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 is 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, Hod.

Hod is visualized on the left hip of Adam Kadmon and represents the left leg, left hip and left testes and is ultimately required for victory in life, because without its faculties of free will and ‘surrender’ the human being would not have the capacity to integrate Divine Will and free will.  On a spiritual level, Hod facilitates the acknowledgment of a supreme power or intelligence which exerts authority over the finite self and the subsequent stepping aside of the rational mind in order to allow this power to permeate one’s consciousness in a creative and productive manner.  By doing this, it encourages one to invite the kind of joy into one’s world that can only derive from a conscious awareness of the Supernal Light.  Hod’s surrender is a prerequisite to the free flow of higher consciousness between the soul and the material world.  Hod is the proactive motor for free will.

Hod is traditionally associated with the planet Mercury, the astrological sign of Gemini (May 22 – June 21) Virgo (Aug 24 – Sep 22) and the Archangel Michael, Angel of Splendor, Balance, Protection.  The oils I will highlight today are Caraway, Hyssop, and Neroli.


Psychologically, Caraway has been used as a nerve tonic and eases mental strain and fatigue. On the physiological level caraway has been used for acne, itchy scalp problems, scabies, cellulite, cough and laryngitis colic.  It is also helpful for digestive complaints. On a subtle level, Caraway helps to promote clear communication and good listening.  Caraway helps to renew one’s interest in life.  It helps to remove negativity, as well as strengthening memory and encouraging fidelity.

Cautions: Generally considered non-toxic, non-irritating and non-sensitizing.  It is a moderate mucous membrane irritant.

Spiritual PhytoEssencing Themes:  Caraway has the themes of work and duty; performance and perfectionism practicality and pragmatism; order and rules; and control and rigidity.


Psychologically, its sedative properties make it useful for anxiety, fatigue, nervous tension and stress-related problems.  On a physiological level, Hyssop has been found to be useful for bruises, cuts, wounds, dermatitis, eczema, inflammations, wounds and scars.  Colds, flu, and sore throats can also benefit from its use. On a subtle level, Hyssop helps one to purge old beliefs that do not serve one’s Spiritual growth. It can calm the internal struggle of conflicting realities.  It is used to purify sacred spaces.  It can purge negativity.  It can help one renew one’s commitment to life, especially when one has the feeling that life is getting you down.  It is a great cleansing oil.

Cautions: Non-irritating, non-sensitizing but slightly toxic due to its pinocamphene content.  It should be used sparingly.

Spiritual PhytoEssencing Themes: Purging and defensive action are two of the central themes of hyssop.  It also has the themes of cleansing and protection.


Psychologically Neroli can have calming, relaxing, euphoric and uplifting actions, which is why its use is often considered in times of anxiety, fear, unrest, depression, despair, irritability, anger and nervous tension.  While on the physiological level the use of Neroli could be considered for use when insomnia, nervous palpitations or high blood pressure due to stress needs to be dealt with. On a subtle level, Neroli can help one to develop the inner trust which will allow self-acceptance and produces feelings of security and protection.   Neroli brings in positive energy.  It helps one to relax as well as face one’s emotional fears.  It can help to promote sensual comfort.  It eases grief and also helps one to experience joyful love.  It can reunite the conscious and subconscious minds and can promote direct communication with the spiritual world.  Neroli can help one to become aware of unresolved issues so that one can deal with them.  Neroli can also help to facilitate all kinds of creative activities when they are inspired by spiritual aspirations.  Neroli is often used in happiness and protection blends.

Cautions: Generally considered non-toxic, non-irritating and non-sensitizing.

Spiritual PhytoEssencing Themes: Neroli has the themes of grief, romance, devotional love, and sexuality as well as the dual themes of the virgin and the prostitute.


Sephirah in the Kabbalah Tree of Life