The dew or celestial water is the nocturnal atmospheric condensation under the influence of the Moon, and, according to the alchemic tradition, it is the privileged vehicle of the universal spirit. The old alchemists had the celestial water in a great appreciation. In the countries of central Europe, they recommended to collect the dew in the months of March to May, because in that time has a very special virtue for being impregnated of the universal spirit.
In the centre and south of our country (Portugal), the best time to collect the dew is the months of March and April. The years of little rainfall in the spring, in the month of May, the herb of the grasslands begins to dry, hindering, like this, the condensation. Besides the condensation to be little and not to justify the spent effort, the dew collected in these conditions it is dirty as we had occasion of verifying personally.
Per times, in your books, our Masters they make reference to the celestial water for analogy when there is a condensation of vapours in a vase or in a distillation.
We saw a Iberian alchemist very known in your country for the books that he wrote about your alchemic "work", the corners of his lips twitched when we talk of the application of the dew in the alchemy, demonstrating, like this, an ignorance of the alchemic reality.
If you ask to one of those alchemists as is collected and distilled the dew as its salt is extracted, certainly he won't know how to answer you because that knowledge is not to the reach of all and it is rare books where this operation is described. We learned it in an of the Solazaref's books.
In our Art, this water is usually used as vehicle in the treatment of the philosophical salts.
The dew condensation is made during the night, closer to the dawn. So that there is an abundant condensation, it is necessary that the sky is discovered, cloudless, that there are not wind or breeze, that is, in a calm night.
The suitable time to collected the dew, as we said, it is in the spring during the growing fourth to the full moon.
They are little the nights that offer the ideal conditions for collect the dew, for that, you will have to take advantage of them the possible best.
To collect the celestial water, you will need, a towel of cotton of medium size, preferably, very used, a basin of 10 litre enamelled iron, some 5 litre glass large bottles very well washed with water, a big plastic funnel and a very clean fine cloth to serve as filter.
In the previous day, inspect the field the one where you will go, for see the best access road and other conditions that allow identify well at night the place.
Choose a clean field, without pollution, with short herb, the maximum of a span of height and that is away from urban areas.
Get up two hours before the dawn and, before moving you to the place, verified the cars roof that they are parked in the street, and at open place away of the buildings, it is covered with condensation. That is a good sign. If there is not condensation in the roof cars, it is excused you leave house because there is not dew. You took our advice, because we know it well, for own experience.
If there is abundant condensation, move to the chosen place carry all your material. The towel should previously be washed in water of the rain or of nascent.
When you arrive to the place, unfold the towel and extend it in the ground, in the ends of the field. Attach it a fine rope in the two tips for drag it for the grassland.
Drag the extended towel slowly, for this to have time of absorbing the celestial water that meets in the grass. When you begin, notice your weight well, because as it goes impregnating of dew, it will weight more. When you see that it is saturated, stop and squeeze it well for the basin.
The dew, in this time of the year, is to lower temperature to 10 degrees and, for that, your hands will be very cold.
Continue, in the same way, dragging the towel and, when it is again saturated, stop and squeeze it well for the basin, until filling it. So, take a 5-litre large bottle place in the funnel with the cloth to filter and drain the liquid into.
You don't forget to take a flashlight for see, therefore, as we told you, the collect of dew it should be done in the middle of the night, before the sunrise.
Continued, until that the first rays of the dawn begin to appear in the horizon, then, stop. Keep your material and return to house. In one night, in good conditions, you will be able collect more than 10 litre of celestial water.
The collected dew, it has a lightly yellowish tea colour of tea and it is scentless.
The first time that observe it we think that this colour was owed to the dust that was in the grass where had been collected. For confirming it at next night, when the sunbeams began to appear in the horizon and there was good visibility, with a sponge very well cleans, we collect, carefully, the dew deposited in the plants that were very clean and without any pollution. The colour was exactly the same.
Arrived to house, in the darkness, spill the liquid of the large bottles of 5 litre, through a funnel with the filter cloth, for a large bottle of glass of 20 litre and close it well with a rubber stopped. Arrange the large bottle in the basement, to the shelter of the light.
If you have possibility, that is, if you live out in the country, in the full moon nights, spill the dew in a big plastic basin and leave it, during the night, exposed to the moonbeam, for this to receive universal spirit and, like this, to increase your virtue. Pick up it before sunrise.
Fill, at least, one large bottle of 20 litre more, according to your needs and let to rest in the basement during one month. To the end of that time, transfer 5 litre of dew for a 5 litre large bottle. Make this operation at night use a small flashlight.
For that time, the dew deteriorated and, for that, all the matters in suspension, seated in the bottom, leaving the limpid and transparent liquid.
Pour 5 litre of dew in 6-litre cucurbit like to the one that used to distil the spirit of wine and of the vinegar, place the chapiter and a 2-litre recipient and distil to moderate fire not above 60 degrees. Will be long more than one week to distil everything depending on the opening neck that has your cucurbit. You don't forget that this operation should be made in the darkness. Keep the dew distilled in 20 litre glass large bottles, to the shelter of the light.
After everything distilled, it will be, in the bottom of the cucurbit, lees that will pick up.
Distil all dew, in the same way and always pick up the lees. After you have distilled 40 litre, pour all the dregs in the cucurbit and distil to the dryness. Remove the caput and calcine it in a mud or stainless steel porringer with very strong fire, in a stove to gas. Extract the salt, for leach, with distilled dew. You will obtain some 20 or 30g of salt.
This dew salt, still raw under the alchemic point of view, it contains subtle nitre that after properly prepared as Art orders, it is used in the canonical dry way.
The collect and dew distillation is a true Hercules work that requests much patience and perseverance. As we already told you in the beginning not always would be possible, in the favourable time, collect the dew that you will need due to adverse conditions, as rain, overcast sky, wind, etc.
The distilled dew will be very useful in the preparation of the several canonical salts inherent to our Art.
For certain common operations, you can use instead of the distilled dew, rainwater very clean and filtered, collected in the spring, preferably in thunderstorm days.http://www.levity.com/alchemy/images/dew.jpg