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Named for the Greek goddess of the earth, Gaia is a widely inclusive term used to describe the idea that living organisms on a planet will affect the nature of their environment in order to create a more livable planet.

While not a religion in its own right, Gaia is a common concept in several earth-centered traditions within the Pagan, New Age, and UFO religions.

The Gaia Hypothesis is considered a science by some. Also known as the Gaia Theory or Gaia Principle, the Gaia Hypothesis holds that living organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings to form a self-regulating system that maintains and perpetuates the conditions for life on Earth.

In short, Gaia is believed to be the consciousness of the planet.

As a faith, or as a component of a spiritual tradition, Gaia is a Neopagan earth-centered faith that rejects Christianity. A mixture of Eastern mysticism, Paganism, science, and feminism, Gaia worship is central to the environmental movement. Although there have been other religions that have adopted a concept of the Earth as a living being or a deity, Gaia has united the environmental movement, New Age religions, many of the Eastern religions, and even several Christian leaders and denominations.

The Gaia Hypothesis, advanced as a science rather than as a religion, suggests that the biological entities of the Earth, along with the other elements of its environment, act as a self-regulating living system that maintains the conditions necessary for life. James Lovelock, who is credited with having founded the Gaia Hypothesis, believed that this living system was the result of a meta-life form that occupied the Earth billions of years ago, beginning the process of transforming the planet into its own substance, known as Gaia, and all of the life forms on the planet are part of Gaia. He viewed the Earth, not as a planet, but as a living being, which he named after the Greek goddess.

New Agers and Neopagans eagerly adopted the concept but, in order to get science-minded humanists and evolutionists on board, it needed to be presented as a science. Whether viewed as a religion or as a science, believers hold to the idea with all of the fervor of a cult.

New Agers and Neopagans are attracted to the mystical side of Gaia. To them, it is possible to experience a spiritual relationship with Gaia. The interconnectedness of all of the elements of the Earth, every living thing upon it, and mankind itself appeals to them.

While Gaia is a part of the belief system of several religions, traditions, and sects, it is the central component of others. Any sites whose content focuses on Gaia, the Gaia Hypothesis, Gaia worship, or the concept of the Earth and everything in it as a living system or deity are appropriate for this category.



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