Fast Facts on: Gaia

The Greek goddess of the Earth

greek goddess gaia
••• A 1st Century Roman bust of the earth-goddess Gaia. Courtesy of The Walters Art Museum

Gaia's Appearance: A beautiful and voluptuous woman. Sometimes she is shown as half-buried in the earth.

Symbol or Attributes of Gaia: The earth. Fruits.

Gaia's Strengths: She is a primal mother goddess, complete in herself.

Gaia's Weaknesses: She brought forth from her own body Uranus, to be her companion. This turned out to be a mixed blessing.

Gaia's Parents: None. She is "born" of Chaos, but this not really a birth; as Chaos receded, Gaia came into being.

Gaia's Spouse: Uranus; then Tartarus, Pontus

Children of Gaia: Oceanus, Coeus, Crius, the Titans Hyperion and Iapetus, Theia, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Tethys, Cronus or Kronos, and the Python of Delphi, among hundreds of others.

Some Major Temple Sites of Gaia: She was usually worshiped in the open or in caves. Delphi was probably one of her main sites in very early times.

Gaia's Basic Story: Gaia was the first deity, from whom all others sprang. But Uranus, her first creation, was lusty and cruel to Gaia. Gaia persuaded her other children to help her subdue their father. Cronus, her son, took a flint sickle and castrated his father, throwing his severed organs into the great sea. The goddess Aphrodite was then born of the mixing of the blood and foam. Gaia went on to have children with other mates.

Frequent Misspellings and Alternate Spellings: Gaea, Gaya, Ge, Gea. The goddess Rhea is sometimes considered to be similar to or another form of Gaea.

Interesting Facts about Gaia:The Greeks believed that an oath sworn by Gaia was the strongest, since no one could escape from the Earth herself.

In modern times, some earth scientists use the term "Gaia" to mean the complete living planet itself, as a complex organism.

More Fast Facts on Greek Gods and Goddesses:

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