Broadly Speaking: Meaning, Mysticism and Manifestation

Broadly Speaking: Meaning, Mysticism and Manifestation

For aeons, humans have sought out systems of meaning to make sense of the patterns of our lives. In recent years, there’s been a resurgence and reclaiming of mysticism and alternative practices such as astrology, tarot and manifestation, particularly among women, non-binary people, queer communities and communities of colour.

These practices can provide spiritual and practical direction and pathways to success, and help us understand our place in the world – but they’re also derided and dismissed by many.

At this Broadly Speaking event, we heard from journalist and ‘sceptical believer’ Amal Awad, creative producer and tarot oracle Erica McCalman, poet and musician Lay the Mystic, and podcaster, entrepreneur and self-described ‘spooky binch’ Lillian Ahenkan (aka Flex Mami). Together, they unpacked the joy and purpose of mystic pursuits, considered the intersections of spirituality and self-awareness, and explored the roots of mainstream disbelief. Hosted by Shantel Wetherall.

Presented in partnership with The Capitol and RMIT Culture.

The Broadly Speaking series is proudly supported by Krystyna Campbell-Pretty AM and family and the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund. 


Portrait of Lillian Ahenkan

Lillian Ahenkan

Ghanaian-Australian Lillian Ahenkan (aka Flex Mami) is a multidisciplinary millennial making waves in the Australian entertainment industry. She’s a DJ, MTV presenter, Build Series Sydney TV Presenter and has also lent her hosting skills to the likes of Vodafone, Pedestrian TV, VICE, MECCA, Samsung and Bumble.

In addition to this, she’s a Social Commentator, Media Influencer, and Podcaster on Bobo and Flex, Overshare with Mamamia, Whatever I Want and the Spotify exclusive (and commissioned) Flex’s Semi Factual History Lesson. Soon-to-be-author, The Success Experiment is Lillian’s first book.

Portrait of Erica McCalman

Erica McCalman

Erica McCalman is a Ballardong (Noongar) woman with Irish Convict, Scottish and Cornish Heritage. She is a producer, curator and facilitator of contemporary and experimental live performance, working across the land now known as Australia and internationally. Erica was given her first book on Astrology at age nine and picked up her first Tarot deck ten years later. In addition to her creative consultancy Art Oracle, in 2020 she launched Tarot Oracle: taking her skills with the cards online with the mission of providing Empowering Tarot for Everybody. 

Portrait of Amal Awad

Amal Awad

Amal Awad is a journalist, screenwriter, author and performer. She has contributed to The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald, ELLE, Frankie, Meanjin, Going Down Swinging, Daily Life, Sheilas, SBS Life and Junkee, as well as produced and presented for ABC Radio National.

Portrait of Lay the Mystic

Lay the Mystic

Lay the Mystic is a lyrical poet, musician and dedicated cubby-fort maker based in Narrm. 

His current works are centred around intimacy, all things close being both a lens to understand societal or cultural issues, and a landscape to enact change.

Portrait of Shantel Wetherall

Shantel Wetherall

Shantel Wetherall is a British/Australia Writer and Host. She's also a proud aunty, dog-mother, and loud-laughed black woman. Her practice creates space for nuanced conversations about women, culture and change across multiple media. She hosts and produces Hey Aunty! podcast and is a regular announcer on Melbourne’s 3RRR. Her words have been read by a million people internationally, in publications like The Guardian, Sydney Morning Herald and SBS Voices. As well in projects like the book, she Co-Edited for Google RARE in 2020. She’s passionate about low-fuss/high-feeling communication and a firm believer in the power of just opening doors and starting conversations.