Jul 14, 2013


Yin and Yang - “Tai Chi” ( 太极 )

The Ultimate Principle of All Matter

Yin and Yang are negative (Yin) and positive (Yang) forces. These forces act together to create energy. Chinese believe that these two major forces control the universe. The principle of Yin-Yang is the foundation of the entire universe. It is the foundation of Chinese philosophy, people and even Chinese medicine. It underlies everything in creation. No force is weaker or stronger than the other, both of them are equally powerful and important. The Yin and the Yang need each other and they cannot survive or exist without each other.

“Tai Chi” (the ultimate matter), a well-known symbol embodies the Yin and the Yang. Those two forces in the circle equilibrate the energy and keep everything balanced. The Yang indicates life, birth or the day whereas the Yin signifies death or night. Since these two portions of the Tai Chi balance each other perfectly, therefore the Tai Chi symbol is also referred to as ‘Ultimate Principle of All Matter’. In Oriental philosophy, medicine, Feng Shui and art, everything is classified under these two stems. You must constantly keep the Yin Yang in balance in order to maintain harmony and order within the body and in the universe. Disharmony and chaos abound if their even pull is disturbed in any way.

The Yin and the Yang are the opposite with each other. If the Yin is soft, dark, passive, cold, weak and downward, then the Yang would be hard, bright, active, hot, strong and upward. If the Yin is the female then the Yang would becomes the male. If the Yin represents stillness, then the Yang would represents movement. Wherever there is dark there will be light, where there is up there must be down, Yang would not grow without Yin, Yin also could not give birth without Yang.

The Yin will attract the Yang (like opposite poles of a magnet), but will repel another Yin force. The Yin and Yang will only repel the similar positive and negative stem directly opposite its polarity. If you notice the incompatibility circle of animal zodiac you will realize that all of the conflicting signs belong to the similar stem. In Chinese horoscope, the Yang people are generally more spontaneous while the Yin people are usually more reflective and intuitive.

Where Does The Yin Yang Symbol Come From

The symbol of Yin Yang or Tai Chi was derived from efforts of an ancient Chinese to discover, record and interpret patterns in the sky and the changing seasons. They recorded positions of the shadow of the sun by using a pole about 8 foot tall that wuold cast a shadow of varying lengths as the season passed revealling a cycling betwen times dominated by the night and times dominated by the day. They even divided the year’s cycle into 24 segments, and that includes the Autumnal Equinox, Vernal Equinox, Winter Solstice and Summer Solstice, using the Dipper and sunrise positions.

They then used 6 concentric circles and then marked the 24 segment points and divided the circles into 24 sectors (see the diagram below). Everyday they recorded the length of the shadow. The longest shadow is found on the day of the Winter Solstice and the shortest is Summer Solstice day. The chart also shows that the Yin (the dark color area of the symbol) is born or begins at Summer Solstice and the Yang (the light color area of the symbol) is born or begins at Winter Solstice. In general, the Tai Chi or Yin Yang symbol contains the cycle of the sun, 24-segment Chi, four seasons, the foundation of I-Ching and the Chinese calender. It is the Chinese representation of the entire celestial phenomenon.

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