Symbols & Reiki – Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen (part 7)

Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen

step into the revolving door of the realms of Light


round and round and round we climb

The third symbol in the Reiki 2 attunement is Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen. This is commonly known as the “Distance Symbol” and is translated: “All is One” or “Past, Present, Future coming together.” I affectionately call this konji the Temple or the Pagoda because it has a spatial reality to it that seems very much like a sacred place that draws its initiates through its doors for deep healing presence.

When I look at this symbol I see the axis mundi. The roots of the world’s mother tree are sent down into the earth and the trunk reaches up into the heavens. The axis mundi is the center of all things and holds the world together with her interlocking and deepening roots. It is the central point of all existence.

Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen is a challenging symbol, as well it should be. When you step into the structure of this arboreal temple you enter a realm in which there is no time (all time is one) nor space (all space is one). Temporal and spatial reality collapse into the eternal present. It is here that we are able to heal the past or send ourselves forward into the future. It is here we can forgive our younger selves for the hurts we may have caused others and we may forgive others for any harm done. It is in the sheltering warmth of the tree that we can send light to those who have already taken off their earthly personas and stepped into pure auric form. There are no limitations of form, time, or locality.

When we step into the Temple we are met by the guardians of the entire lineage. The Reiki masters all leave imprints within this symbol and their songs are keyed into its walls. Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen is powerful not simply for its own symbolic gifts but it is composite of the gifts of all the Reiki practitioners who have stepped into its sacred space.

Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen is a portal to (and of) sacred space. It holds a space outside of regular linearity and allows us to exit the realms of locality to do powerful healing work on ourselves and with others.

If you know there is an important meeting or operation or confrontation you can send Reiki light forward in time. If there was an argument that caused bruised feelings you can send Reiki light back in time to heal the wounds of that pointed moment. If someone has been injured or pained you can heal the past, which then heals the present. Every wound we heal in this lifetime is automatically lifted in every other lifetime. This is the great gift of Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen and is the miracle of Reiki itself. Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen is a place in which we reach to the Divine and the Divine reaches back. This place we touch is Grace. It is here that miracles happen.

Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen works in all the layers of our being: physical, emotional-mental, spiritual, and causal. It is most attuned to the gaseous, or glowing, state of Light. It is in that state that we are pure being and most Light. Whereas the solid state is associated with the classical element Earth and the liquid state is associated with the classical element Water; the gaseous state is associated with the classical element Air. And the catalytic change from state to state is the classical element of Fire.  

Symbols & Reiki – Sei He Ki 2 (part 6)

Sei He Ki is nearly always used when a guest has an emotional release within a session. This happens more often that one might imagine. Most often the guest will be more puzzled at the sudden laughter or tears than the practitioner. The flood of Universal Light and acceptance allows old, buried emotions to break through in a wave of oceanic movement. It is best to check in gently and move on, acknowledging the event without breaking the flow of healing.

The cold, frozen light of any kind of abuse is warmed enough to heal under the gentle touch of Sei He Ki. If you are working with a person who has undergone abuse Sei He Ki will inevitably make its presence known. Those who have been abused most often have undergone a loss of trust. And while that trust may ostensibly be broken with the abuser it is often extended to the spiritual realm that “allowed” it to take place in the first place. If the person has a theistic concept of God they may blame Him (or Her) for allowing the pain. Even if this blame is latent it is often there. When Sei He Ki wraps its loving arms around the wounded child healing becomes possible. Many abused individuals search for and even manufacture all the ways they are culpable and therefore responsible for the abuse. This offers a surface order to the inexplicable that allows them to hold onto the delusion of control: “If I caused the abuse in the first place, I can prevent it in the future.” Sei He Ki acknowledges the tragedy of the abuse suffered, allows the victim to forgive herself, and opens a door for possible eventual understanding and forgiveness of the abuser.

Abuse happens to people of both genders, all ages, and any lifestyle. Do not be surprised when it comes to light in the context of healing sessions. It is wise to educate yourself about various forms of abuse and multiple resources for treatment.

