Taijitu is a symbol representing the religious and philosophical tradition of Taoism (also called
Daoism). The term means a ‘diagram of the supreme ultimate’ and it refers to the famous
Chinese concept of yin and yang, of opposites existing in complete harmony.
The Taijitu symbol consists of two (one black and one white) swirling ‘tear drop’ shapes that
fit within each other to form a perfect circle. Each figure contains a part of the other, so that
there is a black dot in the white half of the circle and a white dot in the black portion. These
seemingly opposing, but complementary halves make a whole and thus, are incomplete
without each other.
The dark or shady side represents Yin and the white or sunny side represents Yang. Yin is
associated with femininity, earth, water, moon and nighttime and is considered passive, cold,
soft, yielding and wet. Meanwhile, Yang is associated with masculinity, sin, fire, sky and daytime
and is considered aggressive, hot, hard and dry. The white symbolizes delusion and black
The idea conveyed by the Taijitu symbol is that everything exists in duality, which is the
foundational aspect of nature. The concept of good cannot be there without the corresponding
concept of bad. Men and women, right and wrong, light and darkness, positive and negative,
hot and cold, day and night, and all the other contrasting elements are inter-dependent and
cannot exist in isolation.
In a way, the swirling motion suggested by the Taijitu symbol also describes the divine circle of
life. The world changes constantly and moves forward in distinct cycles, where the day turns
into night and the night leads on to another day, every birth ends in death and death leads to