Superstitions and traditions that surround home buying and selling

Bless this HomeJudith Wendell on Superstitions and Traditions / Real Estate Weekly

In a real estate market like New York City’s, buyers and sellers need all the luck, positive energy, and blessings they can get.

Enter Judith Wendell – a Feng Shui expert and owner of Sacred Currents, a company that specializes in feng shui, space clearings, and creating vital and thriving environments.

Wendell started out with mostly small business owners and apartment dwellers, but she soon became popular among developers and commercial buildings.

Real Estate Weekly October 30, 2015
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In 2012, when the Baccarat Hotel & Residences was just beginning to be built on West 53rd Street, the developers, Starwood Capital, had her bless the site, which had formerly been a beloved public library and then became a subject of controversy, developers wanted to bring good chi and energy to the space.

“In many cultures, there is always a ritual for honoring the land that is being disrupted, or what has gone on there in the past,” Wendell told Broker’s Weekly. “It’s recognizing that we’re not just bulldozing – there’s a connection to the Earth.”

Recently, a developer in Long Island City sought Wendell’s services for a site his company was working on, fearing that there might have been an old cemetery in the area, possibly an original Dutch burial ground. Wendell performed a “clearing” ceremony on the site, which involves “dousing,” a way of seeking out energy.

“When there is an energy, I focus on that particular area, be it a home or a site, and try to drill down a bit what the disturbance is about, and even if I don’t know that, I’ll do more clearing there,” she said.

In addition to Starwood, Wendell has worked with the Howard Hughes Corporation on sites in Hawaii and in the South Seaport.

Feng Shui is the 5,000-year-old practice of balancing energy flow in a particular space – and for apartments and homes, that means placing objects in an arrangement that best promotes good energy flow through the space.

Sacred Currents Newsletter September 9, 2015: What are You REFLECTING?

What Are You Reflecting?At the beginning of the summer, I listed 9 reasons to use a mirror. If you missed that newsletter, check it out here. Even though mirrors are consider the ‘aspirin’ of Feng Shui, I thought I would bookend the season by offering 9 reasons NOT to use a mirror. In other words, a good thing is only good when it is.

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Mirror ‘No-Nos’:

  1. If you are a poor sleeper, don’t have a mirror in your bedroom as it activates your chi.
  2. Always make sure a mirror is reflecting something you want in your home (not the construction site, cemetery, or nasty neighbor across the street).
  3. Never use an antiqued, distressed, broken or smoky mirror, as it obscures your chi, and diminishes your vitality.
  4. When placing a mirror, make sure it is not cutting off the tallest or shortest person in the household at either the head or neck. It is never good to loose your head for any reason.
  5. If you want a calm, meditative place to slow down, do not have a mirror as it activities the environment and your chi.
  6. Make sure you don’t reflect ‘sha’ chi  or what is referred to as knife edge chi. This may be coming from anything angled or sharp (from the inside or out), such as the corner of a building or the reflection of oncoming traffic. This reflection could be potentially harmful by creating accident chi or diminishing your well-being in some way.
  7. Do not have a mirror across from a bathroom as this will bring the chi of the bathroom further out into the room.
  8. Do not use mirrored tiles. This includes little sunbursts with mirrors, or heavily beveled mirrors, as they too weaken you by ‘cutting up’ your chi into little pieces.
  9. Make sure a mirror is not reflecting clutter, garbage or a messy desk, as it will multiple these things in your life!

May you reflect what is clear and true, as we transition through September into Fall. Judith

fyi, transitional times like back to school/work, change of season, holidays (blessings for a Healthy and Happy New Year for those that celebrate Rosh Hashanah), new beginnings and closures, are all propitious times for updating your environment with a Feng Shui consultation and/or a Clearing/Blessing Ritual. Please give me a call at one of the #s below and I will offer you the best options to enhance this time for you

