Reiki Lineage

What is a Reiki lineage?

An issue that has had considerable discussion over the years, and even more so recently is that of Reiki Lineage.

 I thought it would be helpful to give you some information about Lineage. This has been spurred on as I spoken to Reiki students over the years who are a bit (sometimes a lot) confused about what they have been taught about this topic. In fact if they are unclear it’s sometimes because their teacher was not clear.

My reason for writing this is for clarity, the Reiki community needs clarity and this also helps us to be giving consistent information to the public. They are becoming increasingly informed about all manner of things- enter stage left ……Professor Google and Wikipedia. So let’s begin our Q and A:

What is a lineage chart?

A Reiki lineage is a chart that traces the Reiki Master Teachers and their teachers, and so on. It should be an unbroken lineage all the way back to Usui sensei- the Founder of Usui Reiki. When I say unbroken I mean exactly that- no gaps-  “English woman”, “German man” or “unknown” simply won’t do.

I have studied to Master Reiki level in 4 styles of Reiki (3 trace back to Usui sensei, 1 does not), so my lineage chart has quite a few lines. I practice and teach Usui Shiki Ryoho as I was taught by Paul MItchell one of Takata's 22 Reiki Masters so that line is quite short:


By the way if you have Beth Gray in the lineage chart, she only initiated two Reiki Masters; Denise Crundall and Barbara McGregor. If you have Takata Sensei in your lineage she only initiated twenty two Reiki Masters. I have a list of them on my website 

(This discussion will not cover all the types of Reiki Usui Reiki or otherwise, that will be covered in another blog ).

Why do we have Lineage charts?

 Your lineage is one way you can be assured that the teaching you are receiving is sound and consistent. Importantly it give you clear understanding of the branch of Reiki you are being taught  There are so many branches/types/styles of Reiki today some have their origin with Usui sensei and some do not. Many may be traceable back to Usui but have undergone considerable change to the practice e.g. additions, subtractions changes to the attunement process. I suggest you do your homework and ask questions.

It is difficult when you begin- you don’t know what you don’t know as someone once said J (and is so oft repeated) so I will outline some useful questions to ask your teacher- perhaps before you pay anything (and will help you sort out which Teacher you want to learn from).

Look at the wording on their website, do they clearly outline their lineage- and the level of Reiki training they received to be using this particular lineage. It should be very obvious.

Who is listed on a Reiki Lineage chart?

The only people who are on a lineage chart are the Reiki Master Teachers. I have seen many interesting and incorrect lineage charts over the years. To be clear and  nothing personal but Level 1 and Level 2 students cannot add their name to the bottom of a chart. Your teacher should also be clear about this, unfortunately this is not always the case.

  (p.s. level 3a does not a Reiki Master make, level 3a is Advanced Reiki training, not to be confused with Reiki Master training. It does not mean you can call yourself a Reiki Master after this training alone).

When will I need to show this lineage chart (apart from reassurance about your Teachers training and type of Reiki)?

There are 2 main reasons

a)       If you want to undertake the next level of training with a different Teacher, or re-train. That Teacher will want to see evidence of your training (and the date/s)

b)      If you wish to join a Reiki organisation, they will want to see a copy

I present all my level 1 Reiki students with a copy of my lineage and explain in my Level 1 Reiki class what a lineage is and what is should look like.

What should you do if you were not given a lineage from your Reiki Teacher?

Well your Reiki Teacher should have included this, it is one of the foundation   components of a Level 1 class, and you should have been given a copy of your Teacher’s lineage. Ask your Teacher for a copy of their lineage, this should most certainly not be a problem. If you have lost the copy your Teacher gave you, simply ask for another copy.

Now I understand there will be some people who believe that all this emphasis on a Reiki Master Teachers’ lineage is not necessary.  They may also believe that it is not a guarantee of training.

To this I would say; my Teachers have taught me that we need to be able to verify training as much as possible. There has been unfortunately- very unfortunately, some people who have become creative (I’m being generous) with their lineage. This has been seen in lineage charts I have seen over the years where people has simply lied (there I’ve said it) about lineage chart. How does a student know? Often they don’t, one of our foundations in Reiki are the Reiki precepts given to us by Usui sensei – says “do your work honestly” comes to mind here. Ask some questions- you are paying good money and you deserve transparency.

There are ways for you to check the names on your lineage chart. Organisations like Australian Reiki Connection (ARC), are a wonderful resource for this sort of information.

If you have any questions about this topic please feel free to send me an email.