Becoming Dangerous (Paperback)

Witchy Femmes, Queer Conjurers, and Magical Rebels

By Katie West (Editor), Jasmine Elliott (Editor), Kristen J. Sollée (Foreword by)

Weiser Books, 9781578636709, 320pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 2019

List Price: 16.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


The difference between the witch and the layperson is that witches already know they are powerful. The layperson may only suspect.

Edgy and often deeply personal, the twenty-one essays collected here come from a wide variety of writers. Some identify as witches, others identify as writers, musicians, game developers, or artists. What they have in common is that they’ve created personal rituals to summon their own power in a world that would prefer them powerless. Here, they share the rituals they use to resist self-doubt, grief, and depression in the face of sexism, slut shaming, racism, patriarchy, and other systems of oppression.

About the Author

Katie West lives in Scotland and is the owner of Fiction & Feeling publishing company.

Jasmine Elliott is a freelance editor and writer. She holds an MA in creative writing from the University of Windsor. She is a lapsed tarot reader and perpetually annoyed queer person currently based in Toronto. You can read her reviews of young adult literature at

Kristen J. Sollée is a writer, curator, and educator exploring the intersections of art, sex, and culture. She has written for mainstream and academic publications including VICE, NYLON, Time Out New York, and BUST. She lectures at colleges and conferences across the United States and Europe. She is also the founding editrix of Slutist, a sex-positive feminist website, and a lecturer at the New School.

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

"This isn't a book on how to become a witch. Rather, it's a book about what it means to be a witch, written by women and femmes for whom the word "witch" is as much a part of their identity as their skin, their sexuality, and their gender. Ultimately, though, this is a book about magic, real, operant magic, the kind which changes reality. It's a book about where that magic comes from, and how queer women and femmes, women of color, and trans women have used it since the dawn of humanity to survive in a world which would just as soon have them enslaved or dead." --Misha Magdalene, Patheos
— Misha Magdalene

"Whether harnessing the power of nature, tarot, crystals and candles or selfies, make up, video games and sex toys, these rebels, sluts, femmes, and witches heal from trauma, challenge institutional racism, dismantle misogyny, and create community. Replete with prose that is at turns revealing, relatable, and bitingly funny, this book lays the groundwork for summoning your own salvation on your own terms." --Kristen J. Sollée, author of Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive

— Kristen J. Sollée

"In this uneven yet bold collection of essays, 21 authors explore how they “resist the onslaught of a world of irrational happenings” by performing personal rituals that incorporate magic. Each essay is by someone who considers themselves marginalized and responding to a culture that “has attempted to cast a banishing spell” on them. Highlights include “Trash Magic” by Miranda Elizabeth, a self-described “sick mad crip borderline witch” who tweaks tarot readings and crystal rituals to suit the needs of her “disabled perspective” and Avery Edison’s “Before I Was a Woman, I Was a Witch,” which details Avery’s discovery of a witch kit as a teenager. A common thread is the subversion of conventional feminine beauty, such as in Catherine Hernandez’s “Femme as in Fuck You” in which she writes of taking intentionally ugly photos to reclaim her sense of beauty after an accident that left her scarred, and merritt k’s “Total Mood Killer,” about how she fashions her nails for peak scariness, “sharp enough to easily scratch skin—maybe draw blood.” Powerfully intimate and angry yet hopeful, these narratives will appeal to “magickal practitioners” looking for new examples of how others have dealt with oppression." --Publishers Weekly, (Apr 2019)

“Thoughtful and earnest, considered together these essays weave a spell, taking the acts of women deemed selfish and silly and naming them sacred. Witches are having a moment. And it’s about damn time.” —Kelly Sue DeConnick, Bitch Planet and Pretty Deadly

— Kelly Sue DeConnick

Becoming Dangerous is an essential survival guide for underrepresented communities who still have to fight for visibility in these so-called modern times.” —Alison Nastasi,

— Alison Nastasi

“Witchcraft specifically is appealing to the marginalized because witchcraft focuses on how the self and the earth are connected. It takes societal hierarchy out of the equation. . . . The contributors to Becoming Dangerous are a multi-faceted group of individuals and writers who have all found their power through dealing with personal hardship and establishing magical rituals. Their rituals vary from using fashion to combat societal sexualization, to buzzing off their hair to explore presentation and identity, and using special rituals to prove to the world that they are human and not less than. This new collection of essays about ‘ritual and resistance’ will fire you up and make you feel powerful.” —