Dew -Cosmic Destillation

DEW    Article written  by Sara Crow
In most cultures, dew is seen as a life-giving substance both in terms of providing necessary physical nourishment and that of spiritual sustenance and transformation. The droplets of water that appear in the early morning light are an important source of moisture and nourishment for many plants and animals; dew has also been collected by people since time immemorial, and used for agricultural, healing and mystical purposes. For others, dew symbolizes a type of inner alchemical process of transformation, a substance that grants liberation and immortality.
According to ancient philosophers and numerous traditions, dew represents the Universal Spirit in condensed form, and an alchemical elixir of life that appears out of the vastness of the calm, clear, night sky to offer nourishment and regenerative power. This condensed form of universal prana is thought to carry information about the environment and surrounding ecosystem, including influences of the sun and moon, planetary configurations and especially of the plant or flower on which it condenses.
New research is now exploring the possibility that water may have the ability to be imprinted with different patterns of information contained in its environment. In this context, dew can be described as the alchemical mixing of universal, environmental and floral energies taking place within the vessel of the flower or plant: the flower receives and holds the water that appears during condensation of dew which contains the influences of the environment, and imprints it with its own information.
Flowers are the crowning achievement of the plant kingdom, the site of pollination and reproduction, and therefore contain the highly concentrated life-force energies. When dew forms on flowers it is imbued with those energies, which give it unique qualities that can be used for healing purposes.
Dew in World Traditions
Historically, dew and its ability to sustain life was of great importance to numerous cultures around the world, including the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Native Americans, Australian aboriginals and the Maori of New Zealand.
To the alchemist, dew is a medium that collects and concentrates moonlight, and a precipitation of the cosmic fire element; it is considered one of the primary sources of the mysterious Niter, the subtle form of the primal fire of nature. Dew is an important ingredient in many alchemical preparations, including elixirs believed to bestow youthfulness and longevity.
Alchemists considered dew to be produced by a kind of cosmic distillation cycle: moisture from the earth is drawn upward by the action of the sun and moon, which then condenses in the cool night air and settles again on the earth. From the spring equinox on March 21st through May 21st, when the sun is in the astrological signs of Aires and Taurus, alchemists collected dew by dragging clean sheets across the morning grass or shaking plants to cause their dew to fall.
During the Middle Ages, the Lady’s Mantle, or Dewcup (Alchemilla), was favored for its extraordinary capacity to collect dew on its lobed leaves. The dew of the Lady’s Mantle was thought to be a special holy water for curing the body, mind and spirit; the Druids considered it one of the most sacred forms of water. Hildegard Von Bingen and Paracelsus both collected dew from flowering plants to treat health imbalances.
It is interesting to note that the Latin word ros means both rose and dew. Some alchemists believed that dew is a kind of grace that gently showers the earth with a special wisdom called aqua sapientiae, the water of wisdom. Some alchemists describe this sanctified shower as a quintessence, or fifth element, that unites with and transcends the other four elements.
To the ancient Chinese, dew symbolized immortality, and was an important part of Taoist philosophy and practice. The Immortals of Taoism were said to be perfected beings who lived on mountains, fed on the wind, sipped the dew, and experienced ecstatic flight. It was believed that dew which formed around temples and at sacred places was especially auspicious.
Saliva is referred to as dew in qigong and Taosit alchemy; practices of accumulating and purifying saliva in the mouth are used to clean the blood, regenerate the marrow in bones and balance energy. The Scripture on the Nourishment of the Vital Principle and the Prolongation of Life, quoting a lost commentary on the Tao Te Ching, gave salvia several names depending on the role it plays or on the various states it assumes: when it flows it is the “flowery lake,” when collected in the mouth it is the “jade beverage,” when used to rinse the mouth it is the “sweet source,” as it descends, it is the “sweet dew.” The resulting “golden beverage” is thought to purify the body and nourish the spirit.
At summer Solstice with its abundant growth and long nights, Baltic traditions celebrated the Festival of Rasa. Rasa, meaning dew, was celebrated as an elemental manifestation of life force that had the ability to predict the size of that year’s bounty according to the abundance of dew on the morning fields. It is believed that dew which forms before the sunrise on Solstice morning possesses exceptional healing powers.
Dew was said to increase beauty, and therefore to enhance the chances of attracting a husband if a woman bathed in it before dawn.
Dew is important in the Jewish religion for agricultural purposes; prayers are often made for dew to come together with rain and bless the land. In esoteric Christian writings, dew is considered an element that facilitates resurrection. Likewise, according to the Rosarium, a 16th century alchemical treatise, dew is thought to purify and renew following death, which may symbolize
a type of alchemical purification and dissolution of the ego.
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