It is challenging but absolutely necessary to stay out of judgment as a guest’s story unfolds. It is easy to become indignant on his behalf and to enter a state of judgment. That’s not our job and indicates our shadow rising. We do not know the story of the abuser nor how they were originally wounded. While some behaviors are never acceptable it is never our place to stand in judgment. Moreover our guests must feel safe and part of holding a safe space for them is holding an unconditionally loving space for all, including those who have done what may seem unforgivable. Not an easy task but one to which we must all aspire. We are healers, not arbitrators of Divine judgment.

Because of Sei He Ki’s talent for healing displaced and shadowed emotions it is often employed in rites of purification. As empathic, watery beings many of us absorb the emotions of those around us. We were created in the merging of the sexual fluids of our parents and are born from the emotional embryonic fluid of our mothers. We are emotion slowed down enough to form. And as emotional beings we fundamentally communicate in emotional ways. When we interact with others it is often through waves of shared feeling. Often we speak of “feeling” someone. Of “getting someone.” Of really “seeing” someone. This is rarely meant in a logical, intellectual way but more as a fundamental knowing of the other’s essential self. And since we interact on essentially emotional terms we may find ourselves absorbing the emotional realities of those around us. This absorption can be a syndrome filled with inherent distress when left to run wild or a gift of connection when artfully employed.  Sei He Ki assists us to purify our own waters that we are not so saturated with the emotions of others that we become lost in the waters of those who surround us.

Sei He Ki as purifier also serves as exorcist. Demons are the tossed aside and submerged “problem children” of humanity. When a person refuses to look at the shadow parts of himself he hides them and they take on lives of their own. These demons feel separate, discarded, and free to act in whatever deranged way they wish. Sei He Ki recognizes the demons of humanity as lost and frightened emotions that need purification, which it willingly offers along with the option for the discarded shadow being to return to the whole for healing and reintegration.

Because Sei He Ki is working so much with the fluid realms of Light in which our emotion-thoughts take shape to create our perceptions it is most aligned with liquid light state. It teaches us to shift ourselves into the form most agreeable to healing our inner waters.

Symbols & Reiki – Sei He Ki (part 5)

Sei He Ki

drink from my fountain as I touch your face

tonight we hold a space between in which our children learn (again) to laugh



Sei He Ki is a very different symbol. When you first look at it the form on the right shows the shape of a woman’s breasts. The form on the left appears somewhat phallic. They balance in a nurturing symbol of emotional cleansing, nurturance, and generosity. The common definition of Sei He Ki is “Divinity and Humanity coming together.” This symbol cradles humanity within the arms of the imminent Divine to nurse gratefully from the milk of the Their abundance. The food we take in is grown on her body. The waters we drink are the life-giving blood of her veins. The air we breath is from his mouth and the sun that warms us radiates from his skin. And all are shared in Love. This symbol, Sei He Ki, brings humanity and divinity together in the understanding that we are One and that we only heal when we connect to the primal elemental forces in ourselves. We were made of the same elements as our Parents and when we are in harmony with their heartbeat we have far more resources with which to draw forward vitality, joy, and love.

Sei He Ki is the symbol most aligned with the emotional and mental components of healing. It is virtually impossible to separate the mind and emotion. Although we have philosophical and societal constructs that attempt to do this: “boys are logical; girls are emotional” or “follow your head, not your heart” (or the inverse) it appears to be physiologically impossible to do so. Whenever we have a thought of any kind our body emits a correspondent neurotransmitter. If I have a stress thought my body emits cortisol, which means “fight or flight.”. If I have a peaceful thought my body emits natural opiates, which means “all is well.”  So everything we think causes our body to create a response that shifts our physiological emotional soup and we are constantly programming ourselves to the natural high of Love or the discordant fear states familiar to far too many these days. We are ultimately emotional beings. Our drives, desires, instincts, fears, and even our thoughts must run through our emotional selves. No matter how well thought out an argument is if it doesn’t “feel” right we will ultimately find a way to reject it.

