The asexual and sexual reproductive biological skills of the ancient Greek Mother Goddess Gaia is impossible as related. Her reproductive skills are akin to a human female giving birth not only to humans but to all sorts of other animals and even numerous monstrosities. No writer of mythology as fiction even back then would make such a fundamental error if he wanted his fiction to be credible. And that’s just the point – it wasn’t written to be read as fiction. The ancient Greeks didn’t interpret Mother Goddess Gaia and her offspring as make-believe. What did they know that we don’t today? What’s the alternative? Aliens – a misinterpretation of what was actually extraterrestrial activity. The ultimate stories behind Mother Goddess Gaia’s reproductive abilities centre around two rival alliances of various extraterrestrial races battling over Planet Earth, or at least their allocated part of it –Italy,Greeceand the islands of theAegean Sea.
In the beginning there was Chaos according to ancient Greek mythology. Chaos was neither a deity nor a personality, just an all encompassing dark void, lifeless matter with no distinguishing features which is as good a view of the cosmos as any by the ancients. Chaos might just as well have been their shorthand for explaining life, the universe and everything; the creation of life, the universe and everything, and probably was.
Chaos gave rise to Planet Earth, among other cosmic attributes, like darkness and energy. Planet Earth was known as Gaia (or Gaea). Gaia as Planet Earth is obviously a physical product, a natural creation of the cosmos. However, Gaia (Terra in the Roman pantheon) was also considered to be the daughter of Chaos, a mother goddess. We need to separate the two concepts (Gaia as Earth (the planet) and Gaia the Mother Goddess). Chaos as a formless void would have to via natural physical processes form independently Planet Earth first before the arrival of the Mother Goddess that would represent Planet Earth, Tellus or Terra, alternative names by which Planet Earth is known.
On the biological as opposed to the planetary side of things, Mother Goddess Gaia (representing the Earth, or of the Earth) had siblings called Nyx (which represented night), and Erebos (representing underground darkness). Later on down the track Chaos formed other siblings in the form of Eros (representing desire/energy) and Tartarus (the underword).
Asexually, Mother Goddess Gaia gave rise to her two sons Uranus (Ouranos) andPontusand the ten Ourea (Aitna, Athos, Helikon, Kithairon, Nysos, Olympus 1,Olympus2, Oreios, Parnes, and Tmolus). Asexual reproduction is reproduction without benefit of a partner, usually termed parthenogenesis.
Mother Goddess Gaia does however ultimately take a husband and sexually mate – with her son Uranus (representing the sky or of the sky). From that union comes:
*The three elder and original Cyclopes: giants with one eye: Brontes, Steropes, and Arges.
*The original first generation six male Titans (Oceanus, Coeus, Crius, Hyperion, Iapetus, and Cronus) and the original first generation six female Titanesses (Theia, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, and Tethys): all human looking. [Now the original Titans then did their ‘be fruitful and multiply thing’ and produce the second generation of Titans, making Mother Goddess Gaia a grandmother. These second generation Titans included Atlas and Prometheus – in case you were wondering if I had forgotten these important figures.]
*The three Hecatonchires: giants with 100 arms and hands and fifty heads apiece: Cottus, Briareus and Gyges.
Mother Goddess Gaia’s son and hubby, Uranus, then met an uncomfortable fate at the hands of his son Cronus when the latter castrated the former!
Mother Goddess Gaia then, via a not-so-immaculate conception, being splattered with blood from the severed genitales of her son/husband Uranus, conceived:
*The three Furies (Erinyes): Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone though their actual number maybe however indefinite. The Furies were winged hags with snakes intertwined in their hair.
*The Gigantes: a race of giants born in full armour with spears.
*The Meliae: the ash tree nymphs. Nymphs tend to be beautiful eternally youthful amorous maidens (sounds like my kind of aliens) who attend to the needs of more senior deities. Nymphs are a sort of yeoman figure.
Mother Goddess Gaia mates sexually with her other sonPontus(representing the sea or of the sea). From that union came Nereus, Thaumas, Phorcys, Ceto and Eurybia, all relatively minor sea gods and goddesses. They appear pretty human looking.
However, later generation descendents of Mother Goddess Gaia’s andPontus’s minor sea god and goddess were not quite so humanoid appearing. They include:
*The Harpies, predatory monsters; a woman’s head on top of a vulture’s body, wings and claws.
*The Graeae, a trio of swan-like women with grey hair who shared one eye and one tooth between them.
*The 50 Nereids who at least retain their maritime heritage being nymphs of the sea.
*The Gorgons, who on the other hand, were monstrous sisters with wings, claws and serpent hair, the most famous being the Medusa.
*The Muses, nine human-looking goddesses of the arts.
*Chiron – a centaur.
Mother Goddess Gaia also mates with Tartarus to produce the mother of all monsters, the Typhon (which Zeus later defeated in battle).
