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Becoming Dangerous: Witchy Femmes, Queer Conjurers and Magical Rebels on Summoning the Power to Resist
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Becoming Dangerous: Witchy Femmes, Queer Conjurers and Magical Rebels on Summoning the Power to Resist

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4.12  ·  Rating details ·  614 ratings  ·  118 reviews
A nonfiction book of deeply personal essays by marginalised people using the intersection of feminism, witchcraft, and resistance to summon power and become fearsome in a world that would prefer them afraid. With contributions from twenty witchy femmes, queer conjurers, and magical rebels, Becoming Dangerous is a book of intelligent and challenging essays that will resonat ...more
Paperback, 294 pages
Published March 2018 by Fiction & Feeling
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Akiva I didn't count, but I think about a third of the authors mentioned they were trans women or transfeminine. Exactly one author uses they/them pronouns …moreI didn't count, but I think about a third of the authors mentioned they were trans women or transfeminine. Exactly one author uses they/them pronouns for themself.(less)
Nancy Svinicki This is not really related to D&D at all, so I would say no. I'm sure you could take pieces of some of the things folks write about in these books, bu…moreThis is not really related to D&D at all, so I would say no. I'm sure you could take pieces of some of the things folks write about in these books, but I wouldn't. (less)

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Hannah
this collection comes at a moment of peak trendiness for witchiness & femmeness, at least in my own lived experience so far. i was really excited about it, and also, the further i got through the collection, the more my excitement splatted onto the ground.

don't get me wrong; i appreciated every piece in this collection & there are a lot of great stories & a lot of great writing. it feels important at this moment to have a more substantial documentation of individual femme practices of magic tha
...more
Victoria
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
I really, REALLY wanted to love this book. If I could I would’ve given it 2.5 stars.

I understand what they were trying to do with this book, but I don’t think they achieved it.

Some essays were gems! I felt lost throughout the others. HOWEVER, I appreciated each essay for what it was: a personal essay. I greatly enjoyed the human-ness about it. I drew power from that.

I’d still recommend this book because it’s important to read stories of those who don’t go viral who don’t fit the very careful
...more
Britt Marczak
Are you into witchy things, even a little, even if your definition differs from others? Are you into intersectional feminism? What about resisting?

Read. This. Book.

There's a truly impressive variety of voices amplified in this book, aka it's not just white women appropriating shit that doesn't belong to them. It's women of color (black and non-black), it's trans women, it's...wonderful. So many spiritual, religious, and non-spiritual belief structures are covered (yes, including at least one at
...more
Haliation
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: witchy
I think the rating for this, if I'm going to be picky, would be closer to a 3.5 stars. The essays I liked, I really, REALLY fucking liked. But some of them were just not jiving with me. I think the point I may have missed before purchasing is that the book IS described as "deeply personal" essays. They really are. To the point where some of them really were just love letters to oneself. And that is fine! But I was hoping for more community liberation, less "self empowerment" mantra stuff. One es ...more
tatterpunk
Frustrating! Most of these essays read like the homework of that one girl in class who smelled of nag champa, wore half a dozen scarves even in summer, and always tried to derail the lecture with intimately personal stories about her current boyfriend troubles. I encourage your exploration of your orgasm; my question is whether it is directly relevant to the discussion.

There is a lot of astrology in this book. There is a shitton of candle talk. There is also a lot of processing the 2016 America
...more
Paige Vanderbeck
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: witchreads2019
This book is powerful, funny, and at times very sad. Though it’s not a practical guide on witchcraft, or even on danger, it shows you how those who are often the most marginalized in our society use ritual to harness their own personal power. It’s about 21 people from all over embracing who they are, and stepping into their identities in magical ways. Every essay in the book might not appeal to you, but I can guarantee that some of the stories will be relatable and inspirational.

Right away, the
...more
Anna (Bananas)
I’m keeping a running summary of the essays because I don’t want to forget these. ❤️

Unfuckable - A tale about Scotland and about stories that are so strong they manifest in the real world.

Trash-Magic - This one was soooo good. The writing spins you into her world and if you’ve never lived a scavenger life, it’s pretty eye-opening. It’s also beautiful how she finds things of value everywhere that other people have discarded. She also illustrates how we do the same thing to the disabled and margin
...more
Alex Sarll
At its core, a book suggesting that life will always contain an element of ritual, so why not take ownership and make that work for you? Even more than most anthologies, the brief has necessarily stirred very different responses in different contributors, and for any reader there will be some that resonate more than others, maybe even some one bounces off entirely. The diversity of pieces is all the wider thanks to the diversity of contributors, which sometimes extends to an understandable prodd ...more
Anna Rodimtseva
Apr 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This the most empowering book I have read in a long time. It's not just another collection of essays bemoaning the injustice of our patriarchal world. It's also not your usual new age book about pagans, wiccan, and white girls who just really really like crystals. This is a collection of essays about womxn asserting power. Reading this reminded me of my powers and rituals I never bothered to assign any weight to. Becoming Dangerous reminded me that dedication, intention, and radical selfcare are ...more
Julie
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-a-copy
Okay, so, first of all: I didn't read every single essay in this book. Which is a good thing. The amazing editors thought to make a content warning page, which is a truly fantastic idea. These essays are very candid in their discussions of topics like trauma, institutional oppression, and death, and therefore might be upsetting. If you're interested in the different ways people cope with life (or trying to find inspiration for your own rituals), then I can't recommend this book enough. The conte ...more
Nicole Field
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
There were So Many good essays in this anthology. And it's a long anthology, with more than 20 contributors, all of them describing their personal acts of power and ritual.

