From Wuji to Taiji
The principle of yin and yang is fundamental in feng shui. This is one of the most important concepts in my Feng Shui glossary!
Taoists believe that we come from a great void (wuji) from which everything emerges. Wuji is considered the source of all creation, it is represented by an empty circle, it is the initial state.
But the circle is full of potential: it contains two energetic polarities, which, when they move and meet, generate all the forces of life. The interaction between these two poles is called Taiji.
I am going a bit fast in describing this concept of Chinese philosophy, because it is said that there are 7 steps to go from the empty circle to the “10,000 beings”.
In the Book of the Way and Virtue, Lao Tzu tells us:
“The Tao produced one,
one produced two,
two produced three
three produced all beings.
All beings flee from stillness and seek movement.
An immaterial breath forms the harmony”.
This passage describes the passage from nothingness to the present world. It indicates that a third component, a moving force, an interaction, is needed to create life. This is Taiji.
The Taiji symbol represents the eternal interaction between yin and yang.
Yin (the black part) is the symbol of the feminine, but also of the earth, the moon, the cold, the calm, the creativity…
Yang (the white part) is the symbol of the masculine, but also of the sky, summer, heat, movement…
Everything seeks the balance of these two forces to find harmony.
They are separated by a curved line, which shows both that their relationship is harmonious but that everything remains in motion, nothing is completed. This is the perpetual movement of nature. The white point in the yin shows an intelligent consciousness, the small seed of the yang. And vice versa.
Yin and Yang represent the two opposing forces of the chi of the universe. They are the two aspects of everything: no light without darkness, no cold without heat, no male without female. Yin and Yang are complementary and interdependent. Each gives life to the other.
Yin and Yang balance
In feng shui, we will study if the two forces Yin and Yang are in harmony, i.e. if they are well in balance. We will therefore measure the proportion of yin and yang around and in the house, as they do not bring the same type of energy.
Outside, the energy will not be the same between a house in Sologne, near a pond and a forest, a chalet in the mountains or a house in a residential area of Paris.
Inside, the rooms themselves, the furniture, the objects have their own energy, which can be either yin or yang.
An object, an element, a place, is always yin or yang in relation to another: running water is yin in relation to an ice cube, but it is yang in relation to steam. It is the comparison that defines the yin or yang quality of the object.
Yin and Yang at home
This principle is applied to the rooms in a house: there are yin rooms and yang rooms. To analyse the balance, the surface areas of the yin rooms can be added up and compared to the total surface area represented by the yang rooms.
The yang rooms will generally be the “day” rooms, where there is more activity: entrance, living room, office…
The yin rooms will be the rooms where one seeks calm and rest: bedroom, bathroom…
But be careful, nothing is definitive! Depending on the time of day, a yang room can become yin: wouldn’t that be the case if you dim the lights to sit quietly in the cosy armchair in your living room?
Yin and Yang for furniture and objects
After having analysed the Yin / Yang proportion in the rooms of the house, the Feng Shui expert will then look at the balance within each room.
It is known that in order to promote the circulation of energy (Chi), the room should not be cluttered with too much furniture or bulky objects. The size of the furniture should be in proportion to the size of the room. This sounds so obvious, but in many homes this balance is not respected. This is particularly true in cities or regions where square metres are precious: living areas are getting smaller and smaller, but people are consuming more and more, so they buy extra storage furniture…
In a “balanced” living room, we choose a small and light coffee table opposite a large sofa, we hang the television on the wall to ventilate the floor space, etc.
Some objects are, by their nature, more yang than yin: TV, computer, halogen lamp… Their use is therefore not recommended in yin areas.
For example, a brightly lit room with a brightly coloured bed linen set, a TV on the wall and a table with a computer in the corner is too yang. Ideally, the computer should be moved to another room.
Yin and Yang and the occupants of a place
The feng shui expert will finally try to harmonise the yin/yang of the rooms with the occupants of the premises.
Are you a young dynamic executive, with 3 body fit training sessions per week? Your environment is probably yang, in your image. To allow you to recharge your batteries, a few yin elements could restore the balance: soft curtains, soft carpets, subdued lighting…
Are you in your sixties, a little tired, with joints that stick? Your interior is probably rather yin, hushed and calm. Perhaps a bit of yang colour (yellow, red) or some new ambient lighting would be welcome to give you a bit of a boost?
These are just two examples but of course there are no truths, there are no definitive rules. It is, once again, a question of balance and appreciation. If it were that simple, no one would make a mistake in planning and there would be no need for an expert 🙂