Any disorder: physical, emotional, or spiritual, inevitably has an emotional component. We respond to ingrained emotional patterns. If one has repressed or out of control emotions they will show themselves in the physical as disorder of the body or mind or in the evidence of an unhappy life. The physical body is not running on a different system than the emotional body. They are the same system, which is the physical manifestation of our thoughts, emotions, soul processes, parallel incarnations, and all the varied postural shifts made in this lifetime. When we are ill we have certain emotion-thoughts about our illness that affect the illness. And when we have certain emotion-thoughts we are brilliantly capable of reinforcing or mitigating illness in our bodies and lives. Sei He Ki kindly (and gently) holds a space so that we can see where we are reinforcing our disorder and then opens up the tools for us to begin the deep healing of reversing the ingrained emotional patterns and balancing our personal light.

Sei He Ki also connects us to our emotions long enough to feel them. Emotionality is too often thought of as weakness and it can be frightening to feel vulnerable in a wash of emotions that can seem overwhelming. And yet we are incomplete and disordered beings if we are not aware of the rich emotional life within. And so when we feel disconnected to what we really feel about something or someone Sei He Ki can help us to separate the noise of other people’s expectations to feel our own presence.

Symbols & Reiki – Cho Ku Rei (part 4)

Cho Ku Rei

sing me to the center and I will dance a world for you

we are the Dreamers


The first of the three symbols is Cho Ku Rei. An elegant symbol, it is often translated as “put the power here” and is known as the Power symbol. Cho Ku Rei is a staff that connects to a curve and rapidly spins into a labyrinthine spiral. As mentioned earlier, in sacred geometry lines are masculine and curves are feminine. Lines are the marching linearity of time and curves are the landscape of embodied space. The power symbol is the masculine thrust of the Father into the oceanic whirlpool of the Mother and the point at which they they join together power is birthed. Often called the light switch, this magnificently creative symbol pulls down generative masculine principle and weaves it into balanced form. This symbol points to the generative Powers joining together to create form.

Cho Ku Rei features a inward spinning spiral. Spirals by their very nature wind and unwind. As the energy of the masculine staff touches the feminine curve the energy winds into itself to culminate at a specific ending point. That point is the place that the power settles, the child, so to speak. When working with Cho Ku Rei keep in mind that you are concentrating Universal Light to place it in a specific place at a moment of time. You are saying: “put the power here” or “power is embodied here.” The specificity of that placement opens up possibilities for extremely positive manifestation. You may place concentrated Reiki in your hands, on the crown of your guest, in the doorway of a room, or in the heart of a municipality. But each time you do so you are weaving together the primary forces to create an embodiment of Light.

Attuned to solid light, Cho Ku Rei is the manifestation of the great primary masculine and feminine placed into a specific time and space, which is exactly what we are as solid beings. Cho Ku Rei is concentrated Light just as we in our temple forms are concentrated light. This makes Cho Ku Rei the great physical healer. So, like the fixed astrological signs, Cho Ku Rei is a masterful diagnostician and healer of solid light. Whenever you or a guest is having physical disease Cho Ku Rei will direct Light into the disharmonious places, breaking through the disturbances with its formidable will.

Because of Cho Ku Rei’s specificity it is extremely good at creating and maintaining boundaries. When Cho Ku Rei holds a space it is with a no-nonsense firmness blended with the flexibility of kindness. Allowing Cho Ku Rei to guard your door protects you for deep healing within.

The labyrinth in Cho Ku Rei, arguably the most familiar of the five traditional Reiki symbols, also offers a template for the healer’s journey. When the breath of Ki is placed into the hands of the newly attuned initiate she steps into a labyrinth. Through the healing process her personal light is distilled and refined, becoming more and more concentrated, more powerful. And at the (theoretical) end of the labyrinth the healer fully embodies Light within her form.  

Symbols & Reiki (part 3)

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.

Symbols & Reiki (part 2)

According to the Reiki myth the symbols were given to Dr. Usui following his quest and surrender. The second degree has three symbols, which are introduced with the second attunement process. The symbols interact with each practitioner differently based upon their own level of refinement and healing process. In my experience the symbols, like archetypal beings, have their own quirks, gifts, and personalities. Essentially they assist us to focus our rapidly shifting attention and then reward that discipline by opening a gateway into a particular realm of light. They connect us with the Rei intelligence, the Reiki lineage, and the collective group mind of the communion of Reiki masters.

