Age of Initiation

Sometimes it crosses my mind as I go deeper into the most wild parts of us what it would be like to be a real hunter. What kind of soul exchange happens when an animal gives it’s life for humans to survive. From the seal hunters of the far North to our buffalo hunters of the Midwest and everything in between and beyond.

I have heard stories from hunters sharing this intimate secret. I have listened to the whispers of the voices of those who have been hunted simply through my own curiosity and practiced ability to tune into them.  I have close friends who are strong incredible people both men and women who have hunted and though they share the experience, I can see in their eyes that there is a whole other world that is a part of taking another beings life for the purpose for food that is not easy to put into words.

Though I have not experienced the hunt or the kill, I feel the inspiration to share a tiny story of my own initiation into yet another profound experience that the horse spirit has gifted us. I say us because there is no way I will ever be the same person after I share the following and as you know, through my work, the willingness of me to go into unique territories be it physical or mental or spiritual, the impact it has on my work and how I share with the world is invaluable.

I received a call the other day that a friends horse had died through natural causes. We suspect a heart attack. I offered my help and support in any way that I could. I had lived with this horse, her herd, and their humans for 2 1/2 years.

She was a beautiful bay mare. Her coat gleamed in the sun on the best of days and her sweet nature was always a welcome place to share space.

Now before I get anyone upset, please understand that the people who are the closest to me have a beautiful and real view of life and death. Of flesh and spirit. Like anyone close to the land and their animals in a true farmer sense where the cycle of life is so prominent and honored. Where animals die, sometimes they have to be shot because they are old or suffering. Sometimes roosters need to be culled. Sometimes coyotes need to be shot but very little goes to waste here. Their lives are a constant awareness of appreciation and gratitude for their ability to live off the land as much as possible. And the death of this horse was no exception.


I arrived only knowing that we were going to save her hide which meant that we would need to skin her. I had no idea that I would be taken into another dimension of timelessness and Awe.

She was already hanging as to bleed her out. My friend who has experience in skinning animals was already at work and had gotten the insides out and was now delicately taking the skin off the body. I was so moved by her beauty. This incredible being that still sent waves of love that were emanating from her flesh and bone even though her spirit was long gone. It felt as though she was literally giving herself to us. All of her. I felt a jolt of Joy and emotion and in that instant everything around me disappeared. Suddenly I became one with her. As though it was her that took the knife and showed my hand what to do. What to hold, how to cut without damaging her gorgeous silky Hide. We had to work fast. The day was hot and our makeshift market tent  was dangerously hoisted on anything we could get the legs on, including the side of a fence and a wheelbarrow with fruit boxes stacked on each other. This was our shade. We needed her to hang so the tension of her weight would help us in perfectly and delicately preserving her hide.

The smell of death and blood was so strangely sweet and comforting. There wasn’t a thought in me to feel grief or sorrow. It was replaced by something so incredibly primal. As though I was witness to an ancient and sacred right of passage. For 7 hours we cut. For 7 hours I was existing only in this space of wonder and a humbleness that I never experienced to this degree. Having studied equine anatomy, I found myself following the various muscles groups, fascia, ligaments, bones. I got to know her more intimately than any other human other that my friend who I was watching and learning from.

I could hardly believe that even though she was no longer in her body, her body was giving this experience to us. My hand would follow her still warm flesh and through it I was getting pieces of information. I would love to have had more time to look into her more carefully and perhaps get out my anatomy book to really understand the mechanics of her body, but , this was not the time for that. This was a soul experience. An initiation into a whole other way of seeing the horse. I now know them inside and out. I have touched their most deepest precious parts that not many people have gotten to feel. Each time my hand met her body I could feel my heart as though it itself was in my hand.

I really can’t describe what or how this changed me. I can’t describe nor will I attempt to the strange familiarity and flashes of past lives that wove themselves in and out of my essence and hers. I can’t describe where time went, or how I never became hungry or thirsty or how my own cuts on my hand from the knife would bleed but I felt no pain. I watched as her blood and mine became one. I could not tell anymore where I stopped and she began, and I have no way to explain what this feels like.

