I doubted whether or not Reiki was real, true, or worked in any sense. Although the concept of magic always made sense to me- manipulation of energy, matter is made of energy, therefore manipulation of energy is manipulation of matter and vice versa- Reiki had me doubting.
Why? I don't know. Even though it's an art that is ancient, and practiced by many, what I was seeing was a lot of soft New Agey types touting the powers of this energetic healing and it made me feel cynical. I'm not your typical Neo Witch; I don't buy everything hook, line and sinker. I like to question and feel for myself what something can do.
When I did choose to become attuned to Reiki I, I did it on a whim, figuring- it can't hurt. It was free, at a festival, and there were 13 of us in a room, with an intense dude who is a Reiki Master, tattooist and uses both in Body Modification parties which apparently transform the hell out of any and all who participate. I still didn't really believe. We talked about energy, played with it, and then one by one sat in a chair and were attuned by the Master, at one end of the room. I made sure I was 7th in line (being my favorite number). All who sat before me came back buzzing, high, and wild looking. Each person who returned was full of energy and passed it along; playing with energy balls with others who had been attuned, or sending shivers and shocks through the rest of it.
It was my turn, finally. I was still figuring that I'd sit there and feel nothing. He started tracing symbols about my head and back, whispering things to himself, all part of the opening of channels. All of a sudden my teeth started chattering. I felt as if I'd been plugged into the wall socket. I had no control over the chattering of my jaw, and didn't bother to stop it. My whole body tensed and relaxed in cycles. It was absolutely bizarre. When he was done I felt energy flowing from my toes up through the top of my head and back down. I joined the group on the floor and felt the subtelty of energy currents flowing from one person to another. It was amazing, intense, and absolutely unbelievable- only, I finally did believe.
The concept of Reiki or the use of it is not new to me. I have apparently been using it since I was a pre teen, I just didn't have a word for it. In college I used to somehow be able to take away people's headaches, by concentrating and imagining a flow of liquid light going through the person's body and pushing before it the "soot" of pain, right out the crown of the head. By the time I did this attunement, I'd been using Reiki reguarly for 15 years. I just had no idea.
This attunement opened me up wide. We were told we would experience intense changes, emotionally and otherwise, and healing of ourselves. He was indeed right. My life went topsy-turvy (this also coincided with my Saturn return, but intensified it.) All was absolute chaos for a while. It was exhilerating, and absolutely what I needed.
Some time later, a friend came to a party quite upset. She and her boyfriend had a harrowing experience with some cops, who were being excessive with them over speeding or some such inoffensive offense. She was extremely shaken and unable to relax and enjoy the party. I took her to a corner and helped her ground, with a grounding exercise I learned many years before. My whole body heated up as I lead her through the grounding, with my hands on her knees as we sat cross legged in front of each other on the floor. When it was through she was crying, and asked how long I'd been a Master. I told her I was only Level I and she did not believe me, being a Master herself (I did not know that at the time.) She then brought me up to Level II a short time after that, saying that I already had an intensity of energy and it would be safer to have the channels properly aligned to cut out some of the chaos I was experiencing.
Reiki II brings further changes, of heart and emotion. That was indeed true. So many changes, yet again! Yet I did not feel it had opened the channels all the way. A couple of years later, another friend and Master offered to re-do my Level II while we were staying in an amazing forest in Georgia. At the time I was recovering from the brutal veterinary training I went through for 4 years, and felt an emotional train wreck. I agreed.
In a beautiful ritual involving a labyrinth with an amazing old tree in the middle, I had myself attuned to Reiki II once more. This time it once again felt right, and real. Not the same intense buzzing as the first opening, but more of a feeling of being washed in a warm river. For the rest of the day everything was more intense yet more detached- colors, sounds and smells. I felt languid and right.
Since then, when I do perform Reiki it is a lot easier, and my hands and body heat up intensely. More than once I have been asked how long I've been a Master. Eventually I shall open all the way to Master Level. The odd thing is that the symbols one uses have eluded me. I cannot seem to remember them. It doesn't seem to matter at all. Some interesting things have happened which lead me to wonder if I am already open all the way.
My partner had too much to drink the night before. He woke up feeling as if an elephant had sat on his head, and felt like his whole body was poisoned. I offered to perform Reiki on him to see if it would soothe him. He agreed, and I began; my hands got fiery hot (this does not happen every time) as I placed them on his belly. After 5 minutes, he leaped up and ran to the bathroom to throw up. This made him feel pretty terrible for a time; after that, however, he felt amazing. He went on with his day as if nothing had happened.
I work with animals every day. Reiki comes even when I do not call it. Animals seek it out, ask for it, in subtle ways I'm not always keyed into. I allow it when I know about it, and offer it to those severely infirm, scared, or prior (and during) euthanasia. I find it smooths the way for those who are dying. Horses especially are Reiki sponges.
Is Reiki real or not? Well, my experiences seem to say yes. Ask me in person and you'll see.