After a quote from Aonuma during E3, I began to investigate, since in simple terms, the quote made no sense whatsoever, the findings of that investigation, was that the Triforce and the Golden Goddesses have high influences coming from the ancient modality of philosophical thought known as Taoism. Here I will present or theorize, depending on how you desire to see it, the findings of this investigation and its connection to The Legend of Zelda series, specifically to the Golden Goddesses and the Triforce. Though of course, this investigation was also done to expand my knowledge of the theme, since while theorizing, I mainly work on theories of the Hylian Pantheon and its relics, so having more knowledge on the influences that leaded to them is always of importance.
So now that is out of the way, let us begin, first we will look at the heads of the Hylian Pantheon themselves, the Golden Goddesses:
~ Hyrule Creation Mythos ~
The relation of Taiosm and the Golden Goddesses can be found in the Three Pure Ones, them also being the highest gods in the Taoist pantheon. Each one of this Pure Ones, attributed something to the creation of the world, and they were manifestations of the Tao itself. Just like the Golden Goddesses, they are connected to the three colors from which all others come, Red, Blue, and Yellow, the latter is also usually represented by the color Green. Though the deeper connections with Taoism become clearer as we look deeper into both creation mythos.
First, we have Yuánshǐ Tiānzūn, he created the universe from the chaos and void that used to be in place before, he is usually shown wearing the color blue. We then have Lingbao Tianzun, who separated Yang from Yin, and gave the world the Law of Things giving it order, he is represented by the color red. Finally, we have Daode Tianzun, who spreaded Tao to all Mankind and who would preach the Law to all living beings, he is represented by the color Yellow or Green. This is quite similar to the creation mythos of Hyrule, where first we have Din, the Goddess of Power, which with her fiery arms sculpted the red earth in the chaos that was Hyrule, while nowaday she is represented by the color red, in ALttP, the Pendant of Power was represented by the color blue. Then we have Nayru, Goddess of Wisdom, who pourted her knowledge into the world and gave the spirit of law into the world, she nowaday is represented by the color blue, but in ALttP, the Pendant of Wisdom was represented by the color red. Finally, we have Farore, who let her spirit fall into the land, bringing forth all the beings that would uphold the Law, she is usually represented by the color Green. Slowly the relation of the Three Pure Ones and the Golden Goddesses can be seen, specially with a very similar creation mythos. Which can suggest a high influence from Taoism when it came to the creation mythos of Hyrule, it being quite clear in ALttP, when DIn and Power were represented by blue, while Nayru and Wisdom, with Red, as their counterparts in the Taoist pantheon.
Though of course, the influences do not end here, the next influence can be seen in the Triforce and its wielders:
~ The Three Pure Ones ~
~ The Three Pure Ones ~
~ The Triforce in the Sacred Realm ~
First, lets look at the Triforce and the Tao. The Tao is sometimes seen from a cosmological and roughly thought, as the flow of the Universe or that which maintains it in order, a essence that maintains the Universe. This influence can be recently seen in A Link Between Worlds, where the Triforce is not only shown to be a sacred objext that grants wishes, but also its presence is what maintains the world in order, and without it, it will crumble back into chaos, as shown in the world of Lorule. The Triforce, just like the Tao, is also connected to the essential energy of action and existance, the qi or ch'i from the PoV of Taoism, or the Force from the PoV. The Tao in other cases, is also seen as the natural way of the Universe or a way to lead mankind to the rightous path it must take, a way to enlightment. This may have some relation to the legend that if one with a rightous heart obtains the Triforce, Hyrule will enter a golden era, but with a dualistic approach added into it, with the addment that if one with a evil heart where to obtain it, Hyrule would fall into chaos and darkness. The Triforce being the equivalent of the Tao in the Zelda series can also be seen in the ones who hold the Triforce pieces when it splits, and what Aonuma calls the balance of the Triforce, composed by Link, Zelda, and Ganon.
The Tao is composed or explained by the relation of three forces, the first is the Wu, which is the emptyness and void that plagues the world, then comes the Yang, the male, and Yin, the female. This relation of the forces tha form Tao can be seen in the so called balance of hte Triforce, where the Triforce pieces are divided between 3 people. First, the incarnation of Demise's Hatred, which many believe to be the incarnation of the chaos that once abounded Hyrule, the incarnation of the chaos and void that Hyrule once was, there us having our wielder of the ToP, the incarnation of Demise's Hatred, of the Wu, Ganon. Then we have the Princess of Hyrule herself, the Yin or female, and finally we have the Hero of Hyrule, the Yang or male. The relation of the principles that form Tao can also be seen in the relation of the 3 wielders that sooner or later will reunite the Triforce.
The Tao, the energy that maintains the universe and is a path to lead mankind down the rightous path, a relation between Wu, Yin, and Yang, and the Triforce, the relic that maintains the world from succumbing into chaos, and if to fall into the correct hands it will lead Hyrule into a golden and prosper era, and when divided, the relation between the incarnation of Demise's Hatred, Zelda, and Link will bring it back together once more.
A relation and influence are of course seen, in the same way as the relation of the Goddesses to the Three Pure Ones and the respective creation mythos, showing that the Triforce and the Golden Goddesses were very probably influenced by the Tao and the Three Pure Ones. A clear part of the connection being seeing in ALttP, when even the color akin to the Goddesses were the same as that to the Pure One they were most surely influenced by. And while many creation mythos are similar, and 3 seems to be a sacred number as it is heavily present in many religions, the basis for our Golden Goddesses, the Triforce, and the relation that will bring it back together if ever splitted.