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Cho Ku Rei – What Is This Symbol?

Cho Ku Rei (Cho-Koo-Ray) is the power symbol in Reiki healing practices.  It acts as a catalyst to quicken and strengthen the Reiki healing process.  The Cho Ku Rei aids Reiki healing by providing protection to the practitioner and receiver.  By evoking the Cho Ku Rei, the practitioner can successfully tap into life energy and channel it to various parts of the body.

The Cho Ku Rei is mostly used in combination with other Reiki symbols and strives to support and reinforce their powers.  It’s most effective when it is used at the beginning or end of a healing session.

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In this article, we will be exploring the origins of the Cho Ku Rei, its characteristics, and uses in the process of Reiki healing.

Reiki Symbols engraved onto Selenite palm stones
Reiki Symbols engraved onto Selenite palm stones. See them here.

Origins of Cho Ku Rei

Choku rei reiki symbol

The Cho Ku Rei is one of the first symbols discovered by Mikao Usui, a Japanese Reiki healing practitioner. Many Reiki masters across the world consider the Cho Ku Rei as the most powerful symbol in healing.

The Cho Ku Rei is different from many of the other Reiki symbols because it is not written in Japanese Kanji, but in Kana, a type of alphabet that reflects sounds rather than meaning. Since Cho Ku Rei is written in Kana, it is difficult to discern its exact meaning as intended by Mikao Usui.

Nevertheless, there is a common understanding among Reiki masters that Cho Ku Rei is predominantly a power symbol.  

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Characteristics of Cho Ku Rei

  • The Cho Ku Rei appears like a spiral or a coil and is drawn both clockwise and anti-clockwise.
  • The horizontal line in the Cho Ku Rei represents the source of Reiki energy
  • The vertical line reflects the flow of the energy
  • The spiral indicates the seven major chakras within the body.
cho ku rei symbol meaning

Uses of Cho Ku Rei

The uses of Cho Ku Rei in the Usui Reiki healing process are many.

  • Empowers Other Symbols: When the Cho Ku Rei is used in combination with the emotional symbol, or the distance symbol, it can heighten their powers and increase the effectiveness of the healing process.  
  • Heals Specific Ailments: The Cho Ku Rei is drawn on specific areas in the body to heal or treat injuries. When the Cho Ku Rei is used with other symbols, it helps redirect positive energy to a particular spot that requires healing.
  • Clearing Negative Energy: The Cho Ku Rei is used in a room or drawn on the walls to take away negative energy. Some Reiki practitioners use the Cho Ku Rei after a healing session to suck out negative energy that might have seeped into the surroundings.
  • Protection:The Cho Ku Rei is drawn on the practitioner or the chakras of the receiver during the Reiki healing process. The Cho Ku Rei acts as a shield and does not let negative energy pass into the mind, body, and soul. The spiral of the Cho Ku Rei is visualized around the body of the receiver for all round protection from head to toe.
  • Sealing Energy: The Cho Ku Rei is used to seal energy in specific parts of the body.  Active healing begins once the energy is tightly packed within an injury or wound.
  • Food and Drinks: The Cho Ku Rei is very useful for cleansing meals from negative energy. The Cho Ku Rei is also visualized over food and drinks to make the meal healthier and nutritious.
cho-ku-rei symbol
  • Excessive Energy: A reverse Cho Ku Rei is used to remove excess energy within a person or room. Reverse Cho Ku Rei is very rarely initiated, and only experienced practitioners use it to calm hyperactive individuals.
  • Barrier: The Cho Ku Rei acts as a barrier for thwarting unwanted attention or threats by strangers. The individual draws the symbol in front of them to create a protective shield or barrier.  
  • Improving Relationships: The Cho Ku Rei is drawn on cards and gifts to strengthen the relationship between the giver and receiver. When Cho Ku Rei is etched onto a gift, the good intentions of the giver are revealed.
  • To Thwart Trouble: The Cho Ku Rei is used to defend oneself in moments of crisis. For instance, if there is a dangerous animal on the loose, the victim draws the symbol in front of them, to feel an umbrella of protection. The Cho Ku Rei can also be drawn in a room or on an object for preventing misfortunes and ill events. It purifies the air and fills it with positive energy to thwart the advances of malicious energy.  

In Brief

Cho Ku Rei is one of the most used symbols of Reiki practitioners worldwide. It provides protection and safety during Reiki practices, which makes the art of healing quicker and more efficient.

Affiliate Disclosures

Dani Rhys
Dani Rhys

Dani Rhys has worked as a writer and editor for over 15 years. She holds a Masters degree in Linguistics and Education, and has also studied Political Science, Ancient History and Literature. She has a wide range of interests ranging from ancient cultures and mythology to Harry Potter and gardening. She works as the chief editor of Symbol Sage but also takes the time to write on topics that interest her.