Ok, I am opening a can of worms here! And yes, one of my favorite things to do – open the can, stir the worms 😉
I know the internet is full of references to the Symbols, I see people selling Reiki symbol jewelry and crystal packs, so many would see me as old-fashioned. I come from a tradition before internet, and when I learnt my Level 2 it was full of wonder and magic. In my experience, if you treat the symbols with respect and create your own private relationship with them, you will gain much more than you can imagine. If you blatantly plaster them everywhere, share them with all your friends, what are you intending, why and what are you trying to achieve? I have yet to find a satisfactory explanation as to why people publicize them, it has never made any sense to me.
Create a sacred space with your Reiki, internalize your truth and grow from there, the results will be much more authentic.
When we teach the Reiki symbols at the Reiki Centre we place great emphasis on the treating them with respect. We see the Reiki symbols as energy transformers, and True symbols i.e. above and independent of human thought and processes. The symbols are sacred and must be treated with great respect – they have a ‘personality’ and great power. We always use the symbols with pure and good intent. We never disclose the name, or draw the symbol for anyone who is not Reiki 2 or above.
Wikipedia has an excellent section on Symbols (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbol) worth exploring. The definitions point to the essence of what I am trying to communicate – symbols are energy embodiments, they encompass enormous amounts of information – some is knowable, and some is unknowable, symbols are guardians of energy fields and the more you use them, the more you understand their secrets.
In his essay ‘The Symbol without Meaning’ Joseph Campbell proposes the following definition: “A symbol is an energy evoking, and directing, agent.” He goes on to emphasis the difference between simply studying or learning the symbol and truly activating it:
“When the symbol is functioning for engagement, the cognitive faculties are held fascinated by and bound to the symbol itself, and are thus simultaneously informed by and protected from the unknown. But when the symbol is functioning for disengagement, transport, and metamorphosis, it becomes a catapult to be left behind.” — Joseph Campbell
In layman’s terms, there is a big difference in Madonna wearing the Christian Cross for ‘bling’, and a nun praying in-front of it with deep reverence. The Reiki symbols are keys for opening doors, but when it is plastered all over the internet or tatooed onto your ankle, or engraved on your crystal – it’s ‘bling’ – make no mistake. You need to activate the symbol not just ‘bling’ it.
Symbols are living entities, which is why – in my opinion – they should be protected from misuse or misunderstanding. In my own experience, eventually, instead of you ‘drawing’ the symbols, they will ‘draw’ you and the dance truly begins 😉 As Campbell states they are transporting and metamorphic tools – the keys to doors. With great reverence comes great wisdom.