Sunspots and Solar Flares:
Decoding the Message from the Sun

Excerpts fom: Prophecy for the 1990s III" Part 6,
based on a lecture given by Elizabeth Clare Prophet May 22, 1989,
Chicago, Illinois, updated for publication in the 1990 Pearls of Wisdom.

Editor, Reverse Spins: This lecture is from 1989. At that time we were in solar maximum #22(NOAA). Solar maximums occur approximately every 11 years. Number 23 happened around 2000. What happened about a year later? — 9/11. Right now in 2006, we are in a solar minimum. The next one is due around 2011. Does the following year signify anything to you? Since the effects of solar flares and sunspots often affect the earth for several years, the next solar maximum period could be the precursor to events that could happen in 2012. How mankind rises spiritually and emotionally in the next few remaining years will have a direct affect on the next solar maximum, which will then dictate events in 2012.

Sunspots, as signs in the heavens, are surely signs of the times that we must read. They come with a warning. And their burst and their flare and their fire do deliver a message of warning: "Cease and desist from your anti-Light and anti-Christ consciousness, else the Sacred Fire shall consume not alone your works and your words but yourselves." Sunspots, then, precede the descent of the judgment. They give warning to all who will read and run that change is in order. ...

The cycle of sunspots and solar flares affects the weather of the planet, the moods of its people, even business cycles and, of course, the release of spiritual light-energy to the earth. One should note, therefore, not only the negative interference to the radio networks of the earth but also the vast positive extensions of cosmic possibilities and revelations that shatter darkness with the brilliance of new and fervent hope for the overcoming of age-old problems.

Sickness, sin and death-all forms of discord, bigotry, tyranny, struggle and degradation-must yield before the great cosmic burst of light, else those who continue to be advocates of darkness and shame will find the spiral of karmic recompense becoming a lash of such chastening as to almost annihilate that portion of their consciousness which persists in identifying with unreality. ...

When the sun was young it was far more violent and active than it is today. It had a much faster rate of rotation, its magnetic fields were stronger and less stable, and it produced even more powerful flares than those it produces today. But it was only 70 percent as bright as it is now.

The sun became a mature star when it was about five to ten solar years old-or one to two billion earth years. Scientists believe that the sun will shine as it does today for billions of years. But in about seven billion years it will expand to 100 times its current size and become what is known as a "red giant." Its color will be deep red and its luminosity will be about 500 times greater than at present. After about 250 million years in the red giant phase, scientists expect that the sun will go through a "helium flash"-it will explode and eject about one-third of its mass into space.

Thereafter, our sun's evolution is uncertain. It will probably go through a period of degeneration. When it is about 15 billion years old, or 75 solar years, it will probably become a "white dwarf" star with a diameter similar to the earth's. It could finally become a "black dwarf," which is essentially a small, cold, burnt out shell. But we have a long way to go before the sun becomes a red giant or a white or black dwarf. The sun is in a long, quiet, relatively stable phase. ...

I would like to point out to you that when you enter the Path to be a Lightbearer, to be an extension of the heart of Helios and Vesta, you have an obligation to stick to that course and that commitment. Because once you begin radiating the light of the sun of your I AM Presence to lifewaves on the earth, they come to depend upon it. The evolutions of the planet are like a baby in an incubator.

If you think you can suddenly walk away from your calling, your mantle and your office to bear the Mother Flame, you will soon discover that you can make more karma in leaving than you could have made had you never entered the Path before. And so the path of the bodhisattvas moving toward Buddhahood, of the disciples moving toward Christhood must be the awareness that the radiating sun of Light within us creates new opportunities, a new descent of Light to the earth. (This applies whether you are affiliated with Church Universal and Triumphant or you are a member of another activity or you are walking the Path of Light without being associated with any group.)

If we were suddenly to withdraw our radiating sun of Light individually or as a Community, it would be as catastrophic as the withdrawal of the physical sun from our solar system. Thus we remember the teachings of Gautama Buddha-of the Sangha, the Community, the sun center of the heart. We remember that, like our sun, Gautama Buddha, Lord of the World, never leaves off sustaining our threefold flame by the thread of contact from his heart.

At the moment that he should withdraw this thread of contact, perhaps we would still be in a state of oneness and attunement with our I AM Presence. But perhaps in another moment we would be going through the Dark Night of the Spirit or the dark night of the soul or severe temptation or the descent into Death and Hell.

Just as we depend upon our God Presence until the hour of our ascension-until we become, as Kuan Yin, the self-existent one-so do many other lifestreams on earth depend upon us.

