Yin Yang: Sacred Polarity and Ways to Use It In Modern Magic
There are seven basic principles of magic, according to the Hermetic tradition. Polarity is one of those principles. The Hermetic principles are, more or less, part of Western magical tradition. Yet the concept of sacred polarity is illustrated in the Eastern concept of Yin and Yang. Two opposite halves make a whole. Two opposites combine to produce life. Here, we take a look at Yin Yang and sacred polarity and teach how you how to use it in modern magical practice.
What is the Yin Yang Concept?
Were you around in the seventies or nineties when the Yin Yang symbol made its way into mainstream fashion and media? The Yin Yang symbol isn’t just a fashion trend, it’s ancient and originates in Eastern mysticism, namely ancient Chinese philosophy. The symbol is a circle split in two parts – one white half and one black. You’ll also see the Yin Yang symbol with white and black contrasting polka dots in each half (the Taichi symbol). This is the more popular symbol in the Western world.
But what does the Yin Yang symbol represent? It is a representation of the concept of duality, which is the same as sacred polarity in the Hermetic principles. What is duality? The idea that everything has a contrasting opposite, and while it’s opposite, the two “halves” work cohesively together to make a “whole”. For example, light and dark. Day and night. Male and female.
How Does the Hermetic Principle of Polarity Relate?
The Hermetic Principle of Polarity is, at its core, the same concept as the Eastern Yin Yang philosophy. That there are two halves, two polar opposites, that fit together to make a whole. Christopher Penczak sums up the principle in these words: “Everything is dual. Everything has poles; everything has it’s pair of opposites. The attraction and repulsion generated by two oppositely charged poles creates a flow of energy.” This is the energy that keeps the Universe moving.
5 Ways to Use Yin Yang Sacred Polarity In Modern Magic
A lot of modern witches, mystics, and magicians get stuck on using one pole, or one side, of sacred polarity. For instance, many modern witches put a heavy emphasis on moon magic and the lunar phases, but tend to leave solar magic or sun cycles out of their practice. Or use it very little. Some practitioners rely heavily on the Divine Feminine or Masculine godhead but not both. And while these things are just as fulfilling, at some point in time, everyone needs to experience both sides of the spectrum to find balance.
1. Sun AND Moon Magic
Yes, it’s wonderful to focus on moon magic. But don’t forget the sun has POWERFUL energy to lend to your rituals, goals, and spiritual experiences. If you find yourself focusing mostly on moon magic, switch it up and do something with the sun’s energy instead. This helps bring balance into your practice. I promise you’ll enjoy it!
2. Goddesses AND Gods
It’s difficult for me to say this, because I tend to rely heavily on the Divine Feminine in my practice. BUT it’s sometimes healthy and empowering to work with the opposite. If you have a goddess that you work with regularly, try learning and working with a god too. Or vice versa. You don’t have to hold the new god/goddess over the other – just try it out and experience the opposite energy.
3. Water AND Fire
Water is feminine, YIN energy, while fire is masculine YANG energy. Do you rely solely on fire magic to fuel your intentions? Do you shy away from water rituals? Now’s the time to dip your toe into the water, so to speak, and harness the energy of these two polar opposite elements. Open up to the magic of water AND fire. Record your experiences!
4. Being Still AND Moving
Many of us perform ritual and cast spells in silence and are often still while we chant, pray and call on the gods and universe. Stillness is in alignment with YIN energy. So think about this – have you ever MOVED during ritual? Movement is Yang energy and could be as simple as drawing symbols in the air with your hands. Or dance your intentions into fruition! Experiment with stillness and movement in ritual and see the difference between the two.
5. Night AND Day
Night, in correspondence with darkness, is Yin while day is Yang. They are polar opposites yet work together to form one full twenty-four-hour “day”. Many magicians enjoy working at night. There’s more of a mystical ambiance, spiritual energies in the air, and who doesn’t love working by candlelight? But have you ever tried working a ritual during the day? Using the energies from both day and night will expand your understanding of sacred polarity and grow your abilities.
More Sacred Polarity Yin Yang Concepts to Embrace
In addition to our suggestions above, explore your own ways of incorporating Yin Yang energies into your magic and life. Here are the other Yin Yang polarities we didn’t mention above:
- Yin: black, shade, negative charge, cold, wetness, autumn and winter, discreet, indirect, soft, flexibility, inactivity, slow, front, left, interior, mental, even numbers, intuition, silence, receptive, death, womb
- Yang: white, light, positive charge, hot, dry, spring and summer, obvious, direct, hard, rigid, active, fast, back, right, exterior, physical, odd numbers, logic, loudness, giving, life, sperm