Skip to main content

Seven Ways to Use Reiki Symbols

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

I have studied crystal healing for many years and have studied and been attuned to reiki levels one, two, and masters.

Quartz crystal points carved with reiki symbols

Quartz crystal points carved with reiki symbols

What Are Reiki Symbols?

Once you have been attuned to the second degree of reiki, you will be able to use a selection of symbols to enhance your work. Once attuned to these symbols, the student will remain connected at a conscious and subconscious level to them for life. Many students report that the power of their reiki energy increases after becoming attuned to second degree, and this stage of practice also enables you to send reiki via distance healing. The three symbols are known as Cho Ku Rei, Sei Hei Ki, and Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen. They can be used by visualising or drawing them or by intoning their name.

The three symbols can be used when performing reiki treatments, and the understanding and connection to the symbols will develop and deepen with each use. The symbols are sacred and are only useful when combined with second degree reiki energy.

Reiki is a safe and natural treatment for a huge variety of issues.

Reiki is a safe and natural treatment for a huge variety of issues.

Cho Ku Rei: The Power Symbol

Cho Ku Rei (pronounced cho-koo-ray) is also known as the power symbol. It is used to increase the power of reiki and in activating the other symbols. This symbol is used to start the flow of second degree reiki energy. Even if a practitioner has been attuned to second degree reiki, they will only be channelling first degree reiki unless they use the Cho Ku Rei symbol.

The power symbol is used at the beginning of a treatment to increase power and seals in the energy at the end. It can be used to clear negative energy and create a positive, uplifting or sacred space. Cho Ku Rei can be used for protection on all levels—physically, mentally and emotionally.

The Cho Ku Rei symbol, with arrows to show the drawing sequence.

The Cho Ku Rei symbol, with arrows to show the drawing sequence.

Sei Hei Ki: The Emotional Healing Symbol

This symbol is used for emotional healing and can be used to bring peace and harmony to a person. Sei Hei Ki (pronounced say-hey-key) can be used in healing emotional issues that manifest as physical ailments or to aid in cases of nervousness, fear, depression, anger and sadness. Addictions are also treated using the Sei Hei Ki symbol.

This reiki symbol can be used to unite the mind and body and in healing deep-rooted emotional problems. Sei Hei Ki can be used in bringing repressed memories to the surface and to aid the process of working through them and moving forward. It helps to bring harmony by balancing the left and right sides of the brain and can be beneficial to use in treating depression, anxiety, memory and attention issues and addictions.

The Sei Hei Ki symbol, with arrows to show the drawing sequence.

The Sei Hei Ki symbol, with arrows to show the drawing sequence.

Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen: Distance Healing Symbol

This symbol is commonly used whenever distance healing is sent by a reiki practitioner. Distance presents no barrier to the energy of reiki and by using Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen, it can be sent to any person or place at any time in the past, present or future. Because of this many people consider this to be the most beneficial of the reiki symbols. When using Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen (pronounced Hon Sha Zee Show Nen), you do not need to worry about sending the reiki to heal a specific ailment or issue. When sent over distance, reiki works on the subtle energy body and chakras of the recipient more than the physical body. Send the energy without any limitations and it will go where it is needed most. Sending a distance healing is generally faster than a traditional healing and can also be set to send at or over a certain period of time.

People often think of distance healing as something that is only used when the practitioner and recipient are far apart, but this does not have to be so. Being able to send someone reiki without touching them can be helpful even if they are in the same house or room as you. This can be very useful in treating using reiki with animals or young children, who may not stay still for a more traditional treatment session. In this case, you can beam reiki energy to them or use a photograph.

The Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol.

The Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen symbol.

Many reiki healers believe that you should always obtain the permission of a person before sending them reiki energy. This is due to the fact that although the intentions may be good, only the person in question can decide how they feel about a given situation, whether they would like it to change and how this change would be. If you feel that gaining permission is important, but are unable to do so; there are several approaches that can be taken.

  1. Decide not to send reiki healing
  2. Use your intuition or meditation to guide you in the correct way to proceed
  3. Send reiki using the phrase ‘should it be for their highest good’. This way reiki will only flow to the person if they are open to accepting it. You may also wish to state what you would like to happen to the healing energy if it is not needed or wanted. For example, it should go to the Earth or to another person that wants it.

If you are unable to obtain permission from a person due to illness, disability or, in the case of young children, you may feel it is acceptable to ask a close family member for permission instead.

Seven Uses for Reiki Symbols

1. Cho Ku Rei can be drawn over doors and other entrances to provide protection. It can also be carried with you in a bag, pocket or purse or placed in your car.

2. Much of our food will have travelled through many people and places before reaching our plates. During this process, it can pick up negative energies that can remain even after cooking. Drawing or visualising a Cho Ku Rei symbol over your food or meals can help to remove this collected energy.