Did I become a part of her, or did she become a part of me?  THIS is where I have understood that part of the hunter. That part where our society and culture has so lost touch with, for if we all were to experience this sacred and lost aspect of ourselves we would understand this place of beauty in ourselves. We would understand the cycles of the unseen. This part that that allows our hearts to feel the process of a transition both within and without through all aspects of our lives. This part that is so equally moved by death as we are of birth because we are given the opportunity to feel that there is no difference. That death and life are one of the same. Through this understanding, we would lose our fears, and through losing our fears, we would become more whole. And through becoming more whole we would not need. And if we would not need, we would be able to experience our humaneness in it’s absolute totality that we can’t even begin to imagine in our current human mood.

So, I don’t fully know what happened, nor do I need to. All I know is that there is a deeper knowing in my Soul. I received such an extraordinary gift, that words would fail any attempt at describing it. I only know that this change will come out through me and into my life. And through my life, into yours.

Forever grateful to the spirit horse. My hands are yours as is my heart.

Love ~ G

Out of respect for the process we left photos out, but one day perhaps I will be inspired to share a photo of her hide when she is ready.


About the Author:

Güliz Ünlü - Certified BodyTalk Practitioner (CBP), Equi-Bow, Inter-cellular Communication and Fascial Kinesiology. How do we communicate with the body on a cellular level to uncover imbalances? Furthermore, what can our body’s cells tell us? We know that bodies, under ideal circumstances, contain the innate wisdom to function perfectly – let’s tap into this miracle of biological design to remove the blockages in cellular function and communication. Güliz works with humans and their animals to become whole again, emotionally, physically, and mentally.


  1. Jess Campmans August 8, 2019 at 2:10 am - Reply

    Your gift of eloquently honouring your shared experiences helps enable our own sacred contract with life and this beautiful process that exists within it. Forever grateful for your heart work ❤️

    • admin August 9, 2019 at 5:31 am - Reply

      Thank you Jess. Thank you for seeing this heart work. It’s so incredibly beautiful. All of it. Thank you for your solid heart work full of love and integrity.

  2. Jini Patel Thompson August 9, 2019 at 1:03 am - Reply

    Ok so the first time I read this, the angry vegan in my head provided a running commentary – so I couldn’t sink into the place of where you were speaking. Second time through I was actually able to hear/see/feel what you’d written. Amazing that you found a way to language such esoteric, metaphysical concepts and experiences. THANK YOU

    • admin August 9, 2019 at 5:39 am - Reply

      yes, I had you vegans not far from my heart while writing this. SInce this horse was not killed for meat consumption and that she died in her time when SHE chose to go, I personally felt the calling or was it her asking….?….that beautiful place of discernment. These adventures of the Soul…you know..the ones that you have very little control of almost as though you are literally in God’s hands have become very clear through doing this work. It’s a feeling before the thought, the abstract before the logic. This experience was such one of these.
      I know that I would not actually be able to take a life at this time especially in this age of convenience but since she was already gone, this felt beyond “right”. Thank you for bringing up this insight. Thank you for reading it twice.

  3. Kesia August 9, 2019 at 4:11 pm - Reply

    Thank you for writing this so perfectly. You put into words what I still cannot publically, this sacred vulnerable ancient intimacy of working with blood and bone. Maybe it was right for you that you had no part in her death, that you could embrace the situation and let the magic realness of this most honest work move through you unhindered.

    We all take life to sustain life, without exception, and learning to be with death and its gifts is humbling as well as awe-inspiring. Initiation is a return. Innocence-experience-innocence. Life-death-life. We can plunge in or ease in, or be thrown.

    So much love to you.

