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, Gevurah.

Gevurah (strength), also called Din (judgment), has the attributes of Power, Strength and Judgment and is visualized on Adam Kadmon on the left side of the heart, associated with the left arm and hand. It is the place of the warrior and the judge.

Gevurah represents stern decision and unyielding verdict rendered without feeling or emotion. It is judgment based on strict principles from which no deviation is tolerated. It accepts no excuse nor offers any clemency, not allowing any explanation or interpretation. Gevurah can be a source of harshness, chaos, and evil. Yet in its proper relationship with the Sefirah of Chesed (unconditional love) it becomes a place of self-restraint and discipline. At the same time Gevurah is needed to constrain the unconditional love of Chesed, which by itself is incapable of discriminating between good and bad, and therefore needs Gevurah to balance it.

Gevurah maintains boundaries. It is the supporting structure for acts of compassion and imparts courage to overcome inertia and stagnation. Gevurah provides the strength to look within, face your deepest emotional issues and make peace with them. This Sefirah helps one transcend self-doubt and insecurity and strengthen one’s bond with God.

The color traditionally associated with this Sefirah is red, the planet Mars, the astrological sign of Scorpio (Oct 23 – Nov 21) and the Archangel Kamael, Angel of Strength and Courage.

The three essential oils associated with Gevurah that I will highlight today are Basil, Lemon and Spikenard.

Psychologically, basil has antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, stimulant and tonic properties. It can be useful for anxiety, hysteria, nervous depression, mental fatigue, mild depression or general lethargy, being generally ‘run down’, insomnia due to nervous tension and stress. Try basil if you are suffering from a hangover. On the physiological level basil has anti-fungal, antispasmodic, antiviral, bactericidal and stimulant properties and has been used for colds and flu, muscle aches and pains, digestive complaints, arthritis and rheumatism. On a subtle level, Basil lifts the mind and clears mental fatigue. Basil helps to raise issues of low self-esteem and low self-worth. Basil can be beneficial when one is at a crossroads in life or when faced with a spiritual death.
Cautions: Use in low concentrations and avoid on sensitive skins. Do not use in pregnancy.

Spiritual PhytoEssencing Themes: Basil has a strong theme of protection, particularly from evil.

Psychologically, Lemon has calming and clarifying properties. It can help one to think clearly and aid concentration. It is also thought to be helpful in promoting spiritual and psychic awareness. It may be helpful when one is faced with anger, anxiety, confusion, depression or general feelings of being run down. On the physiological level Lemon has anti-fungal, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, bactericidal and calming properties and could be helpful for combating warts, boils and corns. It is often included in formulas for nail and hair products. Also may be helpful for fighting sore throats and sinus and respiratory infections. On a subtle level, Lemon helps to increase inner joy and optimism. Lemon also clears emotional confusion and invigorates. It helps to alleviate fears of emotional involvement and promotes joy. It can be worn during the Full Moon to attune with its energies. It is used in purification and healing blends.
Cautions: Generally considered non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing. Phototoxic avoid exposure to sunlight or UV rays for at least 12 hours after use.

Spiritual PhytoEssencing Themes: The central theme of Lemon is insecurity regarding money and material comfort. Lemon’s major action is to restrain the tendency for loss and depletion and to re-establish boundaries.

Psychologically, spikenard has analgesic, antispasmodic, calming and sedative properties and is used for insomnia, nervous indigestion, migraine, stress, tension and calms restlessness. On the physiological level spikenard has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and cell regenerating properties and is used for allergies, rashes, psoriasis, inflammation, wound healing and mature skin. Its anticoagulant, decongestant and astringent properties make it helpful for hemorrhoids, regulating the heartbeat, harmonizing the circulation and helpful for cardiac pains of a nervous origin. On a subtle level, Spikenard embodies wholeness and promotes a sense of hope. It comforts and balances the heart, especially for people who take on the cares of the world. Spikenard teaches one to be compassionate without depleting one’s self. It can be used when one feels overwhelmed by the suffering around one. It is helpful at times when we need to develop compassion.
Cautions: Generally considered non-toxic, non-irritating, non-sensitizing and non-phototoxic.

Spiritual PhytoEssencing Themes: Spikenard has the themes of humility and devotion.


Sephirah in the Kabbalah Tree of Life