Gaia existed before everything; she existed before time. Gaia, the eternal, prehistoric earth mother goddess, is fertility incarnate, moist, mysterious, strong. She is life energy itself; everything that lives, breathing or not, overflows with her life. She is the earth and all the powers of the earth. Gaia is not always a consoling goddess: standing for life and generation without thought of consequence, she has an energy and a power that must be approached carefully. All bodies eventually return to her, into the black, fertile earth, to be devoured and to receive her life to live again. As a goddess of the soul, Gaia reminds us that the soul develops in dark places and that ultimately soul must be rooted in body, in earth. She is a reminder that we must ground ourselves in the reality of nature and incorporate all sides of ourselves, be they pleasant or unpleasant, light or dark.