Yin vs Yang

Discover the real meaning of one of the most tree-like tattoos: the symbol of yin and yang. Being sacred in Asia, these 2 entities would represent all the extreme elements of the universe.


All about the symbol of Yin and Yang

Do you know the true meaning of this symbol on the Korean flag? True emblems for Asian religions, the yin and yang both have several symbols. For philosophers, this symbol would be the very foundation of life, as it would represent all the contradictory but complementary aspects that exist.


The history and origins of Yin and Yang

The history of Yin and Yang would have started around the 3rd century BC, but the exact time has never been defined. In order to explain the natural cycles of existence, the cosmologist and philosopher Zou Yan had used Yin and Yang. Then, the conception of this symbol evolved over time. According to Chinese doctrine, it represents all the opposite poles of life which remain complementary and can only live in symbiosis. It often refers to day and night, light and darkness, or to abstract things like submission and domination.


How to translate Yin and Yang drawing?

Of oriental origin, this very famous symbol representing Yin and Yang is called taijitu. This drawing is composed of a duality of colors: black and white. However, on the Korean flag, black is substituted by blue and white by red. Yin and Yang are thus represented by a circle cut in two parts by a curved line, with two small dots in each section.


The outer circle: A representation of the universe

The large outer circle symbolizes the "all", which can be compared to the universe, with all the elements it contains, including us. Inside this circle is the balance that governs our entire existence. Inside are two forms that symbolize two totally opposite energies of force reacting with each other. Their equal surfaces illustrate harmony. These two forms, one white and the other black, can combine into a single force that gives birth to all that "is" in our lives.


Yin and Yang: The colors that form a whole

Yin, represented by the color black, would symbolize all that is negative and dark, namely the feminine, the passive, the night, or the moon. On the other hand, the Yang symbol would represent everything that could be positive, including the masculine, active, force, light and the sun. The list is not exhaustive because all the opposite constituents of our universe with complementary characteristics can be represented by this circle.


The curved line: A sign of continuity

The 2 sections of opposite colors are separated by an S-shaped line that would allow an endless movement between the two. Indeed, a black part interferes in the white section, and vice versa. This means that as the Yin disappears, the Yang will expand to fill the void. The Yin would not be without the Yang and the Yang would disappear in the absence of the Yin.


The two small dots : The symbols of complementarity

Concerning the two points lodged in each part, they show that the absolute does not exist. Nothing is absolutely positive and nothing is really negative. There is always Yin in Yang and conversely, a part of Yang will always remain in Yin. Moreover, this can be explained concretely.





Yin and Yang: Discover the meaning of this symbol

Even though Yin and Yang are found in all opposite aspects of the universe, Chinese philosophers and other religious people have all had their vision of this symbol. This applies to both concrete and abstract things.


The Taoist point of view

According to the Taoist tradition, Yin and Yang are comparable to the "Big Bang". Indeed, these two poles would have been born from an energy that upset the Tao. The latter would be the source and content of the universe. Since then, all the extreme natural potentials are represented by these entities. The symbol of Yang illustrates the externalization of all forms of energy, while the symbol of Yin refers to their reception. It is from this principle that the potential of movement appeared, the origin of all phenomena that govern our lives. Even the water cycle has been associated with this symbol because of the ascending and descending movements.

Yin and Yang are sacred to Buddhists and Taoists as they allow the Five Elements to move. They would thus provide the energy necessary to regulate the various natural flows of life, both negative and positive. These Five Elements are the fundamental patterns that breathe life.


Yin and Yang according to medicine

In the West, Yin and Yang are neither forces nor physical matter, but rather labels with which we associate the various phenomena of life. If science has always been based only on analysis, it has integrated the principle of Yin and Yang in its conception of human life. In the biological field, everything could be explained by the balancing of Yin and Yang. The most concrete example is the cardiovascular system. When the heart beats, its contraction is represented by the Yin and it is illustrated by the Yang when it expands.

By analogy, inspiration can also be symbolized by the Yin, while the movement of the Yang would explain the expiration. All the mechanisms of the body can therefore be associated with the movements of Ying and Yang, even the smallest ones, such as the balance of red and white blood cells. The regulation of body temperature could even be explained by the balancing of these two entities, as our organism does not like cold or hot. When all this was proven, scientists became less skeptical about the sacred symbols of Asia.