Just as every living thing on earth depends upon the physical sun, those evolutions of earth who have become accustomed to our footsteps, our voices and our presences on the planet cannot do without the light-emanation of our hearts, for they too have come to depend upon us as sun centers and sun sources.

Returning to the discussion of the sun's characteristics: A steady stream of ionized helium and hydrogen particles radiate outward from the sun under great pressure, carrying about one million tons of gas per second. This is called the solar wind. The solar wind forms a spiral as it leaves the sun. It travels at a speed of about 450 miles per second and reaches the earth in about four and one-half days.

What are Sunspots and Solar Flares?

Much of the sun's behavior is still unexplained. One of the best known, yet most mysterious, solar phenomena is the periodic appearance of sunspots, which affect life on earth in numerous ways. Sunspots are the most easily observed solar feature and have been seen for centuries. The earliest known record of sunspots appears in the Chinese Book of Changes, written prior to 800 b.c.

Sunspots are magnetic disturbances, or storms, on the sun's surface that are thought to be caused by magnetic effects in the sun's interior. They form dark, cool depressions on the surface of the photosphere. They appear to be dark because they are several thousand degrees cooler than the photosphere. Nevertheless, they are still quite hot and bright. A typical sunspot would shine with ten times the brilliance of the full moon if it were to be placed in the night sky.

Scientists are not sure why sunspots are cooler than the sun, but they believe that this refrigeration effect, as well as many of the sunspot's other characteristics, is related to a strong magnetic field within the sunspot itself.

Sunspots may last from a few hours to a few months. They appear in a well-documented cycle. The number of sunspots rises from a solar minimum, when there are few or no spots visible, to a solar maximum, when as many as 300 spots may be observed at one time. The length of the cycle varies between 7 and 17 years, but on the average the cycle lasts 11.1 years.

It takes an average of four and a half years for the cycle to rise to the maximum and an average of six and a half years for it to fall to the minimum. No one knows how or why this works. Geological evidence shows that the sunspot cycle has continued regularly for nearly 700 million years.

As the sun rotates, sunspots appear to move across the face of the sun from left to right. At the start of a new sunspot cycle following a solar minimum, sunspots appear in both hemispheres about 30 degrees from the solar equator. As the cycle matures, sunspots move progressively closer to the solar equator. As the cycle nears a maximum, sunspots appear at 15 degrees latitude, and as the cycle draws to a close, they appear between 5 and 10 degrees on either side of the equator. When plotted on a graph, this forms what is called a "butterfly diagram" (fig. 18).

Sunspots normally travel in pairs, or groups of opposite polarity. In the northern hemisphere the leading spots of the group usually have a positive polarity and the trailing spots have a negative polarity. In the southern hemisphere the polarities are just the opposite. In the next 11-year cycle, the polarities are reversed-the lead spots in the northern hemisphere have a negative polarity, while the lead spots in the southern hemisphere have a positive polarity. No one is sure what causes this effect. But the regular reversal of polarity suggests to many astronomers that the 11.1-year sunspot cycle is really one-half of a 22.2-year cycle.

The rise of the sunspot cycle to a solar maximum is accompanied by an increase in solar flares, the most powerful form of solar activity. Solar flares are huge gaseous outbursts from the sun. An average-sized flare may be more than 6,000 miles long. A flare can release the energy equivalent of 100 billion one-megaton bombs. At the solar maximum, there may be as many as three to four small flares per hour and one enormous flare each month. But during the minimum, weeks or months may pass without a flare of any significance.

Solar flares increase the intensity of the solar wind. The solar wind, which reaches the earth in about four and one-half days, impacts the magnetosphere, a magnetic field surrounding the earth, causing such phenomena as the aurora borealis and geo-magnetic storms. It can generate extremely low frequency (ELF) waves on earth. ELF waves are radio waves with a very long wavelength and can influence human biology and behavior.

How Solar Activity Influences Life on Earth

The radiation generated by sunspots and solar flares has a number of effects. The most easily detected is the disruption of radio communications. But some scientists also claim that everything from climatic changes to wars, earthquakes and flu epidemics are associated with increased solar activity.

Other scientists dispute these claims. And sunspots and solar flares are certainly not the only cause of such disturbances. But there is a correlation between solar activity and certain kinds of social, behavioral and geophysical effects.

Let us examine the kinds of events that correlate with sunspots and solar flares, starting with those that occur within days or weeks of intense solar activity. Riots, battles, arson attacks, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions have been charted within days or weeks of intense solar activity.