When working with the symbols address them as both gateway and guardian. They serve as the entity at the threshold and the doorway into the realm of light. Treat the symbols as entities who are here to teach, linking us to the realms beyond the tangible. Be respectful, humble, and kind. The symbols can open paths for those who have been attuned to their song. They will also discern ill intent and neutralize malicious energy before the doorway is opened.

There has been much to-do about whether the symbols should be kept secret and guarded. There are many reasons so called occult symbols are kept secret. In times past sacred knowledge may have been cruelly suppressed and a practitioner’s life may have been in danger and so secrecy was practical. Like the Christian fish, some symbols were an insider’s language and way of communicating solidarity and safety. In this age very few Reiki practitioners in the United States are in danger of their life due to their Reiki practice.

Another reason often given that the symbols should be kept secret is they become dilute when passed around too readily. This has more legs in our day and age yet I find the premise questionable as the Christian crucifix has not become more dilute for being readily available to uninitiated eyes. Symbols are living, changing entities. And as such their metaphoric meaning will shift and change with their accessibility. When the yin-yang symbol came to the west it was known more as a trendy and somewhat exotic glyph on bumper stickers than as a sacred Taoist symbol. Yet now it is more known and enriches multi-cultural understanding and helps inform deep truths about nature and balance. So while the yin-yang may seem to have been desecrated by uninitiated eyes it ultimately did its magic and initiated many western acupuncturists, Chinese medicine adherents, and even Reiki masters to its inherently elegant truth.


Symbols and Reiki (part 1)

Human beings communicate through vast constructs of symbols. Consider the alphabet. Each glyph is representative of a particular sound, which when woven together with other sounds creates words. These words are then representative of something concrete that exists within the material world (cat) or as a concept (compassion). So a sound is given symbolic reality through an alphabet glyph, which is representative of something that exists within the consensual reality of the group mind.

Sacred writing, hieroglyphs, weaves sounds into a tapestry of shapes designed from the geometry of form. Blending the breath of voice with the light of shape, symbols are simultaneously real and representative of the real. Symbols draw their meaning from the multi-dimensionality of the group heart itself and the metaphoric depth of geometry, music, shape, and the emotional vibrations they evoke in each person who encounters them. So symbols, much like the archetypal First Formed themselves, are born from the greater Heart-mind, spun through the washing of the human group Heart-mind, and ultimately interpreted through the lens of the encountered individual human heart.

Symbols should not be mistaken for signs. Signs have one specific unarguable meaning. A stop sign, for example, means stop. Symbols, however, have inherent meaning within their unique blend of light (form) and breath (sound). They have extrinsic meaning drawn from the collective understanding of the larger group. And finally symbols have deeply personal meaning from direct interaction with the individual.

A wedding ring is such a symbol. A ring is a line that connects itself into a circle. In sacred geometry lines are inherently masculine and curves are feminine and so the wedding ring is the seamless blending of the masculine and feminine into one piece. Within larger culture a wedding ring indicates that someone is in a committed relationship with another person. A specific wedding ring is symbolic of the particular marriage with all its good, bad, history, and devotion. And so when one chooses to symbolically remove a wedding ring she is also removing the trappings of the marriage proper. And so the ring, which is in of itself a simple chunk of metal, operates as a symbol with more depth and layers than one may initially consider.

So sacred symbols take meaning from themselves (the ring that says I am married) and the reality beyond the meaning (the marriage). The Reiki symbols also embody these multiple layers of meaning. They are glyphs of sacred writing with the breath of sound behind them. They are given shape by the intelligence of Rei (Light) and the sound of Ki (Breath) and their meaning is specific to the Reiki group heart-mind. And further they derive personal meaning from the experiences of the Reiki practitioners who engage with them as not just tools but as symbolic realities with their own form and substance. 

