What are the Symbols of Taoism?
Name: Yin-Yang or Taijtu
The yin-yang (Taijitu) symbol 太極圖 is one of the most common Taoist symbols. Most of the time, this symbol represents two opposing and complementary forces that make up all phenomena of life. Most Taoist organizations display the yin-yang in some way. This symbol is also very common among all Chinese religious faiths.
The other often-displayed symbol in Taoism is called the Eight Trigrams, also known as the Bagua 八卦. This symbol represents the fundamental principles of reality. Starting at the top of the symbol and moving left, they are: heaven/sky (12:00 o'clock), lake/marsh, fire (9:00 o'clock), thunder, wind (6:00 o'clock), water, mountain (3:00 o'clock), and earth.
Name: Chinese Character for "Tao"
Certain animals are often incorporated into Taoism imagery, such as dragons and lions. These depictions represent protection and so are usually found at sacred places.
Name: The Big Dipper
These seven bright stars of Ursa Major, commonly known as the Big Dipper, have been tradtionally used as a symbol in Chinese religion, including Taoism. During the Shang Dynasty (cr. 1,600-1,000 B.C.), the Big Dipper was considered a deity, and in later dynasties it has been venerated as well.
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