Karmic Symbols Explained: Their History, Meaning, and Purpose
Reiki Blog

Karmic Symbols Explained: Their History, Meaning, and Purpose

Sep 12, 2023
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Key Takeaway PointsDescription (20 words)
What is KarmaKarma, a Sanskrit term, denotes the principle of cause and effect governing actions across lifetimes.
History and Origins of Karmic SymbolsKarmic symbols, rooted in ancient traditions, were adapted and evolved in Reiki to facilitate healing and spirituality.
Key Karmic Symbols in ReikiReiki utilizes symbols like Cho Ku Rei for power, Sei He Ki for emotional healing, and Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen for distance healing.
Deeper Meaning of the SymbolsKarmic symbols hold deep spiritual meanings, representing divine concepts and aiding in personal growth through meditation.
Using Karmic Symbols in Reiki PracticeReiki sessions leverage karmic symbols through drawing, invocation, and meditation to enhance the healing process.
Examples of Symbols in Other PracticesKarmic symbols find parallels in other spiritual practices, including Hinduism and alchemy, serving similar purposes.
Using Symbols for ManifestationReiki symbols can be used to amplify manifestation work, enhancing intention setting and goal realization.
Encountering Symbols in Daily LifeKarmic symbols may appear in daily life, offering messages and insights from the universe.
Rituals and Activations with SymbolsReiki masters use rituals and activations to deepen the connection with karmic symbols for potent healing.
Designing Your Own SymbolsExperienced practitioners can create personal karmic symbols, guided by intention and meditation.
Interconnectedness of SymbolsKarmic symbols work synergistically, offering a multi-layered approach to healing and spiritual growth.
Comparison of Karmic Symbols and Other Reiki SymbolsKarmic symbols, focusing on universal laws, differ from other Reiki symbols that often emphasize physical healing.
ConclusionKarmic symbols, rich in history and meaning, offer a path to deeper understanding and spiritual growth through Reiki.

Symbols have long been used in spiritual practices to represent cosmic energies and sacred meanings. In particular, karmic symbols refer to visual designs that are filled with the wisdom of karmic laws and principles. They act as mystical tools for healing, manifestation, and awakening higher levels of consciousness.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most important karmic symbols used in Reiki and other modalities. We’ll uncover their origins, significance, and practical applications for modern-day spiritual seekers. Whether you’re new to working with symbols or want to deepen your knowledge, read on for an insightful overview of these potent shapes and forms.

What is Karma?

The word karma has its roots in ancient Indian philosophy, arising from the Sanskrit language. It refers to the principle of cause and effect—whatever action we take, there is an equal reaction or consequence.

Karma is deeply connected to the cycle of reincarnation and the soul’s journey through many lifetimes. Our actions, both positive and negative, accumulate karma that shapes future experiences. The goal of spiritual practice is to end this cycle and achieve liberation.

When it comes to healing modalities like Reiki, working with karma allows blockages from past actions to be released. The karmic symbols thus help cleanse our energetic bodies and restore harmony to the soul.

History and Origins of Karmic Symbols

While some karmic symbols have ancient roots, many were developed specifically for Reiki and other modern healing systems. The founder of Reiki, Mikao Usui, introduced key symbols in the early 20th century, channeling them from higher awareness. Other spiritual figures similarly designed symbols during deep meditation.

Some common karmic symbols are derived from Sanskrit letters, Taoist principles, and sacred geometry patterns. They carry the wisdom from these traditions while taking on new meaning in a Reiki context. Practitioners continue to receive and intuit new symbols as Reiki evolves.

Symbol NameOriginal Source
Cho Ku ReiModern Reiki origin
Sei He KiModern Reiki origin
Hon Sha Ze Sho NenModern Reiki origin
OmAncient Indian scriptures

Key Karmic Symbols in Reiki

Now let’s explore some of the prominent karmic symbols used in Reiki and their core meanings.

Cho Ku Rei (Power Symbol)

This is considered the most foundational Reiki symbol, used to activate and amplify energy. It’s commonly taught as the first symbol in Reiki training. The Cho Ku Rei resembles a clockwise spiral and aims to foster harmony with the universal life force.

Sei He Ki (Emotional Healing Symbol)

The Sei He Ki helps release emotional blockages and past traumas stored in the body and energy field. It promotes mind-body balance and spiritual growth. The symbol incorporates elements of waves/water and the number 5 for change and progress.

Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen (Distance Symbol)

This powerful Reiki symbol enables healing across any distance, connecting to a recipient’s energy. Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen creates a bridge that transmits universal life force wherever needed. The symbol has origins in a Japanese mantra.

Deeper Meaning of the Symbols

Beyond the basic explanations above, karmic symbols encapsulate deeper spiritual significance with layers of meaning. The imagery and form of each one tells a story about its purpose. For example, the spiral shape of Cho Ku Rei symbolizes the perpetual movement of life force energy.

The symbols represent concepts our human minds can often barely comprehend—divine archetypes, the unity of opposites, the transcendence of duality. Meditating on them reveals more of their mystical secrets over time. Their meanings are manifold depending on perspective.

