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___ Yin - Yang, Two Symbols

Yin - Yang (Chinese: 陰陽; pinyin: yīn yáng). The basic idea of the ‘yin- yang theory’ consists of two natural, complementary and contradictory forces in our universe, the principle of opposite polarity and duality. Both of the forces are different, but in the best way, they mutually complement each other.

Yin - Yang

The yin-yang elements or energies are constantly moving and influencing each other.
The maximum effect of one quality will be followed by the transition toward the opposing quality.
The yin-yang aspects are in dynamic equilibrium. As one aspect declines, the other increases to an equal degree.
All forces in the universe can be classified as yin or yang.

Yin characteristics: passive, negative, darkness, earth, north slope, cloudy, water, softness, female, moisture, night-time, downward seeking, slowness, consuming, cold, odd numbers, and docile aspects of things.

Yang characteristics: active, positive, brightness, heaven, south slope, sunshine, fire, hardness, male, dryness, day-time, upward seeking, restless, producing, hot, even numbers, and dominant aspects of things.

The Yin - Yang Theory is an important principle in Taoism.
Yin and Yang are the basic idea from which the bagua (ba- eight, gua- area) and the trigrams and hexagrams were developed.

Yin - Yang are divided into their respective Yin - Yang aspects, yielding four combinations: Yin of the Yin, and Yang of the Yin, and Yin of the Yang, and Yang of the Yang. This allows an almost endless scale of universally defined qualities, which is foundational to classical Chinese thought.

Image source: Stanford University - Department of Religious Studies

Yin (black) and Yang (white). The two inner dots represent Yin within Yang and Yang within Yin. Shown around the circumference are the eight trigrams (bagua), which in this case represent different stages in the cycles of increase and decrease of Yin and Yang (clockwise from the lower left corner: zhen, li, dui, qian, sun, kan, gen, and kun).
Source: Hu Wei (1633-1714).

Yin and Yang in Chinese Mythology

The Pangu* legend
In the beginning there was nothing in the universe except a formless chaos. The chaos began to coalesce into a cosmic egg for eighteen thousand years. Within it, the perfectly opposed principles of yin and yang became balanced and Pangu, emerged from the egg. Pangu set about the task of creating the world: he separated Yin from Yang with a swing of his giant axe, creating the Earth (dark Yin) and the Sky (bright Yang). To keep them separated, Pangu stood between them and pushed up the Sky. This took him eighteen thousand years as well, each day the sky grew ten feet higher, the Earth ten feet wider, and Pangu ten feet taller. In this task Pangu was aided by the four most prominent beasts, namely the Turtle, the Qilin, the Phoenix, and the Dragon.

After the eighteen thousand years had elapsed, Pangu was laid to rest. His breath became the wind; his voice the thunder; his left eye the sun and his right eye the moon; his body became the mountains and extremes of the world; his blood formed rivers; his muscles the fertile lands; his facial hair the stars and milky way; his fur the bushes and forests; his bones the valuable minerals; his bone marrow sacred diamonds; his sweat fell as rain; and the fleas on his fur carried by the wind became human beings all over the world. The distance from Earth and Sky at the end of the 18,000 years would have been 12,443 miles, or over 20,025 km.

* Pangu (Traditional: 盤古; Simplified: 盘古; pinyin: Pángǔ; Wade-Giles: P'an ku) was the first living being and the creator of all in Chinese mythology. The first writer to record the myth of Pangu was Xú Zhěng (徐整) 220 - 265 AD, a Three Kingdoms period Taoist author of the "Three Five Historic Records" (Chinese: 三五歷紀; pinyin: Sānwǔ Lìjì, literally: "Three Five Calendar"). The "3-5" refers to the "3 Sovereigns and 5 Emperors" (三皇五帝).

See also:
 Theory of the Five Elements
 Chart of the Five Elements
Spiral galaxy M51a in the constellation Canes Venatici.


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