For example, in 1980, solar flares in May coincided with riots in Miami and South Korea and the eruption of Mount St. Helens in May and June. Solar flares also preceded the April 1982 conflict between Great Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands and the U.S. attack on Tripoli, Libya, on April 14, 1986.

By tracking solar flares, biologist Marsha Adams was able to assist the San Francisco fire department by predicting arson attacks 72 hours in advance. She believes that flares affect people within the first few days after they happen. She has also found that earthquakes tend to occur about four days after flares. Adams and other investigators reported a correlation between increased solar activity and freak weather conditions, crime waves and political instability.

Mental instability appears to be connected with solar activity as well. Psychiatrists have noticed that voluntary admissions to mental hospitals increase for two to three days after a solar-induced magnetic disturbance. Joe H. Allen, Chief of the Solar-Terrestrial Physics Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said scientists at the Kettering Magnetic Laboratory have found that geomagnetic disturbances may produce a temporary deficiency of calcium or lithium ions inside brain cells, which is a characteristic of progressed manic-depressives.

Adams found that wars tend to break out two to three years after the sunspot maximum—although they occasionally break out before it. She believes that large earthquakes, around 7.0 on the Richter scale, tend to occur near the peak of the sunspot cycle. Very large earthquakes, however-8 and above-tend to occur two to three years after the sunspot peak.

Peaks in the sunspot-cycle have coincided with major flu epidemics going all the way back to 1761. The sunspot cycle is peaking right now, and once again there is a flu epidemic in the United States, Britain, Europe and the Soviet Union.

Economists have even found links between solar activity and the economy. For example, in "Solar and Economic Relationships," which appeared in the Quarterly Journal of Economics in 1934, Carlos Garcia-Mata argued that there is a correlation between the appearance of sunspots near the solar equator (which happens just after the sunspot peak) and times of economic depression.

The last sunspot cycle was at its maximum between 1979 and 1981. The following events occurred: The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Nicaraguan president Anastasio Somoza was forced out of power and the Sandinistas took over. The Shah was forced out of Iran and Ayatollah Khomeini came to power. Iran took 53 Americans hostage. Iraq invaded Iran, beginning an eight-year war. Israel bombed Iraq's nuclear reactor. China invaded Vietnam. ...

There are two ways to measure and classify solar flares: for brightness, and for their emission of X rays. When measured for brightness, the smallest flares are called S-class. Progressively brighter and larger flares are called 1-2-or 3-class flares. When measured for X rays, the smallest flares are called A-class. Progressively larger flares are called B-C-and M-class, and the largest are called X-class.

On March 6, an X-class flare erupted that was then the biggest ever recorded. It catapulted billions of tons of matter into space and released so much radiation that space-based sensors could not measure it. We did not feel the full fury of that eruption because the flare was not aimed at earth.

But on March 10, a slightly less powerful flare erupted while aimed almost directly at the earth. "Eight minutes later, traveling at the speed of light, a blast of X ray and ultraviolet radiation seared the earth's upper atmosphere," Time magazine reported. "Within an hour, high-energy protons began to arrive, followed in three days by a massive bombardment of lower-energy protons and electrons."EN5

That flare generated widespread displays of the aurora borealis-the northern lights-which were seen as far south as the Caribbean. On the night of March 12-13, the sky in Montana and elsewhere was illumined by rose or ruby colored northern lights, which are generated only by the most powerful solar events. ...

A March 10th flare produced more than a light show. As Time explained:
Heated by the incoming blast of radiation, the upper fringe of the atmosphere expanded farther into space. Low-orbiting satellites, encountering that fringe and running into increased drag, slowed and dropped into still lower orbits. A secret Defense Department satellite began a premature and fatal tumble, and the tracking system that keeps exact tabs on some 19,000 objects in earth orbit briefly lost track of 11,000 of them. Solar Max [a NASA satellite designed to study flares and other solar activity] descended by as much as half a mile in a single day, almost certainly hastening its demise.

On the earth, the flare's effects were equally disruptive. Shortwave transmissions were interrupted, some for as long as 24 hours, and satellite communication and a Coast Guard loran navigation system were temporarily overwhelmed. Powerful transient magnetic fields, generated in the upper atmosphere by the flare, induced electrical currents in transmission lines and wiring, and mystified homeowners reported automatic garage doors opening and closing on their own. Power surges in transmission lines and transformers in Quebec knocked out power throughout the entire province.

