Becoming Dangerous

Witchy femmes, queer conjurers, and magical rebels write about the interweaving of magic and ritual in their lives

Book Review by Ceris Aston | 09 Mar 2018
  • Becoming Dangerous
Book title: Becoming Dangerous
Author: Katie West and Jasmine Elliott (editors)

In Becoming Dangerous, a new crowdfunded anthology by Fiction & Feeling, 'witchy femmes, queer conjurers, and magical rebels' write about the interweaving of magic and ritual in their lives in a diverse and compelling book.

Deeply rooted in the here and now, the anthology nonetheless sends tendrils to loop the world and its mythologies, to coil around lovers, and to flower in memory of ancestors: 'It needs only to take root just below the surface for it to grow. And then that beauty can flourish, the way a plant can break through concrete' (Red Glitter by Sophie Saint Thomas).

It can be hard to critique the deeply personal, yet there are moments when overt connections to the theme feel slightly contrived, while the essay order means that, at points, the listed details of different rituals jostle alongside one another with little room for reflection.

Nonetheless, this book has power in it. Becoming Dangerous is a book about loss, love, struggle and survival. The images in Garden by Marguerite Bennett and Buzzcut Season by Larissa Pham are liberating; J.A. Micheline's stunning Ritualising My Humanity prompts reflections on race, privilege, gender and danger; the beauty of ancestral and familial connection shine through Touching Pennies, Painting Nails by Sim Bajwa and Gayuma by Sara David.

This book is transgressive and spellbinding. Believe in magic? Don't believe? Doesn't matter. Believe in these writers. Believe in their words. 

Released 1 Mar by Fiction & Feeling, £15