The Usui System of Natural Healing, commonly known as Reiki, incorporates symbols in it’s teachings and techniques. These symbols are used mainly in two ways, drawn in the air or on the body, or with their names chanted as a mantra. Hawayo Takata, who introduced Reiki to the west, taught all her students that the symbols must be treated with respect and kept secret. Teachers today have different opinions about the subject, especially since they were published in Essential Reiki by Diane Stein, which includes both the names, and several different versions of the symbols.
This is the second book I ever read on Reiki, and I read it before my first Reiki class. For myself, even though I had read about them, I never used the symbols until I was taught them in my Reiki II class. My understanding was, that the symbols themselves do not work unless one is empowered by a Reiki Master through the attunement, which is the blessing received during training.
While I personally do not believe that the symbols are weakened in any way from publishing or distributing them, I made the decision to honor the tradition that I’ve been trained in to keep them confidential. It is my way of honoring them as sacred, and it was a personal choice. As I continue to work with Reiki, and the Reiki Symbols, I will learn about how they work with the energy. Right now, I view them as individual notes in the vibrational song that makes up Reiki. They are useful tools for meditation as well, helping me to focus on the different aspects of Reiki Healing.