Have I received a “dark” attunement?

Over the years we’ve had quite a few questions from people who have been told that they need to be re-attuned because their Reiki attunement was not what it should have been. Below is a discussion of the many points that influence one’s understanding of this topic.

Q: I met a Reiki Master who said that my Reiki Master had given me a 'dark' attunement. Is there such a thing?

A: There are a couple of points to this issue.

To begin we can only assume that the Reiki Master had performed an attunement in a ritual that relates back to what he or she was taught as Usui Reiki. If the Reiki Master was performing a practice that was not related to the system of Reiki then we would not be qualified to answer the question.

Now – what is an attunement? We know from a traditional Japanese perspective that an attunement (or reiju as it is called in Japan) is there to support a student’s energetic growth. It is a spiritual blessing. A blessing cannot make you into something – as some modern Reiki practitioners today may believe an attunement does. Traditionally in Japan, reiju is performed repeatedly as it is thought to be an ongoing support for the student. It does this by supporting their energetic clearing – much the same as a Reiki treatment does however the intent and focus of this ritual is different.

If the attunement is a clearing of energy it can in no way put something onto or into someone. Therefore the concept of an attunement being ‘dark’ does not align itself with our understanding of what an attunement can do. To find out more about the purpose and effect of attunements/reiju please read this article.

Next – why would a Reiki Master say this to our questioner? There a number of possible reasons – of which one could be financial. For example the Reiki Master might say – you had a 'bad' attunement and therefore you must get 're-attuned' with me for X amount of dollars. Just for the record the concept of 're-attunement' also does not fit in with a traditional Japanese understanding of attunements – you have not been given anything, therefore nothing can be taken away or replaced.

Another reason may be that the Reiki Master is lost and is projecting his or her fears of lack of Reiki knowledge, energetic understanding, insight or ability onto you. This could happen because the term 'Reiki Master' really means nothing in the Reiki world. It could mean that you bought a certificate off e-bay or that you may have studied hard for three years. As there is no regulation within the system of Reiki the term does not guarantee knowledge of anything energetic (or even practical at this point of time). Due to a lack of personal development and understanding a Reiki Master may also attempt to take power over an individual to make-up for this lack of inner power. This is done by pretending extra knowledge or experience (as in “you have had a 'dark' attunement").

For these reasons we prefer not to use the term 'master' as it can be misleading and try to lead conversations into discussions about “teachers” instead. The word teacher is more appropriate in many ways and one obvious reason is that it is in fact impossible to be a master over Reiki or 'spiritual energy'. A teacher requires an understanding and knowledge of his or her practice and is at a level of experience within the chosen field to be able to pass this wisdom onto others.

And, lastly, a Reiki teacher must always continue to learn. The term master may intimate the master has already mastered the subject and therefore self-development is no longer required.

So, don’t be too hasty in beginning a Reiki course – check out what is available and find that which supports you as an individual and empowers you rather than removes power from you. Oh, and never lose your commonsense!

Here's some solid information about Reiki from a Japanese perspective:

The Japanese Art of Reiki


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