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Meaning, Mysticism and Manifestation


Event Status

This panel conversation originally scheduled to take place on Tuesday 15 June was postponed in response to current health advice and restrictions on public events. It is now a live-stream event only.

Find out more about our response to Covid-19 here.

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’ll hear 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’ll unpack the joy and purpose of mystic pursuits, consider the intersections of spirituality and self-awareness, and explore the roots of mainstream disbelief. Hosted by Shantel Wetherall.

Presented in partnership with The Capitol and RMIT Culture.

The online bookseller for this event is Neighbourhood Books.

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


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, Samsun... Read more

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 Astr... Read more

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. As a public speaker, Amal... Read more

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.

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 a... Read more

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