Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hades and Persephone, Gaia, Demeter, Hecate, Iacchus, Trophonius, Triptolemus, Erinyes
Gaea (pronounced /'geɪ.ə/ or /'gaɪ.ə/) ("land" or "earth", from the Greek Γαîα; also Gaea or Ge (Greek {Γῆ) is a Greek goddess personifying the Earth.

Titans and Olympians
Aquatic deities
Personified concepts
Other deities
Tartarus In Greek mythology
Gaia is the titan of earth.


  • Uranus
    With Elara

    • Tityas
      With Oceanus

      • Creusa
        With Pontus

        • Ceto
          With Poseidon

          • Antaeus
            With Tartarus

            • Echidna
              With Uranus

              • Cyclopes

                • Arges

                  • Briareus
                    Elder Muses

                    • Mneme

                      • Coeus
                        With Hephaestus

                        • Erichthonius of Athens
                          Unknown father?

                          • Mimas
                            Python Gaia (mythology) Family tree
                            Etymologically Gaia is a compound word of two elements. *Ge, meaning "Earth" is found in many neologisms, such as Geography (Ge/graphos = writing about Earth) and Geology (Ge/logos = words about the Earth). *Ge is a pre-Greek substrate word that some relate to the Sumerian Ki, also meaning Earth. *Aia is a derivative of an Indo-European stem meaning "Grandmother". The full etymology of Gaia would, therefore, appear to have been "Grandmother Earth" . Some sources, such as anthropologists James Mellaart, Marija Gimbutas and Barbara Walker, claim that Gaia as the Mother Earth is a later form of a pre-Indo-European Great Mother who had been venerated in Neolithic times, but this point is controversial in the academic community. Belief in a nurturing Earth Mother is often a feature of modern Neopagan "Goddess" worship, which is typically linked by practitioners of this religion to the Neolithic goddess theory. For more information, see the article Goddess.
                            Hesiod's separation of Rhea from Gaia was not rigorously followed, even by the Greek mythographers themselves. Modern mythographers like Karl Kerenyi or Carl A. P. Ruck and Danny Staples, as well as an earlier generation influenced by Frazer's The Golden Bough, interpret the goddesses Demeter the "mother," Persephone the "daughter" and Hecate the "crone," as understood by the Greeks, to be three aspects of a former Great Goddess, who could be identified as Rhea or as Gaia herself. Such tripartite goddesses are also a part of Celtic mythology and may stem from the Proto-Indo-Europeans. In Anatolia (modern Turkey), Rhea was known as Cybele, a goddess derived from Mesopotamian Kubau, Hurrian Kebat or Kepa. The Greeks never forgot that the Mountain Mother's ancient home was Crete, where a figure some identified with Gaia had been worshipped as Potnia Theron (the "Mistress of the Animals") or simply Potnia ("Mistress"), an appellation that could be applied in later Greek texts to Demeter, Artemis or Athena.
                            In Rome the imported Phrygian goddess Cybele was venerated as Magna Mater, the "Great Mother" or as Mater Nostri, "Our Mother" and identified with Roman Ceres, the grain goddess who was an approximate counterpart of Greek Demeter, but with differing aspects and venerated with a different cult. Her worship was brought to Rome following an Augury of the Cumaean Sibyl that Rome could not defeat Hannibal the Carthaginian until the worship of Cybele came to Rome. As a result she was a favoured divinity of Roman legionaries, and her worship spread from Roman military encampments and military colonies.

                            Gaia (mythology) Interpretations
                            The idea that the fertile earth itself is female, nurturing mankind, was not limited to the Greco-Roman world. These traditions themselves were greatly influenced by earlier cultures in the Central area of the ancient Middle East. In Sumerian mythology Tiamat influenced Biblical notions of The Deeps in Genesis 1. The title "The mother of life" was later given to the Akkadian Goddess Kubau, and hence to Hurrian Hepa, emerging as Hebrew Eve (Heva) and Phygian Kubala (Cybele). In Norse mythology the Great Mother, the mother of Thor himself, was known as Jord, Hlódyn, or Fjörgyn. The Irish Celts worshipped Danu, whilst the Welsh Celts worshipped Dôn. Dana played an important part in Hindu mythology and hints of their names throughout Europe, such as the Don river, the Danube River, the Dnestr and Dnepr, suggest that they stemmed from an ancient Proto-Indo-European goddess . In Lithuanian mythology Gaia - Žemė is daughter of Sun and Moon. Also she is wife of Dangus (Varuna). In Pacific cultures, the Earth Mother was known under as many names and with as many attributes as cultures who revered her for example Māori whose creation myth included Papatuanuku, partner to Ranginui - the Sky Father. In South America in the Andes a cult of the Pachamama still survives (in regions of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina and Chile). The name comes from Pacha (Quechua for change, epoch) and Mama (mother). While ancient Mexican cultures referred to Mother Earth as Tonantzin Tlalli that means "Revered Mother Earth". In Indian religions, the Mother of all creation is called % atri", a surprisingly close form of Gaia.
                            Only in Egyptian Mythology is the reverse true - Geb is the Earth Father while Nut is the Sky Mother.
                            Carl Gustav Jung suggested that the archetypal mother was a part of the collective unconscious of all humans, and various Jungian students, eg. Erich Neumann and Ernst Whitmont have argued that such mother imagery underpins many mythologies, and preceeds the image of the paternal "father", in such religious systems. Such speculations help explain the universality of such mother goddess imagery around the world.

                            In other cultures
                            Many Neopagans actively worship Gaia. Beliefs regarding Gaia vary, ranging from the common Wiccan belief that Gaia is the Earth (or in some cases the spiritual embodiment of the earth, or the Goddess of the Earth), to the broader Neopagan belief that Gaia is the goddess of all creation, a Mother Goddess from which all other gods spring. Gaia is sometimes thought to embody the planets and the Earth, and sometimes thought to embody the entire universe. Worship of Gaia is varied, ranging from prostration to druidic ritual.
                            Unlike Zeus, a roving nomad god of the open sky, Gaia was manifest in enclosed spaces: the house, the courtyard, the womb, the cave. Her sacred animals are the serpent, the lunar bull, the pig, and bees. In her hand the narcotic poppy may be transmuted to a pomegranate.
                            Some who worship Gaia attempt to get closer to Mother Earth by becoming unconcerned with material things and more in tune with nature. Others who worship Gaia recognize Gaia as a great goddess and practice rituals commonly associated with other forms of worship. Many sects worship Gaia, even more than worship Themis, Artemis, and Hera. Other forms of worship may indeed be common, as worship of Gaia is very broad and can take many forms.

                            In Neopaganism

                            Main article: Gaia hypothesis

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