Essential Oil Blending, Surrounding Essence Alchemy Technique and Copaiba Oil
Copyright 2018 by Joseph Ben Hil-Meyer Research, Inc.
By Bruce Berkowsky, N.M.D., M.H., H.M.C. Founder and Teacher of Spiritual PhytoEssencing
Note: Dr. Berkowsky’s 2018 Spiritual PhytoEssencing Webinar-Based Training Intensive
(Course begins April 10th)
The art of
PhytoEssencing (SPE) utilizes customized combinations of essential
oils for deep soul-level healing work, which involves what I refer to as archetypal
blending. In SPE, the term archetype refers to a unique intangible
construct of the soul that generates a characteristic pattern of perceptible
emotional and physical expressions. In turn, these expressions— such as
temperament, personality traits, reactional tendencies and diverse symptoms of
dysfunction, such as anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, stomach weakness,
etc.—are considered to be archetypal images.
The basic premise of
PhytoEssencing is: In order to be able to ameliorate soul-level
disharmony, an essential oil blend must engage with the archetypes embedded
within the fabric of a person’s soul rather than with the archetypal images
which manifest as emotional and physical symptoms. While oils are not selected
to directly treat specific emotional and physical symptoms, these symptoms are
used to identify their underlying archetypal roots.
Spiritual PhytoEssencing is
a synthesis of certain aspects of:
aromatherapy, doctrine of signatures,
classical homeopathy, modern physiology, Kabbalah, philosophy, anthroposophical
science, Chinese medicine, herbal medicine and folklore, depth psychology,
gemstone healing and color therapy.
I have used this synthesis
to develop individualized portraits of the inner soul nature of each of the
oils used in Spiritual PhytoEssencing blending. Thus far I have elaborated highly
detailed portraits of 124 different oils (
Synthesis Materia Medica/Spiritualis of Essential Oils).
Accordingly, each of the oils represents a unique plant soul with a
characteristic mixture of prominent archetypal qualities.
each person’s soul is characterized by an array of archetypal patterns,
soul-level healing work is best approached with a customized blend of essential
oils rather than a single oil. In
Spiritual PhytoEssencing, the
construction of a custom essential oil blend is similar to painting a portrait.
Accordingly, the custom blend development process can be characterized as
“painting a portrait in oils.”
relative effectiveness of a custom oil blend will depend upon the degree of
congruence there is between a person’s inner soul image and the soul image
constructed by the combination of plant souls within the blend. It is this
congruence that will encourage the person’s soul to absorb the soul-force
generated by the plant soul combination and use it to reorient from its outer
self-structure (and the associated outgoing mind) back to its source – one’s
eternal nature (and the associated heart-going mind).
Given the wherewithal, the soul’s first priority is to overcome
the estrangement between the self-conscious personal self and the higher self.
When these aspects of soul existence are reintegrated, higher consciousness and
the real self (the first aspect of the self-structure that emanates from one’s
eternal nature) reassume their natural hierarchical superiority. Accordingly,
they can then once again direct one’s decision-making process and guide the evaluation
of personal experiences and the navigation of daily existence. Clearly, this
wholeness of being is a fundamental component of mind/body wellness.
SPE is not a conventional science, instead it is a type
of rational mysticism that incorporates various scientific perspectives. All
the reference and study materials, including the
Materia Medica/Spiritualis of Essential Oils and the
Spiritual PhytoEssencing Repertory of Essential Oils, begin with the rational thought processes
that organize and direct the flow of the practice of SPE. However, this
thought-consciousness also opens the door to the coequal superconscious,
metaphysical aspect of SPE. Thus, the practitioner needs to approach the art of
SPE using all four windows of knowing: thinking, sensing, feeling and
connection to spirit.
Philosopher J.N. Findlay in
The Transcendence of the
Cave remarks regarding the world of spirit: “The other world is, in
fact, not so much another world as another half of one world, which two halves
only make full, rounded sense when seen in their mutual relevance and
In this regard,
places great emphasis upon the use of “imaginal consciousness” which enables
one to go beyond analysis of the physical properties of a given essential oil
via a complementary perception of the spiritual roots from which these physical
properties arise. While these spiritual roots are beyond the reach of the
senses and rational consciousness, they nevertheless are the source of the
material nature of an essential oil.
