Yin Yang Symbol: Meaning, Origin, Theory

☯ Yin Yang: symbol, definition and meaning of Yin Yang, its use in Chinese astrology and in Feng Shui
By KarmaWeather - 4 April 2023
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Yin Yang: origin and symbol

In Taoist philosophy, Yin and Yang represent the origin of life. Primitive Tai Chi is the "body of the universe", also called "the Promise" for the role that humans are called upon to take in the world. Tai Chi defines the foundations of all the constituent aspects of the universe. Thus, the origin of the Earth, the sky, nature and living beings, comes from the breath and the dynamic impulse expressed by the duality of the Yin Yang couple associated with the five tangible elements that are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water.

In the reciprocal relationship of the two Yin and Yang polarities, one inevitably goes to the other and vice versa. Yin and Yang are coupled. The Yang corresponds to action, movement, light and the Yin to neutrality, inertia and darkness.

The most famous symbol of Yin Yang theory, Taijitu (太极 图) comes from T'ai Chi. It consist of a circle split in two:

  • A white drop-shaped space with a black point in the center of its "head" for the Yang (day, birth, masculinity),
  • A black drop-shaped space with a white dot in the center of its "head" for Yin (night, shadow, death, femininity).

Yin Yang: Taijitu symbol infographic

Illustration of Taijitu, Yin Yang's symbol
Taijitu, symbol of Yin Yang
The Yin Yang and the 64 hexagrams of the Yi Jing (I Ching)
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Meaning and theory of Yin Yang

The nature of Yin Yang: two non-absolute aspects which form a whole

According to the primordial principle of existence, every entity is born, grows, matures, declines and dies. Thus, everything is constantly changing and nothing is ever frozen. For this reason, it is impossible to define any absolute state in Yin or Yang. Indeed, Yang feeds on Yin and vice versa. Every being or entity (animal, vegetable, mineral, virtual, spiritual) is made up partly of Yang and partly of Yin. The combined Yin and Yang constitute the energetic integrity of a set, with one of the two polarities in a dominant position.

Balancing Yin Yang with the 5 Chinese elements

The dominant polarity of a being or an entity is a snapshot of its mutation phase at a specific time. In Chinese astrology, the Yin and Yang properties of the 5 Chinese elements are used to identify the character traits and personality of an individual's birth chart, mainly in a predictive reading of the Chinese lunar calendar.

Nevertheless, the Yin or Yang peculiarity of a compensatory element used for the deficiency or excess of a specific element doesn't necessarily play a predominant role when it is primarily a question of filling the energetic lack of a Chinese astral theme.

🔥 Calculation and personality of the year of birth's Chinese element

Role of Yin Yang in Chinese zodiac signs' love compatibility

Each Chinese zodiac sign, itself able to be reduced to the sum of the elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water) which composes it, has a Yin or Yang identity, which is also applied to the element of its year of birth. For example, if you were born in 1975, the Year of the Wood Rabbit, the Rabbit being a zodiac animal with Yin polarity, the main element of the year 1975 is necessarily Yin Wood. By extension, the Fire of the Month of a Day of the Fire Rabbit is a Yin Fire, the Metal of a Day of the Metal Rabbit is a Yin Metal etc ...

The compatibility between Chinese signs deduces 4 groups of 3 animals, called the compatibility triangles, which get along particularly well together in all aspects of life (love, friendship, work, parent-child compatibility). The members of a same compatibility triangle, contrary to what one might instinctively believe, share the same Yin or Yang polarity, this one being inherently and definitively linked for each Chinese animal:

  1. First compatibility triangle: Yang Rat, Yang Dragon, Yang Monkey
  2. Second compatibility triangle: Yin Ox, Yin Snake, Yin Rooster
  3. Third compatibility triangle: Yang Tiger, Yang Horse, Yang Dog
  4. Fourth compatibility triangle: Yin Rabbit, Yin Goat, Yin Pig

💖 Chinese zodiac compatibility

However, apart from Chinese astrology, it remains essential to develop a thorough knowledge of the Yin and Yang attributes of the 5 elements in other areas where Wu Xing plays a vital role, such as martial arts, acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine and of course, Feng Shui.

Yin Yang in Feng Shui

Because the 5 elements of Chinese cosmology are the same in Chinese astrology and Feng Shui, one can apply the Yin Yang theory to fine tune the Feng Shui cures and techniques of one's home and office. It is very similar to the way one can learn more about the specific character and personality of a Chinese zodiac sign.

For instance, if a particular area of your home requires the activation of the Fire element during the current Feng Shui year, knowing whether it is a Yin or Yang Fire will give you a clear indication of the size and brightness of the electric light. This is how a Yang Fire can be fiery while a Yin Fire is more discreet and less luminous in nature.

Similarly, Water will be considered Yin or Yang depending on its quantity, surface or state (stagnant or in motion). A house by the seaside, a lake or a large river will benefit from the Yang qualities of the Water element, while an aquarium or an artificial stream will be considered Yin.

Learn more about home decoration in Feng Shui:
🏡 Feng Shui tips for your home

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