Yin and Yang

Yin and Yang

Isabelle Anderson, Staff Writer

I’m sure you’ve seen a ton of yin and yang symbolism whether it’s from the scene in Avatar: The Last Airbender where Tui kills the Ocean Spirit in the Northern Water tribe or when you see a simple tattoo of it on someone’s wrist. But what are yin and yang? Where did it come from? How does it exist in our everyday lives?

Dating back to the 3rd century BCE, the principle of yin and yang is a key concept in Chinese philosophy. It is a dualistic concept that all things exist in a contradictory and complementary way in the natural world. The black force with a white dot represents “yin” while the white force with the black dot represents “yang”.  Despite yin mainly being composed of itself, it still has a component of yang. The same goes for yang with yin. Yin and yang are associated with different things.

YIN: The yin force which is identified by being mainly black with a white dot is associated with or identified as:

  • Femininity
  • Negative
  • The moon
  • Transformation
  • Water
  • Cold
  • Old
  • Passiveness
  • Weakness
  • Valleys
  • North
  • Darkness
  • Providing spirit


YANG: The yang force which is identified by being mainly white with a black dot is associated with or identified as:

  • Masculinity
  • Positive
  • The sun
  • Creativity
  • Fire
  • Warmth
  • Young
  • Active
  • Strength
  • Mountains
  • South
  • Light
  • Providing form

It’s a common misconception that yin is the “bad energy” and yang is the “good energy”. When you put it like that it makes yang seem like a dominating and superior force to yin when in actuality each force is neither bad nor good, neither is above the other and rather, both are together in harmony and bring balance to nature. Although yin is considered negative, it doesn’t mean it is bad or inferior. Even though yang is considered positive, it doesn’t mean it is good or superior. 

In everyday life, I like to incorporate the ideology of yin and yang into my life by thinking that nothing is truly bad and nothing is truly good when it comes to society’s view on things that are negative such as being upset, being cold, rainy weather or on things that are positive such as being happy,  warm, sunny weather and other things. Even though I may be temporarily upset, it isn’t the end, and feeling that way doesn’t have to permanently ruin me. Being sad doesn’t have to be considered a “bad” feeling. It can actually help me heal and I can learn from situations. The concept also helps me see the light in everybody and everything despite a person or the thing looking as if it is “bad”. Nobody is truly evil and nobody is perfect. 

The principle of yin and yang is important for people to incorporate into their lives as it’ll give people a different perspective on life: material things within it, people and their intentions, situations and so much more. 


Used: https://www.ancient.eu/Yin_and_Yang/ 

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