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Do I always have to use the symbols?

reiki symbols in treatments use

So many Reiki rules!

In most Reiki lineages the Reiki symbols are taught on the Second Degree course, though some are taught one symbol at First Degree I believe.

A lot of rules have built up about what you can and can’t do with symbols, what you always must do, and of course these rules end up being contradictory.

The only rule that applies to Reiki is ‘there are no rules’ I believe, and what I’d like to do here is just run through a few ‘symbol rules’ that you can choose to ignore.

Draw the symbols over your palm every day or you’ll “lose” them

Some poor Reiki people are frantically drawing the three symbols over their palms every morning because if they don’t they’ll “lose” the symbols and won’t be able to use them any more.

I have to say that this is nonsense, and is something that most Reiki people will not be doing.

The symbols are graphical representations of different aspects of the energy, they are triggers that you can use to access and energy, to direct an energy, and you don’t even need to be ‘attuned’ to a symbol for it to work for you (but that’s another story).

Please don’t draw the symbols over your palms every day for fear of losing them.

You always have to use the symbols when you treat


Why would you always have to use the symbols when you treat someone?

You are attuned to Reiki, you have been working happily with the energy since your First Degree course, channelling it for your benefit and for the benefit of others, and suddenly someone does some mystical hand-waving over you and you can’t use Reiki unless you keep drawing out symbols?

That makes no sense at all, particularly when you realise that there are a lot of Reiki practitioners and Masters who have moved away from, or beyond, the use of the symbols and just allow the energy to do what it needs to.

The symbols are useful tools, a way of focusing your attention on and experiencing different aspects of the energy, but they’re not compulsory!

Try only using a symbol during a treatment when the symbol seems to ‘want’ to be used, when you feel it’s right to use in a particular hand position, when it ‘calls’ to you.

Go with the flow and let the energy guide you, so you’re gearing the treatment more towards the needs of the person you’re working on.

See what happens.

Always draw every symbol over each hand position

Oh dear, this would be so ham-fisted, to have to frantically draw out three symbols in every hand position you use when treating someone.

If you were taught to do this, I would like to suggest that you experiment, try out different ways of working that don’t involve this very busy, cluttered approach, and come to your own conclusions about what’s necessary.

It’s not a very Japanese approach, is it?

If you think about traditional Japanese arts they do pare things to the bone, leaving only the bare, elegant essentials.

Clutter-free Reiki is a much calmer, and potent.

Over to you

If you have been taught some of the rules and restrictions I mentioned above, please do experiment for yourself and come to your own conclusions about what’s necessary and effective.

You don’t need to slavishly follow all the instructions that you were given by your teacher; you can find your own comfortable approach with the energy.

Post a message below to le tme know how yoru practice has changed over time.

Want to find out more about Reiki symbols & treatments?

reiki book second degree manualsA whole load of info and advice can be found in the 110-page Reiki Evolution Second Degree manual. This isn’t just available to Reiki Evolution students: anyone can work with our manuals.

You can order a professionally-printed copy, or you can download your manual right now.

Here are the links that you need:

Reiki Second Degree manual

Reiki Second Degree eBook





Picture Credit: Ashley Van Haeften


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