Rituals in Reiki & Other Energy Modalities
Rituals have been part of human culture for thousands of years. The earliest known rituals were burial rituals, dating back 20,000 years. A ritual is any practice or pattern of behavior regularly performed in a set manner. Rituals connect us back to an idea or purpose. A simple example of a ritual would be coming home from shopping, walking through the front door, and placing your car keys in a designated bowl on a specific table in the hall. Doing this specific act regularly, is performing a ritual of sorts. The act itself, the ritual is being used to fulfill a desired result–in this case, to keep from losing your car keys.
All rituals are not religious and not all religious acts are ritual. In „Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity,“ author and anthropologist Roy Rappaport states „…it is sufficient to characterize ritual as a structure…an enduring set of relations among a number of general but variable features.“ To put it another way, rituals give a concrete shape to abstract spiritual ideas.
The creation of rituals requires much thought, preparation and time. „A wisely planned and solemnly conducted ritual prepares the ground, creates the atmosphere, suggests the mood, and predisposes the mind, so that the spiritual aspirant may easily detach himself from the world and feel the mysterious presence of the Supreme…“ (Swami Vivekananda).
Reiki is filled with rituals, from receiving and giving of attunements, to setting up your Reiki table in just the right location, facing a certain direction. Amy Rowland, author of „Traditional Reiki for Our Times“ tells us „…these attunements are ancient rituals that are truly sacred…“
Do you have a personal ritual that you follow prior to beginning a Reiki session? To be more specific, do you prepare or ground yourself in a certain way? Is it something more meaningful than just „centering yourself“?
When a Reiki session that you’re conducting begins, where do you place your hands? Chances are, you probably begin flowing Reiki in the same location/area of the client’s body, that your Reiki Master/Teacher begins a Reiki session. Think back–a ritual is any practice or pattern of behavior regularly performed in a set manner.
Take a moment to think about the method in which you place your hands on a client’s body. We place our hands in the basic hand positions, with a few changes/additions/deviations, that have been passed on, from Reiki Master/Teacher to student for many, many years.
Most of us admit that we have „developed“ our own hand positions over time, to better meet the needs/issues/challenges of our clients, family and friends. Once you’ve begun to use a hand position that works well, you will continue to use that hand position. You’ve begun a create a ritual, a practice that you will regularly perform again and again. For example, holding your hands on the medial (inside) and the lateral (outside) areas of the knee at the same time, is a regular practice or ritual, when I flow Reiki to myself and others.
Once your Reiki session with your client is complete, you may „clear or sweep“ the energy from your client, using the same method that you were taught by your Reiki Master/Teacher. Whether you sweep moving your hands from head-to-toe, or in the opposite direction, from the toes-to-the-top-of-the-head—it’s a ritual.
During workshops, I strongly recommend to students of Reiki II and Reiki III, to „do what feels right,“ after they’ve been flowing Reiki for several months. I suggest that they move their hands wherever they are „led to“. If a practitioner has no explanation as to why he/she is placing their hands in a certain position, other than „…this is the way it’s always been done…,“ it’s time to find a reason. Find out why it’s done. Rituals can be used to create personal meaning. Meanings must be put into ritual, to infuse it with spiritual signficance and intention.
Here are a list of possible rituals to consider, in preparation for the start of a Reiki or Energy Work session. There may be one or two ideas that you may wish to try. Find out if any of these suggestions resonate with you. If so, please feel free to incorporate them into your personal ritual.
Smudge the room where your Reiki table is located, using the Reiki symbols for power and emotion
Smudge all around your Reiki table
Smudge clear quartz crystals and place them: in the four corners of the room where your table is
located; or along the four corners of the legs of your Reiki table
Smudge several other crystals that you may use during the upcoming session (Spirit may assist you with this)
„Draw“ the Reiki emotion symbol on the palms of your hands
„Draw“ the Reiki power symbol over your Third Eye and Heart chakras to ensure that you are a clear channel to flow Reiki
Open your arms wide, in gratitude, as you state your intention to flow Reiki to your client
The purposes of ritual are varied. They can include becoming a cornerstone of meaning or intention; they can assist in developing and providing a deeper sense of satisfaction of spiritual or emotional needs, to the practitioner. All of your personal rituals of Reiki should be examined, reviewed, and changed or updated, as your needs change.
Review your own Rituals of Reiki. If you are a master/Teacher, you may wish to write your rituals down in a journal. you may wish to share a portion of your personal Reiki rituals with your students. If you are a practitioner, you may wish to review your rituals of Reiki and consider a few changes or additions to your existing rituals.
by Suesie Hartman, CRM, Master Energy Healer