Elemi: As Above, So Below

Mar 31, 08:52 PM

by Katharine Koeppen, RA

With the advent of spring, many engage in spiritual or religious rituals to honor the quickening of nature and the the restoration of life after a season of darkness and cold. For those who want to deepen their connection with the Divine while throwing off the heaviness of the temporal world, elemi is the perfect essential oil for the spring season.

In the ancient Aramaic tongue, elemi means as above, so below. It may be used as an anointing or diffusing oil to encourage meditative states, calming the mind while maintaining complete clarity. Elemi unites the upper and lower chakras, working through the vehicle of the heart and lungs. I highly recommend this oil for creative individuals who have difficulty quieting an overactive mind due to the daily pressures of life in the fast lane. Such people spend a great deal of time in an ungrounded state, unable to concentrate sufficiently to be productive in professional or personal relationships or projects. Elemi enables them to eliminate feelings of disconnection between the upper and lower physical, emotional and spiritual bodies, grounding them while allowing their imagination to roam freely. It is an excellent oil to use in preparation for guided imagery sessions or a night of lucid dreaming.

Physically, elemi resonates with the lungs and has historically been employed in treating bronchitis, dry cough, asthma and other respiratory ailments. In traditional Chinese medicine, the lungs are considered the seat of grief, and I know many who have had an emotionally difficult winter, leading to prolonged bouts with nagging respiratory ailments. The light balsamic and caraway-like fragrance of elemi aids in clearing the lower respiratory system of the final vestiges of winter coughs and colds while emotionally opening the upper chest area. Energetically, the oil is cooling and drying and can be helpful for those who tend to hold too much of spring's heat and moisture.

Elemi may be used in a similar fashion to frankincense, although I regard frankincense as a heavier essential oil (in both aroma and fuction) more appropriate to the winter season. Both oils may be employed as full body tonifiers.  

Whether you have just celebrated the spring equinox or are in the midst of Passover or Easter observances, welcome elemi into your seasonal rituals. It will allow you to slow down, relax and deeply inhale the sweetness of springtime.

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