As an artist and Reiki practitioner who thinks a lot about the energy flowing among us, it is only fitting that I at last write and illustrate an article about the Om symbol meaning. We will cover how to use this wonderful sign for meditation, relaxation, and other chakra balancing activities.
Om Symbol Meaning
The simplest way to explain the Om symbol meaning is that it represents the universal energy that flows through and around all of us. This three-part life force symbol connects earth, air, and the heavens, plus thought, speech, and action — among other uniting and chakra balancing triads.
As I was drawing the illustration below, I realized that the Om symbol has some interesting artistic similarities to the “and symbol” or ampersand, which is perfect, because Om unites far-reaching aspects of life. It also reminds me of the treble clef symbol, which again matches, since Om is about that cosmic music and vibrations that flow all around us.
Om is the most important mantra and symbol in various systems, because it encompasses everything in the universe. Though it derives from Hinduism, you do not need to follow any specific religion to channel its deep power.
Using Om for Meditation
There are infinite ways to use the Om symbol (pronounced “A-U-M”), so let’s start with an easy meditation for using it. First, while looking at or tracing the symbol, begin humming “Ommmm,” “Ommmm,” in order to achieve a relaxed state from the vibrations and repetition of the chanted mantra.
As your breathing deepens, begin visualizing the energy that flows all around us: through your body, through the earth (that Earth Star Chakra), between people, among the trees and animals, and then up into the sky and the heavens far beyond. What opens up for you as you get present to this interconnected universe?
Speaking for myself, there are times I’ve actually started crying during meditation with this visualization, as I finally got perspective on how small my own troubles look, when taken in the greater context of the universe’s breadth and energy!
The Om Symbol and Chakras
The Om symbol is associated with the 7th or Crown Chakra at the top of the head, which flows out into the heavens. This chakra is usually associated with a white aura, and also (this is confusing, because the color of the Sixth or Third Eye Chakra is indigo or purple) with a purple aura.
As I am a person who is often seeing colors during meditation, I often spontaneously visualize these shades behind my closed eyes — especially purple — when universal energy is flowing well during my Reiki sessions with clients, or when I’m doing my own meditative flow or bodywork.
Om and Karuna Reiki
There are many other versions of the Om symbol that are used in different language and energy systems. Though Om is not one of the traditional four Usui Reiki symbols such as the Distance Reiki symbol, Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen, there IS a version of Om that’s used in the more recent Karuna Reiki system. I’ve drawn that version, above.
As you can see from my illustration, the Reiki version of the Om symbol is usually drawn with a straight line instead of “S” curve for the lower right part of the triad, and utilizes a mono-line pen instead of a chisel-tipped calligraphy brush. This is because Reiki symbols are usually drawn with the finger or eyes. For more on symbols in Reiki beyond the Usui system, see my article on the Raku symbol, the peaceful Shanti symbol, and the Halu and Zonar symbol.
The Om Symbol, in Sum
There is so much more to say about the wonderful Om symbol meaning, power, and uses, but let’s leave it there for now so you can go off and begin your own exploration! I’d love to hear from you, too. What is your experience with Om and chakras, and what wisdom can you impart? Do share!
Want more? Check out my article on the Pi symbol!
The author and artist, Lillie Marshall, is a National Board Certified Teacher of English who has been a public school educator since 2003, and an experienced Reiki practitioner since 2018. All art on this site is original and hand-drawn by Lillie. She launched DrawingsOf.com Educational Cartoons in 2020, building upon the success of her other two sites, AroundTheWorldL.com (established 2009) and TeachingTraveling.com (founded 2010). Subscribe to Lillie’s monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media to stay connected!