Goddess Gaia – The story of Mother Earth in Greek Mythology

Goddess Gaia is the primordial Goddess in Greek Mythology. She created everything we know, including herself! She represents the essence of a mother who nurtures her children. In this post, I’ll tell you her story, her symbols, her archetype, and some more.

To start, I’ll offer you an overall view of the Greek Deities’ “genealogy”. We can say that Gaia is from the “first generation” of Gods. The second generation is made of her children: the Titans, the Cyclopes, and the Hekatonchires. Finally, the third generation is made of the main Gods and Goddesses from the Greek Myths: Zeus and his siblings. In short, Gaia is the grandmother of Zeus and the others.

You may also find these other articles on her interesting:

You can watch my video below and continue reading this article for more details:

In Neo-Paganism, Gaia fits the Mother Face of the Triple Goddess.

Gaia, as well as other Greek Goddesses, are in my free Goddess Oracle! Use the button below to access it, flip a card and receive a message from a Goddess!

Goddess Gaia hand drawing

Goddess Gaia: The Earth Mother

According to Goddess Gaia’s story, she transcends time. She is considered the Earth Mother as well as the Mother Earth. She created the world and she created herself. She created our planet and she is also symbolized by it. As the Greeks say, in the beginning, there was chaos only. From chaos, Gaia emerged. Her cult was not actually a Greek one. It was absorbed by them from the Attic region.

Gaia is the Goddess of the Earth. Her name means “Earth”.

Goddess Gaia Illustration
Goddess Gaia Illustration

Now that we know that there was only chaos, in the beginning, we can assume the chaos is creative energy. From chaos, Gaia created herself, so Gaia is part of chaos too. This is the reason we call her a “Primordial Goddess”. Besides her, other Primordial Deities were also created from chaos. These siblings of Gaia (Earth) are:

  • Nyx, the night;
  • Erebus, the darkness or the void;
  • Eros, love (in some versions, Eros is Aphrodite’s son);
  • Tartarus, the underworld.

Therefore, Gaia is one of the first deities we have to know in Greek Mythology so we can fully understand the others that came from her. She gave birth to the land, to the mountains, seas, rivers, stars, and much more. Everything she created was granted freedom to live and to develop on its own. Everything was full of beauty.

However, there was a “first” creation. And Gaia’s first creation was Ouranos (also known as Uranus, the Sky). Ouranos can be understood as being both a son and the lover of Gaia. He took Gaia as his own “property” and together they have lots of children.

Gaia and Ouranos story

Gaia and Ouranos, the Earth and the Sky, may share some similarities with the Egyptian Deities Nut and Geb – the sky and the Earth. However, in the Egyptian myth, the sky is the female one. Together they had many children who roamed the fertile land of Gaia.

The offspring of Gaia and Ouranos are:

  • The 12 Titans
    1. Oceanus;
    2. Coeus;
    3. Crius;
    4. Hyperion;
    5. Iapetus;
    6. Cronus (or Kronos);
    7. Theia;
    8. Rhea;
    9. Themis;
    10. Mnemosyne;
    11. Phoebe;
    12. Thethys.
  • The Cyclopes (one-eyed giants);
  • The Hecatonchires (1000-handed giants).

Below you can see an infographic I made with the children of Goddess Gaia and Ouranos. Feel free to use it on your website and please give me a backlink as a way to say “thank you”!

The Children of Goddess Gaia and Ouranos Infographic
The Children of Goddess Gaia and Ouranos Infographic

The moment their children were born, Ouranos felt jealous. He didn’t want to share the attention of Gaia with any other being. In order to contain his jealousy, he hid each of their children inside Gaia – so she started to feel heavy and also sad.

In short, Gaia and Ouranos were having a rather toxic relationship. Gaia was being abused by her partner. Kronos, the youngest Titan, decided to put an end to his mother’s suffering. To do so, he prepared his sickle to attack his father. The moment Ouranos was going to penetrate Gaia one more time, Kronos emerged from his mother’s interior and used his sickle to cut off his father’s parts – which also symbolizes man’s power.

During the moment Kronos cut off Ouranos’s part, blood and other bodily fluids spread all over the fertile land of his mother. Everywhere the liquids touched, a deity was born. Among all the deities, the most famous one is Aphrodite who was born when Ourano’s liquids touched the ocean and created a foam (Aphros) from where she emerged.

Following these events, we have the birth of Aphrodite Ourania (the daughter of Ouranos, the Sky. So this epithet means Heavenly Aphrodite). This way, we can conclude that Aphrodite is a Titaness, older than all the other Olympic Gods.

Kronus, who freed his mother, later commits the same mistake as his father and has a similar destiny too. He takes Rhea, his sister, as his wife and they have 6 children. The grandchildren of Gaia and offspring of Kronus and Rhea are:

  • Hestia, the Goddess of the hearth and fire;
  • Demeter, the Goddess of prosperity and agriculture;
  • Hera, the Queen of the Gods and protector of women;
  • Hades, the King of the Underworld;
  • Poseidon, the God of the seas and king of the waters;
  • Zeus, the King of the Gods and God of thunder.

Below you’ll find another infographic. This one shows the six children of Kronus and Rhea. Once again, feel free to put it on your website with a backlink.

