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Shanti Symbol: Meaning, Reiki Use, and Peace

Looking for a lovely symbol that’s both complex and simple in its power? Behold the beautiful Shanti symbol — a series of swirls and lines that is used in certain forms of Reiki energy work to help support peace!

When and How are Symbols Used?

As background, Reiki symbols are used by energy work practitioners to help focus energy, the mind, and intention during Reiki bodywork sessions. The symbols can be drawn by the practitioner with the eyes or fingers, or visualized in their entirety during Reiki meditation.

Each symbol has a different meaning and purpose, and the order in which you use them helps guide their functionality in chakra balancing, and in boosting general wellbeing. Below are my hand-made drawings of Shanti.

Shanti symbol
My drawing of the Shanti symbol, set against the chakra color progression.

Reiki System Background

As a Boston Reiki practitioner who has been training since 2018, I started with focusing on the classic Usui Reiki symbols (such as the distance healing symbol, Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen and the Power Symbol, Cho Ku Rei) during my work with clients. However, I have recently become increasingly enamored with the additional symbols, like the Raku symbol, offered by more recent systems, and I love layering them in, in conjunction with the Usui system.

One such newer system is Karuna Reiki — of which the Shanti symbol is one. Other Karuna symbols include the Zonar and Halu symbols, and the Om symbol. (Click through to learn more about each.)

Shanti Reiki symbol
In this drawing of Shanti, I’ve indicated the order of each line by the colors of the rainbow, in order (red to purple).

Shanti Symbol Meaning

What is the meaning and use of the Shanti symbol? In the Sanskrit language, the word “Shanti” means “Peace.” This is fitting, as the first of the five Reiki Principles is, “Just for today, I will not anger” — in other words, I will be at peace.

You may have heard this word used in the mantra, “Om shanti,” which means, “May peace be upon you.” (“Om” refers to the universal energy all around us, so adding the “Om” expands the wish of peace to encompass everything — that purple aura or sparkling white aura associated with the 7th or Crown Chakra.) Do note that the Sanskrit drawing of “Shanti” looks completely different from this Reiki version.

When I use the Shanti symbol during a Reiki session, I immediately feel a sense of peace wash over me and the client, once I finish drawing the third repetition with my eyes. I also tend to see a golden yellow aura with this symbol, perhaps because peace helps grow self love, and the system of chakra colors and aura colors, yellow is associated with the third chakra: self-love and confidence.

Drawing Art with Shanti

Now, because I am an artist in addition to being a Reiki practitioner, I was inspired by the Shanti symbol to use it as the foundation for a joyfully colorful work of art, pictured below. Those swirls make me so happy!

Drawing shanti symbol art
My colorful art, using Shanti as a foundation for drawing the lines.

The Shanti Symbol, in Sum

I hope this article about the beautiful Shanti symbol in Reiki has been enlightening. Its meaning of peace is a breath of fresh air for us all, every day.

Want more? Please enjoy my articles on Reiki pronunciation, and the easy fix for feeling tired after a Reiki session.