Being a woman…

While the world is celebrating Women today, let’s have a closer look at what it is to be a woman, not just today, but from a more universal, timeless perspective. What does it mean today and what has it always meant, over centuries and even millennia?

Chinese ancient wisdom, and in particular the principles contained in the Yijing (or I-Ching or Book of Change) can help us throw light on this.

Yin and Yang

Although now part of Western vocabulary, the terms Yin and Yang are not necessarily well understood. It takes stepping out of a western mind’s comfort zone to grasp them fully. It takes venturing outside of a Cartesian world ruled by logic and straight lines, and entering a world defined by complementary opposites, where fullness is viewed in relation to emptiness, where sound is defined in relation to silence, etc.

If you have time, take a peak at this video, it might help you get a better understanding (ted video yin and yang).

The Feminine – The Yin

YIN is by definition the Feminine as opposed to Yang being the Masculine. They are opposite and complementary polarities and therefore always have to be discussed one in relation to the other.

If we look at Hexagramme 2 of the Yijing. It is composed exclusively of broken lines (“yin” lines), as opposed to Hexagramme 1 which is composed exclusively of plain lines “yang” lines.


Hexagramme 2 represents the Feminine as opposed to Hexagramme 1 which represents the Masculine.

Hexagramme 2 is also called “The Receptive” and Hexagramme 1 “The Creative”.


According to the Ancient Chinese, “Receptivity” is what defines the Feminine. It is associated to the Earth element.

The Yin (the feminine) has all the attributes of the Earth.

The Earth is the element which receives everything, all beings, plants, natural phenomena, without discrimination. Everything grows from it. Even the West refer to it as “Mother Earth”. It goes to show how the Earth is universally viewed as the matrix of the world, of all living things, like a mother, like a woman.

In our modern societies, this attribute has not been much valued so far, however, this receptivity is extremely powerful and healing.

What is a Receptive (feminine) behaviour?

The creative (masculine-yang) is the force that will make things happen if the receptive (feminine-yin) is in place, open, ready to welcome whatever comes.Click To Tweet

As far as human behaviour is concerned, whether you are a man or a woman, being receptive means :

  • being free-flowing, open to change
  • being humble
  • letting go of things which are not of essential importance
  • cultivate inner strength rather than outer display of force
  • being non discriminatory
  • being compassionate, open to others acting a different way, thinking differently
  • learning how to be in the background and not in the limelight
  • limiting overthinking, talking and planning, being open and therefore able to notice opportunities and act spontaneously
  • “nourishing” ourselves and others with positive thoughts

Of course, these principles apply even more if you are a woman. In this competitive modern world, never forget that coming back to the qualities described above can take you further than trying to copy the qualities pertaining to the masculine pole (yang).

Can you relate to this?

Or does it trigger disturbing feelings, questions, doubts?

I would love you to share what you feel.

Happy Women’s Day to all Women and all Men willing to develop their feminine part.

In Yin there is always some Yang and in Yang there is always some Yin.

If you look at the Taiji symbol below, you will notice that the yin part (black) has a white spot in it and the yang part (white) has a black spot in it (yin).


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