Essential oils are the most concentrated carrier of the soul
of the plant. Anthroposophy founder Rudolf Steiner states:
most spiritual in the perfume of the plant…When the spirit most closely
approaches the physical earth, then we have the perception of fragrance.”
In other words, the fragrance carried by an essential oil
represents the merger of cosmic and terrestrial forces. This closely equates to
the dynamics of soul life, wherein the body, a product of the materials of the
earthly realm, serves as the instrument for the actualization of the potential
resting within the soul.
Plants are alive, and everything that lives has a soul. An
essential oil, the bonding medium for the soul of the plant, is uniquely suited
to act as the physical entity that can facilitate an interface between plant
and human souls.
The plant-soul is not encumbered by ego, so it has the
qualities of purity and infinity. Thus, an individualized plant-soul
combination within an essential oil blend, when proffered to the human-soul,
would be eagerly received and infuse the latter with the impetus to move beyond
limitation by changing its orientation from the finite to the Infinite.
The Alchemy Aspect of Spiritual PhytoEssencing
Spiritual PhytoEssencing takes alchemy from the realm of
the purely esoteric into the realm of general practical application. The term
alchemy invokes images, such as the one above, of medieval chemists attempting
to transform base metals into gold or silver. In contrast, in Spiritual
PhytoEssencing, the alchemy techniques that I have developed are designed to
vitalize an essential oil blend in such a way as to enhance its potential for
effecting deep, psychospiritual transmutation within the individual for whom
that customized blend is intended.
The phenomena of transmutation, in this case, involves
the transformation, via deep self-inquiry and connection to one’s higher self,
of one’s life journey from one of inner conflict and stuckness into one
directed by an ongoing process of acceptance and understanding that facilitates
the capacity to let go and move forward toward wholeness of being. In this way,
the “lead” which weighs us down in our lives is transformed into “gold” that
leads us forward.
In SPE blending we begin with the material world and move
toward unity with spirit. In the process we gradually transition from awareness
of material thoughts and substance to an inward, intuitive perception of
According to Plotinus (famed 3
rd century Greek
philosopher) in the process of creation that begins in the endless light (what
Plotinus refers to as the One) the unity of the One evolves into the
ever-diversifying multiplicity of the many. This is the nature of emanation --
the centrifugal process that begins in the world of being and cascades in this
world of the becoming.
In the process of blending, we begin the centrifugal
creative process by determining a number of oils that will be part of a blend.
In other words, we elaborate a multiplicity. However in the process of
blending, with the proper intent we reverse this flow, not only by blending the
many to create a unified whole but by linking the soul energy within the blend
with the unity of the uncreated light.
The One, to use Plotinus’ term, creates without being
altered or diminished by what it has created. The same is true for spirit and
intellect which are the initial emanations from the uncreated light. If, when
we are blending, we begin with intellect and complete the process with spirit,
we create without depletion of creative energy or personal soul force. In fact,
when the blend is completed, the blender feels greater integration with the
unity of the higher world. Thus, the blend that the blender is ostensibly
creating for someone else, helps heal the blender.
When blending, look to the higher not the lower, always
remain in close communion with the higher aspect of your soul and let that
inspire your state of consciousness. True understanding and healing power
belong to those who draw thought and guidance from this higher source.
This ultimately is a prerequisite for the creation of a deep-acting
blend – a blend which has the power to leverage the soul out of the stasis
associated with the inability to grasp that all the inner conflict that keeps one
estranged from one’s eternal nature and authentic self is a product of a
limited vision of being that is not consistent with what is truly real.
The various alchemy techniques used in Spiritual
PhytoEssencing blending serve as a bridge between the physical and the
metaphysical, the tangible and the intangible, heaven and Earth. Utilizing
these techniques elevates a custom blend out of the realm of the ordinary and
potentiates its ability to affect fundamental shifts in a person’s relationship
with the inner and outer worlds.
