by Stefan Stenudd
Yin and Yang
The Polar Opposites of Ancient Chinese Cosmology
In I Ching, the ceaseless change is caused by the dynamics between yin and yang, the polar opposites of ancient Chinese cosmology. Yang stands for heaven and Yin for earth. Light and dark, warm and cold, and so on. Anything in the universe bascially consists of these opposites, and the balance or imbalance between them.
If so, that can also explain the principle that neither Yin nor Yang is ever in a completely pure state. There's always some Yin in Yang and vice versa, like the trunk of a tree gets some light also on the north side and occasional shade on its south.
The famous image symbolizing Yin and Yang shows it by the white dot in the black field and the black one in the white field, as can be seen on the image above (a drawing I made long ago with brush and ink, in the Eastern fashion).
This image is called T'ai chi (or Taiji), The Supreme Ultimate. The grand name is because the symbol shows the inner workings of everything in the cosmos — the dynamics between Yin and Yang.
In I Ching, Yin and Yang are represented in a very basic way, by a line that's either solid or broken. The solid line represents Yang, and the broken one Yin:
These are combined into eight trigrams (three lines each), which are then combined into the 64 possible hexagrams. Here are the eight trigrams:
The eight trigrams.
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I CHING Hexagrams
The 64 hexagrams and their meanings in divination.
I CHING Trigrams
The eight trigrams and how they combine into the hexagrams.
YIN and YANG
The basic polar opposites of the I Ching explained.
I CHING Books
A few of the English versions of The Book of Change reviewed.
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Taoism, the old Chinese philosophy of life, based on Tao, the Way. Also, the complete Tao Te Ching translated and explained.
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Free online reading with the old Tarot deck of divination cards. Also, how to use the Tarot and what each card means.
How predictions are made by classical astrology and the full horoscope chart, with many examples.
Qi Energy Exercises
The ancient Chinese life energy qi (chi) explained, with simple instructions on how to exercise it.
I'm a Swedish author and aikido instructor. In addition to fiction, I've written books about Taoism as well as other East Asian traditions. I'm also a historian of ideas, researching ancient thought and mythology. Click the image to get to my personal website.