Why do we say Gaia?

gaiaAs the Earth rotates us into a new season, re-aligning our relationship to the sun, I thought I would honor Earth by reflecting on an important name of our planetary home: Gaia.  Many people refer to Earth as Gaia for a variety of reasons, including spiritual, archetypal, and scientific, to name a few.  In Greek mythology, Gaia is Earth personified in the form of a goddess, the ancestral mother of all life on the planet.  James Lovelock, in his now famous Gaia Hypothesis, argues that the biosphere is a self-regulating organism that  organizes and perpetuates all planetary systems.  Lovelock’s Gaia Hypothesis helped transform the destructive, industrial model of of the Earth, which conceives of nature existing primarily for our use. His thinking supports an ecological model of nature by showing that Earth has her own ends and intrinsic value, which require our honor and respect.  Here is my favorite video of Lovelock describing the flash of insight that gave birth to his Gaia Hypothesis.

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