Welcome to Alaya Retreat Centre

Why we burn sage at Alaya

Last week I was going about my day as usual, walking the dogs and pruning the shrubs. When I made my way to the house to catch up on some emails, I noticed Pierluigi chanting some words into the house and waving around what looked like a stick made of herbs. It had a burning ember at the end with a light cloud of smoke swirling around the space.

I waited until he finished before I intervened.

“What’s that stick you’re using?” I asked.

“It’s sage. I’m using it to purify the air.” He kindly told me. “Come with me.” He said as he took me into the garden.

We walked around the corner of the main house, parellada, where there were three large healthy looking bushes. “Thank you mother.” He spoke to the plant as he cut some sage. “She likes it when you connect to her.” He told me as he urged me back to the house.

“What’s the benefit of burning sage?” I quizzed.

“It’s been used as a healing plant for thousands of years. You can burn it, smoke it or drink it as a tea. It’s known to heal the body of various diseases and in preventing the mind from anxiety and stress. If you burn it the smoke cleans out the bad energies from the space. I do it at least once a week or when I feel a bad cloud of energy building up.” He told me.

“What was the chant you were singing?” I asked him, keen to acquire his wisdom.

“Oh that was just a chant I made up. What’s important is that you speak directly to the sage and set out an intention. You need to ask it to purify the air and clean bad spirits out. The smoke of the ember will circle around and clean it out of the energy field. Or you can find a known mantra and play that.” He told me.

“Pierluigi” I said, somewhat innocently. “Should I open the windows to let the smoke out? I’m no scientist but energy needs somewhere to move doesn’t it?” I added.

“Yes, of course. It’s important that the bad spirits can move out of the space.” He told me as he handed me a ready made sage stick.

The stick looked beautiful as it was, like a sacred ornament that belonged on an altar or a lovely table top. I asked Pierluigi to show me how to make one myself.

He took the stems of sage that he cut in the garden earlier and wrapped a large handful of them together in a bunch. He took some red and white string and secured the bunch by criss crossing it around.

It felt like I was holding a magic wand. And on some level, I’m sure this sage stick did hold a certain level of power. “Do you have any other tips on how to use the sage stick?” I asked Pierluigi.

“Yes, you can also smudge people and objects to clean them of negative energies.” He said as he took a stick, lit it with a match, blew out the flame and allowed the smoke to fill up my aura with a very strong earthy smell. I began to breathe heavier, as if I was releasing something.

Later that evening I did feel cleaner in my spirit. I thanked Pierluigi and asked him if I could join him next time in cleaning the masia with sage.

We did just that and continued on with our story ever since.

Now our masia is filled with peace and positive energy, enough to fill any man’s heart.

P.S. We do sell them if you wish to buy one. Just ask us at reception.

Lots of love
Anneka Lott (on behalf of Alaya Retreat Centre)

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