In Chinese philosophy, the rhythm of life, which pulsates through the universe, is the action of complementary principles Yin and Yang. The T’ai-chi T’u diagram (left) illustrates this principle. The symmetrical disposition of the dark Yin and the light Yang suggests cyclical changes. When Yin reaches its climax, it recedes in favor of Yang, then after Yang reaches its climax it recedes in favor of Yin. This is the eternal cycle. The dots inside the white and black halves indicate that within each is the seed of the other. Yin cannot exist without Yang and vice versa. The ideal state of things in the physical universe, as well as in the world of humans, is a state of harmony represented by the balance of Yin and Yang in body and mind.

 

Yin

The quiet, female, intuitive, receiving force that is associated with earth. The earth is the source of life; it provides us with what we need to survive. Yin is associated with the following ideas and things:

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
Tiger
Kidneys, Heart, Liver, Lungs

Yang

The strong, male, creative, giving force that is associated with heaven. The heaven above us is always in motion and brings about change. Yang is associated with the following ideas and things:

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
Dragon
Bladder, Intestines, Skin