For the purposes of this question, a focus means something needed to cast a spell properly, something that channels magic, or something that allows magic to be cast. (This could include a magically enchanted item)

In most Myths and Legends that I'm aware of, the caster normally uses a wand or a staff to create magic (scepters are also popular). I'm not well versed in Chinese Mythology, and so I am wondering whether there are objects that are used in a similar manner in their Mythology.

What objects allowed the users to cast/channel/focus magic either from the user or from the object in Chinese Mythology?

I may even consider a grimoire or tome like object if just for sake of completeness

  • Not sure why this is downvoted, but an example would be prayer beads.
    – Semaphore
    Commented Nov 26, 2015 at 4:52
  • @Semaphore Thanks for the vote of confidence, I thought it was on topic here. I tried to make it as specific as possible. Ah that's actually something I haven't thought about. Commented Nov 26, 2015 at 4:53
  • Yeah, it is definitely on topic. I guess it's someone applying their personal arbitrary "requirements"; have a +1 to even it out. There isn't really any established equivalent in Chinese mythology for what you're thinking of, but the written spells of Taoists might be considered similar.
    – Semaphore
    Commented Nov 26, 2015 at 5:06

1 Answer 1


In contemporary culture, one tends to see objects like the "Bagua Fengshui Mirror" which is supposed to scare away evil spirits, or the "Coin Sword" which has similar spiritual powers. Swords made of particular types of wood are also believed to have magical powers and are popularly believed to be useful in exorcism. I don't know how old these traditions are and can't think of any references in Chinese mythology. However, there is one very famous magical construct that is tied in with ancient Chinese mythology:

The Lo Shu Square attributed to Emperor Yu.

The Lo Shu Square at the center of an amulet

Lo Shu square depicted in a book on magic

It's impossible to know the true origin of this construct, but it does seem to be quite ancient. Although there is not a lot of readily available documentation on the matter, stories concerning the Yu the Great are well known and appear as early as the first century BC in Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian.

It's not entirely clear what the Lu Shu Square was used for, but Yu was associated flood control, which was and remains very important in China, and it seems to be related to geomancy.

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