The Dew - Part II
Concerning the collection of the dew and because some doubts have been raised about the process that is described, we read over again the book L'Alchimie et son Livre Muet (Mutus Liber), Réimpression premiere et integrale de La edition originale de La Rochelle, 1677, Introdution et comentaires par Eugene Canseliet F.C.H. disciple de Fulcanelli, a Paris, chez Jean-Jacques Pauvert.

The comments made by Canseliet in this book, not only confirm what we described as well as what we suspected when we saw these illustrations for the first time.

The text that we transcribe is a second translation, the first from French to Portuguese and after from Portuguese to English. Therefore I apologise for any imprecision.

P. 87 - «Well then! Yes, the sheep and the bull of the image on the one that we are observing at present, corresponds to the two zodiacal signs, of the vernal months during which the operation has for purpose to collect the flower of the sky and is exactly accomplished just as it is defined in this place.»

«It is treated without dissimulation in the simple way that firstly we used already not less than half of a century, except for the difference in relationship with the installation of the white linen on the stakes. System that can explain in the passage of Altus, the dryness of the land, and secondly by an English doctor relating to the whole substance placed on the soil "it will acquire more dew in a very calm night, than a similar substance placed on the herb". (1) Essays about the dew, Well (William-Charles). Essais sur la Rosee, traduit par Aug. J. Tordeux, Maitre en Pharmacie, Paris, 1817, p.24.

«After a long time, we worked differently; we drag preferably on the green cereals, the clovers, the lucern and the sanfoin, a linen cloth, carefully washed several times with rainwater.

In this way, any leach salt of the wash would be dissolved in the generous liqueur that will be absorbed by the linen. In the same way, it shall be feared that the vegetable bearer has not unfortunately sprinkled any fertiliser on his fields.»

P.88 «The practice is simple and consists of twisting the cloth after it is soaked at the saturation point in order to squeeze and collect the dew as the man and the woman shown in prayer on the second illustration.»

P.103 «The serious and attentive reader won't be surprised if we tell him that our illustration is not in its place and that the fourth illustration should have preceded that one. It is easy to understand that this second part of the preliminary preparation of the work, locates after the initial collect, the illustration number four.

The precious liquid is submitted now to the action of the universal fluid, in wide circular plates where it seems to conceal thick and black dregs. These two fractions of the preliminary phase of the Great Work should always be made in the season designated by the two animals in the figures.»

P.104 «Of this celestial water, more exactly of the precious salt that it retains in solution, the metalloid acquires its great and new virtue.»

Canseliet doesn't mention that the dew collected will have to be harvested at dawn before the sunrise. However, he says that the illustrations are not placed in order of the works and the fourth illustration should be followed by the ninth and, like we said, after the dew is collected, it should be exposed to the lunar radiation.

The suitable process for the fourth illustration (see below) is to collect the dew on white cotton sheets placed on stakes for the reasons mentioned by Wells.

However, Canseliet, describes the dew collection just as we made it on the green cereals or the grass with a linen towel.

And just as we stated, Canseliet used the dew-extracted salt without specifying if it was in the second work of the dry way or in the Eagles. We always affirmed that Canseliet followed the dry way just as he describes it in his book Alchimie Expliquee Sus Ses Texts Clasiques.

There is some that say that the spagyric way practised by Barbault would be the way described in the Mutus Liber. In our opinion the Barbault' spagyric work is not conform in any way with the work described in the Mutus Liber. The way described in this last one is not made exclusively with the dew as you can observe in the seventh illustration (see below) and it looks as what we thought, in agreement with what we read that his author (Altus) would not arrive to the end.

With the arrival of springtime, it is the favourable weather for us to collect the dew. This time we have decided to collect it just as in the Mutus Liber's fourth illustration, with white cotton sheets stretched out and fastened on a wooden stakes, spiked in the soil.

In the afternoon of April 1, at the 19.00h, we placed six 50cm wood stakes in the soil of the garden in an open place without trees, being only 25cm above the soil. The two sheets measured 1,40 x 2,50m and they were fastened with a piece of little rope on each tip of the stakes as you can observe in the picture.

The night approached, calm, windless with no clouds and the Moon was already in the first days of last quarter but it shone in the nocturnal horizon with the starry sky. It was an ideal night for the collection of the dew.

About half way through the night, we went to verify the "material". The sheets were lightly wetted and bent and we had to stretch them out again. And, for precaution, we place some cards underneath the sheets to avoid that they make contact with the soil and be dirtied.