Mother Goddess Gaia mates with her first generation Titan offspring Oceanus. That union gave rise to Reousa/Creusa (a naiad or type of water nymph) and Triptolemus (a primordial man who flew across the land in a winged chariot and educated the whole ofGreecein the agricultural sciences after being instructed himself by the goddess Demeter or Ceres if you’re Roman).
Mother Goddess Gaia mates with Zeus (her grandson). Their offspring became Manes, the first king of Maeonia otherwise known asLydiain westernAsia Minor. The odd bit here is that two deities apparently have produced a mortal and not another deity!
Mother Goddess Gaia also mates with Poseidon (also her grandson). That produces offspring we know as Antaeus (a half-giant) and Charybdis (a sea monster).
The Python, that earth-dragon ofDelphiis alleged to have a genetic type relationship with Mother Goddess Gaia – mother being the operative word. The daddy is unknown; perhaps this is another example of parthenogenesis in action. Python, as you’d guess from the name, is a serpent. The Greek Olympian deity Apollo did Python a mischief in mortal combat. Alas, Python is no longer among the living! Neither were the original Cyclopes as Apollo bumped them off which didn’t please Zeus one little bit as the Cyclopes assisted him and his fellow Olympians in their war against the Titans, providing the high-tech necessary for victory (see below).
While that’s not the absolute end of Mother Goddess Gaia’s bedroom romps (actual or suspected), the above covers the basics and shows that Heinz has no monopoly on varieties, 57 or otherwise. Now Mother Goddess Gaia is not the be-all-and-end-all of the varieties of presumably extraterrestrial species that are part and parcel of Greek mythology, but I think it’s safe to now at least conclude this segment on Mother Goddess Gaia remarkable reproductive prowess!
So how can there exist a whole multitude of species of deities, from those appearing human or humanoid, to the hideously monstrous, and yet are all genetically related to Mother Goddess Gaia?
Now I maintain that if you (or any other animal) produce offspring, while they would not of necessity all be identical, they will be fairly similar in appearance and conform to your own basic body plan. You’re not going to produce one kid that will grow up to be ten feet tall while another attains only four feet. One kid won’t have two eyes, the next three. The odds that your first born will have one head and two arms, but that your second born will have ten heads and twenty arms, is unlikely in the extreme. As this like-begets-like reproductive rule of thumb applies to you, I strongly suggest it should have applied to Mother Goddess Gaia.
IMHO, the ancient Greek Hesiod, who wrote up the origins of the Greek deities including Mother Goddess Gaia, and the world in his tome “Theogony” [“the birth of the gods”], should have and would have known better that to invent such outlandish sexual tales producing such an outlandish diversity of offspring. Presumably the people who read all of this also knew better – they knew that like-begets-like – just like the Norse hero Siegfried knew the dwarf Mime was lying to him about being his father because they didn’t look anything remotely alike. Siegfried knew from observations of animals and their babies in the forest that like-begets-like. Mime got his comeuppances!
I conclude from all of this that Hesiod and whoever else came up with all this mythological reproductive nonsense was warped in the extreme; really puffing on the good stuff. Or perhaps, as in all mythology, there’s a true kernel of corn in the mythological haystack waiting to be uncovered. Perhaps both Hesiod and his readers couldn’t think of any other interpretation of reality but that Mother Goddess Gaia really did mate and produce offspring as wildly divergent as nymphs, 50 headed giants and the Cyclopes. Perhaps they had no concept of the extraterrestrial!
All of these collections of beings (Titans, Cyclopes, Meliae, etc.) are so different that each is unlikely in the extreme to be related to each other. Each is probably an alien race in its own right – alien as in various extraterrestrial intelligences.
So here’s my alternative scenario. Chaos (the void, the cosmos) ultimately formed our Sun and solar system including ‘Gaia’ as Terra/Tellus, the Planet Earth. Eons ago that other but biological flesh-and-blood Mother Goddess Gaia and her sons (Uranus andPontus) along with a host of her species (probably the Titans) arrived on Planet Earth as part and parcel of their boldly going, exploring the Milky Way Galaxy exercise. Liking what they found, they settled down, perhaps thinking of Planet Earth as an R&R spot, perhaps as a colony planet. Things then proceed pretty much according to Hesiod’s mythology, except for one incorrect translation. There were no real acts of Mother Goddess Gaia reproducing which resulted in the creation of a high and unlikely diversity of other biological species. There were only those like-with-like sexual reproductions as in the original Titans creating the next generation of Titans (Atlas, Prometheus, etc.). Mother Goddess Gaia wasn’t so much a mother of extreme biological diversity as a hostess (with the mostest) to that rather wide diversity of extraterrestrial species.