Sacred Currents Newsletter March 29, 2015: Find Out What is Missing This Spring


Finding What’s Missing This Spring

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As we anticipate this time of new beginnings, warm weather and light, many of us still feel that some aspect of our lives is incomplete this Spring, or another way of putting it is that ‘something is missing’. The ultimate truth is that we are all complete and infinite beings. Yet day to day we forget this truth and often feel that we’re lacking in some way. May be it is a life partner, a particular opportunity, our finances or health are not where they should be. Many factors contribute to every condition but where we live (and work) is certainly one of them. As you may already know, when applying the bagua or feng shui template to an environment (be that a building or an individual room),there is often what’s referred to as a ‘missing’ area.
On a floor plan this looks like an indentation in the whole shape or perhaps one side is shorter than the other. In an apartment the closet or bedroom of one unit usually creates a ‘missing area’ in another unit. One school of thought says, that if you’re under the roof of a building that is ‘complete’ (a whole shape) that your unit doesn’t have anything missing. But as we are subject to what is closest to us, if our own environment is ‘incomplete’, it is probably having an influence on our life.
This is due to the fact that when ‘chi’ or energy is not able to nourish an an area of the bagua, sooner or later this may reflect in the corresponding area of your life. With architecture getting more innovative the floor plans of newer buildings may be puzzled together, creating even more ‘missing’ areas. The good news is that all of the situations mentioned here have the potential of creating ‘projections’ or extended areas in your environment, which offer a boon to your feng shui. In addition feng shui adjustments can be designed to amend ‘missing’ sectors.

Your 2015 Astrological Forecast for the Year of the Ram

rams statue

Year of the Ram


Thursday is the first day of the Lunar New Year—or Chinese New Year. And just like January 1 is a great time to take a deep breath and start anew, so is February 19.  Year of the Ram?

So what’s in store this year? Judith Wendell, an expert in Feng shui and Chinese astrology, says you can expect philanthropic vibes and loads of creativity during the Year of the Ram (which is also known as the Year of the Sheep or Goat). But in order to really reap the benefits, you should reflect on 2014 first.

“Whether it’s house cleaning, paying off debts, or clearing up misunderstandings, you want to try to get things done before the new year,” says Wendell. (Though if you can’t quite get to your vacuuming for another few days, that’s okay.)

The Chinese Zodiac gives every birth year an animal sign, which determines their astrological outlook. You’re a Ram if you were born in 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, or 2003. And you might be also be incredibly chic or cool—Catherine Deneuve and Mick Jagger are rams.

But no matter what sign you are, there are certain things everyone needs to know about how the Year of the Ram will affect you. Here’s what Wendell forecasts:

1. First things first. Is it the Year of the Ram? Sheep?! Goat? It’s all three. Several Asian cultures celebrate the Lunar New Year, and they each refer to 2015 differently, explains Wendell. No one animal is right or wrong, the same things can be expected of all of them. “The goat, ram, and sheep are treated as similar animals,” she explains.

2. The creative juices will flow. If you’ve been dreaming about writing a novel, taking an art class, or if you work in a creative industry, 2015 is going to be stellar. “The ram is known as a very creative and intelligent sign,” Wendell says. “Creative types could thrive in the environment this year, as well as those pursuing creative endeavors.”

3. You may be feeling charitable. “[The ram] is considered to be the good Samaritan of the zodiac. Potentially, there will be more attention to the environment, and people will be more inclined to give back,” Wendell says. “Rams are good-natured and sensitive to beauty and balance.” So if you’ve had that charity organization on your to-do list for months, you may finally get yourself in gear to put in the hours.

4. Give a talisman for good luck. As a new year gesture, it’s good luck to gift a talisman of thebest friend affiliated with the lunar year animal, Wendell says.  The Ram’s best friend is thehorse. “When the ram sees its best friend, it’s elated and looks well upon the person carrying the horse,” she says. Think of it as impressing the ram by having friends in common. (But if you’re gifting to a friend who was born in the Year of the Rat or the Ox, a horse won’t do the trick. “They need a rabbit and a pig because a rabbit, pig, and ram create a harmony,” Wendell says.) —Molly Gallagher

For more information or to book a astrology session with Judith Wendell, visit

Sacred Currents Newsletter February 13, 2015: All You Need Is Love

all-you-need-is-loveAll You Need Is Love
was sung by the Beatles on the first live global television link in 1967.
It was written in response to a request that they come up with a song who’s message could be understood by everyone.
When asked whether songs like ‘Give Peace a Chance’ and ‘Power to the People’ were propaganda songs, John Lennon answered, “Sure. So was ‘All You Need Is Love.’ I’m a revolutionary artist. My art is dedicated to change.”


