THE CYCLE OF THE PHOENIX
Since reading issue 45-46's well done article on Laura by William Mann, I felt I had to come up with a version of my own. I am not as well versed in her history as he is but I have seen all of her episodes now. I see Laura (perhaps then her name was Lara, which sounds more ancient) as beginning far back in the past in Egypt when worshipping Ra was the thing to do. Her father, a high priest of Ra, urged the people in worship of Ra and when his daughter was born as the first blonde Egyptian ever, the people took it as a sign that he should lead them in this and they would even sacrifice their children to Ra through his ceremonies. Ra, the egotist "god" was really a smaller, minor demon, relegated by the devil, or perhaps by God, to follow strict rules if he were to receive any power or comfort in his eternal torment in hell. He was twisted by his hellish world and an egotist, he felt the best way to worship him, was to have himself worship himself, thus he made a part of himself be born into Laura when Laura was born--a part that Laura's father encouraged. Laura's mother was kind but she couldn't be too kind since she also believed in worshipping Ra even though she began to feel that killing children was wrong. But it wasn't until Laura became a teenager of 13 that she persuaded the people to donate their own children, en mass, to the fire pits of Ra. Laura's mother began to feel even worse about this and tried to persuade Laura to leave with her---the mother had fallen in love with a Hebrew slave who was then freed by Laura's father since he was converting many of the people. Laura's mother left but only after a long time when she practiced the Hebrew religion, thus instilling some small grace of humanity in Laura. When Laura's mother left, however, Laura decided to stay and really resented her mother, to the point of hate. Laura led, at 14, the people into killing almost all the children in the fires, expressing that the fires made them immortal, which was either a lie or a lie that Ra told her and she believed.
When Laura died---she was reborn in the usual fashion of the phoenix---the body that was left was the human part and the new one was a new Ra inspired Laura, a cold, amoral one. By this time, she probably had children of her own, but she used to call all the children that were sacrificed her children. Later, Ra would find it ironic that as punishment for his decreasing number of cults and worshippers, he would make Laura have to sacrifice her real world children. Laura's father, a mortal, died in the usual way---and perhaps he even put himself into the fires.
Thus, the cycle began--Laura would live as a human with human frailties and emotions to some extent, somewhat aware of her Ra existence but with each human incarnation this would lessen. By the time, Laura married Roger, she was not very aware of Ra. However when she burned in the hotel room fire and was reborn in a Ra-inspired Laura, she was fully aware of her Ra and her mission for him--to secure sacrifices---life force power which was robbed from him through the years as his religion faded almost totally.
Each Laura was born in the normal way--as a human being, usually to a couple who were at least part Egyptian, she would die in a horrid fire, usually but not always after having her own children. I don't believe Jeremiah was gay--gay men have been known to marry and sire children. It could be he was---but the idea that he couldn't perform just because he was gay is a fallacy. Gay men can and do have children with women. Perhaps he couldn't have children for some other reason--or maybe this human version of Laura couldn't. This leads me to another thing: Laura had to be human to have children, this required her transformation back into a human--to be born and live as a human, sire human children--for Ra could only have the humans as life forces. Then, to gain them for him, Laura had to be transformed again into the fire pit, literally since his own fire pit had been put out long ago by the people who no longer worshipped him. I don't believe Laura ever had a child named Laura--I think some of the Laura's had totally faked, phony family histories, some did not, but most did---I think Ra would have her born into any baby at some times but not at others. Each Ra-inspired Laura had the Ra part intact, while the human Laura's only contained a small part of the soul of Laura--who I believe was only one Laura by the way---her soul or spirit or both placed into a normal human baby, laying dormant until after she has grown, had children, and died in a fire. Reborn, the new Laura is more of the evil and yes, totally amoral and horrid person she was in both appearances. I believe her kindness to her children after rebirth was for one reason: to avoid her own punishment and death and redeath and damnation from Ra, who didn't like failure at all. Before that, Laura really didn't care for her children much at all--she may not have been total evil but she really wasn't a good person either---also having a Ra part laying dormant in her. When each Laura died, Ra gives them a new body--thus, the body found in 1967 was a Laura body--but she was given a new one, looking just as she did all the times before. As for one Laura being alive while another was her mother---I think this was either a mistake made by Laura or Ra or both or that they tried to do more than one Laura at a time. Perhaps it was Laura revolting against Ra, trying to break free of the cycle of torment she was really going through. Again, only for herself--selfish reasons. This may be all wrong, however, there could have been many Stockbridge families or branches of the same Stockbridge family---and the same can be true of Murdoch----or they may have simply made the names up and used them over and over again to explain the likeness of the previous Laura should the need ever arise---it seldom did.
I also don't think it was coincidence Quentin of 1897 went to Egypt---I think Laura persuaded him in some way, normal or supernatural.
There is also no proof that Laura had another Laura herself. In fact, there is proof to the contrary. This means that each of the Laura's parents need not have to die at all or be accounted for--they may not have even been Murdochs or Stockbridges--the name may have just been used. In a similar way, each of Laura's husbands or mates, need not have died either. Roger was alive. So was Jeremiah. She only wanted her children to be put in the fire as a sacrifice to Ra----and she would sit on the throne with him in hell----if not, she would suffer more than he currently suffered in hell.
Which leads us to the urn in 1897. This urn had some connection to Laura, as did the fire in 1967---each time these were threatened to be put out or destroyed, Laura was threatened with death--or some kind of death or failure. Perhaps this urn and the fire had her total power of flames and control over her children and others (Dirk Wilson) and other things (Guthrie's car) and was her life force. This could have been punishment for failing with Nora and Jamieson; also for failing with Jeremiah.
I am sure there is more to all this but it is a very underdeveloped background--the character as seen on TV. That is what gives her mystery and mystique. It is all rather confusing and I am sure I don't have all the facts right but as I see it Laura was the one in control almost all of the time, asides from Ra, not her father. I also think she was never mother to another Laura host body and that her new bodies were supplied by Ra--how is another story---I know the body that was supposed to be Laura was missing from the tomb in 1967 and also that the ghost of Laura tried to warn them in either 67 or 1897----and that could have been one of the human Lauras before Ra took it over and placed Laura's soul in it as a baby or after...the fires.
This sounds crazy---well, after all, it is DARK SHADOWS. Things don't have to make sense.
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