When working with any symbol it is important to take it off the flat page and experience it as a three dimensional entity that exist both within space and slightly outside it. Allow the symbol to take on depth and shape. See it spin and move in front of you. Experience the rhythm of its unique dance. Then taste it. Feel the charge in the atmosphere around it. Each symbol will interact with space in a different way. Remember the symbol is essentially a doorway, a portal, even a vortex. See it whole in front of you. Let it touch you with its individual power. When you link with it suddenly it comes alive.
Traditionally it is said the Reiki symbols will not come alive for someone who is not attuned by a Reiki master. While I generally accept this premise there are a couple of instances I suspect may side-step the rule. The first is when the person has already been somehow attuned to Reiki in a parallel lifetime. It is not out of the question that certain Reiki practitioners attuned by Master Usui and his students have incarnated again and are already attuned to Reiki. In this case they will already be keyed to the symbols. Another exception is if the symbols themselves do the attunement. Since the symbols are dynamic manifestations of the Rei intelligence if they decide to attune someone, who are we to say its not possible? Imagine someone stumbling through a Reiki book for the first time and really connecting to the symbols. Feeling, tasting, imaging them. Bringing them into their heart. In such a case I have no doubt the symbols can bridge themselves into the new student and the Rei intelligence can send Ki into the hands of the newly attuned.
Symbols are traditionally engaged in a number of ways. The foundational way is in the context of a healing session. The practitioner may open the session by tracing a particular symbol into his hands or over the body of his guest. This gesture essentially says: “Okay, lineage, we are stepping into a Reiki session now.” If, during the session, the healer encounters a blockage a particular symbol may be appropriate. The healer can think the symbol in whole form, trace it in the air, draw it over the blockage, or intone the sounds of the symbol name.
Sometimes spaces need healing. The symbols can be drawn onto the walls or windows of a room to purify and bless. I paint the symbols beneath the paint on my walls so they are holding space around my personal spaces.
One of the most beautiful ways I’ve heard of engaging with the symbols is from Troy, a student of mine who is now a gifted Reiki master. When the BP oil spill occurred he would go to our north Florida beach and draw the symbols into the sand and send them out into the waters.
At Sphere we bless our oils, tinctures, and herbal remedies with light and breath and, depending on the blend’s use, one or more of the Reiki symbols before sending them out into the world. The more familiar you become with the symbols the more you will find them engaging and directive.