Using Karmic Symbols in Reiki Practice

During Reiki sessions, practitioners use karmic symbols in various ways to strengthen the healing:

  • Drawing – Symbols are drawn or visualized in the air over the recipient’s body. This focuses and sends the associated energy.
  • Invocation – Speaking, chanting or internally intoning the symbol’s name activates its power.
  • Meditation – Symbols used for meditation open psychic channels and shift consciousness.
  • Sealing – At the end of a session, symbols may seal in the healing energy.
  • Distant healing – The distance symbol connects remote individuals to Reiki energy.
  • Manifestation – Symbols reinforce intentions and enhance manifestation work.

The reasons for using karmic symbols are as numerous as the symbols themselves. Reiki masters encourage exploration to discover what works best for you. Be open to inner guidance and intuition.

Examples of Symbols in Other Practices

While this post focuses on Reiki symbols, there are many overlaps with other spiritual traditions:

  • Yantras in Hinduism – Geometric designs that similarly concentrate energy through meditation.
  • Yoga mudras – Hand positions acting as symbolic gestures to direct energy flow.
  • Flower of Life – This sacred geometry form contains many karmic symbols.
  • Alchemy symbols – Represent the transmutation of base energies to higher states.
  • Angelic sigils – Used to invoke celestial beings and special angelic forces.

Using Symbols for Manifestation

Reiki symbols can amplify manifestation work through added layers of energy and intention. Some ways to incorporate them:

  • Draw symbols over vision boards, checks, or other tools.
  • Meditate on a symbol that aligns with your goal.
  • Chant the name of a symbol during a mantra meditation.
  • Visualize symbols surrounding and energizing your intention.

The Cho Ku Rei, Sei He Ki, and Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen nicely support prosperity, emotional balance, and connecting to purpose. Get creative and let the symbols support your dreams!

Encountering Symbols in Daily Life

Once you become familiar with karmic symbols, you may start noticing them showing up in unexpected places – jewelry, architecture, brand logos, etc. Pay attention when this happens! The Universe could be sending you a message relevant to that symbol’s meaning.

You may also intuitively visualize or “receive” new symbols during meditation or daily activities. These personal symbols often relate to situations or questions on your mind. Be open to new insights and guidance.

Rituals and Activations with Symbols

Some Reiki masters perform empowerments to initiate students into the deeper usage of symbols:

  • Attunements – Rituals to open access to Reiki energy and symbols
  • Light Body activations – Clearing chakras and energy channels connected to symbols
  • Grids – Laying out combinations of symbols on sacred geometry grids
  • Sacred geometry – 3D rendering of symbols through merkabas and platonic solids

While optional, activations can anchor the energy of the symbols at deeper levels for more potent healing and manifestation. Such rituals must be guided by qualified teachers.

Designing Your Own Symbols

Once sufficiently experienced with established karmic symbols, many practitioners begin creating their own custom symbols. Some tips:

  • Set a clear intention for the symbol’s purpose
  • Meditate deeply to visualize the form organically
  • Notice emotions and sensations as you receive the symbol
  • Practice drawing and using the symbol, discerning its effects
  • Give your symbol an intuitive name that resonates

Trust in the process and your own inner guidance when designing a symbol. Let it be a creative act of spiritual expression.

Interconnectedness of Symbols

While karmic symbols each have defined meanings, they work together in an interconnected way. Their energies play off one another synergistically.

Many practitioners use combinations of symbols during Reiki sessions for a multi-layered effect. Studying the relationships between symbols provides insights about integrating spiritual concepts. The symbols ultimately represent the wholeness of existence.

Comparison of Karmic Symbols and Other Reiki Symbols

Karmic symbols have some similarities to other Reiki symbols but also unique aspects:

Karmic SymbolsOther Reiki Symbols
Represent universal laws and energiesOften connected to founders/practitioners
Ancient, sacred originsModern derivations more common
More abstract meaningsMore literal definitions
Aid spiritual growthFocus on physical healing
Used for meditationUsed during healing sessions

While not clear cut divisions, these comparisons help highlight the more profound role of karmic symbols in expanding consciousness and manifesting reality.


Karmic symbols are fascinating multidimensional tools that help illuminate our inner world and access deeper forces of energy. By studying their history, practicing their usage, and meditating on their significance, we discover their profound gifts. While initially mysterious, karmic symbols reveal themselves slowly to those who walk the path with care and patience.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are some other examples of karmic symbols?

    Other common karmic symbols include the Om, hexagram, lotus flower, medicine wheel, Hamsa hand, and Fruit of Life. There are many beyond the main Reiki symbols.

  2. How do I start working with karmic symbols?

    Begin exploring by learning the meanings, practicing drawing them, and meditating with them. To use them in Reiki, formal training and initiation by a Reiki Master is required.

  3. Can the symbols do harm if misused?

    There are no dangerous side effects, but improper use can block the positive benefits. Always use karmic symbols with pure intention and an attitude of love.

  4. Should the symbols be kept secret?

    Historically, some degree of secrecy was involved, but most teachers today are more open about the symbols and their use for the greater good. Use intuition.

  5. Can I design a symbol for anything I want?

    You can create very personalized symbols, but they are most powerful when aligned with uplifting purposes and universal spiritual principles.

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