    • admin August 12, 2019 at 9:21 pm - Reply

      I so love your words and I know you know this aspect of life. You did pass through my senses as I was thinking about the incredible people in my life who know this truth. And you, whose being encompasses all that life has to offer. Who has made the choice to return to Nature that has seemingly chosen you to express for her through your music, words, and hands….Thank you for all that you are, all that you share. I am honored to know you Queen of the North.
      love ~ G

  4. Michelle August 11, 2019 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    Güliz…this is very profound! I can only imagine the impact this will have on your journey of life! I also believe as humans we are becoming more and more disconnected from Mother Nature! Every human should understand the process and path of food…whether meat or plant! The disconnect is not serving anyone and IMO creating more and more unhealthy humans in every way, This post was very visceral and extremely deep! Will lick and chew and breathe on it for a while…Thank you! ✌🏼❤️🐴

    • admin August 12, 2019 at 9:29 pm - Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to read this Michelle. For I know well the energy and seamless ways it travels on the wings of words and phrases. What changes me changes you. I also see a great awakening, a great remembering, a great uniting and it is evident in our community here. Thank you for your voice and your presence.
      Love ~ G

  5. Nora August 23, 2019 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    This must have been very difficult to put into words, and yet you did so, eloquently. I know that you couldn’t approach this with anything but respect, a depth of understanding, and love, and my eyes were opened in many ways.

    I couldn’t help but think, though, that we’d be hard-pressed to do this with a human being. Why is that? Are our bodies any more “sacred” than this precious being? Would it be gruesome to have the skin of a loved one hanging on the wall? And if so, why is it okay to do so with an animal hide? It’s mystifying to me, and seems like a double standard of sorts…and one more way for humans to distance themselves from nature. I’d love to know your thoughts about this.

    • admin September 4, 2019 at 7:56 pm - Reply

      Great insight and question as I never thought about it like this.
      First thought that comes to me is that us humans are really here on this Earth to learn, having this physical embodiment of the Divine and the point of this experience in my understanding is to define what this means. In that we are given free will to exercise our morals, values, belief systems and choices that promote our expansion and growth.
      I think much of our culture at this time has an unclear view of death. We are in a remembering no doubt and this remembering is happening quickly.
      Culture has a big part in this. What is the difference of observing a Hindu funeral while they burn their beloveds or having an urn full of your loved ones ashes on your mantle. Does whatever form the body takes after the soul leaves the body make it any more or less sacred. What makes the difference is the beliefs.
      I understand that it’s “shocking” to have something hanging on a wall for nothing, but what if it was for ceremony or a remembering and a way to connect with them.
      In my friends case, she does not want to hang her horse on the wall, she wants the experience of turning her horse into another form, into food for her dogs.Into a drum, into something else beautiful and to feel the cycle of life within her cells. Maybe there are cultures that feed their dead to their animals, and if not now, I imagine that they once did. I personally could not do this to any of my animals as it would be too strange. A personal preference.
      I think the opposite. I think that if each of us had the opportunity to experience this ceremony of the process from start to finish it would actually bring us closer to Nature.
      Think of the First People of these lands. Why are we so drawn to their ceremonies now? Why are we drawn to THEIR culture? How do we have a better understanding of Smudging, Sweat Lodges,and Sundances. We are understanding that the Original humans of this land had a very balanced relationship with Nature and there is an aspect of ourselves that seeks this understanding. How did they get their understanding of this balance and Nature. By being it, by killing ONLY what they need to survive and feed their families and honoring that kill. By using every part of the animals. By holding their ancestors in honor and respect. All of this comes from our relationship to the Earth, to water, to the air, to the mountains and the animals. How can we respect what we don’t understand. I can’t explain what happened to me when I went through this ceremony. All I can say is that I see and feel differently. My lens has changed. I have a deeper feeling of peace inside of me. I wonder if the powers that be right now…the powers of the industrial sickness, of greed …..some might say the “White Man’s Agenda” have known about this peace. Of this knowing that the Earth is abundant and nurturing and alive. If there is enough for everyone then how can anyone be rich with money and stuff and cars and diamonds. They knew that we needed division. Colonization. Control. Fear. For if we all had that peace in us,truly to our core, this world would be a very very different place.
      This is not just about skinning an animal and putting it up on the wall like trophy hunting. This is an initiation into our past and our knowing that we are all connected. My health is your health. My wealth is your wealth. I can’t say in words how this experience showed me this on another level but it did.
      Thank you for raising such a great pondering!!
      ~ G

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