The pure substance yang is transmuted in the sky; the muddy yin substance is transformed in the earth … The sun is the yang substance, and the moon is the yin substance … The yin substance is peace, and the yang substance is mobility. The yang substance gives birth, and the yin substance nurtures …
In ancient Chinese mythology and natural philosophy, yin-yang (“tai tzu”, the Great Limit) is a symbol of the creative unity of opposites in the Universe. He was depicted as a circle, the image of infinity, divided by a wavy line into two halves – dark and light. Two points symmetrically located inside the circle – light on a dark background and dark on a light – spoke of the fact that each of the two great forces of the Universe carries within itself the embryo of the opposite principle. The dark and bright fields, representing yin and yang, respectively, are symmetrical, but this symmetry is not static. It assumes constant movement in a circle – when one of the two principles reaches its peak, it is already ready to retreat: “Yang, having reached the peak of its development, retreats in the face of yin. Yin, having reached the peak of its development, retreats in the face of yang. “
Although it’s a popular symbol in today’s modern culture, few know exactly what the yin yang symbol truly represents. Yin and yang is present in feng shui imagery, and among other things, it represents balance and harmony.
Philosophy of the Yin Yang
The yin yang symbol is more complex than its relatively simplistic design. The yin yang philosophy unlocks the meaning behind the symbol by explaining what each teardrop shape represents.
- Yang side: The light teardrop represents the active masculine energy.
- Yin side: The dark teardrop represents the passive feminine energy.
- Dependent energies: The black and white teardrops are dependent upon each other to form a balanced whole.
Balancing Yin Yang Energies in Feng Shui
Feng shui revolves around the yin yang philosophy. A feng shui practitioner seeks to ensure the two energies are always in balance. To achieve this harmony, may require increasing yang energy in your home or increasing the yin energy in an effort to bring the two energies back in alignment.
Uses of Yin Yang Symbol in Feng Shui
Feng shui practitioners often recommend the use of the yin yang symbol either to increase your personal flow of positive chi or to improve the chi energy in your living or workspaces. Here are some common examples of yin yang applications in feng shui:
- A feng shui practitioner may recommend you wear a yin yang pendant, bracelet or medallion to improve your personal chi flow or correct an imbalance in your chi energy,
- You may be advised to place a piece of yin yang art in your home or office to improve the auspicious chi energy flow. This could be something as simple as a drawing or a canvas painting of the yin yang symbol. More elaborate art might be your preference, such as statues or figurines.
- Dragons are an intricate part of Chinese history and culture. Art using these powerful symbols as yin yang energies can be used in areas needing more energy that is balanced.
- The dragon and the tiger are often depicted in feng shui art as the union of two opposite energies. You can use this symbol in your office or in your career sector to tap into these two powerful energies.
Improving Aspects of Your Life
The philosophy and imagery of the yin yang symbol can be used to explain and enhance your love relationships. When you understand the importance of yin yang in these relationships, you can use these opposing energies in your feng shui decor to assist restoring relationship balance. You can use yin yang meditation techniques to realign your chakras and bring these two energies into balance within yourself for a healthier and happier life.
“The concept of yin and yang – two opposing and complementary principles – permeates everything in the Chinese cultural tradition, from the system of government and relations between people to the rules of nutrition and self-regulation. It also extends to a very complex scheme of relationships between a person and the spiritual world … The concept of yin and yang as accurately as possible conveys the Chinese perception of both the outside world and the world within themselves.”
According to the ancient Chinese, all manifestations of Tao are generated by the dynamic alternation and interaction of these opposite forces. The separation of Heaven and Earth was preceded by the state of the primordial integrity of the world. This source of all things was called Chaos (“hundong”) or Infinite (“wu ji”). For the creation of the world to begin, chaos had to differentiate. First of all, it split into two main elements – yang and yin. The interaction of these elements led to the formation of objects of visible nature.
“Initially, yin and yang meant, respectively, the shadow and sunny slopes of the mountain (such an understanding can, in particular, be found in the I Ching) – and this symbolism perfectly reflected the essence of these two principles. On the one hand, they represent only different slopes of one mountain, not reducible to each other, but also not differing from each other; on the other hand, their qualitative difference is determined not by the inner nature of the slope itself, but by some third force – the sun, which illuminates both slopes in turn ”.
Since the Zhou era, the Chinese began to view the sky as the embodiment of yang, and the earth as yin. “Qi of Heaven and Earth, gathering, forms a unity, and when separated, forms yin and yang,” said the traditional formula. The Sun and the Moon, “Tai Yang” and “Tai Yin”, the Great Yang and the Great Yin, form a pair of opposites that give rise to the forms of Heaven.
Already in antiquity, yang and yin gave birth to a number of cosmological symbols. The yang power was correlated with the sky, sun, warmth, light, spirit, life, active and masculine principle, the left side, odd numbers. Yang symbolizes everything light, dry and high: mountain, heaven, sun animals and birds. Yin is the primordial waters, passive, feminine, moon, soul, depth, negative, soft and compliant, north, darkness, death, even numbers. In the realm of human thinking, yin is the intuitive female mind, yang is the clear rational mind of a man. Yin is the immobility of the sage immersed in contemplation, yang is the creative activity of the ruler. The contrast of yin and yang is not only a principle that organizes all of Chinese culture, but is also reflected in two main philosophical trends in China. Confucianism prefers everything rational, male, active. Taoism, on the other hand, prefers the intuitive, the feminine, the mystical.
Extreme yang and extreme yin correspond to the elements of Fire and Water. The cycle of their mutual transformations includes two intermediate stages, symbolized by the elements of Metal and Wood. A circle of yin and yang transformations is formed, which, like any circle, has its center. The element of the Earth acts as the emblem of the center. Thus, the Great Limit unfolds into a fivefold structure, which combines the duality of yin-yang and the triad of creation, and therefore is a capacious symbol of the universe.
One of the most important concepts of the traditional Chinese worldview is san tsai – “three matters”, “three gifts”, “three riches”: Heaven, Earth and the Man connecting them. In the cycle of its development, Chaos gives rise to two principles of the universe – Heaven and Earth, and gets its completion in Man. The Tao Te Ching says: “One gives birth to two; two gives birth to three; three gives birth to all the darkness of things. ” Man, according to Chinese concepts, stands in the center of the universe, closes in on him, he keeps the world stream of being. “From the all-encompassing nature of Tao, which contains both the macrocosm and the microcosm, in the Canon of Changes follows the idea of man as the center of events: a person who is aware of his responsibility can be on an equal footing with the forces of space – Heaven and Earth … the extent to which a person who is aware of his responsibility is given to influence the course of things, mutability ceases to be an insidious, unrecognizable trap, becoming an organic world order that is in harmony with human nature. Therefore, a person is assigned a far from insignificant role. ” (Helmut Wilhelm, “Change”)
Thus, all that exists is nothing more than a transformation of a single stream of being, a projection of the Great Way, and ultimately a “transformed single”. Both beginnings – yin and yang – are included in the circle of universal cyclic circulation and change.
Achieving a Balance of Yin and Yang
There are many ways you can use the yin yang philosophy or symbol to bring harmony into your life. You can restore the energy balance within your home and your office when you apply the feng shui principles of yin yang energy, and its effect on all aspects of your life.