Let’s Change the World With LOVE
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Sacred Currents Newsletter February 2015: Chinese New Year 4712

For those of us less familiar with the Chinese Zodiac, it is made up of 12 animal signs and Five Elements, comprising a 60 year cycle. This is the year of the Wood Ram – also known as the Sheep or Goat. Ancient lore says, Buddha invited all of the animals in the world to join him for the New Year celebrations, but only 12 animals bothered to turn up. As a great reward, Buddha named a year after each one of them and they run in the order that the animals arrived to celebrate with Buddha, starting with the Rat and ending with the last guest, the Pig.

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The Five Elements are Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal.

Feng Shui Newsleter February, 2015Although this year has Wood and Earth as it stem and branch (elements that are oppositional), because of their positioning we can look forward to more stability in the economy and government. There is also hope that the environment will be given greater consideration during this Chinese New Year. As the Ram is a Good Samaritan, highly creative, and intelligent, this year should bring more peace to the world. In fact, the Chinese word for ‘ram’ has links to the word ‘luck. So the very sound of ‘ram’ implies auspiciousness.

It is always fun to name a few famous Rams. These include: Jane Austen, Anne Bancroft, George Burns, Catherine Deneuve, Robert De Niro, John Denver, George Harrison, Mick Jagger, Sir Laurence Olivier, John Wayne, Bruce Willis.

Unfortunately President Obama is an Ox which is the sign most opposed to the Ram, so he will not have an easier time this year.

Prior to the Lunar New Year, it is a good idea for all of us to ‘clear house’ both physically and metaphorically. In other words clean up outstanding debts, issues and generally complete things before the lunar New Year. All signs will do well to perform the ‘Golden Cicada Sheds Its Shell’ ritual, along with ‘Welcoming in the Wealth God’ and ‘Changing the Chi of the Environment.’

Flying Star Feng Shui

According to Flying Star Feng Shui, for every environment the North is where wealth (the 8 star) is residing in 2015. This area will be enhanced with activity, a water element or something moving like a kinetic sculpture. The Southwest, the West and Northeast are sources of negativity, so try to stay away from renovations in these sectors. In addition, a ‘Salt Cure’ will help to mitigate any ill effects from the 5 Yellow Star in the West, which can be the cause of instability and illness there.

Each zodiac animal has its own qualities that are consistent year to year, yet every sign will be influenced by the Ram’s energy this year.

Please note that fortunes can be mitigated or enhanced with Feng Shui, rituals, meditations and transcendental adjustments and that each person has their own karma to consider. A personal, in depth reading will reveal more specifics for each month.

Remember that even the luckiest signs (the Rabbit, Horse, Pig and Tiger this year), have their cautions and the unluckiest (the Rat and Ox) have their bright spots.

A 3-dimensional Horse, Rabbit and Pig (the luck animals for the year depending on your year of birth – see here) can be acquired through Sacred Currents.

Sacred Currents Newsletter January 2015: My Trip to Asia


My trip to SE Asia

Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam – last month, was all I could have hoped for. It had beauty and adventure; thrills for the senses and meditative times toreflect. In my feng shui practice I have learned that beyond all the charts, formulas and adjustments, it’s connecting with the ‘chi’ of people and their environment that makes me effective. During my travels, it was connecting to the chi of the land, food, history and people that gave life to my experiences.

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These are a few of my lasting impressions and lessons learned…

Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia (which happens to be the largest religious monument in the world), began as a Hindu temple to the god Vishnu and later became dedicated to Buddhism. Evidence of this is in its breathtaking carvings. The Khmer (referring to both the people and language of Cambodia) style of Buddhism practiced today by over 90% of the population, blends elements of Theravada Buddhism, Hinduism, animism and ancestor-spirit worship.

