Reiki and Seichem history

Reiki - Lineages and different styles

All Reiki comes from Mikao Usui by definition, but different routes have been travelled by many Reiki healers and masters during the 20th and 21st Centuries. This has resulted in a vast collection of different styles of Reiki which are manifest today. Until the last decade or so, all Reiki healers in the West received their lineage via an Hawaiian American, Mrs Hawayo Takata. She was taught by Chûjirôh Hayashi, who studied with Usui from 1925. Takata brought Reiki to America during the 1970s via Hawaii where she had been running clinics since the 1930s and subsequently to the Western hemisphere. 

Reiki Alliance and The Radiance Technique International Association (TRTIA)

Towards the latter half of the 20th century, different Reiki styles grew rapidly as offshoots from the teachings and attunements introduced to the West by Hawaya Takata. After her death in 1980, a number of Western lineages stemming from the 22 Reiki Masters taught by Mrs Takata appeared. One of the 22, Barbara Weber Ray, declared herself to be Takata's successor and formed TRTIA. In 1983, the following year, the Reiki Alliance was founded and Phyllis Lei Furumoto, Takata's granddaughter, also one of the 22 Masters, returned as Grand Reiki Master and successor to Hawayo Takata.  

It was as a result of receiving Reiki from both of these lineages and later receiving another form of energy called Seichim, that Kathleen Milner, an American artist, created a standardised system of Reiki attunements.

What is Seichim?

There are various spellings and many different definitions of this energy. The name has changed as different styles have developed. This article uses the appropriate spelling used for the time and the system. Some of the Seichim systems use Reiki symbols only, and some have added symbols. It can be difficult to understand exactly how Reiki and Seichem work together. Is one a part of the other, is the energy the same energy or a magnification? To understand this better, it is necessary to see how Seichim evolved and how it came to be used in combination with Reiki...


Patrick’s Story

Patrick Zeigler is the man who introduced Seichim to the world in our time.  As an architect, he had a strong connection to Sacred Geometry also to Egypt. During a visit there in 1980, Patrick managed to spend the night in the crypt of the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid of Giza, concealing himself as the guards locked the building. As he was meditating he had a consciousness-raising experience through which he connected with a powerful energy. He would later call this energy Seichim (pronounced Say-keem) meaning Spiritual Power.

Returning home to the USA after travels in Yemen and Nepal, he became attracted to Reiki healing and took Reiki Mastership training with Barbara Ray. Patrick began teaching and attuning students to Seichim Reiki. 

In 1989 Phoenix Summerfield, a Reiki Master, became a student of the Seichim lineage and taught using a combination of Seichim and the original Alliance Reiki initiations including all the symbols. She changed the name to Seichem Reiki and attuned many students. Soon Seichim was being passed around the world, but with many different spellings, mostly because the original teachings were given by spoken word. Seichim is probably the most common spelling; other versions include Seichem and Sekhem, still pronounced the same way.

Reiki and Seichem

Kathleen's Story 

Kathleen Milner is the founder of a Reiki system called Tera-Mai which combines Reiki and Seichem. She was attuned to Reiki Mastership in 1989 with Margarette Shelton, a student of Arthur Robertson. Margarette had added a unique clockwise symbol to the attunement procedure which Kathleen included in her own teaching system along with an emphasis on the breathing techniques which Takata had taught.

In 1991, Kathleen was attuned to Seichem Mastership by August Starr, a student of Phoenix Summerfield. She recognised that the original Alliance Reiki attunement was combined with the energy of Seichem and immediately felt prickling in her hands knowing instinctively that she had been initiated into fire energy. Soon after taking Seichem Mastership, Kathleen received a series of consciousness-raising experiences. She received three symbols to raise the Reiki vibration and three elemental healing rays of fire, water and air. She believed that the fire energy she received was the same as Seichem, describing it as fire and earth energy combined. 

Seichem attunements

Seichem attunements pass on the Reiki attunements. Students can choose simply to have Reiki levels, one, two, and three within the system, which many do, and then to go on and take the Seichem levels at a future point if desired. So in effect, levels one, two and three of the Seichem attunements include levels one, two and three of the Reiki attunements. 

Seichem incorporates all four elemental healing rays: earth, water, fire, air/spirit.

Reiki - the earth ray - forms the base through which the other elemental rays connect. It can be experienced as hot or cold.

Water is used for emotional healing and can be experienced as a gentle wave-like coolness, or as an intense cold. 

Fire energy is often experienced as a hot and tingling energy, like a mild electrical current. It works well in the aura surrounding the body, burning through blockages.

Air/Spirit energy is used for healing and developing the third eye.


This article incorporates material drawn from the published writings of Kathleen Milner and Patrick Ziegler. With thanks to them both.  

Kathleen Milner’s book Reiki & Other Rays of Touch Healing

Patrick Zeigler founder of SKHM-SEKHEM-All -Love Community