Book Review – Staff of Laurel, Staff of Ash: Sacred Landscapes in Ancient Nature Myth by Dianna Rhyan

Book Review

Staff of Laurel, Staff of Ash:
Sacred Landscapes
in Ancient Nature Myth

by Dianna Rhyan

Publisher: Moon Books

192 Pages

Release Date: June 1, 2023





In her attempt to convey her thoughts of how Ancient Nature Myth is reflected in our current landscape, Dianna begins to reference ancient myths early in the book. The prologue refers to and includes quotes from ancient gods. Several quotes and references to the ancient are repeated throughout the balance of the book.

Dianna’s approach to articulate the synchronicities of these two worlds is to take us on a “hike” through the lands that she finds reminiscent of the Ancient Myths. Once I began to learn more about her through her website, this began to make more sense as much of her work is described as experiential. It can be difficult to describe experiential events such as physical sensations and emotional responses with words.

Her descriptive words and flowery prose allow my mind to wander and imagine ancient myths in a “modern day” forest in a meditative, dream like state. Although it does require a concentrated focus to recall what the book’s intent might be in linking the two worlds together. However, I ultimately found the content to be rambling in some areas and it became difficult to follow along. This book may have been more suited to be presented in a series of short stories or perhaps better yet in a series of poems.

The first few words in the Prologue read like this – “Assembled, these pages refused to assemble, and so altogether, they form a series of sketches, fallen like samaras, whose order is ultimately undetermined.”

So perhaps I was forewarned and the content presented here needs to be digested as many bits and pieces.

Please consider that this is my opinion and my opinion only. I do encourage you to read the book and come to your own conclusions.


About the Author

Dianna Rhyan is a mythologist and therapist whose work focuses on nature goddesses and the spirituality of natural landscapes. When not delving in to archaic myth or studying Sumerian, she can be found exploring the Cuyahoga Valley trails of Northeast Ohio.



Staff of Laurel, Staff of Ash on Amazon



About the Author:

Linda Bischoff

Over the past 35 years, Linda has been helping people curate elements of their physical space to influence mind, body and spirit. Her focus has always been on creating meaningful connection with our environment.

Within her practice of Feng Shui, she combines the principles of Interior Design and the concepts of Biophilia to ensure positive energy flow. When we enhance the vibrations around us we become more likely to achieve our dreams and goals.

Linda lives in Halton Hills, Ontario with her husband and their cat Molley. Find out more about her and her practice at