Welcome to Tephyr's Garden!

Tephyr passed from this world in 2015 after a 13 year struggle with LMS: Leiomayosarcoma.
She encouraged me to start Alternative Nature Online Herbal in 1997 and contributed as long as her health allowed.

Collecting Dew Drops

Copyright: 1994, 2012 S. Tephyr Burgess

If you've never gone outside very early in the morning and walked barefoot I invite you to do so at the earliest convenience! Yes, it can be cold on your feet but it is most invigorating. But this isn't just because it's cold. The dew is full of Earth and Cosmic energies and they transfer themselves through your sensitive feet and up through you Chakras. It's a real rush! I can't help it, I always get the Grateful Dead song "Walk me out in the Morning Dew, my honey....." going through my head. Corny but appropriate. :-)

While you're walking around look at the plants around you. They too are covered in dew. Go ahead and taste some (first checking that the plant isn't toxic or sprayed with chemicals, please!!!).

You'll notice an acrid taste with a gentle hint of the plant itself. People have been collecting and using this elixir for thousands of years. In arid regions it is a way of collecting much needed water but? it can also be used both medicinally and metaphysically. Alchemists though the ages, and even today, know of the power of this seemingly innocuous substance.

I'm not a scientist by any measure;  I'm very Right Brained. :-) But I do know that dew forms in the night because of temperature differences in the air and the objects it forms on. It's the same principle that causes the outside of your glass to become wet when you add ice to your drink. As the dew forms through out the night it is influenced by many factors:

And many things we aren't even aware of. When you collect it you will want to take all of this and more into consideration. Any of these will influence what you will need and use your dew for.

Which brings us to the big question; why would you want to collect dew? Basically, because of the above listed influences; all of these aspects have been converted into subtle energies held inside the dew drops. You can pick any of the above aspects and use that as the factor guiding you on how you will use it.

My main focus is, as usual, in healing and the magickal. For example, one of my favorite Dews to collect is Mugwort . This dew has all of the medicinal and metaphysical properties of Mugwort in energetic form similar to Flower Essence and Homeopathics.

Go to my article on Mugwort and see all the different uses and influences this plant gives; particularly the Flower Essence and Homeopathic uses. This is how you would use the Dew. It is a very subtle but powerful energetic influence. I will take this before sleep to help my dreaming or before Meditation or Journeying for the same reason. But it can be used for any of the energies and properties of that particular plant.

Let's look at all the aspects in the above list.

The Lunar Phase

The first way to look at this is to find out what phase the Moon is in. New, Full, Waning or Waxing. For more info on how Lunar Phases influence the making of medicinal and metaphysical products go to my article on Harvesting and Preparing Herbs by the Lunar Phases. Many texts say Dew Drops should only be harvested in the Waxing Moon. This may be true in Alchemy: but I'm not an Alchemist. My feeling is it depends on what you need it for.?

As in my article I point out that Waxing is for gaining and expanding energies. Waning is for repelling or warding; so if those are the energies that you need than that is the best time collect your dew. For example, if you want the dew to help you ward something off; to loose something, then you want the energies of the waning moon. If you want to bring something to you or gain something then you use the waxing moon.

Using Mugwort as an example again, if I want to bring dreams to me: to expand on my dreaming abilities I use Mugwort Dew collected in the waxing lunar phase up to the Full Moon. If I want to prevent dreams I would gather dew from Lemon Verbena or Vervain during the waning moon to ward off: to repel dreams. Both those herbs are used to prevent dreaming, coupled with the dew from the waning moon should make a very powerful and subtle dream prevention. I've never tried them for this as I have never been in a position to ward dreaming but it makes a good example.

The Astrological/Solar Phase

Honestly, this is too complicated to cover here with any justice. Basically, you find either/or of the astrological placement at the time you are gathering your dew and the sign the plant is governed by and take those into consideration for it's uses.

While I was raised by an Astrologer I am in no way knowledgeable enough in this field to even try to teach it's significance. (Sorry Mom :-) Those of you who are will find this usage both fascinating and useful. If you are interested study both basic Astrology and the study of which plants are governed by which astrological sign. Watch out for Eclipses and other astronomical influences too.

To gather dew under the influence of the Sun, either astrologically or just in general, then you would go out just as the Sun rises up to when it touches the plants and dries up the dew.?

Weather conditions????

Weather creates electrical magnetic fields. I've never tried it but many Alchemists state that the best time to gather dew is after an electrical storm. I assume they mean one without rain as then the moisture on the plants isn't dew it's rain. Though I am sure that in itself also has it's own energies and power and should be looked into also.

But even if it isn't as dramatic as a lightening storm the magnetic fields will effect the dews energies and is something you should keep in mind. You might notice one dew elixir is more or less powerful than another and the only major difference in it's creation is the weather, so always make note of the general weather conditions surrounding your gathering time.

The Object it forms on

For our purposes this is plants. Rock and Crystal people have a whole world to explore themselves! (Let me know if you do this!) Any plant that is not poisonous is useful. Like in Homeopathy and Flower Essence you could probably use toxic plants as well but it would be reckless and irresponsible of me to even suggest it. So don't. :-)

Whatever plant you collect your dew on will transform that dew with it's energetic and chemical properties. So, all you have to do is either look it up in your herbals or sit with the plant and see what it has to say to you. If the latter seems odd to you refresh yourself in the purpose of this site; which is to promote not only Medicinal and Metaphysical Herbalism but Co-Creative/Co-Partnership Gardening and lifestyles. Plants themselves have a lot to say that is pertinent to their uses (and a lot of other interesting stuff :-) ).

You will also want to sit with them (it may be more convenient to you to do this before the night/early morning you collect) and ask for permission before you collect their dew. This is only polite. Go back to my site for insight and information on developing your awareness of plant communication.

