The Yin Yang spread sheds light on any situation where two parties do not see eye-to-eye on a given issue. These could be any two individuals, groups, organizations, teams or some combination. The parties disagree, but they are not necessarily hostile to each other. They are simply (!) stuck on a problem that needs resolution. The Yin Yang spread is based on the familiar circular symbol made up of two shapes - one black and one white -defined by a central line. In his translation of the I Ching or Book of Changes, Richard Wilhelm states that
With this line, which in itself represents oneness, duality comes into the world, for the line at the same time posits an above and a below, a right and left, front and back - in a word, the world of the opposites.
In a conflict, there are two opposites that together form a whole which is the situation itself. The Yin Yang spread has two sections that correspond to the positions or sides of the conflict (call them Sides "A" and "B"). They mirror each other and are separated by a line of cards.
In this spread, Cards 3-5-7-9 represent Side A, and Cards 4-6-8-10 represent Side B. When the Yin Yang spread is laid out, these cards are placed alternately - one on the left, then one on the right - until all eight have been placed. Before you do a Yin Yang spread you should decide which person or group is Side A and which is Side B. If you are one of the parties, then you should be Side A.
The dividing line is where the opposing positions meet. Cards 1 and 2 define the heart of the matter - the fundamental conflict. These cards describe the dynamic between A and B that has created the specific problem. Card 11 holds the key to the conflict as a whole. It offers guidance to both parties on how to resolve their differences mutually. Card 12 is the projected outcome if matters continue as they are.
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