Mother Goddess Gaia threw out the welcome mat for other alien species that came to visit, or were invited to visit, just like parents might play host to a much broader diversity of humans than their offspring would typify. Their dinner party might include guests short and tall, old and young, black and white, normal and handicapped, as well as other species – cats, dogs and aquarium fish – for the sake of wide-ranging diversity, etc. In the case of Mother Goddess Gaia however, things got a bit more serious as Mother Goddess Gaia and the various extraterrestrial races she’s associated with IMHO formed a block of allies against another block of allies – the Olympians (offspring of the original Titans and thus related to [Grand] Mother Goddess Gaia. The ‘War of the Titans’ was on the horizon and inevitable in a power struggle of epic proportions.
The extraterrestrial Cyclopes and that alien race, the Hecatonchires, which were once allied with Mother Goddess Gaia and the Titans, changed sides and supported the Olympians led by Zeus in their war against the Titans (the Titanomachy). Some Titans like Prometheus also switched sides and supported Zeus. In fact only about five of the original dozen Titans took up arms against Zeus and company. The Titans were actually led mainly by second generation Atlas (as first generation Cronus, Zeus’s daddy, proved not to be so invincible when Zeus freed his swallowed brothers and sisters, and therefore wasn’t really available for a leadership position). Zeus, as leader of the winners, however reserved a special punishment for Atlas as we all know. Atlas ended up with the weight of the world on his shoulders. As an aside, the ‘War of the Titans’ apparently happened in that region ofGreeceknown asThessaly.
It should be noted, in support of the extraterrestrial hypothesis, that the Titanomachy was a high-tech war, at least high-tech relative to what the ancient Greeks had. It was not a war fought with bows and arrows, slingshots, spears and swords, even though it did last an entire decade plus. Zeus had his thunderbolts – lightning, or perhaps in today’s terminology, lasers or particle-beam weaponry. Hades had a ‘magic’ helmet providing invisibility – the ultimate form of stealth technology and camouflage. Poseidon had his ‘magic’ trident which he could use to produce storms (weather modification), earthquakes, tidal waves/tsunamis, floods and all manner of ‘natural’ disasters – and he was noted for having a very bad temper with a very short fuse attached.
The Titanomachy was also noted for the hurling of massive boulders (missiles?); the rumbling earth which became scorched with flame and the vast forests that were levelled. The oceans and rivers, probably courtesy of Poseidon, swelled and steamed and boiled. And of course the heavens shook as well. If extraterrestrial, I’m sure the Titanomachy was as much a ‘star wars’ as a terrestrial one.
Now all of this probably happened in Planet Earth’s pre-human era. That’s because ‘humans’ back then probably weren’t the Homo sapiens we know today. Our modern species was created out of clay (as the ancient Greeks had no concept nor phrase for ‘genetically engineered’) by Prometheus (of gift of fire fame), a second generation Titan, and that ‘clay’ event probably happened way after the original extraterrestrial ‘gods’ (like Uranus) and ‘goddesses’ (like Gaia) arrived to set up shop. Thus, we probably have no actual eyewitnesses to what actually happened regarding the Titanomachy, as well as no real first hand accounts of Mother Goddess Gaia’s reproductive prowess, only what happened can not be taken literally as it violates fundamental principles of reproductive biology. The tales were probably all handed down way after-the-fact to the ancient Greeks by the Olympians – the winners – with a lot of understandable mistranslation and misunderstanding in the nitty-gritty details eventuating.
But that’s not quite the end of the story. Mother Goddess Gaia had another go at dethroning Zeus and his Olympians, the location allegedly shifting toItalyand the Phlegraean Fields. This time she threw the Gigantes (Giants) against them (the Gigantomachy). So, round two – it was Mother Goddess Gaia and the Gigantes versus Zeus and the Olympians, but with a little help from the demigod Hercules, the Fates and even Helius (the sun-god), Selene (the moon-goddess) and Eos (the goddess of the dawn, known to the Romans as Aurora). Now since Hercules was the offspring of a deity (Zeus) and a mortal, humans had to have been around to witness round two. What was the upshot of Mother Goddess Gaia’s second attempt to grab power? All of the Gigantes became the late Gigantes, and nothing was ever heard from Mother Goddess Gaia ever again! In my version of the tale, Mother Goddess Gaia and those Gaia supporters who survived the Titanomachy and the Gigantomachy tucked tail (if they had one) and headed back to whatever planet(s) they originally came from. Eventually, for reasons unrecorded and unknown, Zeus and company ultimately did the same, or at least boldly went elsewhere.
One other observation is required. Normally, sexual relations between mother and son; mother and grandson; mother and just about anyone and anything else without benefit of a wedding ring, is considered taboo. That’s of course according to human morals and ethics. However, if my premise is correct, and all and sundry belonged to various species of extraterrestrials, then we can’t hold them to, or impose on them, our standards.