Astoria Brown Psychic Readings
The concept of Yin and Yang originates in ancient Chinese philosophy and metaphysics, which describes two primal opposing but complementary forces found in all things in the universe. Yin, the darker element, is passive, dark, feminine, downward-seeking, and corresponds to the night; Yang, the brighter element, is active, light, masculine, upward-seeking and corresponds to the day. 

The pair probably goes back to ancient agrarian religion; it exists in Confucianism, and it is prominent in Taoism. Though the words Yin and Yang only appear once in the Daode Jing, the book is laden with examples and clarifications of the concept of mutual arising. 

Yin and Yang are descriptions of complementary opposites rather than absolutes. Any Yin/Yang dichotomy can be seen as its opposite when viewed from another perspective. The categorization is seen as one of convenience. Most forces in nature can be broken down into their respective Yin and Yang states, and the two are usually in movement rather than held in absolute stasis. 

Yin and Yang are descriptions of complementary opposites rather than absolutes. Any Yin/Yang dichotomy can be seen as its opposite when viewed from another perspective. The categorization is seen as one of convenience. Most forces in nature can be broken down into their respective Yin and Yang states, and the two are usually in movement rather than held in absolute stasis. 

The meaning of the characters for Yin and Yang, necessarily, has more than just one connotation. Because Yang means "sunny", it corresponds to the day and more active functions. Whereas Yin, meaning "shady", corresponds to night and less active functions. Yin and Yang can be compared in the chart to the right. 

It is also possible to look at Yin and Yang with respect to the flow of time. Noon, is full Yang, sunset is Yang turning to Yin; midnight is full Yin and sunrise is Yin turning to Yang. This flow of time can also be expressed in seasonal changes and directions. South and summer are full Yang; west and autumn are Yang turning to Yin; north and winter are full Yin, and east and spring are Yin turning over to Yang. 

Yin and Yang can also be seen as a process of transformation which describes the changes between the phases of a cycle. For example, cold water (Yin) can be boiled and eventually turn into steam (Yang). 

One way to write the symbols for Yin and Yang are a solid line (Yin) and a broken line (Yang) which could be divided into the four stages of Yin and Yang and further divided into the eight trigrams (these trigrams are used on the South Korean flag). Yin and Yang are equally important, unlike the typical dualism of good and evil.
Taoists say, "All 'things' exist as a contrast of opposites. We call these opposites Yin and Yang. We cannot conceive of these opposites independent of each other." A Taoist asks the question, "Which is more fundamental to create a room: the walls or the space inside?" Surely both the solid walls and the empty space are equally necessary to form a room. They define each other. Without walls, the space inside is part of all space and cannot be distinguished. Without the space inside, it would make no sense to call what remains walls because it would just be a solid block. 

Taoists say that opposites define each other. The very words we use to describe things have no meaning without their opposites. The meaning of words like "big," "bright," and "hot" are defined by their opposites of "small," "dark," and "cold." Taoists refer to these opposing qualities as Yin and Yang. Here are a few examples of Yin and Yang: 

The Yang of an object is everything perceived by the senses.
The Yin of an object is everything the hidden from the senses.
Yang things are bright, warm, soft, moving and changing.
Yin things are dark, cold, hard, solid and unchanging.
The epitome of Yang is a warm, bright, open hilltop.
The epitome of Yin is a cool, dark, hidden cave.
The sunny side of a hill is Yang, the shaded side is Yin.
Anything closer to Heaven is Yang.
Anything closer to Earth is Yin.

Everything is Relative

When we use the terms Yin and Yang, we must bear in mind that they are relative terms, not absolutes. We could say the walls of our room are Yin because they are solid and the space inside is Yang because it is empty. But we could also say the walls are Yang because they are directly perceived and the space is Yin because we cannot directly perceive it.

 Context is everything when using the words Yin and Yang. 
Opposite elements in the universe interact in a perfect balance. In the yin-yang symbol, both light and dark are contained in one circle, thus showing that both powers are within one cycle and are mutually interdependent. Opposite elements are always present, and one cannot exist without the other.