But there was more to this than physical effects. The March 1989 series of flares may have had a hand in triggering the following dramatic events:
The Eastern Airline strike and petition for bankruptcy; two train wrecks in the British Isles; rioting in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, which resulted in the Chinese imposition of martial law; civil unrest in Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and Estonia; political upheaval in Greece as Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou was caught up in personal and financial scandals; a break in diplomatic relations between Britain and Iran over Britain's refusal to suppress The Satanic Verses, a novel by Salman Rushdie; a serious outbreak of fighting in the ongoing Lebanese civil war; and the Chilean fruit scare, which began when the Food and Drug Administration impounded all Chilean fruit in the United States after inspectors discovered that two grapes imported from Chile had been injected with cyanide. Canada, Japan and West Germany took similar measures.

These flares were the opening salvo of the current solar maximum. And there have been many large flares since. It is too early to assess the full impact of the current sunspot cycle. But a review of sunspot and solar activity from March 1989 to February 1990 shows two things: (1) sunspot numbers have been unusually high, correlating with an unprecedented period of upheaval, particularly in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe; (2) solar flares often precede or coincide with key events. For example, an X-class flare erupted on March 23, 1989. The following day, the Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef off Alaska's southern coast and spilled 11 million gallons of oil into Prince William Sound. It was the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

Between May 29 and June 4, 1989, 26 M-class and 2 X-class flares erupted. On June 4, upheaval in China reached a crescendo with the Tiananmen Square massacre.

On August 16, 1989, the most powerful X-class flare ever recorded erupted.* On August 18, the "unthinkable" happened: Polish president General Wojciech Jaruzelski asked Solidarity activist Tadeusz Mazowiecki to be Poland's prime minister-the first non-Communist prime minister of a Soviet Bloc nation since 1948.

On September 29, 1989, another X-class flare erupted. Two days later the first "freedom trains" rolled out of Prague and Warsaw, bringing more than 6,000 East Germans to West Germany.

On October 19, 1989, one of the three most powerful X-class flares of this cycle erupted. On October 23, 1989, a series of explosions ripped through a Phillips Petroleum plastics plant in Pasadena, Texas, igniting a fireball that could be seen for 15 miles. The force of the blasts killed 24, injured 124, threw pieces of metal and concrete six miles, and utterly devastated the plant, which had been capable of producing 4.5 million pounds of polyethylene plastic per day.

Between November 6 and November 11, 1989, 33 M-class flares erupted. On November 9, East Germany opened the Berlin Wall. On November 11, Salvadoran rebels began a major offensive in San Salvador, in the worst fighting since the civil war began in 1979, during the last solar maximum.

The eruption of 11 M-class flares between December 18 and December 25, 1989, coincided with the U.S. invasion of Panama on December 20, the surrender of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega to U.S. authorities on December 24, and the execution of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu on December 25.

The Ascended Masters have given us a further understanding of solar activity. On December 11, 1988, Lord Maitreya told us that "solar rings and sunspots play their role in inaugurating change."

In his dictation of October 7, 1989, beloved God Harmony said: "Even the solar flares and activities of the sun in the remainder of this year will be a means whereby the spiritual Sun behind the sun of this solar system may be translated to the earth in positive ways, even though there be some negative side effects from these manifestations."

Solar Activity and Weather Patterns

In addition to political, social and geophysical changes, solar activity may alter the weather. Climatologist Cliff Harris (who advises Purina, Coca Cola and Cargill grain company, among others) says that increased solar activity associated with the current sunspot cycle will produce erratic weather from the late 1980s through the early 1990s. That, in combination with a rare change in atmospheric circulation patterns, will trigger the most extreme weather in 510 years between 1990 and 1996.

Every 510 years or so, over the last 10,000 years, the global pattern of atmospheric circulation has shifted from the normal, calm flow from west to east to a north-to-south flow.

We are now in the early stages of this cyclic occurrence, which should last for five or six years.

Harris says that when the air flow shifts from north to south, it causes cold air to move from the poles towards the equator and rearranges the configuration of high and low pressure zones.

In the northern hemisphere, that causes the jet stream to move south. This pushes cold air further south than normal and warm air further north than normal, causing clashes between masses of cold-dry air and warm-wet air. And that generates extreme weather.

Harris says that over the next decade this cycle will cause record high and low temperatures, drastic shifts in patterns of precipitation, violent storms, and an increasing number of floods and droughts. In fact, he says, "The Midwest will be having record drought in the 1990s, like the 1930s."EN10 Due to climatic and other conditions, Harris is also predicting frequent seismic activity-7.5 or higher-on every continent, as well as increased volcanic activity.

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Other links of interest at Reverse Spins:

El Morya and Cayce on Solar Flares, Sunspots and Comets

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