Feng Shui- Yin and Yang
Yin originally meant "shady, secret, dark, mysterious, cold." It thus could mean
the shaded, north side of a mountain or the shaded, south bank of a river. Yang
in turn meant "clear, bright, the sun, heat," the opposite of yin and so the lit,
south side of a mountain or the lit, north bank of a river. From these basic opposites,
a complete system of opposites was elaborated.
Yin represents everything about the world that is dark, hidden, passive, receptive,
yielding, cool, soft, and feminine.
Yang represents everything about the world that is illuminated, evident, active,
aggressive, controlling, hot, hard, and masculine. Everything in the world can be
identified with either yin or yang. Earth is the ultimate yin object. Heaven is
the ultimate yang object. Of the two basic Chinese "Ways," Confucianism is identified
with the yang aspect, Taoism with the yin aspect.
Although it is correct to see yin as feminine and yang as masculine, everything
in the world is really a mixture of the two, which means that female beings may
actually be mostly yang and male beings may actually be mostly yin. Because of that,
things that we might expect to be female or male because they clearly represent
yin or yang, may turn out to be the opposite instead.