Gaia | Greek Goddess

Gaia Greek Mythology

Gaia, Geia or Gé (Greek: Γαία, transl.: Gaía), in Greek mythology, is the Mother-Earth, as a primordial and latent element of immense generative potentiality. According to Hesiod, in the beginning arises Eurynome (the Cosmic Sea), She begets Ophion (the Light) and from the union of both are born Gaia, Tartarus (the abyss), Eros (love), Erebo (darkness) and Nix (night).

Gaia alone begot Uranus (the sky), Pontus (the sea) and the Oreas (the mountains). She begot Uranus, her equal, with the desire to have someone cover her completely, and so that there would be an eternal home for the "blissful" gods.

With Pontus, Gaia begat Nereus: He is an early sea god, represented as an elderly the old man of the sea. In addition to Phocis, Ceto, Euribia, and Taumante.

With Uranus, Gaia begat the twelve titans: Oceanus, Ceos, Crio, Hyperion, Jeppetus, Theia, Reia, Themis, Mnemosyne, the crowned golden Phoebe, and the beloved Thetis; finally was born Kronos, the youngest and most terrible of her children, who hated his father's lust.

Period after they had conceived the titans, Uranus and Gaia begot the three cyclops and the three hecatons.

Since Uranus was able to foresee the future, he feared the power of these children, who would become powerful, and enclosed them again in Gaia's womb. Gaia, who was groaning with atrocious pain and unable to give birth, cried out for the favor of her titan children and asked for help to free her brothers and sisters and take revenge on their father. Of the twelve brothers, however, only Kronos accepted the conspiracy.

Gaia then took steel from her chest and with the help of Nix, made the toothed sickle from it. She gave it to Kronos and hid it, so that when his father came during the night, he would not perceive his presence. As Uranus descended to unite once more with his wife, he was surprised by Cronos, who attacked and castrated him, thus separating Heaven and Earth.

Kronos threw Uranus' testicles into the sea, but a few drops fell on the earth, fertilizing it. From Uranus' blood spilled on Gaia, the giants, the erinias and the meliades were born.

After the fall of Uranus, Kronos ascended the throne of the world and freed the brothers. But seeing how powerful they were, he also feared them and imprisoned them once again. Gaia, revolted by her son's tyrannical and intolerant act, plotted a new revenge.

Having already assumed the regency of the universe and married Reia, Kronos was warned by Uranus that one of his sons would dethrone him. He then proceeded to devour each newborn just as his father had done.

However, Gaia helped Reia save her son, who was Zeus, by hiding him in a cave on a hill in Crete, where he would be suckled by the goat Aix of the nymph Amalthea. Reia then, instead of giving her son to Kronos to devour, gave him a stone.

As an adult, Zeus declared war on his father and the other titans with Gaia's support. For one hundred years neither side could achieve victory. Gaia then went to Zeus and promised him that he would win and become king of the universe if he would go down to Tartarus and free the three Cyclopes and the three Hecatons.

Listening to Gaia's advice, Zeus defeated Kronos with the help of the freed children of the Earth and became the new ruler of the universe. Zeus made an agreement with the hecatonychians that they would watch over the Titans at the bottom of Tartarus. For the third time, Gaia rebelled and used all her weapons to dethrone Zeus.

At first, she gave birth to the countless androgynous, beings with four legs and four arms that were connected by means of the spine ending in two heads, in addition to possessing both female and male genital organs.

The androgynous beings emerged from the ground in all quadrants and climbed Olympus with the intention of destroying Zeus, but on the advice of Themis, he and the other gods were to hit the androgynous beings in the spine so as to split them exactly in half. Thus done, Zeus won.

Another time, Gaia produced a plant that when eaten could give immortality to the giants; however, the plant needed light to grow. Upon learning this Zeus ordered Helios, Selene, Eos and the stars not to ascend to heaven, and hidden in the veils of Nix, he found the plant and destroyed it.

Even then Gaia incited the giants to pile up the mountains with the intention of climbing the sky and invading Olympus. Zeus and the other gods remained undefeated, however.

As a last resort, Gaia sent her youngest and most hideous son, Typhon, to finish off the gods and their allies. The gods united against the terrible creature, and after a terrible and bloody battle, they succeeded in triumphing over Gaia's last attempt and offspring.

Finally, Gaia gave in and agreed with Zeus that she would never again plot against his rule. In this way she was received as an Olympian titan.

Other versions


In Pseudo-Apolodorus, his myth is similar to that told by Hesiod.

Uranus (Heaven) is the first to rule the whole world, and marries Gaia (the Earth). From this union are born the hecatons (giants with a hundred hands and fifty heads), Briareu, Giges and Coto.

Next are born the Cyclopes, Arges, Steropes and Brontes, who were locked up in Tartarus. The next children are the titans, the sons Oceano, Céos, Hyperion, Crio, Jápeto and the youngest of all, Cronos, and the titanid daughters Thetis, Reia, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Dione and Theia.

Gaia was saddened by the destruction of her children, locked up in Tartarus, and convinced the titans to attack Uranus, and gave Kronos an adamantine sickle. The titans, except Oceanus, attacked Uranus, and Kronos castrated Uranus by throwing his genitals into the sea; from the drops of blood were born the erinias, Alecto, Tisiphone, and Megera.

After dethroning Uranus, the titans freed their brothers trapped in Tartarus, and chose Cronos as their ruler, but he locked them back in Tartarus, and married his sister Reia. Gaia and Uranus prophesied that Cronos would be dethroned by his son, which caused Cronos to swallow every child born to Reia.

Later, during the war between Zeus and Kronos, Gaia prophesied that Zeus would have victory if he allied himself with the prisoners of Tartarus, which was done.

Gaia also had children with Ponto (primitive god of the sea): Phocis, Taumante, Nereus, Euribia, and Ceto.

Another prediction of Gaia was that Zeus and Métis would have a daughter and a son, and this son would overthrow Zeus; Zeus averted this prophecy by swallowing Métis before her daughter was born.

According to Ferecides of Leros, Tryptolemo is the son of Gaia and Oceanus.

Later, it was Gaia who encouraged war between the giants and the Olympian gods by making giants, her children with Uranus, attack Zeus. These giants could not be killed by gods, but Zeus called for Heracles, who killed several giants. Following the war, Gaia had with Tartarus the monster Typhon, who was buried by Zeus in the volcano Etna.

Other children of Gaia are:

Echidna, with Tartarus
Argos Panoptes