What is Dew?
Have you ever walked on grass in the morning after a cool night and it was wet when it had not rained? The water you see and feel is called dew. Dew is water droplets that form on cool surfaces at night, meaning it can form on any surface that is cool; not just plants. This is because the atmospheric vapor condenses.
But, where does it have its place in alchemy and alchemical philosophy?
The dew is the condensation of the universal spirit. It is known as Prana in Yoga, Chi or Qi in China, and can quite possibly even be related to soft electrons in modern-day science. It is the precipitation of cosmic fire and is the key solvent used in the purification processes of the Tria Prima (the three principles of the soul, spirit, and body which are represented by sulfur, mercury, and salt). It is nature’s finest representation of the alchemical process of circulation. Dew is of the Earth and drawn by the Sun, thereby bringing forth moisture, which is then condensed by the cool of night to again settle on the Earth. Because of this, dew is considered to be the distilled concept of the heavens above; Earth below.
Dew is often times considered to be the fire of nature. This is due to the fact that it “cooks” the seedlings in the earth causing growth. This fire is representative of the Sun’s warmth, and the period of and around the Spring Equinox tends to make it especially potent. Furthermore, dew is the carrier of Nitre, which is the life force of air. Its energy is immensely powerful because it exists on the most definite state feasible while remaining physical.
In one of the most famous, yet nearly entirely wordless alchemical book known as the Mutus Liber (the ‘Mute Book’), dew is considered to be the prima materia (prime material) of the workings listed in its fifteen engravings. Another alchemical text regarding dew is Gold of a Thousand Mornings by Armand Barbault. Thus, we must understand the importance of dew not only in practice but also in theory. Dew was considered the most sacred form of water by the Druids, seen as a representation of immortality to the ancient Chinese, and as a symbol of resurrection in Kabbalism.
Source: Secrets of High Magick by F. Mellville and Real Alchemy by R. Bartlett