The above image of the Sun was taken yesterday by NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft using its Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT). NASA has several spacecraft currently monitoring the Sun’s activity from various positions and using a variety of scientific instruments. This has been going on since the mid-1990s but recently NASA spacecraft have observed some rather unusual or really astounding solar activity.

One example of this was an event that took place on August 1st 2010 and was observed by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory and twin STEREO spacecraft (see article on this from NASA website). In this unprecedented event, being called “The Great Eruption” by NASA scientists, an entire hemisphere of the Sun erupted. This eruption sent billion ton clouds of hot gas and charged particles into space and according to a NASA scientist “It was so big, it may have shattered old ideas about solar activity.” This event was something previously thought to be impossible and raises the question of what the potential of the upcoming solar maximum (height of the Sun’s flare activity during its 11 year cycle) might be especially given that the peak of this cycle culminates in 2012.

In another development, scientist have made the astonishing discovery that the Sun seems to be influencing or changing the nature of matter on Earth (click here for article). The concept of radioactive decay is well known and it states that radioactive elements break down at a standard rate or half life. These rates are considered to be constants and therefore unchanging and much of our understanding of nuclear physics rests on this. However, during recently solar flare activity, scientists began to detect changes in the decay rate of a number of different elements. The fact that these rates can change and that solar activity can effect that change, “That violates the laws of physics as we know them”. Our knowledge of things we previously thought stable is being challenged.

These are two major examples (among many) of findings relating to solar activity that is blowing the minds of scientists and illuminating the limits of our knowledge. The question that most interests me however is not the scientific issues this raises but the deeper meaning especially related to the period of transformation I believe that we are undergoing. It raises the question of what role is the Sun playing in our evolution and the evolution of the planet and what effect does this have on our consciousness both collectively and personally. Are we beginning to see the physical evidence of transformation or the shift to a new level of consciousness and physical existence? Is this catalyzing physiological changes that could evolve us into a new species? If transformation continues to increase in intensity at the exponential rate that it has been what might we expect from the Sun over the next two years?

I think these are important questions to contemplate as well as realizing that the Sun is a powerful aspect of our reality. Some consider the Sun synonymous with God but it is at least the source of radiant energy and life as we know it. Its energy gives life and can very easily take it, a major eruption of solar gas and plasma directed toward the earth could potentially wipe out life as we know it or at least civilization as we know it. I choose to focus on this influence being a part of our transformation in that the Sun is playing the role of illuminator and catalyzing change on a spiritual, emotional, mental and physical level. These events give more of a basis for seeing this on the physical level. As we approach the end of the cycle in 2012, we may see more and more profound events that have the effect of escalating and deepening the transformative process. Where this transformation will lead we can only speculate but it is certainly turning out to be a wild ride.