Also we took the time to clean, with a flannel cloth, the roof and the automobile glasses that had some condensation already.

We got up early at 05.30 AM (me and my wife) and went to pick up the sheets loosening them off the stakes just aided by the weak light of the public illumination. We took the sheets to the interior of the house and with a weak light we folded the sheets in four parts and tried to squeeze them in an enamelled iron basin.

We didn't leave a drop of dew although the sheets were still wet. Then, we unfold the sheets and folded them again, but this time on the length of the sheets. We squeezed them in small portions at the time, twisting each one of them in the inverse sense. We felt then some dew drain in the basin. We continued until we had no more dew draining in the basin and then restarted the same thing with the other sheet.

We poured the dew picked up in the basin in a small bottle of dark glass of 300ml previously washed with spring water. We place the bottle inside of a black plastic bag.

By curiosity, we cleaned the automobile roof and glasses with the same flannel cloth still wet. We squeezed it in the basin and we poured that dew in another 300-ml glass bottle that we also placed inside of the same black plastic bag.

In the house we noticed that the dew picked up by the sheets was cloudy. What we picked up on the roof and on the glasses of the automobile was dirty from dusts.

We were completely disappointed with the system because the dew picked up on the sheets didn't surpass the 200ml. The sheets were still wet but it was not possible to pick up anything else. To wet the sheets, it would be necessary to have more than 1 litre of water so that, the total amount of liquid that would be picked up is at least 1,5 litre of which we could only pick up 200 ml. The dew picked up on the automobile was the same amount approximately.

The cloudy dew perhaps is due to the fact that the sheets had not previously been washed with spring water because we wanted to do the experience with dry sheets.

In this condition and with such a little amount of cloudy dew, we could not evaporate it to see if we got any salt. We tasted the harvested dew and verified that it was an insipid and scentless liquid.

For the next time, that is, in the fourth quarter of the full moon, we will make a new experiment but previously, we will have washed the sheets with spring rain water to see if we collect a larger amount and verify if it will be limpid and try to extract some salt by a slow evaporation.

Conclusion: Mutus Liber's image # 4 is, at least, fallacious and it gives us the impression that who drew it never picked up the dew by that process. Whoever verifies the referred plank # 4, will be under the impression that they will pick up litres of dew as one can observe by the liquid that is drain off the sheet that the couple is twisting.

We will see what happens next time. Therefore, we hoped that some of you make the same experiment and share with us the results obtained.

Still in reference to the dew, let us see the comments that Eugène Canseliet does in Basile Valentine's Fifth Key, in Les Douze Clefs de la Philosophie, Les Editions de Minuit, p 140 and 141:

«The universal spirit descends of the celestial spaces in the spring and it comes back in the autumn.

This circular movement of descention and ascension determines an annual and regular cycle in which the spirit represents the mediator role among the sky and the earth.

It is more abundant in the germination weather that in the beginning of the summer and it manifests its activity at night more than in the daytime.

The solar radiation dissipates it, the heat volatilise it, the clouds intercept it, the wind disperses it and impedes it of fix, but on the contrary, the lunar radiation favours it and exalts it.

On the surface of the earth, it joins to the pure dew water that serves as a vehicle for the vegetable kingdom and forms with it a salt endowed with a particular acidity.

In the distillation or slow evaporation to the shelter of the light, you can pick up minuscule green crystals much refringents and having a certain qualitative analogy with the ordinary nitre.

Therefore, the Cosmopolite knows it very well, when he imposes in its treatise the name of philosophical "salpêtre" with the double sense of nitre and of the stone salt (Salpetrae).

The incorporation of the spirit, meaning the infiltration through the texture more or less soft of the minerals, do not imply the need of a previous dissolution nor of its transport in an aqueous vehicle. On the contrary, it is directly just as it arrives to us from the celestial spaces - under a form of obscure vibration or of invisible energy - that it can ally itself to the mineralised metals.

This demonstrates certain alchemist's mistake because they have not understood its action and way, they submit the dew of May - extracted most of the times of the nostoc – to metals divided, precipitated or reduced to powder intangible.

The universal fluid, in spite of your great subtlety would know how to penetrate the metallic bodies, initially because it has already corporified itself in the dew. Now, because of the density, the inertia of the reduced metals for the human industry, it constitutes much more obstacles to its introduction.

If one wants to get their animation, it is indispensable to maintain them perfectly melted as indicated in this image of the fifth key, the character with the face in flames and handling a bellows.»

Rubellus Petrinus