The goal of the Tradition is the restoration of oneself to natural function. To explain what I mean, consider, for example, that you're walking along the road and come across a small, mysterious box that someone has left behind. Upon close examination, you discover that not only is it exceptionally sturdy, but it is also intricately carved with strange, unfamiliar symbols - a pentagram, an ankh, the star of Solomon, and others, even more obscure. So, you decide to take it home to study it further.
Upon arriving home, you find that some household matters require your immediate attention, so you place the box on a shelf, where it is soon forgotten. Months go by until one day you're sitting in your study, looking through some important papers, when a sudden breeze bursts through the open window, scattering them everywhere. You frantically look around for something to prevent the papers from blowing about and see the small, forgotten box, which you hurriedly place on top of the papers, satisfied with your spontaneous ingenuity. The box has a purpose, after all!
Later that evening, you catch sight of the mysterious box in a moment of quietude and decide to examine it more thoroughly. You pick it up and hear a rattle. Much to your surprise, you discover that there seems to be something inside but try as you might; you cannot open the box to discover its contents. It is tightly locked, and you have no key. Thus, after many years, the box remains and is hardly noticed except for the rare occasions where it becomes useful to prop open a door or even as a makeshift hammer to help hang a picture.
Then, one day, many years later, an old friend comes to visit. After a wonderful dinner, you decide to retire to the study with your old friend to continue your conversation and "catch up." Upon settling in, his gaze suddenly fixates on the long-forgotten, misused mystery box...
"Wha... Where... where did you get THAT?" he exclaims! "What?" you ask. "A MAGICIAN'S TOOLBOX!!!" he blurts out, barely able to control his enthusiasm. "What, this old thing?" you ask. "I've had it for years... never really found much use for it aside from holding down papers, propping open doors, and hammering in nails," you explain.
"You... you... you REALLY have no idea what you have here, do you?" he sighs. "Haven't you ever opened it? Don't you know what's IN THERE?" he demands. "No," you say, "It's locked, and I've never been able to unlock it," you explain. "I found it, just as it is, and I have no key."
"What do you MEAN you have no KEY?" he explodes. "What's THAT hanging around your neck!?"
"My neck...?" you whisper as your hand slowly discovers an object bound to a golden chain hanging softly over your heart. "My... my mother gave me this when I was young... but... but... I had completely forgotten about it."
You slowly remove the key that has been there all along and gently place it into the lock; it turns... and suddenly... click!
Like the Parable of the Magic Box, there comes a point in one's life, usually in childhood, when we discover the unique nature of our being - the magic box - but don't know its true purpose. We may even notice certain things about our outward design, like the pentagrammic structure of our body, the sense of vitality that flows within, and the and religious feelings of wonder at our place in the universe - the pentagram, the ankh, and the seal of Solomon.
Over time, we become dull, accustomed to, and even familiar with ourselves. We place ourselves on the 'shelf' of life to collect dust, often forgetting ourselves for many years. True, we may use ourselves on occasion in various ways for the culture of life, for we are sturdy and can do many things - but never towards our intended purpose.
Every once in a while, we may "rattle the box" and conclude that there is something more inside but can only guess or theorize about what may really be within.
And yet, we already have the key! It's been there all along. Our mother, the Great Mother, The Planet, and Nature, has given us all we need to unlock the magic within.
Nobody can give you the key; it's already yours, resting softly above your heart. But we can all use an 'old friend' once in a while to point it out to us.