Megan Project: Ba Gua

Ba Gua

Taoism is both a religion and a philosophy found in China. The overall philosophy of the religion is difficult to explain, but is summarized neatly as the Way, or Tao, which is the central force of connection for all things. Tao is not a god, though there are many gods worshipped in the religion. Both of the pictures above feature a Taoist symbol called the Ba Gua, literally meaning eight symbols. I first saw this symbol when I was driving with my friend. The picture on the left was taken in her car, she had the symbol hanging from her front mirror, but I had never taken detailed notice until then. It looked familiar however I wasn’t sure from where, so I asked her a bit about it. She said it was a Taoist symbol and something her karate instructor had given her, but forgot the exact meaning. Then the next day I realized where I had seen the symbol before. It was on an old necklace of mine that I had never worn because the charm was too heavy. I don’t remember where I bought it from but it was definitely the same symbol that was in my friend’s car. The Ba Gua is a yin-yang sign (meaning balance of dualities) surrounded by eight trigrams. Each trigram represents a different element, relates to the I Ching (one of the oldest Chinese text), and signifies (among other things) different astrological, geological, and familial aspects.

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