Is Reiki a Form of Witchcraft? Know the Distinction

is reiki witchcraft

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You’ve heard of Reiki, and you realized it’s surrounded by and features enough mysticism to associate itself with witchcraft. However, is Reiki something you have to learn because it’s a part of witchcraft, or is it a separate endeavor anyone can practice?

Reiki is not a form of witchcraft, although the two are often assumed to be the same since they both manipulate unseen forces and attract similar groups (like psychics and seers). The two are complementary when practiced together though, creating a powerful holistic healing modality.

This article will provide you with a closer look at Reiki and why some may think it’s a part of witchcraft. It will also answer common questions about Reiki and some tips on incorporating Reiki into your magickal practice.

Do You Have to Be a Witch to Practice Reiki?

Reiki uses universal energy, and it mirrors how witchcraft does the same. However, Reiki and witchcraft complement each other but exist without the other. Hence, you’re not a witch if you practice Reiki, and you’re not a Reiki practitioner if you’re a witch. 

What Exactly Is Reiki?

Reiki is the practice of drawing universal energy to heal people, plants, animals, and even non-living things. It’s tapping into the abundant and limitless force already within our world and then directing that energy to the right places.

Essentially, you call on to the universal force around you and use yourself as a conduit to transfer that energy to your target area. You can touch whoever or whatever you’re healing for best results, but you can also hover over them without contact. 

Some people see this as magick, but some people may argue that there’s science behind it. However, the important thing here is that Reiki is an effective healing and enhancing method for most people. Hence, both magick practitioners and non-practitioners utilize Reiki to suit their needs.

What Are the Rules of Reiki?

Like everything in our universe, Reiki follows a couple of broad guidelines to ensure its effectiveness and proper usage. So, Reiki has two general rules and five expansive principles. 

The rules are:

  • You need consent to heal your target. 
  • You need an exchange of some sort for performing the healing.

You need permission to heal your target first because no change will occur if they’re unwilling to accept the healing energy you’re directing at them. Think of it as giving somebody food when they’re sick: they’ll only obtain the nourishment granted by the food if they willingly eat it.

However, you may come across rare cases where you don’t have time to ask for permission. When this happens, think of it as the universe itself permitting you to heal. If you suddenly feel the flow of energy buzzing through and around you, you will not likely have time to pause and ask your target for consent because that will disrupt the energies already flowing.

You also need to ensure an exchange occurs once you heal someone. This rule stems from two thoughts: everything in the universe needs to give and receive, and people shouldn’t take Reiki healing for granted. The exchange does not need to be monetary – it can be any kind of exchange.

Meanwhile, the five principles of Reiki are:

  • Just for today, I will promote kindness to others.
  • Just for today, I will be calm and shrug my worries.
  • Just for today, I will soothe my anger and let things pass.
  • Just for today, I will be grateful for everything I have and receive.
  • Just for today, I will exert plenty of effort on the things I need done.

Where Does Reiki Come From?

Reiki as a term is ancient. Rei means universal, and ki denotes energy. If you think hard about it, you’ll realize that the limitless and abundant universal force Reiki healing draws upon is as old as the time of creation itself.

However, Reiki as a tradition was developed by a Buddhist monk in the late 1800s in Japan. Mikao Usui decided to commence on a meditation retreat on Mt. Kurama, which lasted for 21 days. During that retreat, he discovered people could heal by touch or near-touch using the universe’s energies.

What Can You Do With Reiki?

The best thing you can do with Reiki is to heal people, animals, plants, and objects. However, other people also succeeded in utilizing Reiki to consecrate candles, charge herbs or other magickal ingredients, and even cast magick circles. 

The idea here is that energy flows anywhere it’s needed, which equates to Reiki as something usable for anything that requires energy transfer that will result in healing or enhancement.

Can You Learn Reiki by Yourself?

