Yin & Yang

Yin & Yang
Chinese philosophy holds that there is a strong life force, called chi (or ki or qui) flows around every living and inanimate object. Chi is generated by the interaction of two opposing primal forces known as yin (feminine) and yang (masculine). Both forms of energy are necessary for life to exist and Chinese philosophers consider the flow of nature and life to be the constant balancing of the yin and yang energies.

In the I Ching the feminine energy yin is symbolized by a short broken line. The masculine energy yang is symbolized by a short unbroken line.


  • A broken line.
  • Earth.
  • Feminine.
  • Passivity.
  • Stillness.
  • Cold.
  • Potential energy.
  • Interior.


  • A solid line.
  • Heaven.
  • Masculine.
  • Activity.
  • Movement.
  • Heat.
  • Full energy.
  • Exterior.


Chinese belief has it that at the beginning of the universe the two primary powers yin and yang interacted and as a result there were four different energy combinations. Each contained either solid or broken lines, or a combination of both. The top line represented heaven and the bottom line represented Earth. At a later date a third line was added to give the more recognizable form of the trigrams that go to form the hexagrams of the I Ching that we know today. These three lines represent the trinity of cosmic unity between Heaven, earth and humanity and are known as the san cai.