Yin Yang

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Black and white yin yang symbol with a black border along the edge.

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The yin-yang is a symbol dating back to ancient China and was a dominant concept across many Chinese schools of thought. Originally written as separate characters, the first known documentation comes from Oracle Bones, bones and remains of certain animals, most notably tortoise shells, used for divination during the Shang Dynasty in the 14th century BCE. At that time, the characters for yin and yang referred to natural phenomenon, such as the movement of the sun and the phases of the moon. Yin referred to darkness, stillness, and rest, while yang referred to daylight, movement, and work. No one knows the origin of the current popular symbol, but it has come to reflect life and the balance of good and bad. The symbol shows interconnectedness and co-dependence. One cannot exist without the other, for within the light, there is darkness and within the dark, there is light.


Reninger, E., 2019. What Does the Yin-Yang Symbol Mean?. [online] Learn Religions. Available at: <https://www.learnreligions.com/the-yin-yang-symbol-3183206&gt; [Accessed 13 March 2021].

Wang, R., 2021. Yinyang (Yin-yang). [online] Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Available at: <https://iep.utm.edu/yinyang/&gt; [Accessed 13 March 2021].

Catalog ID AR0459