Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition
No.6. Vol. 1, Vernal Equinox 2004
Wiccan Genius or Pagan Savant?
What’s Your Wicca IQ? Laura Wildman. Citadel Press; Kensington Publishing Corp., 850 Third Ave., New York, NY, 2002. p. 289. $9.95 USD.
review by Samuel Scarborough
How well do you know your Wiccan or pagan material? Are you just starting on the path or have you been practicing for years? Have you ever wondered just how you could test your knowledge of the material that you should know as a practicing witch or pagan? Well, here is a book that will be able to help you out. The last twenty years have seen the growth of interest in Wicca, witchcraft, and Neo-Paganism. Wicca has been acknowledged one of the fastest growing religions in North America, and there are innumerable websites and books on the subject.
Laura Wildman is a Third Degree Gardnerian Witch trained in the Protean tradition. She has taught and lectured on Wicca for more than fifteen years and is a legally recognized Wiccan clergy in Massachusetts. Mrs. Wildman is also a faculty member and chair of the Interfaith Development and Community Rites of Passage Department at Cherry Hill Seminary, a Pagan seminary in Vermont.
The book is broken down into six distinct chapters that each deal with a specific topic, and a seventh chapter to grade yourself as to where you fall in the Wiccan IQ scale, but if you are expecting just another run of the mill recipe book on paganism or Wicca and witchcraft, then you will be disappointed. Each chapter has several sections of questions with multiple-choice answers and a few matching questions that relate to a more narrowed focus within the broad categories of the chapter. There is no other information on the topic of the chapter, other than the very brief introduction. The answers to each section of questions are at the end of the chapter. The object is to test your knowledge of the topic at hand. The chapters are as follows:
Unlike many books that have questions and answers in them, Mrs. Wildman actually explains the answers in some detail in the answer section of each chapter. This is not simply a question 1. A; format, there is a brief explanation of the answer and in many cases a cite as to where the information can be found, i.e. what book, etc. Also, in many cases there is a listing of a book or books that may be of help on a particular subject listed under the question. Her reason for this format on the answers to show the subject taking the test where their strengths lie and what they need to work on, not just to parrot back a series of answers to the questions. Finally, in each chapter is method to calculate your score in that chapter, along with a maximum test score possible in that chapter.
Chapter seven of this book is where it is all comes together. This is where you tally your scores from the previous chapters and then tabulate the score. This score can range from 0-1234. The scores are further broken down into four categories.
These sections are further explained as to having the general knowledge that would go along with having that particular degree within a Tradition or bestowed upon you by the gods. Having answered the questions to the level of 677-1046 does not make you a Priest or Priestess within the Craft; it just means that you understand the material to that level.
Also, in chapter seven, there is a section for evaluating each chapter on a similar scale of Dedicant through Third Degree. This is like the rest of the book used to see what sections you may need to strengthen so that you can better use the knowledge of your chosen path.
Here is a book that will help you with your knowledge of paganism and Wicca and witchcraft that any person on that path can use regardless of learning or time practicing. Do not expect an easy time in taking the tests. The material covered in these questions is very thorough and will take some thought on the part of the person answering the questions.
Overall, this book should be in any personal library of any practicing
magician regardless of Tradition. From Neo-Pagan to Ceremonial magician,
this book has something to offer any practicing magician.