Areas of Influence: The Greek Goddess of the Earth was called Gaia or Gaeo. In the Greek creation myth she was formed out of chaos to become the Earth. Gaia therefore represents the primal earth Goddess through whom the whole universe was created. She was the ultimate personification of Mother Nature. Gaia was also linked to the art of prophecy, responsible for the original oracle at Delphi before Apollo took over.
Gaia’s Children: The Greek Goddess of the Earth was lonely so she created from within her body, Pontus (the Sea) and Uranus (the Sky God). With her first husband, Uranus, she had many children including the original twelve Titan Gods and Goddesses: Oceanus, Coeus, Crius, Hyperion, Lapetus, Theia, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Tethys and Cronus. The couple also produced the Erinyes, Cyclops and the three monsters known as the Hecatoncheires.
Cronus, the youngest Titan God, castrated and killed his father with a stone sickle. This was at the request of Gaia, as she was worried that her jealous and fearful husband would harm their children. As Uranus died the Gigantes were formed where his blood touched the earth.
Gaia remarried and with her new husband, Pontus, gave birth to: Nerus, Thaumas, Phorrcys, Ceto and Eurybia.
Gaia's Popularity: After the war, the Titans were overthrown by the Olympian Gods and Gaia's popularity began to wane. Some of her attributes were taken over by Rhea and Demeter. However, the Greek people continued to make offerings of barley and corn cakes and swore their sacred most oaths using her name.
In modern times her popularity has enjoyed a renaissance due to the scientist James Lovelock and his "Gaia hypothesis." In this theory Gaia the earth is viewed as a holistic self-regulating organism.
Roman Equivalent: Terra
Symbolism: Gaia Goddess of the Earth is often Depicted as a matronly woman or with the top of her body appearing out of the Earth. In some images she is also shown reclining, surrounded by infant Gods and Goddesses.
The Mother is a life-giver and the source of nurturing, devotion, patience and unconditional love. The ability to forgive and provide for her children and put them before herself is the essence of a good mother.
The Greek Goddess of the Earth is the first mother and founding ancestor of all the Greek Gods and Goddesses. She is very protective of her off-spring and plots with Cronus to kill her husband when he cruelly imprisons her youngest children.
It is not necessary to be a biological mother to have this Archetype. It can refer to anyone who has a lifelong pattern of nurturing and devotion to living things.
You are exhibiting the features of the shadow Mother if you smother your children and are over protective.
Encourage independence and allow children to make mistakes but be available to give care and advice when it's needed.
Call upon the great fertility Goddess if you are trying to get pregnant or want to benefit from the wisdom of the Greek Goddess of the Earth.