The mystery of the white horse

Tucked away in the hills of Oxfordshire, England, amid the upper slopes of the unassuming parish of Uffington, lies a series of winding trenches filled with crushed white chalk. Standing between the scoured lines offers only a hint of what their elegant convergence conveys from afar: a stylised image of a horse, its sinewy, curlicue limbs outstretched in mid-gallop.

Some 365 feet in length from head to tail, the White Horse of Uffington isn’t the only equine hill figure in England, but it is thought to be the most ancient, although its exact date and origin have been a point of controversy for many years. It has often been suggested that the horse was carved to celebrate King Alfred’s victory over the Danes at the Battle of Ashdown (now Uffington Castle) in 871AD. However, in the absence of evidence many experts regard this as little more than folklore. Keep reading


All trips start before they have begun and continue long after they have ended. Even the first sign of psychedelic awareness is the symptom of a subconscious event set in motion at an earlier point on a subtler sentient scale. It is the delayed grok that says alteration is already underway, like the ontic reverb the seasoned psychonaut feels holding a mushroom cap, a symbiotic moment charged with a dual tone of uncharted voyage and a peculiar consciousness of coming home. Keep reading


etherealis is an imaginal hyperspace in which to explore the relations between images, including the profound images of language, philosophy, and psychedelics, in order to better understand how these images, far from being mere subjective creations, ground us within a world that is continually imagining itself into being.

The imagination lies at the threshold of the conscious and the unconscious, where the realms of mind and body meet. etherealis seeks to lift the veil between these two realms and thereby make way for an exploration of the materiality of images, so that we might come to see the world not in terms of opposites, of inside versus outside, but in terms of a polarity where the two are completely interlinked.

The link that binds them is the imagination, which continually seeks to restore its field of expression, allowing innumerable planes of images to emerge through which we may come to question our inherited assumptions and henceforth rediscover our relationship with the living world.

etherealis proceeds from Bachelard’s intuition that imagination is dynamism, movement, fluidity – a kinetic force which not only projects the entire human being in space, but can revitalize the images hidden in language and unleash their inner power.

It is tempting to liken ‘image’ to the traditional notion of ‘idea’, however there are important differences. First, an image is not thought by a subject or thinker but autopoietically generated or self-produced.

Second, an image is not conceived as an object with a fixed essence, but rather a process of becoming, although a becoming which is not the becoming of some being. Third, in so far as images are said to be ‘in’ the mind or the imagination, this should be understood as a purely metaphorical relation, since it implicitly suggests a distinction between mind and world, and this is what the etherealis theory of images explicitly rejects. Neither is imagination conceived as a faculty or agent, since the activity of imagination is indistinguishable from the movement of images ‘within’ it.

In short, images as traditionally conceived are products of atomism, whereas images seen through the hyperspace of etherealis are pre-personal, sui generis becomings with no origin or foundation behind them.