Religious symbolism of unity of opposites

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Religious symbolism of unity of opposites is the use of symbols, to express that the dualistic nature of the material, having a oneness in its self. The predominant opposites depicted are those of male/female, but can also be light/darkness, heaven/earth, warm/cold. Each symbol may also contain several of these aspects or suggest a sinonym of these aspects.

Religion or philosophy Name Symbol
Buddhism Golden fish pair
Gnosticism Gnostic Ankh[3]
Caduceus[4] (also a symbol of Alchemy and Hermeticism)
Gold and Silver or Sun and Moon (mostly a symbol of Alchemy and Hermeticism)
Sun symbol.svg
Double Ouroboros[5] (also a symbol of Alchemy and Hermeticism)
Hinduism Ardhanari
Connection of nadis at chakras (more specifically solar nadi pingala and lunar nadi ida)[6]
Yogin with six chakras, India, Punjab Hills, Kangra, late 18th century.jpg
Union of Bhairava (Shiva in his terrible form) and Kali
Kali and Bhairava in Union.jpg
SriYantra construct.svg
Judaism Star of David[9]
Black Star of David.svg
Mayas Hunab Ku[10]
Maya calendar (Hunab-Ku).svg
Taoism (Daoism) Yin and yang (Taiji)[11]
Yin yang.svg
Thelema Unicursal Hexagram


  1. ^ Yab-yum on
  2. ^ Sanford, James H. (1991). "Literary Aspects of Japan's Dual-Gaņeśa Cult". In Brown, Robert L. Ganesh : studies of an Asian god. Albany: State University of New York Press. p. 289. ISBN 0791406563. 
  3. ^ Ankh (Crux ansata, Key of Life, Key of the Nile) on
  4. ^ Caduceus (kerykeion) on
  5. ^ Ouroboros on
  6. ^ Ida, Pingala, Sushuma
  7. ^ Shiva Lingam on
  8. ^ Yantra on
  9. ^ Star of David (Magen David, Shield of David) on
  10. ^ Hunab Ku on (via the Internet Archive)
  11. ^ Fang, Tony. "Yin Yang: A New Perspective on Culture". Management and Organization Review 8 (1): 25–50. doi:10.1111/j.1740-8784.2011.00221.x. 

Further reading[edit]