Tai Chi Symbol - Yin and Yang

the ancient chinese tai chi martial art symbol - the yin and yang

The meaning of the yin yang or Tai Chi symbol relates to the flow of opposite energy that makes up the law of the universe. What is the law of the universe? Gotta keep reading to find out!

The Yin

The yin part of the symbol is the black area, it stands for - dark, cold, wet, slow, soft, yielding, female, introvert, cloudy and the passive side of life. It literally means the ‘shady place’ or ‘north slope’, for it’s often compared to the suns movement over a mountain (described blow).

The Yang

The yang is obviously the white area standing for - light, warm, dry, fast, focused, male, extrovert, sunny, active side of life. It literally means the ‘sunny place’ or ‘south slope’

Both the yin and yang create one whole with seeds of energy inside of each other (the smaller white/black circles) and the larger circle which contains the two energies is the un-carved block or the void. The there are five symbols all together, the yin and yang, the two smaller seeds of yin and yang and the un-carved block... all put together creates a whole - Tai Chi.

Ultimately the meaning of yin yang symbol or the Tai Chi symbol means that there is a light and dark side, or good and evil side to everything in the universe. It symbolizes how polar or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world and how they give rise to each other in turn. The two opposites make a whole - There is no hot without cold, no light without dark, no life without death.


- Sunlight hits over a mountain and in the valley. Yin is the dark area occluded by the mountain’s bulk while yang is the brightly lit portion. As the sun moves across the sky the yin and yang gradually change places... revealing what was obscured and obscuring what was once revealed.

- Dropping a stone into a pool of water will create both waves and troughs, each helping each other in reaching it’s extremes. Without the troughs, the waves would not be high - without the waves, the troughs would not be so low. The alternation of the two high and lows will repeat until the pool of water is once calm again.

- The undertow of the ocean is formed by the tai chi symbol of yin yang as well. Every advance is complemented with a retreat and every rise transforms into a fall. Energy will spring upwards towards the sky and when it reaches it full potential it will fall.

The Cycle Of Life

A good portion of the Taoist philosophy is based on the idea that everything goes in cycles - the days, the years, the seasons, human life etc. The cycle of everything is represented through how the yin yang symbol is created. The flow of time is indicated by the way the Yin and Yang areas increase and decrease as they progress around the tai chi symbol.

Let’s take the seasons for example - There’s spring, summer, autumn and winter.

* The spring is the time for new growth, or the time where the Yang is increasing.

* The summer is when the growth is at it’s highest and so is the heat which is the highest the Yang can go.

* The autumn season is when the growth starts turning into death therefore increasing the Yin

* The winter is when it’s at it’s coldest and all that grew has no died, the highest Yin

a diagram or picture of the seasons of the yin and yang tai chi symbol

Now that you understand what the yin yang or Tai Chi symbol stands for, you are officially allowed to get a tattoo of it and not be a loser who just gets it because it looks cool.

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