Reiki is an energetic healing technique which uses Universal Life Force Energy to heal and regenerate the body. Reiki may be used to aid in healing of not only physical ailments, but to calm and balance the body, and heal emotional and spiritual disharmony as well. Reiki was founded in the 19th century in Japan by Dr.Mikao Usui.
One becomes a Reiki Practitioner when they havereceived attunements from a Reiki Master. There are three levels or ‘degrees’ of Reiki.
- Level I: (First Degree) This practitioner can do ‘hands-on” reiki for people or animals. They maytypically use the Cho Ku Rei symbol.
- Level II: (Second Degree) This practioner can not only ‘hands-on’ healing, but can do distant healing as well. Level II practitioners may use the first three Reiki Symbols. Not only do they use the Cho Ku Rei symbol, but the Sei He Ki and Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbols, as well.
- Level III: (Third Degree) The person who has been attuned to Level III Reiki can call themselves a “Reiki Master.” Reiki Masters may use all of the symbols that practitioners use, and may also use the Dai Ko Myo symbol.
A word about symbols: You may note that I said practitioners ‘may’ use symbols. In traditional Western Reiki methods, many practioners do. However, there is some controversy surrounding the history of symbols and there are many practitioners and masters who do energetic healing without the symbols.
When it comes down to it, Reiki is one of many energetic healing techniques. Symbols were created to help practitioners focus because the one constant in all energetic healing techniques is ‘intent.’ Whether or not people use the symbols is a personal decision.
The bottom line is ‘does it work?’ In Huna we would call that the principal of Pono: “Effectiveness is the measure of Truth.” In other words, if it works for you, use it. If not, don’t. If your Reiki healing techniques work without symbols, so be it. Hard core Reiki traditionalists may not call it Reiki, others do. The point is not what it’s called, but the intent with which you use it and the effectiveness it has on the people and animals you use it on.
For more information on this topic, read Reiki: The True Story: An Exploration of Usui Reiki. (I in no way profit from the sale of this book [in fact I read it by checking it out at the library] but it is the best Reiki book I’ve read on the topic thus far. )
>> See also Reiki Symbols