Ethereal Essence is a rare and useful drop, the sole source for Auram essentia. (Mana beans notwithstanding.) Since the change in the recipe for Salis Mundus, this is now its primary use.
Each piece of ethereal essence has an aspect, which can be any aspect provided by Thaumcraft or an add-on. When distilled, it will yield 2 points of that aspect and 2 of Auram. (They can have Auram aspect, with just 4 points of Auram.
Ethereal essence initially is obtained from breaking aura nodes, or as drops from certain monsters: Wisps and Eldritch Guardians. In all cases, the dropped type will match the node or creature:
- Nodes drop 1 essence for each 10 points (or fraction thereof) they have in each aspect. Note that destroying that node will destroy the specific node forever.
- Eldritch guardians drop Alienis or Exanimis. Formerly they could drop a bugged "untyped" version with only 2 Auram.
- Wisps can be of any aspect, and will drop 1-2 (?) essences of that aspect.
- However, wisps from a wisp shrine's spawner will be from a shorter list of aspects: Alienis, Exanimis, Mortuus, Perditio, Tenebrae, Venenum,
Formerly, ethereal essence was used in creating Salis Mundus, thus involved in much advanced crafting and all Infusion Enchanting.