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Reiki Symbols and Meanings

Updated on August 10, 2017

Reiki is an energy therapy that was developed by Mikao Usui - a Japanese Buddhist monk in 1922.  It is a alternative medicine practice that uses a technique called palm healing which is said to transfer energy or qi through the body.

When used during a Reiki session, Reiki symbols are said to enhance the flow of certain life energy (depending on the symbol used) and also open higher levels of spirituality and awareness.

Most practitioners will say that all the Reiki symbols and their meanings are sacred because they originate from the ancient Sanskrit language which is said to be the language of the spirits.

Before a session of attunement the symbol is meditated on to increase the metaphysical energies that the symbol represents before 'drawing' it onto the patient.  

Reiki Healing with Sei He Ki

How to Use Reiki Symbols

The Reiki Symbols and their Meanings

The four main Reiki Master Symbols and meanings used are:

Cho Ku Rei - The Power Symbol

Cho: Connect the
Ku: Power, Energy with
Rei: The Soul, The Universe, The Unity

This symbol represents power and will help with general body healing. When used during a treatment it can increase the energy flow to various parts of the body.

You can also use this symbol to clear the energy from a room or space (if you feel that there are negative energies in the area), or give extra power to other tools such as crystals and food.

Sei He Ki - The Mental and Emotional Symbol

Sei: I Point
He: the Bow, Arrow to
Ki: Live-force, Light, Awareness

This strange symbol represents balance and emotions and is used for healing emotional and mental health problems.  It is great for patients with depression, addictions, relationship problems and anger.

It promotes a lightness of being and calmness of the soul.

Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen - The Distance and Mental Symbol

Hon = Spirit, Source, Origin, Universe
Sha = Mind, Surviving
Ze = Space, Be, Being
Sho = Feeling, Emotions
Nen = Consciousness, Body, Attention

This symbol is used for healing that must be performed over a large distance in the case where the patient is not with the Reiki healer.

It can travel through space which makes it a great symbol for karmic healing.

Dai Ko Myo - The Master Symbol

Dai Ko Myo - “great shining light”, “great luminous shining”, “great enlightenment”

The Dai Ko Myo symbol represents wisdom and power.  This symbol is used to awaken a higher power or purpose within the individual or patient.

It's the strongest and most powerful of all the Reiki symbols and can replace any of the others as needed.  Most Reiki masters will use this with all their work to receive more power.

Reiki Healing with Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen

Reiki - Dai Ko Myo

Do you believe Reiki really works?

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    • kislany profile image


      7 years ago from Cyprus

      I never got to Dai Ko Myo, since I have only lvl 2 attunement so far, I only learned up to Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen. Couldn't find in Cyprus (where I live) a Reiki master to attune me to lvl 3/4 to become a master myself. Oh well, at least I can heal in person and distance heal as well. Great article!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Can u pls send healing to my mother aged 75. She has heart problem, unhealing wound on her feet, severe pain in her back n hand n gallstone pain. Pls send her healing. Thank u

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I'm from Bangkok, Thailand n I teach n do healing for people through angels. Almost the same technique. I love to explore... By learning Reiki gives me another perspective in Healings, thanks to the mindful teachers here who made Reiki so easy. Feel free to call me, e-mail: ,thanks sincerely, Healer

    • gajanis786 profile image


      8 years ago

      Reiki is amazing......good informative hub.Thanks.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great to see someone teaching Reiki with clarity like this. Thanks!

    • tvance profile image


      9 years ago from Chehalis, Washington

      Hello, It is a pleasure to see your hub on Reiki Symbols! I'm a Reiki Master from WASH State and we provide free Reiki I certification for people --

    • profile image

      learn Reiki 

      9 years ago

      I just love watching people create Reiki symbols. It means a lot and I can relax.

    • Steph0596 profile image


      9 years ago from Ontario

      I wouldn't have believed it myself until I had a treatment. Now I am addicted and want to learn more. Thanks for the info, I enjoyed this article.

    • Reiki Healing profile image

      Reiki Healing 

      9 years ago

      Reiki is wonderful, its like coconut butter: tastes good with everything

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks for this informative hub. Times sure have changed. I remember back in the 90s when it was a big deal to keep these symbols secret. One author in particular, Diane Stein, was vilified when she published them in a book for dissemination to the public at large. Haven't done much Reiki since the late 90s. I'll bookmark this hub as a reminder of how to trace the symbols.


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