The Energies of the surrounding environment

Where the plant grows will also give off it's own energies too. Make sure you're collecting in a nice environment where the plants are happy. Again: check with them to find this out. For example, if you are collecting in a parking lot (which I don't recommend for other environmental reasons) with a lot of negative energies around this will influence the dew.?

If you are on a beautiful mountain top and the Nature Spirits and Devas welcome you then this too will influence your dew. Your own back garden, is of course, an ideal place for collecting as well, unless you are unfortunate to live near a lot of industry or other polluting factors.?

How to Collect Dew

There are actually a couple techniques. But first you must take a few things into consideration.?

  1. Take the sponge and carefully brush it against the plant. Use one plant at a time. One sponge and bowl per plant. Do not mix. If you want to mix then do so after they are bottled.

  2. When the sponge is wet enough squeeze it into the bowl. When you have enough, using the funnel pour it into bottles. Fill them 1/2 way. You can do this in the house but I have found walking back inside with a bowl full of water in the dark or dusk a little difficult. Cap them.

  3. If you are making more than one dew at a time do not get your bottles mixed up.

  4. Keep them in a bag or as I do: in a basket with a cloth over them.

  5. Take them in the house. Keep them out of direct light. A small flash light with the beam away from the bottles or a candle away from you but giving just enough light to work.

  6. You may want to filter your dew through an organic coffee filter or organic cheese cloth before refilling the bottles. You can scoop up unsuspecting bugs (let them go) and in dryer seasons there is a bigger chance of dirt on the leaves.

  7. Fill the bottles the rest of the way with Brandy or Vodka. No less than 60 proof. Cap the bottles.

  8. Dry the outside of the bottle, label it. Put all the information you think is pertinent on the label: date, time, lunar phase, plant name, brandy or vodka and the proof, etc.

See below for storage guidelines.

  1. Take the dropper and suck the dew right into it and then empty it into the bottle. Just hold the the rubber dropper end between your fingers and place the glass tip into the dew and squeeze it in; squirt it into the bottle. Depending on the flower or leaf shape it can be time consuming.

  2. Stop when you have filled the bottle 1/2 way. Put the dropper cap on the bottle and tighten.

  3. Put the bottle in the bag or in the basket under the cloth and bring it? into the house. (or you can do the following outside if you want).

  4. If you are making more than one dew at a time do not get your bottles mixed up.

  5. Keep them out of direct light. A small flash light with the beam away from the bottles or a candle away from you but giving just enough light to work.

  6. You may want to filter your dew through an organic coffee filter or organic cheese cloth before refilling the bottles.

  7. Fill the bottles the rest of the way with Brandy or Vodka. No less than 60 proof. (use a small glass or plastic funnel)

  8. Dry the outside of the bottle, label it. Put all the information you think is pertinent on the label: date, time, lunar phase, plant name, brandy or vodka and the proof, etc.

A third technique is one I have never tried and is the old Alchemists way. You take an impeccably clean cotton or linen cloth and brush it against that which you are gathering the dew from. They would do this on grass also. It is then squeezed into a glass bowl, filtered and bottles and then created into Alchemical substances. There is a lot on the net about Alchemy if you are interested.

* This is if you are collecting at night; obviously you won't need a flashlight after the sun rise, though you may need one to get to your spot and set up if you need to get there before the Sun rises to ensure that you have time to work.?

The reason that you shouldn't direct your flashlight onto the dew at any stage is because the light will affect and shift the energies of the dew. Light in any form is energy with an energetic pattern that affects the energy of the objects or beings it comes in contact with. Just like Homeopathics and flower essence they should be kept our of direct light during storage as well;

Storage Guidelines

Keep your Dew Elixirs in a dark space, away from heat or extreme cold. A cupboard in any dry room with normal room temperatures will do. It is essential that you keep them out of the light. If you have a dark room this is good. I keep my bottles of Dew, Lunar Waters and Flower Essences in bags in a cupboard and work in a dark room or at night.

They should keep several years, however you may find as time goes on the energy depletes.

Before use shake the bottle vigorously or tap the bottom of the bottle into the palm of your hand, this is called succusion.? This, for lack of a better description energizes the elixir. One does the same to flower essences and homeopathic remedies.

Plants to use (and not use)

As I said please don't use poisonous or toxic plants or plants that have been treated with poisonous or toxic ingredients. Do not use plants that have been sprayed with any substance that will effect their energies, including organic chemicals. Do not use plants that are growing near electrical lines, road sides, parking lots or any other environment that may be toxic in any way (including energetic/spiritual toxins). If it is growing somewhere and you wouldn't eat it then don't harvest it for dew or any other purpose. Follow common Ethical Wild-crafting Guidelines. (here is an article on ANOH to help you understand what that means).

Other than that you can use any plant for any purpose you want. I like:

Mugwort, Lavender, Motherwort, Lady's Mantle (an old timey!), Roses!!!!, Day Lilies and more.

Look around your garden and see what you have. As I said above sit with it and see what it conveys to you and then research it.

Some plants are harder to harvest from do to the formation of their leaves. Lady's Mantle is one of the easiest do to the shape of her leaves, Lavender flowers are hard! Take leaf and flower shape into consideration.

Uses of Dew Elixirs

You can use them for any thing you want actually. You don't need a lot just a drop or two for what ever reason your using them.? I use mine for a number of reasons including:

To get some other ideas on how to use them research making and using Flower Essence. You'll get lots of ideas. Do a net search or go to the Flower Essence Society page.

And use your imagination!

I'd love to hear other's experiences with utilizing Dew. Please email me if you have anything to share. Thanks!