A part of the radical shift of Northern Lights Witch is seeing myself a little bit more as a facilitator – I want to bring all the radical witches I admire together to create even more magic for you.
As the Little Red Tarot blog winds down, I invited our fabulous writers to re-introduce themselves and their columns and let you know where you can continue to find and support their work after LRT ends.
This time, we’re getting to know Abbie Plouff!
Author of the Heathen’s Journey column, Abbie digs into Norse spirituality, rune by rune. Her in-depth, well-researched writing seeks to reclaim Heathenry and the Norse pantheon from white supremacy, and presents Norse gods, goddesses and runes in a modern, queer and inclusive context. Abbie also runs her own businesss, Northern Lights Witch, offering tarot readings and witchcraft resources for collective liberation – with more to come!
Hey Abbie! What’s the one thing you want the Little Red Tarot community to know about you?
I am a multipassionate, queer witch here to support community in what feels like the end times.
My tarot, rune, witchcraft, and herbal practice takes many different forms, and it’s undergoing a transformation at the moment. I do tarot and rune readings via email through my business, Northern Lights Witch. I also teach about witchcraft and sell zines on witchcraft, tarot, and other occult topics. I know that Northern Lights Witch is evolving beyond my original vision for the site and the business. I’m beginning to see myself more as an artist, and less as a business owner, and I’d love to have you along for the ride over there.
I’ve begun a three year program in herbalism, combining medicinal herbalism with folklore and magical herbalism. I hope to eventually be able to sell tinctures, teas, salves, and other remedies to support your body and soul in these dark times. This is something that you will see more of from me – more information about plant allies. I’m also particularly interested in native plants to where I’m from (Minnesota and Wisconsin in the United States), as well as plant allies that would have been used in my ancestors’ apothecaries (Norway and Northern Europe).
A part of the radical shift of Northern Lights Witch is seeing myself a little bit more as a facilitator – I want to bring all the radical witches I admire together to create even more magic for you. I’m still sorting out what that looks like, but there will be much more collaboration and many writing projects in the near future.
Tell us something about your column – what were your aims when you started it, what have you learned through writing it?
I began the Heathen’s Journey because I could no longer ignore the call of my ancestors to work with the runes, but I wanted to do it in a specifically social-justice oriented way. Norse folk practices and heathenry have been appropriated by white supremacists for so long that it is often the first thing people think when they meet a Norse pagan.
In my meditation, connection with ancestors, and connection with the Gods, I felt a very specific calling to write a counter-narrative, to explore the leftist, collectivist roots within this tradition. I wanted to connect with my own heritage but to also show others that Norse heathenry can be accepting and open.
I came to heathenry kicking and screaming, but now, a year and some months after beginning this column, I’m realizing there’s just so much to delve into. Not only are the runes an incredibly supportive system of divination, a language all their own, but each rune is its own spirit – an ally as we move through these difficult times. There are also entire schools of witchcraft to unravel – including spaecraft, seidr, possession, and Norse ancestor veneration.
And the deeper I dig, the more queer it gets.
There’s a lot of gender fuckery happening in the Norse traditions, and as I continue to explore this part of my heritage I will write more and more about gender and sexuality between the worlds, genderqueer god/desses, and rebellious ancestors.
I’ll be continuing this writing on Patreon, Northern Lights Witch (my website), and I’ll do some deep dives over at Gods and Radicals.
What’s the best way for our community to show you love and support right now?
I have a Patreon, but I’m shifting the rewards to a community/sliding scale model. I’ll be re-launching my Patreon in December 2018, and I would love to grow the community there. I’m redesigning my Patreon with my collectivist, anti-capitalist business ethics in mind. I want to make my readings, herbal recipes, and writings available to more people regardless of how much that person can afford. I want to make my offerings purely sliding scale, because that fits my ethics and values better than my current model.
Which means redesigning my patreon rewards to honor both the sliding scale and my own labor.
Like I said, I’m not totally sure what this will look like, but I think it will involve community readings for all members of the Patreon, a continuation of the Heathen’s Journey column, sneak peeks at my illustrated Materia Magica, and other pieces of art that I’m working on. I know that it’s a lot to ask to support me when my Patreon is in flux, but knowing that there is a community of people and supporters there really would mean a lot to me.
If you can’t support me there, please follow me on social media! I am most active on Instagram and Twitter, and those are great places to follow along with my journey as a professional witch and healer.
Can you name three values that guide your work?
Intersectional Feminism, Ecocentricity, and Anticapitalism | These three values weave together so deeply in my mind that I can’t really separate them. When I look at the problems that we face, I see these values as the solutions. Climate change, poverty, inequality, violence – each has their root in capitalism, the idea that humans are above the environment, and/or white male supremacy. And each of these ideas feeds into the other in ever increasing ways. The only way to save ourselves in the wake of climate change is to divorce ourselves from capitalism. Fighting against capitalism means that we need to find our own power and autonomy – and we must work toward gender and racial equity. And the only way to redistribute our resources radically enough to ensure that everyone has what they need is to view ourselves as one part of the ecosystem.
How does the witchery fit into that? Witchcraft, herbalism, and ancestral work all blend the magical with the real. The transformative power of witchcraft, placed in the context of the time before capitalism, can help us vision and create the next world.
Community Care and Self Care | We are living in chaotic, difficult, dangerous times. The only way that we will ever be able to build something better is if we can make it through the fight. I know that my place in activism is to make sure that the people who are meant to be – and have the energy to be – out front are supported and able to do what they need to do. That is what guides my direction as Northern Lights Witch – that is why I’m hoping to add herbal care to my tarot + rune emotional care.
Curiosity and Creativity | This one is more for me. If we’re going to rewrite our world, we will need all the creativity we can muster. Leave no stone unturned, explore every avenue. That is also what keeps me going – curiosity and creativity help me to feel alive, and fill my well faster than anything else. When I lose either of these things, I know that I have burned out and need to make some serious changes.
Awesome! So, where else can we find you online Abbie?
- northernlightswitch.org | My website! Here you can purchase zines, tarot readings, rune readings, and more.
- abbieplouff.com | This one is my personal website/online portfolio. I’m expanding beyond just writing about witchcraft, and I also showcase some of my artwork and artistic process here.
- My patreon! Come support me on a monthly basis, and help me transition to a life of full time artistic work, writing, and witchery.
- Twitter | This account is mostly my personal ramblings, updates about what I’m up to, memes, and humor. I get a little messy here, but it’s good to embrace the mess every once in a while.
- Instagram | And if you want a social media platform where I am both vulnerable but manage to hold my shit together, this one’s for you.
I’m a 30-something writer, artist, tarot reader, and perpetual explorer of the space between thought, feeling, and action.
I believe that spirituality and ritual are for everybody. I’m about the journey, in all of its messy, non-linear, chaotic iterations. I am excited by anticapitalist business and living with my whole entire self present. I use tarot cards to bring forth hidden truth, and ritual to affirm my commitment, over and over, to my ever-shifting path.