Augustina Semenko And Her Universal Cycle. Part 1
About Augustina Semenko
Augustina Philippovna Semenko was my teacher of astrology. She was born in 1930, so back in 1990 she was 60, not much older than I am now.
Before I met her, I tried to attend a number of seminars with different tutors in the Academy of Astrology that was opened in Moscow that year. Usually, I was dissatisfied because most tutors were more or less at the same level in their knowledge of astrology where I was. But then someone told me that there is a somewhat special group, very different from the others. I attended a seminar in that group and was intrigued, because I couldn't figure out what they were talking about. That was unusual.
Very soon I understood that, unlike the other groups that were closely following the plan of lectures in the Academy, Augustina was teaching her own unique system of astrology, based on the concept of the Universal Cycle.
A Math Prodigy, and an Aerospace Boss
Augustina's life story was quite unusual. First of all, she graduated from the Mechanic-Mathematical Department of the Moscow State University (MGU). MGU was the single most prestigious university in the Soviet Union, and it wasn't easy to become a student there. For comparison, in the West there are usually more than one top universities, like Cambridge University and Oxford University in the UK; but in the USSR there was only one top university, MGU. The competition to get there was very high, and its graduates were treated like an elite.
In addition, the Mechanic-Mathematical Department wasn't for the fainthearted. One needed to really love math and physics to successfully graduate from there, but as a reward, there could be a brilliant scientific or engineering career ahead. So Augustina graduated from this department and joined a research center near Moscow that was designing and testing jet fighter planes. She spent many years there and reached the top ranks. She was the only lady in that male-dominated center who was able to reach such a high rank.
Her main responsibility was engineering support of the test flights of the new jet fighters -- quite a risky business, especially for the pilots. This is where she developed and fine-tuned her system of astrology, with test pilots as her main clients. She later told us that her knowledge of astrology allowed her to save not one life.
But where did she learn about astrology in the first place? It appears that her teacher was a mysterious, semi-mythical person called Sergey Alexeevich Vronsky.
If you can read in Russian, this page offers the full version of the legend about Vronsky. Briefly, he was from a Polish noble family; he graduated from a secret Bioradiology Institute in Berlin in 1938 and then worked as an astrologer and psychic healer for some of the leaders of the Third Reich. After the war, he came to the USSR, where he spent many years in prisons and had a lot of trouble with authorities, until one of the Soviet leaders became effectively Vronsky's benefactor and allowed him, unofficially and secretly, to teach psychic healing and astrology to small groups of select students. Augustina Semenko was one of those students.
Over the years, Augustina developed very warm, friendly relationships with Vronsky, and after he moved to Riga, Latvia, she regularly went there to visit him. She was proud to call Vronsky her teacher, and when she created her own astrology school in Moscow, she called it "Vronsky School".
It all started from the group of students who attended Augustina's seminars at the Academy of Astrology. One day it was announced that she is not going to teach at the Academy anymore and those interested to continue with her are invited to a different place, at the outskirts of Moscow.
It has to be said that the way how Augustina presented her ideas was a little bit overwhelming for many students -- which was not surprising, bearing in mind her MGU and aerospace background. However, in 1991 I just left the army, where I worked as a researcher in a ballistic missiles research facility, so I was the proverbial "rocket scientist". I grasped Augustina's ideas very quickly, and in addition was able to successfully explain them to the others. She noticed that and suggested I should try teaching the group of beginners. This is how I became the only other tutor at the Vronsky School.
After a few months, Augustina was invited to read lectures to Kamchatka, one of the most remote regions of Russia. She went there and left the whole school to me. It was easy to teach beginners, but what could I do with the more advanced students? Fortunately, Vronsky shared with us some astrological books in English, which were very rare in Russia in those years. So I would pick a topic from a book -- say, midpoints -- prepare a few examples, often from my own life, and then go and share my discoveries with the other students. It worked very well.
Not long after that, I developed a few courses of my own, based on Augustina's ideas, and started traveling to different cities with lectures. When lecturing in Riga, I visited Vronsky a few times. Those years were some of the most creative and exciting in my life.
I am planning to write a series of articles sharing some of the ideas developed by Augustina Semenko. To begin with, she had a unique introduction to astrology. Her approach was: learn to notice the workings of astrology in your own life, in the surrounding world. Then you won't need to believe in astrology, you will simply know that it works. So instead of teaching the usual basics -- the signs, the planets, the aspects -- she would ask her students to notice the changes in the mood and the emotional atmosphere when the Moon was changing signs. Or, once a period of retrograde Mercury started, she would require us to keep a diary with all sorts of "retrograde" events from our own lives as well as those reported in newspapers or on TV. We would then share our trophies in seminars.
One of the most unusual teaching tools, used to introduce the idea of the Universal Cycle, was the system of so called Key Days, and I am going to explain it in the next article, next week.
She also created a set of keywords for the major aspects, that works quite well in forecasting. I use these keywords all the time. For example, the keyphrase for a trine was "a beginning of a new period", and once you see many trines in transit or progression to a person's chart, you can be sure that something new is starting in his or her life.
I have a lot of interesting information for you, and I am going to gradually write it down in the next few months. Please stay in touch!