YIN and YANG Introduction






Author: Edmund Chin

        B. Eng (Elect), Grad Dip (Mgmt)

This article will endeavour to give some suggestion of the wide application of the Yin and Yang principle or concept. Yin and Yang are the concept of two opposing aspects. It is a duality concept. It originated from the observed seasons of the year by ancient Chinese peasants in way back when. Yin and yang originally meant light side of the mountain and dark side of the mountain. They are in a constant state of dynamic equilibrium. These ancient Chinese folks believed it as a general law of the world and is also applied in Chinese philosophy.

Yin follows Yang and vice versa. They oppose and complement each other, cycling infinitely

like the change between summer and winter which goes on almost indefinitely.......Summer solstice (Tai Yang) to autumn equinox (Shao Yin) to winter solstice (Tai Yin) to Spring equinox (Shao Yang) and so on..

The Laws of Yin and Yang are that they are opposing, mutually embedded in each other, mutually change and are mutually strong and weak

Yin Yang principles apply to the Traditional Chinese study areas of Feng Shui,  Astrology, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Music, Military strategy and Martial Arts. 

Some Qualities of Yin Yang

Yin and Yang originally meant light and dark. The Yin symbols go in forward direction while the Yang symbols go in reverse direction. The interaction between Yin and Yang gives rise to the change from tranquility to motion or vice versa giving rise to the multiplication of all things on earth. Yin is of the internal, Yang is about the external. To illustrate the generality of the Yin Yang duality concept, the following are some qualities of Yin Yang -

Light Dark

Day Night

Male Female

Mother Father

Strong Weak

Bright Dark

Black White

Big Small

Come Go

Up Down

External Internal

Fundamental Incidental

Fast Slow

Aggressive Passive

Hard Soft

River Mountain

Dragon Tiger

Summer Winter  etc

Now, from the Yin Yang symbol, there is a dot in midst of the black and white tadpole shapes. This means in the peak of Yang there is the minute seed of Yin and vice versa. When something reaches its maximum, it always goes to its opposite. There is the seed of good in evil, the seed of sickness in health. When a cup is full there will be some spills. When you are happy there will be some sorrow. There is calm before a storm.......

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Yin and Yang concepts also apply here. There are 3 yin and 3 yang aspects in TCM

The 3 Yin are Heat, Fire, Humidity and the 3 Yang -Dryness, Cold, Wind.

For life to progress in a healthy way there must be harmonising circulation of Yin and Yang Qi in the body. If this is interrupted the health is adversely affected.

In the human body, some example Yin and Yang areas are Upper and Lower, Left and Right

The Six fu organs-gallbladder, stomach, small and large intestines, urinary bladder and triple burner (three parts of the body cavity: the upper burner, which house the heart and lungs; the middle burner, which house the spleen and stomach; and the lower burner, which house the kidney, urinary bladder and small/large intestines) -- are classified as Yang and control the transport and digestion of food.

The Five zang (organs) -- the kidneys, liver, heart, spleen and lungs -- are classified as Yin. They control the storage of vital substance and qi.


BAZI (Chinese Astrology)

In Bazi, we have the Yang Heavenly Stems of Jia, Bing, Wu, Geng, Ren and the Yin Heavenly Stems of  Yi, Ding, Ji, Xin, Gui as well as the Yang Earthly Branches of  Zi, Yin, Chen, Wu, Shen, Xu, and  the Yin Earthly Branches of Chou, Mao, Si, Wei, You, Hai.

The year is also divided into the 6 Yin and the 6 Yang months/periods as named in the Earthly branches beginning with Zi in February just as the day is divided into 6 Yin and 6 Yang 2 hour periods. This can go on dividing in an endless scale.

Feng Shui

In Feng Shui, the Yin and Yang directions also correspond to the Chinese names of the 24 mountains -which include the heavenly stems and earthly branches. To go further requires a separate article.

ICHING (divination)

Yin (broken) and Yang (Solid) lines are also in the hexagrams for I Ching.

The all Yin lines hexagram means the Earth (Kun), the purest Yin, the great softness. The all Yang lines hexagram means the Heaven (Qian), the purest Yang, the most healthy. In between would be the rest of the hexagrams. Again this needs a separate article.

The "I-Ching book of Changes" says "heaven and earth came first then all things in universe came into being". From Yin and Yang " all things came....