There are many forms of flutes used as traditional musical instruments in ancient China.
Some are double-reed pan-pipes while others are variations of mouth-organs.
A popular type of single-piped flute called the di (笛) actually originate from Tibet.
But none of them are as oriental and Chinese as the vertical flute. It is written as 萧 and pronounced as xiao.
It is traditionally made of bamboo with 5 holes on the upper body and one hole on the lower end. Then innovation morphed it into one with 6 holes on the front, one on the rear, and up to 4 air holes on the lower body.
It is played mostly by women and produces a calm sound that is melancholy and zen-like.
The flute is as symbolic of Chinese culture as the zither. And that’s saying a lot.
Legends of the flute
One of the 8 immortals, Han Xiangzi, is known to carry a bamboo flute as a personal emblem. It is said that he picked up the playing of the flute from while being mentored by Lu Dong Bin.
In metaphysical circles, the mouthpiece is associated with the infinite power and energy of the heavens, while the base on the other end is attributed with the immovable energy of the earth.
In Taoist practices, it is said that playing the magical flute would enable one to summon spirits.
In other rituals, two flutes are tied together with red cord and then wrapped with ribbons in red. This is then used in rituals for casting love spells.
Feng shui uses of the flute
Whether it’s bamboo, metal, or other materials, placement the flute is used in feng shui mostly for countering sha chi.
This is an especially common practice in alleviating the feng shui ailment of sleeping with a beam over the head.
It can also be used to dissolve poison arrows emitting from exposed pillars.
A big reason for this is that the word xiao (萧) sound the same as the word xiao (消) which means dissolve.
When placing or hanging them for such purposes, take note that the end with the mouthpiece should be lower than the opposite end of the instrument.
And even though they come in a variety of materials these days, bamboo is generally accepted as the most effective.
However, metal flutes can also play a part in managing other afflictions such as the 5 yellow.
This has actually caught on in modern feng shui practices. These days, wind chimes can sometimes be seen to incorporate flutes into their designs.
Another use of bamboo flutes is for the redirection of energy forces.
This can be done by placing two flutes side by side at the point of energy affliction.