3. Use Sei Hei Ki to empower your affirmations. Visualise or say ‘Sei Hei Ki’ three times before your affirmation and then three times afterwards. This can be done by speaking out loud or in your mind. If you prefer, you can visualise the symbols. This can be done by visualising the complete symbol or by drawing it in your mind. If you write your affirmations you can draw the Sei Hei Ki symbol three times before and after.

4. Sei Hei Ki can be used in helping you to memorise information. To do so, write the information that you wish to remember on a piece of paper, fold it in half and hold it between your hands. Hold the folded paper in your hands and ask that reiki aid you in remembering the information and that you will be able to access it at any time. Channel reiki to the paper for five minutes (or longer if you feel it is necessary), with the intention that the information is committed to memory.

5. If you wish to rid yourself of an unwanted habit, this can be achieved using Sei Hei Ki. Write the habit onto a piece of blank paper and fold this in half, with the writing on the inside. Draw the Cho Ku Rei symbol on the paper, followed by the Sei Hei Ki and finally another Cho Ku Rei. Hold the paper in your hand and channel reiki into it for 10-15 minutes. Let your intuition guide you as to how long is enough.

6. Use a photograph to send reiki to a sick child. Hold a photograph of the recipient in your hands. Say the names and visualise the following symbols three times each:

  • Cho Ku Rei
  • Sei Hei Ki
  • Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen
  • Cho Ku Rei

Now close your hands around the photograph while saying the person’s name three times. Visualise the reiki energy and symbols reaching the recipient and surrounding them in healing energy. End the session by grounding yourself and disconnecting from reiki as you normally would.

7. Reiki can be sent into the future to help you at an upcoming event. For example, you could send reiki to the time that you will be attending a job interview. Sending reiki in advance will give you more free time during the day to focus on the task ahead while benefiting from the calming beneficial energy. When the day comes you may be too nervous or unsettled to carry out a reiki session and so sending in advance also helps to avoid this.

You can use a surrogate item such as a letter or you can visualise the event. Say the names and visualise the following symbols three times each:

• Cho Ku Rei

• Sei Hei Ki

• Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen

• Cho Ku Rei

Now ask that reiki be present around you and bring calming energy and focus to you and state the date, time and place of your event. Visualise reiki being with you at your chosen time for five minutes before ending the session. Ideas for times that this may be useful include job interviews, exams, sports events, competitions, medical appointments or surgeries and driving tests.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Questions & Answers

Question: Do you have to say all of the Reiki symbols three times for distance healing?

Answer: This is how I was taught, however like with many things, let your intuition guide you and you won't go far wrong.

Question: Do you have to write symbols on your palm or recipient's body while giving Reiki?

Answer: You do not need to physically draw the symbols and can visualise them in place fully drawn or visualise the process of drawing them either on your palms or the recipients body.

Question: Is it appropriate to inscribe the reiki symbols onto artifacts such as drums and bowls used for healing and meditation purposes?

Answer: Yes, definitely. You can draw the symbols physically or use them as you would when healing directly.

© 2017 Claire

Comments on April 29, 2019:

Use a photograph to send reiki to a sick child. Hold a photograph of the recipient in your hands. Say the names and visualise the following symbols three times each:

Cho Ku Rei

Sei Hei Ki

Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen

Cho Ku Rei

How to use the same for dai ko myo.

Luchy on February 01, 2019:

Thank you, it was helpful and reminded me a lot.

Exactly what I needed.

Shweta Vermeulen on October 11, 2018:

Thanks Claire! I am new to the Reiki world and I have started practicing it on myself from the last few months and see immense benefits. So thanks for sharing this information as it clarified some of my doubts. I am now on path of increasing my awareness.

JNANACHAND MISHRA on September 12, 2018:

Many many thanks for providing very useful information. Idea of sending Reiki to an event of future is excellent

Claire (author) from Lincolnshire, UK on June 04, 2018:

I totally agree. It is also a useful method for exams or medical appointments or procedues when you can't use reiki at the time.

Maurice Glaude from Mobile on June 02, 2018:

I love the idea of sending Reiki into the future. It's like preparing the way for success.

Claire (author) from Lincolnshire, UK on November 06, 2017:

You're welcome. Happy it helped.

Danea Mobley-Krist from Ohio on November 03, 2017:

Great information...thank you!

Claire (author) from Lincolnshire, UK on November 03, 2017:

Thank you and you're welcome.

Justina on November 01, 2017:

I love, this thank you

Claire (author) from Lincolnshire, UK on June 05, 2017:

Thank you, it's much appreciated. Glad you found it interesting.

Melissa Reese Etheridge from Tennessee, United States on June 01, 2017:

Wow! This is so interesting. I'm sharing your article on my social media sites!


Claire (author) from Lincolnshire, UK on May 28, 2017:

Hello. O'm glad you found my hub useful. Good luck n your reiki journey.

Lareene from Atlanta, GA on May 27, 2017:

I don't know much about Reiki but now I know more.