Dew & the Fire of Nature

April 8, 2009 by Micah  
Filed under Philosophy of Nature

Late March was the beginning of dew season around here, the time each year when we collect as much of the “celestial water” as we can, for use in the lab the rest of the year.

Unfortunately, the water Nature gave us for that first week was rain, not dew, so our collection process was delayed until last week, when the weather dried out. Starting Friday night, we collected a good volume of dew, even though the rains came back today.

You may ask, why now? It’s easy to understand the unique and powerful life force of Spring, which brings growth and regeneration out of the quiet stillness of winter. Buds swell, bulbs arise and flower, seeds sprout, and baby animals are born.

Alchemically, much of this rebirth is connected to the energy that the dew carries during this time, considered the fire of nature, “cooking” the seeds in the ground, drawing the green out of the trees with its warmth, and transferring life back into the land.

For the period around the Spring Equinox, this fire is especially powerful, and carries not just the general spark that kindles the rebirth of the land, but also the Secret Fire, which can be used in many Alchemical operations.

The fire that the dew carries is understood on many levels. First, it is the energy of the Sun’s increasing warmth, carried to the plants as already mentioned.

Secondly, dew is the carrier of Nitre, the life force of the air, which Sendivogius was describing when he wrote that “there is in the Aire a secret food of life”. Paracelsus called this life spirit the Azoth, the aerial Nitre that the Sun transmits to Earth through the waters of the sky. Paracelsus and other alchemists also connected this Nitre with more literal physical Niter, more commonly called Saltpeter, or Potassium Nitrate, which is present in dew.

Potassium Nitrate is a very fertilizing substance, whether naturally occurring as in manure, or as the main ingredient in chemical fertilizers. When heated, it gives off pure oxygen, enough that the inventor Cornelius Drebbel, building on Sendivogius’ work, was able to maintain the life of his crew traveling in the first submarine ever created- in 1620!

Nitre is considered so powerful in its energy because it is at the very upper limit of material existence, the most subtle state possible without being completely non-physical. This is how it brings both an etheric and physical fire and life to the water that carries it, and transfers that life to the earth. Nitre’s special fire can also be transferred to substances in the lab, and so dew is used to revive dead substances and quicken the force of many operations.

rambullThe 17th century alchemical text, the Mutus Liber, is an entirely pictorial book depicting the collection and alchemical preparation of dew. Through both clear operational imagery and hidden allegory, a couple is followed as they collect the celestial waters, prepare them in their lab, and then give thanks and praise at the end as they finish the medicine.

The image on the left, from this book, shows the beginning of the collection process, with sheets suspended over the grass to collect the dew, the couple wringing out the sheets in the foreground, and the sheep and bull in the background, referring to the Spring signs Aries and Taurus.

Another alchemical text about dew is Gold of a Thousand Mornings, by Armand Barbault. Besides being one of the all-time most beautiful alchemical book titles, it is notable for its recentness, written in 1968. In words and photographs, the author journals his work creating medicine from dew, plants, and soil. It is a wonderful text, with pictures of the author and later, his son, working with dew, photos of the dew-cart they created (which we have also made for field use), and a clear and heartfelt style of writing which carries the author’s presence in a personal and living way.

Another important text dealing with the celestial waters is the Golden Chain of Homer by Anton Josef Kirchweger, issued in the early 1700’s. This book discusses many ways of working alchemically with water, both dew and rain, and teaches about the Archaeus of Water. This is a fascinating process of dividing the water into 12 sections, organized by the elements and three principles, and then recombining those divisions in specific ways to create life and the Stone.

We have worked with the Archaeus and found the work and results truly amazing, and we will talk about this process in a future posting. In the meantime, we hope you will share your thoughts and experiences with the “angel’s waters” from above and below.


4 Responses to “Dew & the Fire of Nature”
  1. kenny says:

    would kombucha grow in dew

  2. Micah says:

    That’s a great question, and I have no idea of the answer! In some alchemical processes, like the ones described above, the dew is allowed to ferment and form a substance called “Gur”, which is a primal earth, and also carries the secret fire and Nitre. So, it will ferment and support life, but I’m not sure if kombucha would get along with the subtle & chemical constituents of the dew or not. It would be easy enough to try it out as an experiment- maybe that would be an interesting experiment for you?


  3. androshi says:

    hi, i was wondering just what exactly would the dew ,do- for people by itself?
    im not an alchemist that has a lot of materials like a science lab - BUT i think i could collect the dew with salt.

    all i have to do is take the salt and heat it up a bit and then take it outside before the dawn comes and i could collect the dew with little fuss.

    BUT what does it do ? is it ormus? can it be taken by itself?
    i kind of figured that i would have to separate the water from the salt -im sure i could do that -but before i try this i need to know what the dew does for people. any information you could give me would be great. thank you

  4. Micah says:

    We use the dew in a number of ways at certain points in our Spagyrics work. We don’t add it directly or work with it straight, but it is an important energetic adjunct to our work when it’s processed and used properly. It’s the subject of lessons in both our Art of Distillation and Basic Lab modules of our School, where we teach students how to incorporate what are called the “celestial waters” into their work.

    I don’t consider it ormus, and I’m not sure how you would even decide if it’s “ormus” or not, that has become something of a catch-all term without much specific meaning at this point. The best way to know what it does is to collect some, try it, meditate on the results, and connect with its energy. That will tell you if it’s worth it for you to work with- good luck!


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