April 15, 2009
Theme Thursday - Earth
Gaia, the goddess in Greek mythology, is Mother Earth. Gaia came out of the great empty void of Chaos. From her was borne Uranus, the sky god, her equal, who was both her son and her soon-to-be husband. Without a mate she produced the mountains and Pontus, the sea.
Gaia took Uranus as her husband and their offspring included the Titans, the Cyclops and three monsters known as the Hecatonchires. Uranus was aghast at the nature of their offspring. Fearful of her husband’s great strength, Gaia hid them all within herself to protect them. Terribly uncomfortable for all, her youngest, Cronus, came to the rescue by severing the union between Gaia and Uranus with his sharp knife, ouch! thus separating the connection between the Earth and Sky.
The idea that the nurturing, fertile earth is female is widespread and has been prevalent since prehistoric times. The ever-so-tubby Venus of Willendorf is widely believed to be an “Earth Mother.” The Egyptians had their fertility goddesses as did the Sumerians. The Phoenicians had Aretsaya as their Goddess of the Earth. The Inca had Pachamama. What a name!
The Native American creation myth features a divine woman falling from the sky with no land to live on. Hurriedly, mouthful by mouthful, the beaver, the muskrat and the toad brought muddy earth up from the sea floor to create land upon the Turtle's back. The divine woman gave birth, without the aid of a man, to twin boys; one good one evil. Cain and Abel, anyone? The good one was born without fuss but the evil one decided to spring from his mother’s side causing her death.
When the woman was buried, all of the plants needed for life on earth sprang from the ground above her.
Always popular with the pagan, celebrating Mother Earth has a renewed appeal with the green movement.
Hundertwasser said, “You are a guest of Nature – behave”.
And I say, "Be nice to your Mother. She's the only one you've got."
The great picture above is from The Lost Gardens of Heligan. www.heligan.com