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The yin-yang tattoos are absolutely classic. It has been a hugely popular design in the tattoo world for many many years. Whilst it’s design is very simple the symbolism is very complex and can be understood differently depending on its orientation and additional decoration.

The Yin-Yang sign is in the foundations of the Taoist philosophy. In Chinese tradition the yin-yang diagram is called Taijitu. The first evidence for its existence is dated back in 1017. As we said, Taijitu is a very complex sign and in the Chinese tradition many variations exist.

yin yang tattoos (10)

The most common western translation of the symbol is total opposition. But this idea is different from the main concept of Taoism. In the Taoist traditions, the Taijitu symbol represents perfect balance. The black and white half circles blending into each other speak for the harmony in our world. Yin-yang is the ideal allegory of existence.

The world is not “black or white”, according to Chinese philosophy. The dots in the sign represent a drop of the opposite, which creates the balance. There is no absolute darkness or absolute light, no absolute good or absolute bad.

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Chinese meanings of yin-yang and yin-yang tattoos

Yin is the darkness, seen as the female beginning, the passive force.  It is an emblem of the night and moon, the winter, and the water. On the opposite side is yang. It is the male beginning, the active force. It is an attribute of fire and sun, day and light, sky and summer. Joint together yin and yang build the universe in its full diversity.

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Yin Yang orientation

Depending on the orientation of the sign it can mean different things. Yin-yang symbol represents the four seasons and the four directions. In Chinese tradition, the main direction is south and it points up. Think of yin and yang as a compass.

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However, the most common version is with yang on the left and yin on the right. Yang is increasing upwards and yin is descending downwards.

Now you know yin yang is not only a pretty design, lets see some great ideas for yin and yang tattoos.

awesome yin yang tattoos (9)

awesome yin yang tattoos (10)

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awesome yin yang tattoos (12)

awesome yin yang tattoos (13)

the best yin yang tattoos (4)

the best yin yang tattoos (5)

the best yin yang tattoos (6)

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