Gaia Mythology


In Greek mythology, Gaia (/ˈɡ.ə/ or /ˈɡ.ə/ from Ancient Greek Γαῖα, a poetical form of Γῆ , “land” or “earth”), also spelled Gaea, is the personification of the Earth and one of the Greek primordial deities.

Gaia is the ancestral mother of all life: the primal Mother Earth goddess. She is the immediate parent of Uranus (the sky), from whose sexual union she bore the Titans (themselves parents of many of the Olympian gods) and the Giants, and of Pontus (the sea), from whose union she bore the primordial sea gods. Her equivalent in the Roman pantheon was Terra.  (

GAIA: Mother Earth, Mother Nature

The first Greek god was actually a goddess. She is Gaia, or Mother Earth, who created herself out of primordial chaos. From her fertile womb all life sprang, and unto Mother Earth all living things must return after their allotted span of life is over. Gaia, as Mother Nature, personifies the entire ecosystem of Planet Earth.

Mother Nature is always working to achieve and maintain harmony, wholeness and balance within the environment. Mother Nature heals, nurtures and supports all life on this planet, and ultimately all life and health depend on Her. In time, Nature heals all ills.

The way of Mother Gaia is the passive, feminine, Yin way of healing. All we need to do to regain our health is to return to the bosom of Mother Nature and live in accordance with Her laws. The Gaia archetype underlies all notions of the Nature Cure. Mother Nature is a healing goddess.

In the 1960s, James Lovelock formulated the Gaia hypothesis. It states that all life, and all living things on this planet, are part of a single, all-encompassing global entity or consciousness which he named Gaia. It is this global consciousness, Mother Gaia, that makes our planet capable of supporting life, while our near neighbors in the solar system are barren and lifeless.

Through the global consciousness of Mother Gaia, all living things on this planet, from their most primordial instincts, are constantly interacting with their environment to ensure the harmony, balance and continuity of Life. Live in a balance with Mother Nature and health and healing are yours; violate Her laws and get out of balance, and you pay the price in suffering and disease. In this sense, all medicine and healing can be seen as a system of ecology.  (


The concept of Gaia as earth goddess has been revived in New Age ecological and mystical beliefs. On September 6, 1970, Otter G’Zell, founder of the Church of All Worlds, one of the early modern Neo-Pagan organizations, had a vision of the unity of the Earth’s planetary biosphere—a single organism. He shared the vision with other church members and wrote about it in 1971 in the periodical he edited, The Green Egg.

Atmospheric biochemist James E. Lovelock had a very similar idea at somewhat the same time and through his books Gaia (1979) and The Ages of Gaia (1988) emerged as the leading proponent of this modern Gaia hypothesis of the earth as a living organism. His books propose a dynamic interaction between life and environment, with earth regulating life, and life regulating earth, virtually a single self-regulating entity.

The controversial aspect of Lovelock’s concept is the extent the earth may be regarded as a living organism in which life and environment form one dynamic interacting whole. Although not unsympathetic to modern environmentalism, Love-lock proposes a broader frame of reference, and in The Ages of Gaia states: “At the risk of having my membership card of the Friends of the Earth withdrawn, I say that only by pollution do we survive. We animals pollute the air with carbon dioxide, and the vegetation pollutes it with oxygen. The pollution of one is the meat of the other.”

The Gaia hypothesis has stimulated New Age and Neo-Pagan veneration of Gaia as a living earth goddess and become an integral part of the revival of goddess worship in the last two decades.  (


The Gaia hypothesis (/ˈɡ.ə/ GYE/ˈɡ.ə/ GAY), also known as the Gaia theory or the Gaia principle, proposes that organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a synergistic self-regulating, complex system that helps to maintain and perpetuate the conditions for life on the planet. Topics of interest include how the biosphere and the evolution of life forms affect the stability of global temperature, ocean salinity, oxygen in the atmosphere, the maintenance of a hydrosphere of liquid water and other environmental variables that affect the habitability of Earth.

The hypothesis was formulated by the chemist James Lovelock and co-developed by the microbiologistLynn Margulis in the 1970s. The hypothesis was initially criticized for being teleological, and contradicting principles of natural selection, but later refinements aligned the Gaia hypothesis with ideas from fields such as Earth system science, biogeochemistry and systems ecology, with Lovelock referring to the “geophysiology” of the Earth.

Even so, the Gaia hypothesis continues to attract criticism, and today some scientists consider it to be only weakly supported by, or at odds with, the available evidence. In 2006, the Geological Society of London awarded Lovelock the Wollaston Medal in part for his work on the Gaia hypothesis. (