T'ai-chi T'u

Yin and Yang

T'ai-chi T'u

The ideal state of all things is the state of harmony represented by the balance of Yin and Yang. In Chinese philosophy, the rhythm of life which pulsates through-out the universe is this action of complementary principles. The T'ai-chi T'u diagram (above) illustrates this principle. The symmetrical disposition of the dark Yin with the light Yang represents the cyclical motion and constant change of everything within the cosmos.


Yin is the female, passive, intuitive, receiving force, which is associated with the earth. The earth is the source of all physical life. Yin is associated with the following properties:

- Night, Dark
- Rain, -Water, Cold
- Winter, Autumn
- Odd Numbers
- The Moon
- North, West
- Right, Down
- Intuition
- Passive, Static
- Contraction, Decreasing
- Conservative, Traditional
- Valley
- River
- Curve
- Soft
- Solidifying
- Psychological (Astral) World
- Dragon
- Kidneys, Heart, Liver, Lungs


Yang is the male, strong, creative force which is associated with heaven. The heaven above us is always in motion. This motion brings about change. Yang is associated with the following properties.

- Day, Light
- Sunshine, Fire, Heat
- Summer, Spring
- Even Numbers
- The Sun
- South, East
- Left, Up
- Intellect
- Active, Dynamic
- Expansion, Increasing
- Innovative, Reformative
- Mountain
- Desert
- Straight Line
- Hard
- Dissolving
- Physical (Observable) World
- Tiger
- Bladder, Intestines, Skin

    Most scholars credit the "Yin and Yang" to the Han Dynasty (206B.C.-A.D. 220). But it can possibly be traced back to the Shang and Chou Dynasty,  (1550 - 1050 BC). At this time, the Yin Yang School was founded by Tsou Yen. It combines the ancient philosophy of the 5 elements-- wood, fire, earth, metal and water, and combined them into a cosmology of cyclical movements. The reciprocity between the two poles forms a cycle of movement or, the meaning of change. In relationship to the elements, wood and fire belong to the yang, and water and metal to yin. Earth belongs to both yin and yang because it assists both. The yin and yang only represent opposite poles and NOT good or evil.

    The two are said to be proceeded from the Supreme Ultimate or T'ai Chi, showing the interrelatedness between the two--for as one increases the other decreases. In addition, this symbol shows the perfect balance between opposites, or the two great forces of the universe. This portrays that there is no "real" masculine or feminine nature, but that each contains a part of the other. The two are contained in one circle thus showing that both powers are One. Instead of these two being held in antagonism, they are held together in balance to show that they are mutually interdependent partners. The one cannot exist without the other.

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