Below, I describe the
technique, one of the primary alchemy techniques that I have developed for
Spiritual PhytoEssencing blending
The Surrounding Essence Technique
All Spiritual PhytoEssencing blends are built
in layers, with a maximum of one layer added per day. Layering is
an integral aspect of the natural world. This can be seen in the rings of a
tree and the sedimentary layers of rock set down over the course of many
millions of years.
The Kabbalah teaches that the soul is comprised of five
levels. The two highest levels are considered to be outer lights, so high they
cannot be contained within the material nature of the body and can barely be
perceived even in the deepest states of meditation. The three lower, inner
lights represent those aspects of the soul with which we have the most intimate,
Based upon my observation of the phenomena of
the natural world and this kabbalistic model of the soul, I came to the
conclusion that blends prepared for soul level healing work must be constructed
similarly so that they are more consistent with the inner patterning of both
the natural world and the soul.
The purpose of the surrounding essence technique is to
create an organized surrounding field for the blend. In other words, instead of
simply adding the first layer of oils into an the void of an unfeeling, empty
bottle, the blender creates a surrounding field of energy that welcomes and embraces
the oils in the blend and helps in their transition from multiplicity to unity.
In fact, the term
embracing essence can be used interchangeably with
Of course, the blender has to determine which oil would
serve well as the surrounding essence for a given blend.
essence oil is not a constant. Instead it varies from one blend to the next. Any
oil has the potential to serve as a surrounding essence.
In Spiritual PhytoEssencing blends, the oils in the blend
with the strongest links to the person’s soul archetypal profile are referred
to as the “main oils.” On the other hand, those oils which have sufficient
relevance in the case to qualify for inclusion in the blend but not enough to
qualify as a “main oil” are utilized in much smaller quantities as “alchemy
PhytoEssencing Training Intensive I
have formulated a blend called (inspired by
the work of the great mythology scholar Joseph Campbell) which all the students
will be blending using the oils in the course oil set. Soular Hero’s Journey
This blend will help spiritually sensitive individuals
acknowledge and understand their own hero’s journey. Furthermore it will help
the individual successfully navigate through this dark period in our history from
an inner self level, so that the current seemingly intransigent resistance to
enlightened ideas and empathic understanding does not inhibit the progress of
one’s soular hero’s journey.
For this blend, I have selected
(pronounced ko-pah-ee-bah) essential oil to serve as the surrounding essence
Copaiba oil is steam distilled from the gum/resin of
officinalis, a wild tree native to Brazil and other parts of South America.
Once tapped (similar to how maple syrup and rubber are extracted), the copaiba
resin is distilled to produce a clear essential oil that has a soft, subtle,
yet expansive woody scent with a subtle, herbaceous, sweet note at its center.
Copaiba oil contains a significant amount of kaurenoic
acid, a diterpene that exerts anti-inflammatory, hypotensive, and diuretic,
antimicrobial and smooth muscle relaxant actions. Copaiba is also the highest
known plant source of the anti-inflammatory sesquiterpene
The copaiba in the 2018 SPE Training Intensive
course oil set is comprised of 69.2% beta
carophyllene. In comparison clove oil, another notable source, contains only 8%.
These two biochemicals are responsible for many of
copaiba's traditional uses and established biological actions. Copaiba
decreases PGE2 production, and is a Cox-2 inhibitor. Traditional medicinal uses
of copaiba include: pain;
inflammation; bacterial and fungal infections; tumors;
fibromyalgia; lupus; multiple sclerosis; respiratory congestion; sinusitis;
bronchitis; tuberculosis; stomach ulcers; stomach cancer; chronic diarrhea;
hemorrhoids; constipation; cystitis; kidney weakness; urinary incontinence;
arthritis; psoriasis; dermatitis; wounds; rashes; herpes; insect bites; boils;
acne; nail and skin fungal infections; skin cancer.
Clearly, on a physical level, copaiba is an impressive
healing agent. It is equally so on a psychospiritual level. The scent of
copaiba is somewhat elusive. At times, it recedes to a level of mildness that
is unusual among essential oils. At other times, its tropical wood scent
unfurls and spirals upward in full. The subtle sweet undertone similarly varies
in intensity. Regardless of the level of intensity of these scent notes, they
are always enveloped in a warm, nurturing, somewhat maternal essence that is comprised
of both scent and energy.
