sei hei ki signifies harmony. The general meaning of this symbol “Man and God become one.” Its primary intention is purification on mental and emotional levels. Reiki healers use it complete body healing. The harmony symbol is drawn with a sweeping gesture.

Practitioners use this intention to treat people who suffer from either depression or addiction. The use of this symbol helps them restore the spiritual equilibrium of the body. It recovers people from their past emotional or physical trauma. The action helps release creative energies.

This is a highly beneficial symbol to seek purity and balance on emotional and mental levels. It helps balance the left and right parts of the brain. It also protects a person from negative energy.

How to use the Harmony Symbol or Reiki?

The harmony symbol has several applications in day to day life. It is beneficial for people who look to memorize new information. If you want to ace a test, or succeed in any competitive examination, this symbol can help you. To benefit from the magical power of this Reiki symbol, try drawing it on the pages of your notebook or book that you wish to retain for days, and even months to come. To activate the symbol, begin visualizing it sitting at the top of your head.

In addition to memory enhancement, the harmony symbol can also people who struggle to get rid of drinking, smoking, or overeating. Reiki practitioners believe that any bad habit is due to the negative beliefs of a person about himself or facing bad experiences in life. Just by visualizing this symbol around you will help cultivate a positive perspective in life. You start feeling good about yourself. It will also help eliminate bad habits.

A harmony symbol can also help to reduce headaches that are caused due to emotional and mental instability. Invoking sei he ki energy helps balance instabilities and eliminate headaches. It is a wonderful remedy to give relief from unnatural pain. Sei he ki offer protection from negative vibes.

It adds a protective layer on your body to save you from negativities. Sei he ki has the power to give strength to your affirmations. Your words gain power. It gets the ability to materialize things. Drawing the harmony symbol next to the affirmations help them materialize.

3. The Distance Symbol or Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen

The meaning of the “hon sha ze sho nen” symbol is a little bit difficult to grasp. It implies “having no present, past, or future”. It is used for transferring Reiki energy across space and time. The symbol helps heal past wounds. It reframes the experience and converts it into a learning experience instead of a devastating event without reason or rhyme.

Hon sha ze sho nen helps Reiki practitioners to send Reiki into the future. It can help in getting positive outcomes from events that can bring negative news. This energy is useful in exams, difficult conversations with dear ones, and doctor’s appointments.

How to use the Distance Symbol or Reiki?

This Hon sha ze sho nen symbol is considered to be a highly powerful symbol. You need to learn and apply the right technique for it to work well. The distance symbol is more effective when used on the subtle body in place of the physical body. It effectively heals a person from his past and future. The symbol helps you send qi energy across long distances.

The primary intention of the symbol is timelessness. It works by bringing people closer across space and time. It is an important tool for the reiki practitioner who works on past-life issues or inner-child with clients. “Hon sha ze sho nen” has the ability to unlock the Akashic records, which is believed to be the source of human consciousness.

4. The Master Symbol or Dai Ko Myo Reiki Symbol

This is the master symbol that represents the essence of reiki. Its main goal is to achieve enlightenment. Many Reiki practitioners use this empowerment symbol at the time of attuning initiates. It heals the person by uniting the potential of three Reiki symbols i.e., the harmony symbol, the power symbol, and the distance symbol. The master symbol is the complex of all the symbols to draw using the hand in a reiki session.

The powerful master symbol is a highly enlightening and nourishing one. It is also regarded as the most sacred of all the other Reiki symbols. It has got the highest vibration, and is considered to be the most transformative symbol in Reiki. It heals the aura, upper chakras, and the soul. This process will assist in spiritual enlightenment. It helps bring a Reiki practitioner closer to the Divine.

How to use the Master Symbol of Reiki?

To use the power of the symbol, you can use various methods, such as drawing the symbol with hand, drawing it by the third eye, or by visualizing it. You can even meditate with this dai ko myo symbol to receive it. It nourishes your entire soul and body and gives you the ability to assist yourself and help others in the world.

The most important application of the symbol is to strengthen your relation with yourself. The symbol is also beneficial to gain a stronger spiritual practice or self-awareness. “Dai ko myo” is an excellent method to improve the defence mechanism in the body.

It improves the energy flow in the body. It clears blockages that may be holding your immunity system behind. In addition to the above benefits, the master symbol can also enhance the benefits of any homeopathic remedies that you are taking to heal the body or enhance life.

5. The Completion Symbol or Raku Reiki Symbol

The completion symbol is used at the time of the final stage of the reiki attunement process. The main intention of the symbol is grounding. Practitioners use the treatment to seal the awakened qi energy within. This bolt symbol is made using the hands that symbolize the termination of the healing session.

Raku is a Reiki symbol. Reiki practitioners use it at the master level. It is known as the “fire serpent”. It is drawn in a lightning-bolt-like shape from head to ground. The symbol enables the body to absorb all the healing benefits of Reiki practice. This Raku symbol is used by Reiki practitioners to clear any negativity that their body has absorbed while healing the other person.

How to use the Raku Symbol of Reiki?

The symbol is used at the completion of a Reiki practice. It is a way to absorb the various advantages of the energy movement in the body. Draw this symbol whenever you wish to get grounded.

How to use several Reiki symbols at one go?

It is not needed to use Reiki symbols separately. You can also use them in combination with other symbols. One of the ways to do it by using multiple symbols to send Reiki to an ill child. You don’t need that person in physical presence.

Just by holding his/her photograph and visualizing sei hei ki, cho ku rei, cho ku rei and hon sha ze sho nen, thrice a day. Now repeat the name of the recipient thrice while holding the photograph.  It is a great means to channelize healing energy to them. This will gradually improve their health.

Use multiple symbols at once to send Reiki energy to any future event that you may be nervous about. It may bring bad news such as a doctor’s appointment, a job interview, and more. Say the names of sei he ki, hon sha ze sho nen, cho ku rei, and cho ku rei thrice daily, and visualize them. These symbols will help bring them calming and peaceful vibrations. It will make you more self-aware and focused to achieve new goals in life.


These Reiki symbols are an excellent means to improve the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual well-being of a person. If you are suffering from any type of physical, mental or emotional issues, then consider receiving a Reiki session. This powerful and time-tested ancient practice has the ability to heal and infuse positivity within you.

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