Dr. Berkowsky’s Synthesis Materia Medica Spiritualis of Essential Oils is the central reference text for Spiritual PhytoEssencing™ in which each of the essential oils are profiled with respect to their inner soul-nature. He utilizes knowledge from a number of different modalities and schools of thought to base his information on including: Historical Use and Folklore; Herbal; Aromatherapy; Anthroposophy; Traditional Chinese Medicine; Homeopathy and the Jewish Kabbalah. His information is further based on the homeopathic concept of Miasms; the Anthroposophical concepts of the Three Fold Organism and Constitutional Elements of humans and the Kabbalah Tree of Life and its 10 Sefirot.  Today I am highlighting the next sefirah, Chokma.

The second Sefirah created by the ray of light is Chokma. This is visualized on the right side of the head of Adam Kadmon, also the right brain. Chokma can be thought of as an enlightened state of mind, a place of clear knowing, or knowing without knowing how you know. Its attributes are Wisdom, the Source of Intuition and Father. Chokma is pure and direct seeing, and it is closest to the crown of Keter. Chokma is often referred to as the first creative act of Ein Sof and as such is frequently referred to as reishit (beginning).

The wisdom of Chokma is non-verbal and non-conceptual. It has no form of its own and cannot be used unless it is contained by something other than itself. In Chokma’s case it is contained by the Sefirah of Binah. Thought is conceived in Chokma and perceived in Binah. It is impossible for a human being to remain in a state of Chokma consciousness for very long. Even the most spiritually advanced must return to ordinary consciousness in what the Kabbalah refers to as the act of ‘running and returning’.

Chokmah is the beginning of being but not being itself. It requires Binah to reveal its existence. Chokmah is associated with the past and Binah is implemental in the future. These two Sefirot are respectively called man and woman, or father and mother. The lower Sefirot are continuously revitalized by this union.

The color traditionally associated with this Sefirah is blue. It is associated with the planet Uranus and the astrological sign of Aquarius (Jan 21 – Feb 19), as well as the Archangel Ratziel, the Angel of Hidden Knowledge and Concealment.

The three essential oils associated with Chokma that I will highlight today are Clary Sage, Cypress and Frankincense.

Clary Sage

Psychologically, Clary Sage has calming and sedative properties and can be effective for depression, nervous tension, fatigue and stress. It can be mildly intoxicating and euphoric. It is thought to enhance dreaming. On the physiological level Clary Sage has calming, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and deodorant properties and is very useful for skin conditions and gastric complaints. It is considered to be a uterine tonic and thought to be effective in many of the problems affecting this organ. It is thought to be very helpful controlling menstrual spasms and labor pains. On a subtle level, Clary Sage helps clear the clutter from the mind and calms constant mind chatter. It is both calming and uplifting and can help develop intuition. It can bring inspiration. It can assist one to remember one’s dreams and to see clearly.

Caution: Generally considered non-toxic, non-irritating and non-sensitizing. Do not use during pregnancy. Do not use while drinking or driving.

Spiritual PhytoEssencing Themes: Illusion and confusion; Father Issues; a yearning to connect to Divine Wisdom.


Psychologically, Cypress is thought to balance the sympathetic nervous system and can be helpful in relieving nervous tension and stress related conditions. It is also considered to be useful as a spiritual aid for transitions, particularly death. It can help to ease the pain of losses of all kinds, particularly when one is experiencing the loss of someone close. On the physiological level Cypress has antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent and bactericidal properties and is useful as a tonic for mature skin conditions. It also helps to constrict blood vessels making it helpful for hemorrhoids. When used regularly its balancing properties can be helpful for menopausal hot flashes and tension, as well as PMS. Its bactericidal properties are helpful for respiratory complaints including asthma, bronchitis, pleurisy, whooping cough and spasmodic cough. On a subtle level, Cypress helps one to maintain balance, to stay centered and aligned with Spirit regardless of the emotions raging around one. Cypress brings strength and comfort. It eases the pain of losses of all kinds particularly when one is experiencing the loss of someone close. It is very helpful in times of transition. It also supports a willingness to change and transform. It can promote confidence, patience and wisdom. It can be used for blessing, consecration and protection. Cypress can be used to help one move on.

Caution: Generally considered non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing. Avoid during pregnancy.

Spiritual PhytoEssencing Themes: Grief and Death; Fathers and Issues with Fathers; Search for values.


Psychologically, Frankincense has calming and relaxing properties. It can be helpful with stress, anxiety, depression, irritability and panic. It is said that it can bring peace and is very useful in meditation. On the physiological level it has expectorant and mucolytic properties and can be helpful when dealing with coughs, bronchitis, colds and flu. It deepens the breathing. Its calming properties can also be used on skin complaints and it is thought to be helpful with dry and mature skins. On a subtle level, Frankincense can be used to awaken one’s spiritual purpose. Using this oil can guide and reconnect one to the Divine presence. Frankincense calms, comforts and centers. It also stabilizes emotions. It is very grounding and quiets and clarifies the mind. When used in meditation it promotes a state in which one is better able to receive and integrate healing energies. It has long been considered a sacred oil which helps to heal the spirit and comfort the heart.

Caution: Generally considered non-toxic, non-irritating and non-sensitizing. Avoid during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Spiritual PhytoEssencing Themes: Slows and deepens breathing; Assists in Breaking obsessive attachments to the past; connecting to the Sacred.


Sephirah in the Kabbalah Tree of Life