Though a bit rambling at times, The Power of Myth is a great introductory text on archetypes found within all world mythologies from almost every time period. Campbell explains why the underlying stories are the same from all over the world and what they mean in both cultural, personal, and world contexts.
He breaks down some of the major archetypes like the sacrificed god and resurrection, virgin births, goddesses, trees, snakes, and more. As someone who has studied tarot and The Tree of Life extensively, I found it to be an illumination.
I particularly liked learning about the mythology of Star Wars. With the release of the new film, that particular series is back in the top of the pop culture charts. I think that The Power of Myth explains why it has such enduring appeal.
If you liked The Power of Myth, you may want to pick up Artemis: The Indomitable Spirit in Everywoman by Jean Shinoda Bolen. It is another examination of mythology from a feminist perspective.
Or pick up any of the many books about mythology from any country you’d like. If you immerse yourself in enough of the stories, you will pick up on the reoccurring patterns yourself.
I believe that one of the many purposes of mythology, beyond its entertainment value, is to teach us about what we have in common with each other, and also, the hidden dimensions of ourselves.
As the doorway to the Delphic Oracle said, “Know Thyself.” And, really, that is the greatest power there is. Mythology helps you do that.
Thanks for reading!