Frankie was on a sabbatical in Costa Rica, studying magic realism painting. Above her lived Señor Lobo, who was both a homeopath and an astrologer. The septuagenarian’s clients affectionately called him El Lobo or The Wolf. Every day he wore the same grey slacks, a white button-down shirt, and black lace-up shoes. In spite of his conventional appearance, Frankie intuitively felt there was something more to him.

November rolled around and the painter wondered if it was time she said “Adios” to the humid tropical lushness and return to New York’s crisp air and autumn foliage. Frankie had no clarity and needed some advice. She decided to get an astrological reading by El Lobo.

“Let me tell you a story.” Señor Lobo said. “When I was a young man, I was in prison for selling drugs. To redeem myself I studied homeopathy. It became my passion and I helped many inmates. One morning a new guard was taking attendance. He called out the name of my cellmate who had died during the night: ‘Rigoberto Lobo.’

“‘Presente!’ I responded. “In that instant my life was transformed. I became a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

“Incredible!” she said.

He continued, “Your chart indicates it is a good time for a change, but you’ll be doing something completely different.” Frankie gasped, “I won’t be a painter?” El Lobo answered, “Birds only fly forwards.”

The return to New York wasn’t what Frankie had envisioned. Her once insatiable desire to see her work hanging in a blue-chip art gallery had vanished. The painter had petered out of her. Her nom d’artiste, Frankie Faraday, didn’t fit anymore, either. “I’m really Francesca Fallaci,” she thought. Lost and confused, she surrendered to the hand of fate.

Francesca was laying face down while her acupuncturist inserted thin needles into her meridians. They chatted about life. The acupuncturist recounted a recent experience with Alan Lee, a feng shui grandmaster from Guilin, China. The grandmaster performed a ceremony in her home, clearing negative energy and blockages. Since then, her marriage is happier and she acquired new clients. Intrigued, Francesca made an appointment with Grandmaster Lee to learn more about feng shui.

“Why are you here?” the elderly man asked. “To be your student,” Francesca said. “I don’t teach.” he replied. For over a year she persisted asking the grandmaster to be his acolyte and repeatedly got a “No.” One day, Grandmaster Lee handed her a notebook. He said, “I will teach you K’an Yu, the ancient form of feng shui used only by emperors. Start writing!”

During a lesson Grandmaster Lee explained, “The Chinese believe your fate cannot be changed. They are wrong. I changed my fate by practicing feng shui and helping people.” Francesca inquired, “By changing our name can we change our fate?”

“It depends.” he answered.

“On what?” Francesca asked.

“On one’s intentions.”

Francesca thought back to El Lobo’s story and nodded in agreement. “Energy follows intention,” said her grandmaster.

Stefania Masoni, an associate broker with Sotheby’s International Realty, has been a feng shui master for over 20 years with clients all over the world. Through her knowledge of feng shui, she finds buyers great homes and assists sellers in preparing their properties for smooth closings. See or call 505-906-1600.

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