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Dew has almost always possessed an element of mysticism, being a moisture many thought to come from the heavens to rejuvenate and revitalize: "Thy dew is as dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead" (Isaiah 26:19).
The ancients considered dew to be traces of a subtle substance left by Eos, goddess of the dawn. At other times Diana was often called "The Dewy One." In the dry warm climate of southern Europe dew was essential to plant life.
In the Middle Ages dew was thought to be the prophecy of Christ's coming: "Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down your righteousf ness" (Isaiah 45:8). This shows the continuation of people thinking that dew, and rain, were blessings being showered down from heaven. Even currently many Christians believe dew is symbolic of the gifts of the Holy Spirit which revitalize the parched soul.
Dew also was an essential part of fertility rites of southern Europe. Women wishing to become pregnant would lay nude on the backs beneath the moon until sunrise. Thus she was covered by and bathed in dew, considered a potent potion for fertility. In Italian Witchcraft dew is collected from sacred herbs, kept in small bottles and used as holy water for blessing and purification. A.G.H.
Biedermnn, Hans. Dictionary of Symbolism: Cultural Icons
& the Meanings Behind Them.Transl. by James Hulbert. New York. A
Meridian Book. 1989. p. 95
Greer, John Michael. The New Encyclopedia of the Occult. St. Paul, MN, Llewellyn Worldwide. pp. 131-132
Grimassi, Raven. Encyclopedia of Wicca & Witchcraft. St. Paul, MN, Llewellyn Publications. 2000. pp. 98-99