The Woke Mystix Podcast wasn’t born immediately, but it was certainly the product of a fateful encounter. When Imani Quinn and Ellen Bowles first met at a Saint Heron party in 2015, they bonded over spirit animals and the earrings that Quinn was making at the time as part of her clothing line and multicultural lifestyle brand, SWAJE. “I was already tying in spirituality,” Quinn laughed when I spoke with her and Bowles over the phone for a recent interview. “I had these African-material earrings that I was giving to people, asking their name and their spirit animal, then taking their picture and putting it on the SWAJE Instagram: ‘This is so and so, and this is their spirit.’”
As two gender non-conforming women of color, the pair hit it off immediately due to common interests and experiences — including a shared background in fashion — and after meeting at the party, all it took was one brunch to further cement their friendship. A few years later, toward the end of 2018, they began brainstorming an event to bring their two networks together, and build on some of the spiritual conversations they’d been having one-on-one.
“I was thinking about spiritual topics for the event and I kept thinking, ‘spiritual life is so vast, like it’s so huge, how can we cover it in one dinner?’” Bowles remembered. “And I was listening to a podcast and I thought, ‘oh it could be kind of cool to do a podcast.’ But previously I’d tried to do a podcast with a few friends, and it never took off because their level of commitment wasn’t there.”
After broaching the subject to Quinn though, Bowles found a partner who was eager to put a business plan together and get to work. “We both have Capricorn in our chart,” Imani laughed. And the stability of that earth sign has definitely shown up in the longevity of the project; they launched their first episode in January of 2019, and as of this summer are embarking on their sixth season and have produced 54 episodes (!) with plenty more on the way. Though the impact of the pandemic has put some of their plans for expansion on hold, their breadth of offerings currently includes consulting, events, and private readings.
Covering everything from your Saturn Return (one of their earliest and most popular episodes), to moon magic, Tarot, clairvoyance, candle magic and past life regressions, the podcast opens up the conversation about all kinds of spiritual tools and traditions, presented without judgement or scorn, through the lens of an intimate discussion between good friends. Aside from being business partners, the Mystix are now also roommates as of August 2019, and they’re connected in a way that makes their recorded conversation that much more fascinating.
Along with discussing different spiritual life practices, each mystic has a personal background in spiritual discipline as well. Imani’s mother is a channeler and an intuitive, and she grew up with practices like Tarot, angel decks, and mediumship in the household, while Ellen was influenced by her grandmother’s interest in astrology, but developed a deeper connection a little later in life.
“Basically, I was raised doing intuitive clairvoyant work using Oracle decks,” Quinn explained. “I started doing dream work interpretation about five years ago or six years ago, and then most recently, I did a quantum shamanic initiation to work within quantum healing. I just call myself the Quantum Oracle, that was my title given by Spirit.”
On the other end of the spectrum, it wasn’t until she went through her first real breakup, and began moving through the process of therapy, that Ellen realized she didn’t have a firm grasp on what her spiritual connections were at all. “My therapist was like, ‘If you don’t have a belief system, what is your belief system?’” Bowles remembered. “She suggested I start considering how a higher power works within my life, and that I go to an Agape spiritual center, for example. So I went to one and I really loved it, because I loved that it was open to every denomination and every type of religious person but it was a very spiritual experience.”
Moving from that initial entrypoint to a deep interest in crystals, altar-building, and Oracle and Tarot cards, the latter finally became Ellen’s medium of choice and a daily practice, along with ritual work, birth chart readings and a continued interest in astrology. She has become a frequent Tarot reader over the last year or so, and does events as well as private and virtual readings.
As practitioners who are both extremely knowledgeable in their respective realms, and interested consumers with a deep curiosity to learn more, the Mystix frequently welcome guests of various modalities onto their podcast to explain how and why their respective magicks work in the universe. And whether they’re interviewing third parties, conversing with one another, or performing readings for each other, every single episode will bring you deeper into an aspect of spirituality that you might’ve dismissed or misinterpreted before.