If you are lucky enough to visit somewhere with a large Chinese population and ask for a lucky charm don’t be surprised if you end up with something that looks like a disc with a hole in it – not unlike a polo mint.
Meditate on the hole
This is a Pi or sometimes Bi disc. The hole is said to represent the path to heaven. The disc’s owner is encouraged to meditate on the hole and visualise travelling through it and into the sky.
There is also a notion that if you believe you are entering a time of tribulation you should rub the disc with your fingers and keep on doing so until your problems pass away. This is a very old tradition reaching back 5,000 years, one Chinese tomb dating to the fourth millennium BC contained 24 Pi discs, and in this case their role was to protect the tomb’s occupant.
Although most modern discs are fairly plain, older examples can be ornately decorated with dragons, these discs are indeed fortunate for their owners and they are highly valued.