The name Elemi is derived from an Arabic phrase meaning “above and below”, and relates to the foundational idea of all Hermetics: As above, so below; as below, so above. This linking of above and below, of transcendent spirit with material being, is one of its gifts through its Mercurial expression of energy.
Elemi was used in Egyptian embalming rituals, where it assisted the soul’s rising from this world and into the next. At the same time, it is helpful during and after meditation or magickal working to ground back into the self and integrate the ineffable into daily life. It is also an aid to magickal practice in general, helping with the growth of skill and knowledge of the Hermetic Arts.
In our work with the Ritual Oil of Elemi, we found it quieting to the breath in a way that was a bit strange, but not unpleasant. It created a feeling somewhat like the last deep breath before a deep dive into water, and in this way, its energy is similar to the collecting quality that our Waterfall Calamus Initiatic has.
Meditating with it further, we found it to create a stretching and elongating feeling, as if the body was reaching for above and below, and connecting them through its own energy. It was an ecstatic experience in the original sense of the word: standing outside of the self, observing from a distance. This energy would be helpful for mindfulness meditation, especially combined with our Gotu Kola Initiatic to create a higher, detached perspective.
For tips and techniques for working with our Ritual Oils, see this article.