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Becoming Dangerous: Witchy Femmes, Queer Conjurers, and Magical Rebels

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  301 ratings  ·  56 reviews
At the crossroads of #MeToo, #HexthePatriarchy, and the increasingly vocal feminist and LGBTQ+ movements comes a highly readable and moving collection of writings

The difference between the witch and the layperson is that a witch already knows they are powerful. The layperson may only suspect. Becoming Dangerous is a collection of deeply personal essays by marginalized
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 1st 2019 by Weiser Books (first published 2018)
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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…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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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
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
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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 ...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 ...more
Paige The Fat Feminist Witch
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Wayne Rée
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This isn't just a great book. It's an important one.

Becoming Dangerous, at its core, celebrates the idea of care – both in a communal sense, but also the idea of self-care, helping to shed the notion that taking the time to love yourself is inherently bad somehow. Rituals are explored as a part of witchcraft in some essays – but, throughout all the essays, also as the things that women and femmes of all forms do to stay sane in a world that, at times, feels like it's gone insane.

While I have,
Jun 23, 2019 rated it liked it
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
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Edric Unsane
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Awesome! Reviewing for spiral nature online
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
Poetic, inspirational, eye opening. Plan for plenty of underlining.
Oct 12, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daniel Paul
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book for anyone interested in ceremony and willpower in regards to learning how to use both to cause change, as well as manifest whatever you put your mind to. It's not a "This is how you do it..." book. It's different people's stories of how they've out-created the forces in life that depress us and bring us down by learning to create and perform personalized rituals that are meant to attract whatever it is we desire. Good health, success, happiness, love, or even to work on small ...more
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
While there were moments where I wished for more gender neutral experiences, I found Becoming Dangerous to be like a balm to my queer soul. Magic and queerness often go hand in hand, I feel. However, within a society that is extremely narrow-minded, monotheistic, patriarchal and likes these to remain firmly within the box they’ve been put into, we are often given less space to delve into the work of our communities.
I resonate very deeply with intention, with auras, with candles and believe the
Dec 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
At it's core, this book is about self-care, loving yourself, and navigating the world when you're at one of the most emotional moments in your life.

There are several essays in this book and all of them are unique and important to the individual that wrote it. Some of them had to do with spells and rituals; some of them had to do with, basically, amping yourself up into the beautiful person that you are. And some of them involved a person healing from the trauma that they'd experienced in the
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
"The difference between the witch and the layperson is that a witch already knows they are powerful."

"To know that our sick-witch bodies and psyches are not rebelling against us but against individual and systemic trauma, again capitalism, against complacency and complicity?"

"Taking purposefully ugly photos is such a small thing, but it feels subversive in a world that values prettiness in girls and women above so many other traits."

"The simplest and hardest of rituals:
Get up.
Do the thing.
Get up
My favorite essay in this book was Ritualizing My Humanity by J.A. Micheline. She does a great job of explaining how many white cis women are putting on witchy or monster-like personas in order to navigate white patriarchy while at the same time blacK people have to shake idea that they are monsterous or dangerous in order to survive. The essay put into words some of my uncomfortable feelings I have about modern day American witch culture. Many of the other essays good and talked about ...more
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh I loved this so much. I don't often read essay collections, but I'm glad I picked this one up. Even if you are not into "witchy" topics (which most of the essays in this collection center around), if you have ever felt marginalized for your skin color, gender identity, sexual identity, body type, etc. there will be something in here that may resonate with you. This book is more than just about social justice and witchcraft - this is about those who feel helpless finding ways to reclaim their ...more
Nathan Vannet
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A comforting, incredible, and personal set of essays from those existing in a world that doesn’t want them to thrive, using their own rituals to give them power in this said world. It’s diverse, and spoke to me during a very dark time as I read most of it whilst awake during a brief psychiatric ward admission. The book also contains trigger warnings, which I really appreciated. Thank you to all who contributed to this wonderful book.
Mandy Szewczuk
This is really 3.5 stars. While the diversity in the essays was fascinating and appreciated, the essays themselves read like long blog posts full of self-affirmations. I enjoyed reading them, but once I was finished, there was little that was very memorable about any of them. Some of the essays really did stand out, and the power of Witch through different lenses made me consider sources of self-actualization and ways of doing rituals that I hadn't considered previously.
Mary Drover
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh wow, this is a lot. I wanted to read this so much slower than I actually did, and I’m a little mad at myself for rushing through it just so I could finish it. Like, I could have taken all month with this and still not been satisfied. Perhaps the best way to read this is one essay at a time with a couple days in between each so you can really let them sink in. Becoming Dangerous is about 20 essays from every different type of woman you can imagine, whether they’re a witch or not. It asks the ...more
Laurel L. Perez
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection of essays is unlike any collection of essays I can think of. It is a glimpse into the lives of women/those who identify as women and how they live their lives and why. It's about how they feel most powerful, what led them to this power, and how they uplift other feminists and beyond. Not quite the book I thought it would be, but I was surprised and learned some things, which is all I ask of any book in the long run.
possibly a 2.5?
My favourite essay was at the end.....
I think I wanted more from this; more on the history of witchcraft, about the fact that witchiness is being absorbed into white spaces despite said history, about what it means to be 'dangerous' - why do you want to be dangerous? why does it give you strength? Instead, it's full of discussions on how wearing make-up can serve as a ritual for confidence. which is fine...
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
I don't have to agree or disagree with the stories in the book. It's an eye opener of other people's lives and how they feel. It can open the door to understanding everyone's background, learn where they are coming from and what they have been through. As we need more empathy with those around us.
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Hello! I'm the owner of Fiction & Feeling publishing company; a photographer who's been posting self-portraits online for over a decade; a writer who writes non-fiction and comics and has been published by Dark Horse and Bedside Press; and an executive assistant to the creators of the Image comic The Wicked + The Divine.