When I first received this oil, its scent was at its
lower point. However, as the days passed and I interacted with it on an I-Thou,
soul to soul, level and it physically warmed up in the quiet of my lab, its
scent projection became progressively more robust. It seemed as if the oil
needed physical warmth, a sense of safety and soul-to-soul acknowledgment
before it trusted enough to reveal the beauty of its inner mystery.
Being that copaiba is a wild Amazon jungle oil, its scent
behavior reminded me of a nature program I once saw which showed monkeys, upon
the approach of a jaguar, scrambling up trees into the cover and safety of the
canopy. Once the jaguar left the area, the monkeys reappeared on the jungle
floor and resumed their normal activities.
From this experience with the oil, I began to use it in
blending for individuals who are somewhat introverted and prone to feelings of
vulnerability. The copaiba individual withdraws when she (or he) is among
people she does not know. She is reflexively introverted when among strangers.
She needs to feel nurturing warmth and soul-to-soul acknowledgment before she
will emerge from the shelter of her introversion.
Some of the rubrics in the
Spiritual PhytoEssencing Repertory of Essential Oils in which copaiba appears include:
Hide, desire to
Hides true feelings
Strangers, worse for the presence of
Vulnerability, feelings of
Warmth, better for
Warmth, desire for
Copaiba oil has a particular affinity for the 2
4 th and 6 th chakras as well as the Earth, Warmth and
Considering all of this, it became clear to me that
copaiba was an ideal oil to serve as the surrounding essence that embraces and
shelters the other oils in the
Soular Hero’s Journey blend. Instructions for Preparing a Surrounding Essence
1) Prior to blending, add 3
drops (per a 5 ml blend) of a selected alchemy oil ( not one of the main
oils in the blend formula; in this case the 2018 students will be using copaiba
oil) to 27 drops of alcohol* in the empty blending bottle.
*Alcohol: Ideally 190 proof
(95%) alcohol should be used as the essential oils are soluble in alcohol, not
water. I use 190 proof alcohol distilled from organic wine. In many places, you
can easily obtain a permit to purchase this strength alcohol. However, if you cannot,
opt for 100 proof (50%) vodka. This is not as effective a solvent but will
still work for the purposes of the surrounding essence technique. Alcohol that
is more dilute than this will not serve well for the purpose of creating
a surrounding essence.
2) While holding the bottle upright, swirl vigorously for a minute.
3) Then empty the bottle and place
it upside down (with the cap off) on an eco-friendly paper towel and allow it
to drain for 30 minutes.
4) Proceed on to blending the
first layer of the blend. Always set down the first layer of the blend within 30
to 60 minutes after the draining of the surrounding essence began.
When you are preparing your next essential
oil blend, consider beginning with a surrounding essence. You will find that
this simple Spiritual PhytoEssencing alchemy technique will enhance the power
and overall dynamics of the blend.
Note: Dr. Berkowsky’s 2018 Spiritual PhytoEssencing Webinar-Based Training Intensive
(Course begins April 10th)
Written by Dr. Bruce Berkowsky, N.M.D., M.H., H.M.C.
Dr. Berkowsky teaches in-depth seminars/teleseminars/workshops to health-conscious,
spiritually aware individuals.
Dr. Berkowsky, a
registered naturopath, master herbalist and classical homeopath—is President
of Joseph Ben Hil-Meyer Research, Inc. He is the founder/teacher of the art of
Spiritual PhytoEssencing as well as the Natural Health Science System (which he
designed following many years of research and clinical practice, and includes
herbology, nutrition, homeopathy, aromatherapy, exercise, traditional nature-cure
as well as East/West healing arts/bodywork).
If you are
interested in studying with Dr. Berkowsky and would like a free recording
wherein he discusses the theoretical foundation of Spiritual PhytoEssencing,
e-mail your request for the recording link.
Disclaimer: This publication is intended as an
educational tool, and not as a prescription. Seek the advice of your health-care
provider before discontinuing any medication and/or trying any new remedy or technique.