This may explain the gentleness of the Cambodian people, which is notable in the face of their recent history of war and genocide. Actually 60% of the present population is under the age of 16. A fact I find amazing and is directly opposite to our aging population.

Luang Phabang, Laos is a UNESCO World Heritage city with a whopping 34 Buddhist temples and monasteries – quiet a lot for its relativity small size. It is no wonder that the very air feels peaceful here. Every dawn, hundreds of monks from the various monasteries walk through the streets collecting alms. I had the privilege of being a part of this intimate daily ritual.

Everyone in here greets each other with their palms together and respectfully says, “Sabaidee”. It is a beautiful sound and means everything from good morning to good evening. In days gone by, the cooks of Luang Prabang were hired by the kings. Its rich culinary history of using the freshest ingredients favored with the most delicate herbs, made each meal heaven on earth.

Hoi An, Vietnam also a World Heritage site was remarkably untouched by the wars that destroyed much of the country. From the 15th to the 19th century it was a trading port between China, India, Japan and Europe and beautifully preserved. At night the town comes alive with bright colored silk lanterns strung everywhere. Old women and young girls sell lotus shaped paper lanterns with candles for making wishes. Seeing hundreds of these flowing down the river is magical.

Our wonderful local guides added so much to every experience. I so appreciated how proud they all were to be the first in their family to get a higher education, earn a living away from the farm and provide a better life for their children. Speaking of the future, I am aware that my enjoyment has added to the pollution of the planet. The Carbon Fund is my ‘go to’ organization for offsetting the carbon footprint created from daily living, travel, special events, etc. The future of our planet and all the beautiful things on it depend on us preserving it. So as a reminder to us all – “reduce what you can – offset what you can’t.”

Chinese Lunar New Year is February 19th, 2015. I will be back in touch soon with my yearly notes on all of the zodiac animals. Until then, I recommend that you plan an adventure for yourself this year and may it be a healthy and loving one.

Optimal Flow. The Feng Shui Compass

The compass, lo pan

We may no longer find it hard to pronounce, but its still easy to underestimate the power and complexity of feng shi.

By Adrea Renskoff

The Feng Shui Compass

Feng shui has made its way into everyday speech. We sometimes hear it used casually as a verb, e. g., “We really need feng shui our kitchen.” Or as an adjective, as in “This relaxation room has a feng shui vibe.” Such vague remarks end to reduce this ancient Chinese art/science to the shuffling of a few stick of furniture – and to it’s great disservice. Applied properly, the philosophy and practices of feng shui can nurture health, happiness and success.

Feng shui consultants draw on wisdom handed down for generations. An environment is oriented using two tools: the compass and the bagua.

The compass, or lo pan (“lo” meaning “everything” and “pan” meaning “bowl”) uses direction, such as which way a building faces, to empower energy patterns. This idea can be used figuratively as well: “We may also look at someone’s ming gua, a personal direction base on their birthday,” says Wendell.

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View: Optimal Flow on Day Spa Magazine »

New York Times. To Bricks and Mortar Add Harmony and Luck

New York Times 2015-10-14

Harmony & Luck


“At the Baccarat, Ms. Wendell was hired to work with the architects and designers to ensure that chi, or cosmic energy, flows freely and brings good fortune to the residents, developers and investors alike. To ensure that the structure is being built in the most harmonious way possible from the ground up, she chose an auspicious date in late July to perform a ground-blessing ceremony.”


Blessings and so-called smudging or space clearing rituals, which include meditation, chanting and the burning of herbs to purify the space and help promote good psychic and spiritual energy, are a major focus of her work. But she also draws on the design courses she has taken and looks for ways to introduce the five elements of feng shui — water, wood, fire, earth and metal — into a room or building, to create a harmonious environment in subtle but effective ways.


“The real art of this,” Ms. Wendell said, “is how to meet with the best designers of the world and have their concepts also translate the principles of feng shui so the atmosphere is not just absolutely exquisite, but really emulates the idea of prosperity and success and health.”

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New York Times. October 14, 2012. To Bricks and Mortar Add Harmony and Luck