How Hip Hop, Horses Dances and The Hopi inspired The Oracle of Initiation deck

"Conduit" Painted Body Photography series for The Oracle of Initiation divination deck by Melissa Weiss Steele 2008

“It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you, without a strong rhyme to step to. Think of how many weak shows you slept through, times up, I’m sorry I kept you.” I Know YOU Got Soul by Eric B & Rakim

How long has it been since you lived within a strong rhythm, an intoxicating beat? Are you sleeping through the “show,” or is it time to learn how to dance  more gracefully through this process we call life?

Join me over the next months for the story of the creation of  my Oracle of Initiation divination deck. Our tale begins with how Hip Hop & Horse Dances, the dream-time & Hopi pilgrimages, and my rebirth through death initiated me into a new life.

I fell in love with Hip Hop at twelve years old. In the halls of my Seattle middle school I was serenaded with the words to Grand Master Flash’s “It’s Nasty.” What was this enchanting poetry delivered with such bravado and delight that it both frightened and excited me? How could I find a piece of this rhythm, this rhyme within myself? It touched something deep within me, and never left.

Hip Hop has become a worldwide phenomenon because it touches something deep within many of us. I believe this instinctive draw to Hip Hop is actually a call to our collective tribal roots in dance & drum, poetry & story. It is a modern day tribal gathering, with its own rites of passage, colloquialisms & symbols, talismans & ancestral elders. The MC’s are the contemporary bards-critiquing society as a way to offer  transformation.

Graffiti has always been an essential part of the Hip Hop culture. It is a visible proclamation of the artist’s self-referenced value and power through the inscription of their persona on barren walls and train boxcars. It’s much harder to do than most realize, these aerosol artists are extremely talented, but generally unrecognized by society for the skillz they possess. The graffiti also remains fairly cryptic to the uninitiated, a secret and mysterious dialect. Because of its illegal status, it is usually hidden, a magical treasure of pulsating colors  within the darkness.

I LOVE graffiti. And that, my friends, is where The Oracle of Initiation comes in… be continued on the next post…

Like all captivating tales, this one may take a while to unpack, so stay tuned, and watch  the story of The Oracle of Initiation emerge. I will weave in and out of the inspirations and adventures of the last three and a half years of working on the deck, posting never published images from the almost 30,000 photographs, so far, in The Painted Body series.I am in the final phases of completing the deck, and will bring you along as I finish some pivotal pieces to this magical & mysterious project that has channeled through me. This deck is for all of us, to remind us how to listen and receive, being supported as we face these intense times, together, turning our challenges and lessons into our greatest strengths and gifts.

It has been an incredible ride so far, and I look forward to sharing the rest of the quest with you. I am so profoundly grateful for work that I love, for magic and ritual and reverence in my life, for my  beloved New Mexico home, and for all of my earth-plane and Spirit world support.

Love and light, Melissa Kwahu Abeja

And remember, “It aint where you’re from, it’s where you’re at…” I KNOW you got soul.

2 Replies to “How Hip Hop, Horses Dances and The Hopi inspired The Oracle of Initiation deck”

  1. Amen and HooRAY!! Hippity Hoppity n transformation and the magical tranceformations naturally nourished and enhanced by dance! Especially as well that it is FUN and inspiring, and works through emotions like weather washing through. Cool Kewel! On to keep experiencing your story in your next post. . .


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