Solar activity, revolutions and cultural prime in the history of mankind  /  Mikulecký M  /  2007

“Russian astronomer A.L. Tchijevsky published in the twenties of 20th century a study comparing the approximately 11-year cycling of “sunspot activity” and “historical process”, analyzed globally since the 5th century B.C. to the 19th century A.D. According to him, phenomena of societal “excitation”, as revolutions, occurred synchronously with the solar maxima, and, oppositely, those of peaceful activities of masses, as science and arts, with the solar minima… The historical data consisted of two time series concerning revolutions in Europe and China, and of eight time series from activities in science and arts registered from five geographic areas.

For the comparison, parallel time series of sunspot (Wolf) numbers, available since IInd century B.C., were constructed. Using periodic regression function, the times of peaking were estimated for each data set. In agreement with Tchijevsky’s hypothesis, revolutions culminated near to solar maxima while cultural flourishing usually distinctly near to solar minima. This conclusion is based on the level of statistical significance alpha=0.05. Solar impact on geomagnetic field could be one of elucidating mechanisms. Recently, electromagnetic influencing of brain function has been realized artificially.”

Geomagnetic Storms and their Influence on the Human Brain Functional State  /  Elchin Safaraly-oghlu BabayevAysel A Allahverdiyeva  /  2005

“An investigation of the influence of geomagnetic storms of various intensities on healthy adults’ human brain activity and its functional state was conducted. Results of electroencephalogram (EEG) investigations were used as the most objective method reflecting functional state of the human brain. Studies on the influence of geomagnetic storms on the human brain functional state of healthy adult women patients (permanent group) in states of relaxation, photo-stimulation and hyper-ventilation have revealed a negative influence of severe geomagnetic storms on functional state of the human brain. As a rule, during periods of strong geomagnetic disturbances, indisposition, weakness and presence of indistinct localized headaches were recorded for majority of patients.

Complex of nonspecific shifts on EEG reflects disorganization of functional activity of cortex of large hemispheres of the human brain at geomagnetically disturbed days, which is likely connected with dysfunction of integrative subcortical systems, with disbalance of its ascending synchronizing and desynchronizing influences. Strengthening cortical connections in the right cortical hemisphere and their short circuit on temporal sections during geomagnetically disturbed days were observed, while, in geomagnetically quiet days, a profile of correlation interrelations reflected weak internal- and inter-hemispheric connections. The threshold of convulsive (spasmodic) readiness of the human brain is reduced, which is especially dangerous for risk group persons. It is established that, in general, weak and moderate geomagnetic storms exert stimulating influence while strong disturbances of geomagnetic conditions activate braking (inhibiting) processes.”

Possible biophysical mechanism of the effect of the solar activity on the human central nervous system / Mikhailova, G. A.; Mikhailov, Y. M. / 2004

“Numerous studies, beginning with Tchizhevsky’s works, demonstrated the undeniable effect of the solar activity on the human body. A possible geophysical mechanism of the effect of the solar activity on the human body was proposed by Vladimirsky. In this mechanism solar disturbances (powerful chromospheres flares) cause “magnetosphere and plasmasphere disturbances on the Earth (sudden magnetic storms), which are accompanied by a change in the spectrum of the electromagnetic field on the Earth’s surface in the extremely low frequency band.

In its turn, this brings about shifts in the phisiological indices of the human body”. In this model, the human body is regarded as a self-oscillating system affected by external geophysical factors. We also adhere to the main principles of this model but refine the part of this model that describes the change in the spectrum of the electromagnetic field on the Earth’s surface in the extremely low frequency band. Unlike the Vladimirsky model, we regard the human is not as a self-oscillating system but as one of two coupled oscillating system with discrete resonance frequencies in the human-habitat ensemble. Solar processes and their induced changes in one of the two coupled oscillating systems, specifically, the habitat plays the role of an external force.

Such an approach is based on the fact that the brain rhythms have the following definite frequencies: the alpha rhythm, 8-13 Hz; the beta rhythm, 14-30 Hz; the gamma rhythm, above 30 Hz; the delta rhythm, 1.5-3 Hz; and the theta rhythm, 4-7 Hz. On the other hand, the natural electromagnetic field on the Earth’s surface in the extremely low frequency band also has a quite distinct resonance distribution. There are so-called Schuman resonances of the cavity formed by the Earth’s surface and the lower boundary of the ionosphere (the D and E layers) at f1=10.6; f2=18.3; f3=25.9; f4=33.5; f5=41.1 Hz. These resonance frequencies are variable and most sensitive to variations of the parameters of the lower ionosphere. Solar flares cause magnetic and ionosphere storms, which lead up to additional ionisation in the D and E layers and lowering of the upper boundary of cavity. That decreases the resonance frequencies of the cavity. Thus, the state of the human habitat proves to be dependent on the solar activity through variations of the parameters of the lower ionosphere, which govern variations of the Schuman resonances. These variations we suppose to measure on “Kompass-2” and “Vulcan” satellites.”

Cosmophysical correlation of creative activity in the history of culture / Suitbert Ertel  /  1998

“The regularities in the creation of outstanding works of painting and poetry, as well as scientific discoveries over a period 1400-1800 was estimated quantitatively. The occurrence of an about 10-year periodicity of the creative activity in West-European and Chinese painting, poetry and science is shown. As a rule, the peaks of creative work in China agree with those in West Europe. Since the Chinese civilization was not directly connected with the European one, the effect of a synchronizing external factor is proposed. It is assumed that variations in solar activity serve as such a factor. The study is based on historical data on painting, poetry, and scientific discoveries in the period from 1400 to 1800.”