Many of them glorify making themselves into monsters to take on the patriarchy and help to pull it down. Others don't engage with it at all, choosing not to give it more energy or power. Still more embraced their own sexuality to throw back against the patriarchy who would try to take that power from them.

In the first essay o
...more
misha
Overall, most of the essays were interesting to read if you are interested in reading about routines or 'rituals' in the broad sense of the word. There are a lot of queer voices in there, a lot of bipoc voices. The editors clearly put thought into which voices they'd lend a platform.
Some essays are absolutely amazing, intersectional, thoughtful, analytical, get uncomfortable, address issues in witchy circles and outside of them. Some of them were a blast to read, because of their content and/or
...more
Regan
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
I have mixed feelings about this book. First, my husband was part of the Kickstarter and he's a big fan of West's work, and he gifted me with his copy received from his donation, which is pretty cool. I like the idea of the book, the approach and the energy it seems to want to convey. But I keep hitting up against what I fear may be a generational thing - a way of looking at the world that seems to me to take certain things as given that I'm not sure are givens.

Now. To be totally honest, that do
...more
Edric Unsane
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: occult
A good mixture of essays about individuals using their own brands of magic to resist and grow in the modern world.

What I liked
Serious and graphic content that, although uncomfortable, is important for perspective.
A list of trigger warnings for each of the individual essays so readers can be prepared.
A diverse list of thought inspiring authors and essays.
Very well edited and put together.


What I disliked
A minority of the essays' writing wasn't up to my standards but were still very good.

Takeaway
I
...more
Marisa
Mar 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
A luminous and unique collection of essays that frequently forced me to pause and reflect. I suppose the subject matter could be considered rather niche (Queer folks, magic users, minorities resisting the world by finding and harnessing their personal power...) but it’s lovely to have their voices all together in one place, rather than them being the sole voice of the token “other”. I always enjoy reading how others interpret their personal histories and tell their stories, but the frequent use ...more
Elly Call
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is merciless—and that’s exactly how I wanted it. From essays critiquing the privilege in desiring to be dangerous, to boxing and straight up witchcraft, this book legitimately fulfilled every one of my needs. I think I ended this book better, faster, and stronger. But also I ended it wanting another one and also to be friends with every one of the authors. Read it, ya heathens.
Monica George
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted just a little bit more from this collection. While I applaud their intentional curation of authors spanning the entirety of witch culture...many of these essays felt repetitive.
Still - a beautifully curated assortment of witchy experiences, practices and rituals.
If you liked this you’ll love We Were Witches by Ariel Gore.
Billie Alexander
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Deeply personal and invigorating, Becoming Dangerous offers connections and shared experiences for femmes everywhere and presents insight to how modern witchcraft sinks into our daily lives. These essays are heartfelt, vivid, and moving, and the collection of writers makes a noteworthy attempt at intersectionality.
Holly
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Very good, and occasionally VERY brutal. It took me weeks to complete it because I could really only read one story at a time. But it was beautiful and lovely and so so meaningful.
Holly Buderus
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
Each and every essay (or what I could force myself to read of each) was beautifully written, but too many were overly dramatic. I, too, am upset by the political nightmare in the US, but I can't let it affect my every moment. ...more
Ellen Ricks
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a great collection. It reminds me why I love essays. Powerful, connecting, and says with you after it’s done.
R C
Jan 06, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love an anthology and this was no exception. I love the conversion/claiming of daily ritual into magic rite. Definitely shared some of these articles with friends -- that good.
Lauren Baker
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is my daily dose of "chicken noodle soup" for my slutty, witchy, poly, femme soul!
Absolutely love this book, go buy it now and eat it up! 🔥💞💦🥰😘
...more
Sarah
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Awesome! Reviewing for spiral nature online
Elizabeth
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book made me feel seen, made me feel understood, like little private things I do for myself or assign power to myself aren't just my own (but in the best, best possible way). I wanted to know so much more about each of the writers, each of these people who are making magic in their own ways that are so similar and different to the way I practice. I wanted to give this book to the people I love and say look, this is what it's about, this is why I do these things and feel these things; at the ...more
Damien
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I see so many aspects of the women and femmes and nonbinary people I know reflected in this book—wildly varied stories of processes of growth and change and the cultivation of strength. Complete with an introductory description of the ritual circle about to be cast and the dangers we may face within it, these pieces weave a necessary contemporary grimoire: a tome that describes, guides through, and embodies so many kinds of magic(k) we can use to help each other survive, and thrive.
Devin
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was an incredibly powerful collection of stories about the use of ritual. The stories were really intense so I could only read 1 or 2 at a time. Each one gave me another way if thinking about ritual and so much inspiration. This book is an incredible gift.
Reana Kovalcik
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Poetic, inspirational, eye opening. Plan for plenty of underlining.
Jacquie Parry
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book

I urge everyone to read this it's not my usual thing to I was enthralled by every page
Each essay is different and Very thought provoking
...more
Jessica McKenna
I expected something...actionable out of this book.

Maybe that was my mistake.

But in a book titled "Becoming Dangerous," with "Magical Rebels" in the tagline, with a description that specifically states that the prompt was "rituals," you'd think you'd get...I don't know...something to do, or at least to try to do, about the state of the world or the state of you yourself within the world.

And, it turns out...not so much.

What you get is a book of personal essays that really could have been publishe
...more
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