Yin Yang Symbol and its Meaning

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Yin Yang Symbol and its Meaning

Opposites Together as One

Everything in the universe has its opposites. The opposites are interdependent on each other and also balance each other. This can be seen in the cycles of the sun and the moon, day and night. We wake each day and sleep each night. Without one, there would not be the other. Without rest, there would not be activity and without activity, we would not grow tired and need rest. This is a cycle of life that is encompassed in everything, everyday.

Interdependent Counterbalance

Think about the day and night regarding rise and setting of the sun. The earth is lit by sun on the side it is facing. When it sets on that side, the moon gains its reflection from the sun. Therefore, the moon would not shine if the sun were not setting and the night would not fall upon us if the sun did not set to the other side of the world. This is the balance of day and night. The cycle of dusk to dawn.

Think about that for a moment. What comes next, is the transition back from dawn to dusk. The sun rises from the east and sets on the west. These are two aspects of a whole day that are interdependent on one another and also counterbalance each other. By counterbalance, I am referring to the amount of light we have in the morning hours weighed against the amount of light we have in the evening hours. The day consists of a gradual shift of the sun from one side of the earth to the other. In the same context, the night is also a shift of the sun from one side of the earth to the opposite side and this shift is constant at all times. In this case, we can say that the balance of light and dark is in constant change. As the sun rises, the balance of light and dark goes from 100% dark/0% light to 90% dark/10% light, and so on, 80/20, 70/30, 60/40, 50/50, until the light finally takes full force in the middle of the afternoon when it reaches 100% light/ 0% darkness. Then the sun begins to set and the light decrease. while the light decreases 60% dark/40% light, 70/30, 80/20, 90/10 until 100% darkness/ 0% again. We may not see the full cycle. But, we definitely recognize the sun setting and rising.

We can see is that the counter balance always equals 100 and is never still. At all times, there is a 100% light shining from the sun and 100% darkness somewhere at all times but it in constant shift. It is changing position as the earth rotates balanced by the opposite side. Light and dark balance each other from opposite sides.

Transformation From One to The Other

At the same time that Yin and Yang are opposite and balanced with each other, they are also transforming into one another. Day and night are of the same 24 hour period that completes one cycle. Day transforms into night and night into day. During this period of time, a person grows tired from the activity of the day and eventually falls asleep. Once rested, the person awakes and has energy from the rest cycle. The day transformed into night and the night into day while the person transformed from awake to asleep with the same cycle. In this case, we are all in balance with the yin and yang on a daily basis.

The area represented by dark is Yin. Yin also represents the feminine and passive. Everything masculine, light, and positive is Yang. Yang is the area represented by the light color. Now, you can see the relationship between the light and dark. Let’s take a further look at the cycles and their transformation. See the lines around the outside of the Yin Yang symbol? Those are called trigrams. Understanding the trigrams are important to understanding the Yin Yang cycle and its transformation.

Yin Yang Trigrams
Trigrams around the Yin Yang – the importance in understanding the trigrams is to understand the transformation cycle.

Pure Yang and Pure Yin

In the image below, the trigrams are numbered with their respective titles. From the highest yang, Pure yang(top and center trigram) to the deepest yin, Pure yin(bottom and center trigram), you can follow the count to associate with the cycle. Notice that the count begins with Pure yang(1) and goes counter-clockwise to Little yang(4). Then, the count takes the path of the wave in the Yin yang symbol with number 5 traveling through the middle to Little yin(6) and continuing clockwise to Pure yin(9). Take a look at that transition.

Seeing the Transformation as the Wave in the Yin Yang

The path is somewhat of a figure eight that continues to cross at the center(5) with each transformation to the next cycle. Be in tune with number the center(5) because this is the main point of transformation in each cycle. This is the point at which the cycle takes the shape of the other. It is a transformation from yin to yang and from yang to yin. We can view this as the eternal dance of transition and change. From one to the other, they consistently flow, helping to balance the other side throughout the transformation cycles.

Complimentary Yin and Yang

In the below image, you can see the relationships to each other and how the yin and yang attributes compliment their opposites. The opposites tend to be on opposite sides of the cycle. If an axis was going down the center(5), separating each polar opposite, it would take the direction of the wave in the Yin Yang symbol. Therefore, the axis follows the same path as transformation. This makes sense because the axis does not belong to either side solely, but connects the two sides and makes it one whole.


The Yin Yang Encompasses Everything

You can relate these transformations to anything that takes on changes and cycles based on the other side or the opposite. Our internal systems, such as our emotions, active energy, passive energy, happiness, sorrow, love and loss, are all being balanced by the opposite at all times. The external systems, such as the sun and earth, the seasons and the relationships with other people will also take on this interesting dynamic of balance between opposites that combined, make a whole. We continue to follow these paths in an ebb and flow of transitional shifts daily. We live in the presence of yin and yang both internally and eternally at all times while it is in constant shift.

The human has yang and yin aspects, internal and external connections, while interacting within the cycle of the earth and within space or the universe. We also interact within ourselves between body and mind using our nerve system. We share variables of the interactions within ourselves as well as with the universe and everything it encompasses. In some theory, we are all connected and replication of the universe in our mind and body makeup. That would be consistent with the forces of yin and yang. Everything is in constant flow, it is interdependent and counterbalanced, both internally and externally, we feel connected and transformation happens.

Therefore, it is best to be perfectly balanced between yin and yang, realizing all possibilities within human nature. When we are one with our placement in the universe and our world, we stand central to our placement overall. We can be comfortable in our skin if we balance the existence of the yin and yang in everything we do. When we see ourselves as one with the cycle, we then learn to “go with the flow” and ride the wave of life letting the cycles guide us through the external while transforming internally from within. Yin Yang is such a simple design that explains these rather complex cycles and transformations with one symbol, bringing opposites together as a whole.

Constant Change, Energy, and Matter

Energy is the ability to change and do work. Matter has mass and takes up space. The energy and the matter are what make up our universe and the cycle continues in space constantly, the same as it does here on earth and within each being. So, let’s take a look at that and determine something obvious. We are intertwined with our environment. Our environment is everything we are encompassed within. We are all on one world that is in one universe, and we are all rising and settling within one cycle together. We all have the energy and the rest cycles and we are made up of matter that forms and transform with the cycles as energy is active and through its rest cycles, it is transformed again into a thriving constant. We should embrace change and follow the transformations as it continues.