We’ve probably all noticed the Chinese yin yang symbol, also known as the taiji diagram, even if we may not have fully understood what it was.
It’s a pretty common symbol in our modern world, yet the deeper yin and yang meaning transcends time, location and culture.
Yin yang or yin and yang, as we refer to it in the western world, are the basic representation of all things abiding by the laws of the universe.
Everything around us, from the tides to the growing of wheat, yin yang describes the natural progression of things; the path or cycle that life follows. Where there is a rise, there will be a fall, where there is ebb there will follow a flow, etc.
You cannot talk of yin without mentioning yang because although they are both complete opposites, they are complementary in that one cannot exist without the other. Without hot, there would be no cold, without light, there would be no dark, etc.
The Yin and Yang Meaning
The yin and yang meaning suggests that everything has opposing aspects and although one may be predominant at any one time, the opposite is sure to follow over time as they are both part of a dynamic system.
Yin is associated with femininity, with the moon, earth and water. Its characteristics are cold, soft, wet, slow and passive. You feel this energy most at night when you’re sleeping or relaxing.
In contrast yang represents the masculine tendencies of hot, hard, dry, fast and aggressive. It is connected to the sun, the sky and fire and is best felt in a busy office environment or a party for example.
The Yin Yang Symbol
When we look at the taiji, we see the representation of both the yin (black side with the white dot) and yang (white side with the black dot). Together they make a perfect whole.
According to the Chinese, the yin yang symbol is often expressed in terms of sunlight shining over a mountain and in a valley.
As the sun moves across the sky and it goes from yang to yin, what was revealed by the light is now concealed by the mountain and what was hidden in the shadows is now revealed in the sunlight.
Yin Yang and Feng Shui
Both positive and negative forces need to be balanced for harmony. If one overpowers the other, it will upset the equilibrium and can cause chaos.
Often our lives are more yang. We feel constantly busy and overrun. Life can feel hectic. We need to take the time to relax more, to even out the energy, to strengthen the yin.
The whole foundation of feng shui is based on creating balance in these two opposing energies whether in your home, your office or your environment. In any space, either yin or yang will often be more dominant.
In feng shui we try to balance out that dominance by adding things that represent the opposite energy, removing more of the prevailing force or using cures to counteract a particular energy.
When we balance the yin yang dual energies in our surroundings, we give ourselves the ideal conditions to live a harmonious, happy, healthy and fulfilling life.