Study Guide

Gaia (Terra)

  • Profile

    Gaia is the ancient goddess of the earth itself. (You might know her better as Mother Earth.) Yeah, she's a pretty big deal. Actually, Gaia is thought of as one of the oldest divine beings of them all, since she was one of the first to spring from Chaos, the empty void that existed before anything else. Yeah, anything else. She is often depicted as a full-bodied woman, emerging from the ground. Oh, and when you're important, you get a bunch of names, and that's definitely the case for our lady: she was also known as Gaea or Ge by the Greeks, and she was worshiped by the Romans as Tullus or Terra Matter.

    Basic Information

    Name

    Gaia (or Gaea, depending on who's spellchecking)

    Nickname

    Mother Earth, Mama, Terra, Mother, Mommy, G-Force

    Sex

    Female

    Current city

    I'm the earth. You live on me.

    Work & Education

    Occupation

    Goddess of the Earth, Being a Mother

    Education

    The universe taught me everything I know. But I also like to freshen up my knowledge at the Geographical Association's annual conference. The wine and cheese events are to die for.

    Beliefs

    Political views

    "Politics" is the invention of lesser beings, most of whom are terrified of me.

    Family & Friends (& Enemies)

    Parents

    Chaos (pretty sweet parent, eh?)

    Siblings

    Tartarus, Aither, and Eros (Well, we came into being at the same time anyway)

    Children

    All of humanity (yeah, that means you)
    Ouranos, Ourea, Pontus, Okeanos, Koios, Krios, Hyperion, Iapetos, Kronos, Theia, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Tethys, Phoibe, The Kyklopes, the Hekatonkheires, Erinyes, Gigantes, Meliai, Python, Kouretes
    And, indirectly, everybody else on earth

    Friends

    I don't need "friends" – I'm the goddess of the earth

    Enemies

    Yeah, right. (Well, maybe Orion, but come on – no hard feelings.)

    Relationships

    Relationship status

    I was married to my son, Ouranos, the sky, but then I had him castrated. Do. Not. Mess. With. Me.

    Interested in

    Nobody, thanks. I can't seem to stop giving birth, whether I'm with anyone or not.

    Favorites

    TV Shows

    Ancient Aliens
    Parenthood
    Up All Night
    Survivor

    Quotations

    "In a sense, each of us is an island. In another sense, however, we are all one. For though islands appear separate, and may even be situated at great distances from one another, they are only extrusions of the same planet, Earth."
    – J. Donald Walters

    "We are on a spaceship; a beautiful one. It took billions of years to develop. We're not going to get another. Now, how do we make this spaceship work?"
    – Buckminster Fuller

    "Being a mother is like trying to hold a wolf by the ears."
    – Gram in Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech

    "What, sir, would the people of the earth be without woman? They would be scarce, sir, almighty scarce."
    – Mark Twain

    "I wouldn't mind at all coming back to earth after my death."
    – Edith Piaf

    "This is earth. Isn't it hot?"
    – Paris Hilton

    Books

    Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
    Walden by Henry David Thoreau
    "The Apple Trees at Olema" by Robert Hass
    Basho: The Complete Haiku
    "Night on the Great River" by Meng Hao-jan
    "Burning Island" by Gary Snyder
    Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
    Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
    The Living by Annie Dillard
    Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas
    National Geographic
    Lonely Planet
    Travel Guides

    Music

    Orinco Flow by Enya
    Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell
    This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie
    Tibetan Singing Bowl (for my meditation practice)
    Echoes of Nature: The Natural Sounds of the Wilderness (even though I do it better)
    Mother Nature's Son by The Beatles
    The sound of the wind
    Celtic Woman
    Platinum Collection by Enigma

    Movies

    Babies
    March of the Penguins
    Fern Gully
    Avatar
    Steel Magnolias
    Planet Earth
    Dances with Wolves
    Mr. Popper's Penguins
    Chocolat (I love strong women)

    Activities & Interests

    LikesCrocs
    Earth Day
    Planetariums
    The California Academy of Sciences
    American Museum of Natural History
    Carbon Footprint
    The Monterey Bay Aquarium
    Tofurkey
    Juicers
    My sleep machine with earth sound therapy
    Interests

    Midwifery
    String theory
    Existentialism
    Naturalism
    Transcendentalism
    Buddhism
    Ecotourism

    Groups

    Discovery Channel's Planet Earth
    Earthjustice
    The Planet Earth
    Earth Day
    Google Earth
    Save the Earth it's the Only Planet with Chocolate

    • Spotter's Guide

      Ha! You're looking for Gaia? Well, you don't have to look very far. She's the earth itself. So, just look down – or up or over for that matter – and there she is. Sometimes she pops out of the ground in the form of a full-bodied woman, but she never totally leaves the dirt she's made of. Make sure you're respectful if you do manage to get Gaia to strike up a conversation with you. Don't go thinking she's a total softy because she's Mother Earth and all that. She's responsible for knocking not one but two supreme rulers of the universe off of their thrones. So, yeah she may be the mother of us all, but she is definitely not to be trifled with.

      Sex: Female, duh
      Age: Middle-aged
      Build: Curvaceous
      Complexion: Sun-kissed
      Hair Color: Darkish (Dirt-Like, you might say)
      Facial Hair: None
      Scars/marks/tattoos: None
      Jewelry and accessories: She sometimes wears a veil or headdress, but mostly she just lets her gorgeous locks flow down over her shoulders.
      Clothing: Barely
      Armor: Planet Earth
      Type of Weapon: None

      Typical Companions:

      • Pontus (the sea)
      • Ourea (the mountains)
      • Ouranus (the sky)

      Known Hangouts:

      • Um, all of earth?
      • White sandy beaches
      • Mountain chalets
      • Rustic farmhouses
    • Sightings

      Jan 1, 1970

      The Birds

      In The Birds by Aristophanes, we learn a little bit about Gaia's own creation story. If she's the mother of everyone, how was she born?

      Dec 20, 2019

      The Metamorphoses

      The Roman poet Ovid collected all kinds of wild stories about the gods in The Metamorphoses. In Book 1, Gaia is pretty much the bomb dot com.

      Dec 20, 2019

      Anthem

      In Anthem by Ayn Rand, one of the characters reclaims her identity by changing her name to Gaea. You go, girl.

      Dec 20, 1969

      "Africa"

      Although she doesn't mention her by name, Maya Angelou's "Africa" is definitely about our lady, Mother Earth.

      Dec 20, 1975

      Marvel Comics

      Check her out as a comic strip character in Doctor Strange # 6 (Marvel Comics).

      Dec 20, 1990

      Captain Planet

      Gaia made a few appearances in this awesome animated series, Captain Planet and the Planeteers.