Laura Strong is cross-cultural mythologist, artist and visual communicator with a lifelong interest in the unseen realms and such important rites of passage as death. Intuitive by nature, she discovered the ability at a young age to connect with those who had crossed over and who came to say goodbye, or sometimes needed some assistance with their passage to the other side.
In my early years I also experienced the loss of a number of people around me - neighbors, relatives, friends and even my blue bird troop leader. Curious by nature, I wanted to know what happened to all these people who had suddenly vanished from my life, but instead of finding comfort, I found only isolation in a culture that was afraid to talk about death and those who had passed on.
While it is common to turn to one's religion at such a time, the Lutheran church I was attending wasn't too forthcoming either. Instead of providing answers, they asked me to leave the congregation at the age of 12 for "asking too many questions!" This set the stage for a life-long quest, where I have actively studied and engaged with a wide variety of religious and mystical traditions, intuitive arts, shamanic methods, healing modalities, and dreamwork.
This journey eventually led me to pursue an MA/PhD in Mythological Studies with an Emphasis in Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute, where I continued my study of religious and mythological beliefs surrounding death and dying in cultures around the world.
It was during these studies that I came across the role of the psychopomp, who provides guidance at the time of death, and acts as a bridge between the land of the living and the realms of the dead. I began to see how this archetypal figure could provide a positive framework to discuss what can otherwise be a rather daunting subject. I also saw how the context of mythological stories can enable people from different cultures, such as those who provide medical, hospice, or spiritual support, to engage in a conversation about death and dying with others, even if they do not share the same religious, cultural or spiritual beliefs.
I continue to be interested in how these ideas can be incorporated into stories and imagery that can touch people of all ages and open up a conversation in our culture - not only about what happens at the time of death, but also about the eternal aspect of our being, and how we can deepen our understanding of the intuitive and unseen realms and the guidance that is available there, which is so important for individuals, communities, and the planet at this time.
- Laura Strong, PhD
Located in Sebastopol, CA, Laura can be reached by email or by phone at 707-861-3899.