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Yin Yang and Taiji — Origin, Meaning, Symbol, and Utilization

Yin Yang, which evolved out of Taiji, is a simple ancient Chinese philosophical idea widely applied in astrology, calendar, religion, traditional medicine, Feng Shui, and other traditions and customs.

Yin Yang symbol
yin and yang represents the sun and moon
Yin Yang symbol

What Is Taiji?


Taiji was the original state of the cosmos when the universe was believed to be undifferentiated and the oneness.

With the constant movement of Taiji, it evolves out of the Yin and Yang. 


  • Yin is about contracting energy, which is downward, passive, dark, accumulated, introverted, feminine, and quiet. 

  • Yang is about releasing energy, representing upward, active, bright, expand, exocentric, masculine, and lively.

Yin and Yang evolving out of Taiji

Everything in the world has both sides: constant motion and mutual transformation. 

The motions of Yin and Yang generate the Greater Yin, Lesser Yin, Greater Yang, and Lesser Yang.

They are the Four Images, whose transformations formed the Five Elements (Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth) or Five Phases theory. 

Click to Read More About the Four Images, Five Elements Theory 

Therefore, Taiji is considered the Supreme Ultimate, the origin of everything, and the Dao from Daoism (or Taoism) Philosophy. 

Taiji the beginning of the cosmos
Yin Yang symbol

Introduction to Yin Yang Symbol or the Taijitu.


Yin Yang Symbol or Taijitu, or Tai Chi Diagram, had different origins and versions in history. 


Yin Yang and Taiji in Cosmology


As a cosmological term, the Yin Yang Symbol or Taijitu is the orbit of the sun's movement in a year. 


In the Chinese Calendar, the 24 Solar Terms correspond to the sun's movement. 


The lengths of the shadow of the ancient sundial on noontime of each Solar Term day formed the S-shaped curve in the middle.

The lengths of the shadow of the ancient sundial on noontime of 24 Solar Terms.

The two colors represent day and night. 


There are cloudy and rainy days in the daytime, hence the black dot on the white side.


At night, there are bright lights of the moon and stars, represented by the black dot on the black side. 

Yin Yang Symbol or the Taijitu

Yin Yang and Taiji in Philosophy

As a philosophical term of both Taois