Daoist Cosmology

Get a quick understanding of Daoist Cosmology!


All cause and effect is due to the Dao, the Way. The Way can be explained as the reason or cause of everything which followed.

Before Dao there was: Wu-wu (Not Nothing).
With Dao there was: Wu Ji (No Limit).
From Wu Ji, evolved Hun Tun (Chaos).
In Hun Tun, Tai Ji (Great Pole) became the first fixed point in space and time.
From Tai Ji came the Tai Yi (Great Change)
Tai Yi went through two stages...
  1. Tai Chu (Great First)
    • has Xing (Form)
  2. Tai Shi (Great Beginning)
    • has Qi (Breath)

Xing and Qi combined to create...
  • Tai Su (Great Primordial)
    • has Zhi (Substance)

The first substances has Yin and Yang. All things terrestrial and celestial fall into one of five groups, the Wu Xing (Five Elements). The five elements are...
  1. Wood
  2. Fire
  3. Earth
  4. Metal
  5. Water
The five elements are usually in a state of flux. They can be arranged in a number of sequences, but the two usually encountered are the productive sequence and the destructive sequence.

  • Productive sequence
    • Wood burns, creating...
    • Fire leaves ashes, creating...
    • Earth contains ore, creating...
    • Metal melts, creating...
    • Water nourishes plant life, creating (back to Wood)...
  • Destructive sequence
    • Wood draws strength from, destroying...
    • Earth pollutes, destroying...
    • Water puts out, destroying...
    • Fire melts, destroying...
    • Metal chops down, destroying (back to Wood)...
The five elements are also used to symbolize different things...
  • Wood
    • Direction: East
    • Season: Spring
    • Color: Green
  • Fire
    • Direction: South
    • Season: Summer
    • Color: Red
  • Earth
    • Direction: Center
    • Season: None
    • Color: Yellow
  • Metal
    • Direction: West
    • Season: Autumn
    • Color: White
  • Water
    • Direction: North
    • Season: Winter
    • Color: Black

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