These Yin Yang tattoos have their origins in some of the oldest principles of philosophy and cosmology. First conceptualized around the 3rd century BCE by the Chinese school of Yinyang, the iconic symbol of black and white meeting in a harmonious circle holds great meaning. Unlike the Western thought that the color black symbolizes evil, while white is recognized as good, the Yin Yang upholds that both are equally necessary to achieve balance. In this philosophy of Yin and Yang, opposites are continually attracted to one another and the symbol illustrates how things that seem separate are actually a unified one.
Yin Yang tattoos have been popular for a long time...perhaps seen as a staple of 90's tattooing, along with Chinese and Japanese calligraphy, it is no wonder that people continue to be inspired by the philosophy. Because Yin and Yang are seen as opposites attracted, each one symbolizes something in particular. For example Yin embodies femininity, darkness, earth, even numbers, and the spirit of all things. Yang embodies masculinity, light, heaven, odd numbers, and the form of all things. The myth behind these ultimate creative forces is that they were brought into being during the chaotic birth of the universe. When Yin and Yang came into being, their perfect balance in the cosmos conceived the first human to walk the planet, P’an ku.
In tattooing, symbols are often used and it's always a good idea to know where they come from and what they mean. Some symbols are particular to a philosophy or religion, while some, like the heart shape, are recognized for their meaning worldwide. These Yin Yang tattoos are perfect examples of people getting tattoos because the icon really resonated with the wearer. But, like the Yin Yang dragon body suit by Heng Yue, it's always interesting to see in what ways you can transform an old symbol into contemporary forms!