You can learn Reiki by yourself, but you can also opt for a traditional initiation to Reiki. People who learn Reiki by themselves are often born with a natural attunement to the universe’s force, so they may draw on it and do Reiki. However, that sometimes results in drawing too much or too little energy, and sometimes even resulting in absorbing the illness of somebody they healed.

Meanwhile, people formally initiated into Reiki often undergo a few classes where they’re taught the basic Reiki principles and then “attuned.” A Reiki master does this attunement, and it will ensure that when you heal, you’re creating a one-way energy flow that doesn’t reverse on you and cause you harm.

You’ll also have access to Reiki symbols that enhance Reiki healing even more if you’re formally initiated into Reiki II. Essentially, traditional Reiki has four levels:

  • Reiki I (gaining attunement)
  • Reiki II (gaining the skill to heal through symbol utilization over a long distance)
  • Reiki III (knowing how to attune others to Reiki)
  • Reiki IV (committing oneself to practice Reiki continuously)

So, you can do Reiki and learn it without conventional training. However, it’s wise to undergo a traditional initiation if you wish for more guidance or wish to continuously progress through Reiki’s levels at an optimally suggested pace.

Do You Have to Learn Reiki When You’re Practicing Any Form of Magick?

You don’t have to learn Reiki because you’re practicing any other form of magick. Reiki is a healing art, and people often practice it because they’re drawn to it or because they willingly chose to do so.

Why Do People Relate Reiki With Witchcraft?

Witchcraft is essentially the use and manipulation of natural and preternatural resources. Since Reiki utilizes universal energy and sometimes symbols (similar to how witchcraft uses herbs, candles, and energies) people tend to associate Reiki with witchcraft.

The types of people interested in either Reiki and witchcraft also tend to be similar. They attract people who have deep intuition, are psychically gifted, or who believe that there is more to the world than meets the eye.

As you learned earlier, Reiki is not a part of witchcraft. It is composed of its own principles, training levels, stories, and techniques, which sets it apart from witchcraft. However, witchcraft and Reiki can produce great results when merged.

According to Christopher PenczakOpens in a new tab.

Witchcraft and ReikiOpens in a new tab.

  • They both connect to a divine presence and the energetic forces in the universe.
  • They both use symbols to distribute and balance energy.
  • They both have rules and conduct codes on the deployment of their modalities on patients.
  • They both use mood and environmental enhancers (like aromatherapy, incense, or candles) to prepare for sessions.
  • They both invoke celestial beings, the dead, and deities.
  • They both incorporate New Age elements, like chakras, crystals, and herbs into their tradition.
  • They both want to connect with a force greater than themselves.
  • They both are interested in making positive changes for, and promoting healing in, others.
  • They both have successive levels of training with corresponding rituals when each level is attained.

How Can I Incorporate Reiki Into My Magickal Practice?

Reiki is about knowing you can tap into the universal force around us and use it to heal, enhance, and improve the things and beings around us.

So, you can use Reiki in your magickal practiceOpens in a new tab.

An example of this is to tap into your chakras and clear any blockages that might exist there. You can utilize the universe’s force to help heal specific issues you’re experiencing if you know which chakras to target.

Another example can be found hereOpens in a new tab.

Practitioners like Penczak combine both modalities to enhance their healing abilities. Why not try Reiki? It’s always beneficial to explore anything that enriches one’s knowledge, existence, and capacity to help others.

Final Thoughts

Reiki utilizes the universe’s energies, similar to how witchcraft uses the energies around us. However, Reiki is not a form of witchcraft. Instead, it’s a practice that stands alone but significantly complementsOpens in a new tab.

For additional reading, check out Reiki for Witches by Dr. Isis DayOpens in a new tab.


Luna Clarke

Luna Clarke is a leading contributor to and is known for her open-minded and thorough interpretation of all things Wiccan and magickal. In her free time, Luna loves to worship her cat while he ignores her. She also has some great books for beginners, like her Guided Wicca Workbook: Wiccan Starter Series (click to view)

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