Here’s a reliable mythical cipher for the Hero’s Journey and similar:
Magic = Accommodation (as in Piaget)
Sword = Assimilation
Monsters = Problems
Recurring nightmare castle = The Jungian Shadow of society’s collective unconscious, representing the ever-present danger of low-trust preference cascades
This is why the hero’s sword is typically made of magic. If other swords could cut Ganondorf, they already would have. So the hero needs the wizard character to use his superior accommodation powers to create a new general solution for the current class of problems, then hand this off to the hero to go out and apply the new concept in a series of micro-innovations, leading to prosperity.
Primitivists like Bronze Age Pervert and other worshipers of the barbarian ethos distrust accommodation and wizards generally. Like Conan, they don’t trust anything except the strength of their arm and the sword they already have, so Conan always ends up running away from cosmic horrors like Ganondorf in a state of primitive terror (read the stories, I’m not just shitting on his ethos). Which is to say, they refuse to learn new things and would rather rely on their instincts than look for modern solutions to modern problems.
The trouble with wizards, on the other hand, is they rely on their accommodation powers way too much and end up trying to accommodate the Shadow. That was Jung’s idea and ended up inspiring the Thelema sex magic cults that run the world today. (To learn more about pizzagate and the power of trauma, watch the anime/undercover cop show Fire Force which was later made into “The Wire”. Trueish!) Jordan Peterson is a more pedestrian example. He tried integrating his Shadow and now he’s in Russia getting his simp ass beat by the sort of dominatrix money just can’t buy in the West. Wizardry is the leading cause of meth overdoses, and that’s a fact.
The nightmare castle idea was inspired by Castlevania, but there are a lot of examples. The golden palace in Shinobi (PS2) is the one that resonates with me because that’s one of my favorite games. Primitivists see all wizardry as attempts to summon the nightmare castle to spew monsters and demons o’er the land but like Rousseau and Kaczynski before them they’re just being spergs. Wizardry works just fine on small monsters or for sticking swords in stones for the hero to find after becoming worthy (thank you for this Nick Land). It’s just no good for vampires, dragons, dark lords, or dragonblooded dark vampire lords. You need a pure heart for that kind of fight and if you use your wind tunnel he’s just going to send out his poison insects again and you’ll be completely useless for the next 175 episodes.
For rabbitholes on the nightmare castle thing, see:
In game theory terms, you can think of it as an epicenter of defection, from which further toxic social epistasis spreads like a viral epidemic of pozz. A haunted but relatively harmless manor, in contrast, is often a place where low-trust ideas (like “the purpose of government is for elites to suppress competition”, “justified true belief in facts is epistemically impossible”, and “never believe wamen”) are preserved from the tendency of high-trust people to hit uncomfortable truths with their swords, and thus are usually presided over by an extremely disagreeable but relatively benevolent nobilid.
tl;dr- Assimilate your Shadow.