The mind/body Link and energy healing (by Heather Eggleston)

Humans collectively are sadly living in a very “sympathetic” state most of the time, in which fight or flight is the norm. The body is simply replying to the messages we continually send it. Candace Pert’s Molecules of Emotions and Bruce Lipton’s Biology of Belief clarify this far more than I can but when we have a thought/emotion (which are not at all separate despite our perception of emotion and logic being two separate realms) it reinforces a belief, which is then acted on in our biology. Each thought/emotion of fear emits neurotransmitters that keep us in a stressed state, which reinforces the original fear. Contrast this with a thought/emotion of love, bliss, union that floods the body with natural opiates and thereby reinforces a state of harmony and belief in healing. Meditative practice, energy healing, prayer, and simply embracing the idea of goodness literally changes the inner world and (yes, its hokey) the perception of the external world shifts as well.

Water carries all of it. Dr. Emoto’s work is fun in so many ways but particularly because it gives such great visuals to the power of water as vessel (what a nice twist!). We think of water as a universal solvent and cleansing agent yet perhaps it is also a messenger element. Each one of us is a vessel for waters and it is up to us to determine whether it is slime or holy water based on how we program our inner waters. Dr. John Barnes in Healing Ancient Wounds theorizes restricted fascial tissue creates pain because it is essentially snagged and then dehydrated. Some massage techniques including Barnes’ Myofascial Release aim to soften and rehydrate allowing the water to carry its messages freely through the body. Homeopathy makes a lot of sense in this context and studying it has really had me thinking on the water component of dilution. Probably another post somewhere else on that…

To bring it back around to energy healing (which is all healing).  Of all the modalities I’ve explored it creates the most beneficial long term effects in real lives. There are many theories, which I enjoy a great deal, about why this is but truth is it is in some ways still a great mystery. With my students I require the first two Reiki attunements before delving into other energy modalities (and there are many great ones) because Reiki is wonderfully safe, non-ego driven, and non-directive, which is not necessarily true for all energy modalities. And perhaps most importantly Reiki is working on the practitioner as much as it is on the guest. So the attunement process heals the healer and all healing is self-healing.

The Body as Deep Consciousness (part 3) by Heather Eggleston

The body doesn’t forget anything, even when the mind creates defense mechanisms to wire itself around painful events, whether a physical accident, a heartbreak, loss of faith, or existential crisis. Most painful events holistically entangle all aspects of the human being so body, mind/emotion, and spirit are all affected in some way. The intellect is very nimble and will use all manner of gymnastics (including bad habits!) to rationalize or avoid pain but the subconscious mind [which I suspect to be encoded in the tissues of the physical and etheric body(s)] records the event with precise accuracy and when certain conditions are met the original pain will resurface in some event or crisis, often illness or pain. Caroyln Myss teaches biology as biography and it is an excellent point. When we know someone’s story it is easier to see the pain encoded within the physical structure itself and that understanding may offer clues on how to facilitate healing if we stay humble and let the client’s total portrait speak. I am cautious, however, about some of the dogmatic codes that equate a particular illness or pain to a very specific “prescription”. Each person is a beautifully complicated creature and has created unique adaptation mechanisms that require a delicate unwinding process.

The Body as Deep Consciousness (part 2) by Heather Eggleston

Last night I dreamed about consciousness. The physical form is the “deep conscious.” It records the imprint of absolutely everything that happens to us. The body does not forget. Each component of the body records a particular aspect of experience.

The bones are calcified memory. The fascial tissue and muscles wrap themselves through everything to connect, protect, and bring mobility. Together the bones and muscles are collective memory moving through space in a process of constant creation.

Our waters hold emotions. They are vessels that hold within them the fluidity of experience and the moments of our joys and sorrows. Our waters are reinforced by the emotions we continuously dream into them. Peaceful seas, stormy oceans, and stagnant swamplands exist within. Our blood, sexual juices, and all the other fluids of the body are imprinted with the emotional realities in which we exist.

The fires are our inner heat, the digestive system, the spark that fuels us. When we eat we take in Light from an external source to spark our inner Light and maintain the deep conscious and the physical experience. This is the hub of incarnations.

The heart is the connecting point to the All. We connect with the Mother and each other. Each beat of the heart drums rhythm into the rest of the deep conscious of the body.

Our breath: the mists, our songs, inhales the blessing of the Universe and passes it through our inner landscapes. The respiratory system is the great Tree within who constantly purifies and recycles each Breath.