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THE REIKI SYMBOLS

Copyright ę 2003/4 James Deacon

reiki power symbols SYMBOL 1:
The 'Power' symbol

Each of the four Reiki symbols has an accompanying Japanese mantra/phraze - frequently referred to as a jumon ('spell' or 'incantation').

In 'western' lineage Reiki this jumon is commonly used as the symbol's name.

[Some 'Japanese' lineages give each symbol a jumon which is different from the symbol's name]

The jumon accompanying Symbol 1 is: "Choku Rei" [alternatively written as: Cho Ku Rei, or Chokurei]


There has been some debate over the precise meaning of the jumon "Choku Rei".

We have to remember that "Choku Rei" is simply a transliteration of the Japanese, and just as in English where (for example) the words 'rite', 'write' and 'right' all have the same sound, so too in Japanese there are often many words that sound the same, yet are written in different kanji (ideogramatic characters) and have very different meanings.

In the 'western' lineage of Reiki we have only been aware of the 'romanised' written form of this jumon. There was no depiction of the phraze in kanji form. (This is unfortunate, as rather than representing the sound of a word, kanji are directly indicative of the meaning of the word).

When Mieko Mitsui took 'western' lineage Reiki to Japan in 1985 and apparently discovered that 'original' Japanese Reiki had never actually died out as had previously been thought, many people expected they would finally learn precisely which kanji were used to write the jumon, and therefore gain some understanding of the proper meaning of the jumon. But this was not to be the case.

From one prominent source, the Reiki community was to learn that apparently, in Japan, the symbols (rather conveniently, some might think) were not generally used any more.

[Now, without sliding too far into 'Reiki Conspiracy Theory' mode - it has to be said that if, for whatever reason, someone were to make spurious claims about connection/involvement with surviving elements of 'original' Japanese Reiki, then when it came to sustaining plausibility, there would no doubt be numerous minor issues - such as that of jumon-meanings - which would require circumventing...]

However, from other sources it has since been discovered that both the symbols and their jumon are indeed still used.

Yet it seems, the jumon - where actually presented in written form - are generally not written in kanji characters (which would provide a clear indication of their meaning), but rather in katakana (one of two Japanese phonetic syllabaries used in addition to kanji ideograms*.)

Unlike kanji which allude to the meaning of the words, katakana merely record the sounds of the words.

[*NOTE: some people have commented how they find it odd that the jumon are written in katakana .
The other syllabary - called hiragana - is used to provide suffixes and prefixes to kanji characters, and to write purely Japanese words, while katakana is used on official documents and to write words of foreign origin. The Reiki jumon it seems, are considered by many to come under this latter category - as Reiki only became popular in Japan after being re-introduced from the West, it is considered by many to be a 'foreign import'!]

When written in katakana, Choku rei looks like this:
.............................................

When written in one particular set of kanji :
.................................................

Chokurei refers to an Imperial Edict, Proclamation or Order ("by command of the Emperor").

Yet, written in a different set of kanji:
............................................ .....

it can be translated as 'direct spirit(s)', or more conceptually as something like: 'In the presence of the spirit(s) [ie: kami ] '.

[This is one reason some people consider the symbol to be of Shinto origin.]

It has, on a number of occasions, been suggested that Symbol 1 represents a coiled snake with it's head raised.

On hearing this, some people have sought to "jump cultures" and attempt to link Symbol 1 to the 'kundalini serpent' of Indian tradition.

However, according to some theories, associated with honji suijaku
(a doctrine of Shinto-Buddhist syncretism), the real forms of kami are actually snakes...

Takata-Sensei translated Choku Rei as 'put the [spiritual] power here', and there is also a possiblilty (I stress the word 'possibility') that the symbol is a calligraphic stylisation of the kanji character choku itself:

 

animation ckr from kanji to symbol - perhaps

- which has many meanings, including: direct; in person; at once; & near by...

In my researches, I have also come across reference to the term choku rei in the writings of Masahisa Goi, founder of the religious group Byakk§ Shink§kai. For example, in 'The Future of Mankind', Goi writes:
"In the beginning, Great God took His body, His light, and divided it into various
rays of light. He then functioned 7 rays of light to operate as the power source of
human beings. These 7 rays of origin, which I call Chokurei (direct spirits from God*), are the image of God working in this world of mankind...
"

*NOTE: Chokurei, as used by Masahisa, translates literally as 'direct spirit(s)' - the 'from god' part is simply implied.

Choku Rei and Nao Hi: the 'secret Shinto jumon'

Basic Uses of Symbol 1:

Symbol 1 can be used to increase the power/flow of Reiki, or to assist in focussing Reiki more intensely at a given location, or to a specific intent.
The symbol can be used as an 'energy cleansing' / 'energy blessing' for food, drink, or possessions; and may be employed as a seal or amulet of protection.
Some practitioners use Symbol 1 to cleanse a room of negative atmospheres; or to 'seal' a treatment.
And while in 'western' forms of Reiki, the symbol may be used in conjunction with one or more of the other symbols, (with the intent of increase their potency) in 'Japanese' lineages, it is primarily utilised in a stand-alone sense.


Various different forms of Symbol 1

The 'Power Symbol' and its 'secret Shinto jumon'

The Choku Rei Trail - the terms 'Choku Rei', 'Dai Ko Myo'
and 'Reiki' in Japanese 'New Religions

The 'Mental-Emotional Healing' Symbol

Various different forms of Symbol 2

The 'Distant' Symbol

Various different forms of Symbol 3

The 'Master' Symbol

The Master Symbol part 2 - The Reiki symbol that (supposedly) never was...

Various different forms of Symbol 4

The Introduction of the symbols into Reiki

The Reiki Symbols - Unsubstantiated Associations

The Symbols from a Japanese Buddhist Perspective

'Training Wheels' or Essential, Deeper 'Spiritual Tools'?

The Kurama Kokyo Sect and the Reiki Symbols


THE DIAN FOSSEY GORILLA FUND INTERNATIONAL


Reiki Pages
GUEST BOOK


THE FIRST REIKI SYMBOL

reiki books and music

reiki books and music

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Disclaimer: The contents of this site is for general information only. James Deacon does not necessarily endorse the methodology, techniques or philosophy of individual modalities detailed herein, and accepts no liability for the use or misuse of any practice or exercise on this site, or ones linked to this site.
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