The 6 Children of Kronos and Rhea - Infographic
The 6 Children of Kronos and Rhea – Infographic

Similar to what his father did, Kronus is consumed by jealousy and decided to EAT each of his children. He actually eats 5 of the 6 ones. The last one, Zeus, is hidden by Rhea, and Kronus is given a stone to eat. He doesn’t even notice the difference! Zeus grows up and discovers his siblings’ destiny. He then decides to avenge them, by killing Kronus – his father – and setting them free.

This cycle repeats once more. Zeus impregnates Metis and Goddess Gaia prophesizes that she carries 2 children and that one of them is going to take Zeus’ place as a ruler. Just like Kronos did to Ouranos and later Zeus did to Kronus. However, this specific deity was never born. Metis was swollen by Zeus and after that only Athena was born from his forehead.

I depicted this “Dethroning fear cycle” as an infographic below too. Feel free to use it and link back to this page!

The Dethroning Fear Cycle: Ouranos, Kronos, and Zeus - Infographic
The Dethroning Fear Cycle: Ouranos, Kronos, and Zeus – Infographic

Goddess Gaia symbols

Goddess Gaia symbols are:

  • The planet Earth itself;
  • All which is abundant (think about a bunch of animals together, birds, flowers…);
  • Forests and rivers;
  • A snake.
Goddess Gaia's Symbols
Goddess Gaia’s Symbols

Besides the obvious symbols that relate to Gaia, such as the Earth itself and the abundant things, the snake deserves to be explained better.

Why do you think a snake is one of Goddess Gaia’s Symbols?

Well, throughout many ancient cultures, the snake symbolizes life, abundance, and also protection. This happens mainly because snakes were used as guardians who protected stocked grains against rodents during winter. Snakes also change their skin, symbolizing their ability to renew and to be reborn again. Like an endless cycle of life.

Moreover, Python – the serpent that inhabits Mount Parnassus, the place of Delphi’s oracle – is Gaia’s son.

The Archetype of Gaia

Gaia is the Mother Earth. She’s one of the greatest examples of a Mother Goddess who nurtures all her children, gives birth to them, and helps them to grow and develop.

She’s deeply connected to abundance, prosperity, and endless love. Whenever we connect to her archetypical energy, we are granted an abundant life. Although we are taught to believe that the world is scarce, we now know it’s not correct. Gaia is here to prove that everything is abundant and we’re part of this abundance with her!

Thinking about his, we prepared a guided meditation with her to help you to achieve the abundance you deserve in your life. Break free from limitations and get ready to experience all the prosperity the Goddess and the universe are ready to show you!

Goddess Gaia is usually depicted as the planet or holding it
Goddess Gaia is usually depicted as the planet or holding it

Gaia Theory and Gaia Hypothesis

Gaia Theory, also called Gaia Hypothesis, was proposed by the British Scientist James E. Lovelock in the 1970s. Based on his research and studies, he proposed Gaia Hypothesis as a way to consider our planet Earth as Gaia herself. This way, the Planet is alive as a superorganism where every single being on it is connected as a smaller part of itself.

This way of thinking is similar to the Microcosm and the Macrocosm view by the alchemists, which is symbolized by the Pentagram and the Hexagram respectively. From this perspective, Gaia from the Greek Mythology becomes an object of scientific study, a live being who pulsates, feels, and deserves our full respect.

Gaia Hypothesis generated lots of controversies as we may expect but it was never abandoned as a possibility – in fact, we know it’s true. In films and video games, as well as in pop culture altogether, Gaia became repeatedly depicted as a live place or as the planet itself.

One of the most famous cases from the video games must be the classic RPG from 1997 called Final Fantasy VII. This game sold more than 9 million copies and until today it remains relevant through remakes, remasters, and sequels. The game’s plot is set in Gaia, a planet that suffers from industry exploitation of its resources and strengths. All the planet’s power is transformed into energy to develop weapons and more. While we play it as Cloud, the protagonist, we can listen to the planet whipping.

Some other Final Fantasy installments also mention Gaia with lots of respect, such as the film “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within”. You can watch this film with a 30-day free Amazon Prime subscription:

Gaia – Mother Goddess in Wicca

Gaia fits the Mother Goddess archetype of the Triple Goddess. She’s also highly praised in Wicca, a modern religion based on natural Witchcraft. In this aspect, she comes to reassure us that we are as abundant and prosperous as she is.

All our powers are endless and we’re able to create everything we wish!

Living in abundance doesn’t mean taking from others or being selfish, as some people may try to make us believe. Living in abundance is having and sharing! It means living with no fear of being happy!

In her original myth, Gaia created herself out of chaos. We can also create and recreate things out of a chaotic environment!

Goddess Gaia’s images

Below you can find Gaia’s images formatted for Pinterest! Feel free to save them to your folders!

General FAQ

What is Gaia Goddess of?

Gaia is the Greek Primordial Goddess of the Earth.

What is Gaia Hypothesis?

It’s a theory in which our planet is a living organism called Gaia. This way she’s able to feel and think.

Who was Gaia’s Husband?

Gaia’s husband is Ouranos (Uranus), the Sky. She created him.

How do you pronounce Gaia?

The correct pronunciation is GAh-iah.

What does Gaia mean?

The word Gaia means Earth.

Why did Gaia punish Uranus?

Uranus hid all the children he had with Gaia inside Gaia’s caves. She got heavy and sad. Due to this, Kronos attacked Uranus and he was punished for enslaving Gaia.

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