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, Chesed.


The nature of Chesed is to seek no explanation and to give without reason, uncritically and without questions or conditions. Its attributes are Loving Kindness, Benevolence, Grace and Unconditional Love. It is visualized beneath the shoulder of Adam Kadmon on the right side of the heart, and is related to the right arm and hand. It is sometimes called Gedullah (Greatness).

Chesed is the open palm of generosity that asks for nothing in return. Its energy flows directly in an endless stream from the eternal source, untouched by worldly concerns. Chesed is the pure joy of seeing beauty everywhere and in everything. In its purest form Chesed would be overwhelming to mankind therefore this divine trait is generally experienced as it is moderated by the other Sefirot particularly Gevurah (Din) (Judgment)

Chesed is unconditional giving, unlimited kindness, total altruism, free, unrestrained outpouring of benevolent grace without regard to the merits of the recipient. It has the ability to feel deeply and give generously while remaining free of expectations. In its completely ungoverned state, it generates the outpouring of benevolent grace without regard to the merits of the recipient. It is the idea of giving oneself totally.

The dynamic balance between Chesed and Gevurah (Din) facilitates harmonious existence.

The inner essence of Chesed is love. When Chesed is fully operational it enables the individual to freely connect to others with unconditional love and benevolence. Ideally the qualities of Chesed are the primary ones through which one should conduct one’s life. Chesed allows one to make peace with suffering, to let go of obsessing about past mistakes thereby freeing oneself and those close to one. It is through Chesed that strength of character is developed. The quality of unconditional love emanating from Chesed enables one to discard limiting self-perceptions and to open up to new ways of receiving. Chesed is a key player in overcoming spirit-damaging self-reproach.

The color traditionally associated with Chesed is white, the planet Jupiter, the astrological sign of Sagittarius (Nov 22 – Dec 21) and the Archangel Tzadkiel, Angel of Mercy.

The three essential oils associated with Chesed that I will highlight today are Benzoin, Myrtle and Bitter Orange.


Psychologically, benzoin has cheering, uplifting properties. It is helpful for grief, hysteria, panic and feeling rundown. On the physiological level benzoin has expectorant, decongestant and mucolytic properties and has been used for respiratory infections, asthma, bronchitis, chills, coughs and laryngitis. On a subtle level, Benzoin helps to dispel anger and negativity. It grounds and comforts. It can also provide psychic protection as well as helping to steady and focus the mind during meditation or prayer. Benzoin can help one to release painful emotions and gives one the courage to face the task of self-improvement. Use it to to increase personal power and help awaken the conscious mind. It can be used to protect your home or car.
Cautions: Generally considered non-toxic and non-irritating however this oil can be a strong skin sensitizer so do not use on the skin.

Spiritual PhytoEssencing Themes: Benzoin has a connection to the father and to relationships with the father. As well as themes of nurturing, self-sacrifice and forgiveness. Another strong theme found in Benzoin is the theme of faithfulness in God.


Psychologically, Myrtle’s antispasmodic, calming and cheering properties make it useful for insomnia and to soothe anger, fear, despair, fear of illness and death. On the physiological level its anti-inflammatory, diuretic and calming properties make it helpful for arthritis, muscle knots and spasms, inflamed skin and pulmonary disorders. On a subtle level, Myrtle provides protection during major life transitions. It also promotes harmony, love and respect. It can support one’s connection to angels. Myrtle is useful in balancing opposites – enhancing gentility and strength; keeping the Ego and Will in a healthy, balanced state; balancing male and female energies. Myrtle can help one ‘go with the flow’. It can be used to increase fertility, attract love, as well as keep love alive and strong. It is also used to attract money and abundance. May irritate mucus membranes or skin with high dose or prolonged use.
Cautions: Generally considered non-toxic, non-irritating and non-sensitizing.

Spiritual PhytoEssencing Themes: Myrtle has the theme of revealing what is hidden. It also has the theme of the Opposing Forces of Good and Evil.

Orange, Bitter

Psychologically, orange’s calming, cheering properties make it very useful for anxiety and stress related problems. On a physiologically level it can aid digestion, help mouth ulcers, indigestion and obesity. On a subtle level, Orange helps to dispel negativity from the aura and dispels negative thought patterns. Orange brings in positive energy. Nourishes the soul with joy and moves stagnated energy. Promotes self-confidence, courage and creativity. It also promotes joy in sexuality and joyful love. Orange can help one to expel any negative feelings one might be holding in one’s heart or soul. Use  to attract good fortune and luck. Often added to purification blends. Orange can help to conquer fears of letting go as well as obsessions.
Cautions: Generally considered non-toxic, non-irritating and non-sensitizing however as with most expressed oils it can be phototoxic and if used on the skin do not expose skin to sun or UV rays for 12 hours after use.

Spiritual PhytoEssencing Themes: Bitter Orange has the themes of bitterness and romantic love. It is also considered to be symbolic of both innocence and fertility.


Sephirah in the Kabbalah Tree of Life