The yin-yang symbol has its roots in the ancient Chinese view of nature's cycles, and originally represented aspects of the mountains. "Yin" represents the female or shaded slope of the mountain, including the earth and valleys, darkness, the moon, honor, and peace. "Yang" represents the male or sunlit slopes, as well as heaven, sun, light, vigor, and activity.

The terms "male" and "female" do not indicate the genders of human beings, animal and plant life, or even an object. Instead, the terms describe masculine or feminine attributes that are found in all things, and each trait contains a portion of its opposing force. The yin and yang are not judgmental, and do not represent good and evil. 

Today, the yin-yang philosophy emphasizes a dynamic balance in human life. As people strive to harmonize opposing forces within their minds and bodies, they can become at peace with themselves. 
Yin, yang, and the Dao convey the most profound cultural expressions of the forces that guide the cosmic journey.  Shaped by thousands of years of observing and following her cycles, those expressions evolved from myths, rituals, and divination into poetic and practical expositions of how to enact nature’s balance.  Shamans, farmers, healers and sages all recognized the primacy of nature’s ebb and flow, forces that became known as yin and yang.  Yin, the dark, receptive, feminine principle represents earth, softness, spontaneity, and nature’s chaotic, mysterious essence.  It interacts with yang, the light, assertive, masculine power that reflects the sun and heavens, hardness, control, and order.  Their interdependence ordains that—as the Yijing asserts—whenever a thing reaches an extreme, it reverts toward its opposite.  Rain falls when clouds absorb too much moisture, day peaks and turns toward night, and decaying matter gives birth to new life.  The steady sway between opposing yet complementary forces reveals the Dao.

The Character for “Dao” originally depicted a traveler and a path and gradually came to mean the way or force that guides the universe.  Perhaps the most prominent character in the Chinese language, Dao refers to “ways” in general, whether streets, disciplines, doctrines, or systems.  The first known inscription of Dao stems from bronze vessels of the Early or Western Zhou Dynasty (c. 1100-771 BCE) when the character contained three radicals—a human head, human feet, and a crossroad—which might have meant a tribal chief or walking into a crossroad.  By the sixth century BCE, the character was simplified to two radicals that symbolized a human head and running, which probably referred to a pathfinder, leader, and/or walking the way of wisdom.  The Dao’s philosophical meaning may have been recorded first in the Great Commentary (an appendix to the Yijing), which calls it the force that “lets now the dark, now the light appear.”  By the advent of Daojia or Contemplative Daoism, Dao became “the Way” that cannot be named.

The first record of the terms “yin” and “yang” also derives from the Western Zhou, when the ideogram for yang represented the sun and sunbeams and the character yin comprised a sun and clouds.  They referred to the sunny and shady sides of mountains and rivers, respectively.  By the writing of the Daode jing the terms were identified as cosmic principles.  In verse 42, they are aligned with the concept of qi: “All beings carry yin and embrace yang, and blending the vital force [qi] of each creates harmony” (translated freely).  

The vital energy or “breath” of nature, qi moves through circulatory systems such as blood streams and air currents in patterns of varying degrees of yin and yang intensity.  Originally associated with ancestor spirits, qi became renowned as the force that runs through the dragon veins—a still extant metaphor for the earth’s meridian lines—that connect the sky with mountains, valleys, and rivers.  Through stars and canyons to hearts and fingers, its movement is harmonious when flowing in a balanced manner and unhealthy when blocked or coursing in an unbalanced way.  Balancing the yin and yang of qi connects age-old practices involving nutrition and medicine, meditation and taiji, fengshui and acupuncture, and calligraphy and painting—all of which compose a singular yet multifarious earth wisdom tradition.

That monolithic tradition is unique to the planet.  Extant aboriginal traditions may be as old, but none has developed in such an unequivocal manner, replete with a unified language, culture, and worldview.  Wrapped in shamanic practices, religious rituals, artistic activities, and philosophical concepts, the Daoist understanding of nature’s balance could serve as a model for Western culture as a whole.

The delicate BALANCE of all things