The Reiki Symbols
The Reiki symbols are like switches that connect you with the energy. They look like ordinary Japanese writing but actually have great power behind them. The question is whether or not they can be effectively used by a person who has not been attuned to Reiki?
Traditionally, the Reiki symbols are considered sacred and secret. They are to be revealed to concerned person only. Three symbols are revealed to those who have been attuned to Reiki Level-2 and the fourth is taught at Masters Level. This tradition was strictly practiced till Mrs. Hawayo Takata. She was so strict that she never allowed even her students to take notes or to tape record the classes, as they were not allowed to make written copies of the Reiki symbols and carry the papers out of the classroom. Everything had to be memorized but after her death on December 11, 1980, some of the 22 Masters that she had trained, gradually changed their way of teaching. As the things took a new course over a period of time, some of the new masters decided to publish the symbols in books. As of today, the symbols have been published even on the Internet and are freely accessible by anyone.
The point is, has this "free accessibility" helped those who have not been attuned to Reiki or can the symbols be used without getting attuned. The answer is NO. Except that a tradition has been broken, revealing the symbols publicly has not helped. It is a proven fact that unless a person has been formally attuned to Reiki, symbols of no value to him/her. It is the attunement that gives power to the symbols otherwise they are only the samples of Japanese writing.
What the Reiki Symbols do?
Imagine an electric switch. You have seen and used it innumerable times. It is there on the switchboard in every room that has electric connection. If you push the switch, the electric appliance connected with it starts working but if the same switch is disconnected and lying on the table disconnected from the electric circuit, would that work to switch the appliance on? It will not, even though it is the same switch. Unless it is connected to the energy, it wouldn't perform the function for which it has been designed. So is the case with Reiki symbols. They would work for a person who has been consciously connected to the universal energy through the process of attunement. For others, they are of no use at all.
Correct Reiki Symbols
The Reiki symbols are written in Japanese writing system called Kanji, which s not as easy to remember as other English alphabets. The symbols are to be drawn or visualized in their particular shape and sequence. The chances are that one might draw them incorrectly. Since Mrs. Hawayo Takata did not allow the student to make written copies of the symbols and they had to be memorized, the chances of mistakes in drawing those exactly in the same shape and sequence could not be ruled out and it was feared that after passing from person to person by heart, some of the symbols would lose their original shape over a period of time, which they actually did. Thus gradually many variations came up. However, you need not worry on this account. It is the responsibility of the teacher to teach the correct symbol to his students. You should use exactly what your Reiki teacher taught you.