Chizevsky’s heliobiological claim scrutinized / Suitbert Ertel / 1996

Chizhevski‘s 1921 claim of a relationship between solar activity and revolutionary mass behavior is scrutinized. A Master Index of Violence-from-below Events (MIVE) is compiled, consisting of 2101 events along with 4000 references extracted from 18 historical sources (chronologies, time-lines etc, period A.D. 1700-1985. The database is subjected to Q-analysis whose output, average distances of most violent years from solar maximum years, allows for significance estimates based on randomizations. The relationship between solar activity and violence-from-below proves to be very significant (p < .001). Results obtained from various controls corroborate the conclusion that the relationship is substantial. Ensuing physical, physiological, psychological, and societal problems raised by the awareness of correlations of human history with heliodependent environmental processes, need to be resolved.”

The Bond: Connecting Through the Space Between Us
by Lynne McTaggart / 2011

“In 1922 Alexander Chizhevsky, a young Belarusian scientist, unveiled to the world a preposterous theory: that all the great upheavals in the history of man, such as social unrest, war, and revolution, were caused by the activity of the sun. These extraordinary claims, contained in his first book, Physical Factors of Historical Process, were greeted with near universal derision, and for a time the brooding, pallid twenty-five-year-old, a descendant of a court tenor and a member of heredity nobility who was already tainted by his aristocratic lineage in the eyes of his countrymen, became the laughingstock of the newly ensconced Bolshevik Party, which disparagingly nicknamed him “the Sun Worshipper.” After all, he was essentially suggesting that all the tumultuous events leading to Russia’s liberation from corrupt tsarist rule had nothing to do with ideology or the motivation of the country’s workers and everything to do with sunspots.

“Century-scale simulation of solar surface magnetic field evolution covering sunspot cycle 15 to the currently on-going cycle 24. The butterfly diagram depicts the spatio-temporal variation of the longitudinally averaged radial magnetic field (in gauss) on the Suns surface.”

As a consequence Chizhevsky fell out of favor for years among the scientific establishment, despite the patronage of the Nobel Prize winner, author, and political activist Maxim Gorky. Nevertheless Chizhevsky, a scientific da Vinci of sorts, stubbornly carried on with his research, attempting to make connections between biology, physics, geology, and space weather that remained invisible to most of his peers. He painstakingly examined records of all battles, upheavals, riots, revolutions, and wars, comparing them with sunspot activity for nearly two thousand years in seventy-one countries, including his own.

The theory checked out: more than three-quarters of all instances of human unrest, including the Russian Revolution of 1917, had occurred during a solar maximum, the period of the maximum number of sunspots in any solar cycle. The only area that remained questionable was the mechanism of this cosmic connection, but Chizhevsky had a theory: our dependence upon the cosmic pulse of the sun might be mediated by ions, or excess charge, in the air.

Although the Soviet government eventually provided Chizhevsky with his own laboratory, largely because of his contribution to the understanding of air ionization, one person who remained singularly unimpressed with Chizhevsky’s theories was Josef Stalin, who in 1942 demanded that the scientist retract his ideas about the sun’s influence on human beings. Any proof that revolution was brought about by anything other than the natural progression of the working class’s struggle might prove ruinous to the Communist Party. Chizhevsky may have been influenced by a French physicist named Jean-Jacques Dortous de Mairan [1678-1771], who’d discovered that one of his plants folded up its leaves and “went to sleep” at the same time every night, even when placed in total darkness. The mechanism for this strange activity was right under de Mairan’s nose, but at the time he didn’t see it. Although he’d written a book about the aurora borealis, he dismissed the idea that solar activity and magnetism could be responsible for the regular timetable of his plant. Two centuries later Chizhevsky immediately understood the connection.

When Chizhevsky refused, he was shipped off to a gulag in the Ural Mountains. He spent eight years imprisoned there and, after his release in Kazakhstan, another eight years being rehabilitated, after which, his already fragile health largely broken, he lived only long enough to restore his reputation. A year after his death in the mid-1960s, when the Soviet Academy of Sciences opened his archives, the sheer breadth and foresight of Chizhevsky’s work stood fully revealed. He became a posthumous hero, with a science center created in his name, which houses, in pride of place, the Chizhevsky “chandelier,” an early air ionizer.

Nevertheless it required years and the work of many other scientists around the world to determine what exactly Chizhevsky had been up to. In America the economist Edward Dewey was one of several to take up Chizhevsky’s mantle, largely as an explanation for economic boom-and-bust cycles, in a doomed attempt to help President Herbert Hoover avoid being blamed for the Great Depression. It was not until the 1970s, with the work of the biologist and physician Franz Halberg and his lifelong colleague, the Belgian physicist Germaine Cornélissen, that mainstream science finally began to understand the extent of our reliance upon the volatile activity of the sun.

Halberg and Cornélissen are cycle hunters, both expert in what they call “chronomes,” repeating patterns in biology. Today a grand old man in his nineties, Halberg has devoted his working life to studying the effect of external environmental influences on living things. In 1972 he enlisted Cornélissen as a young postgraduate precisely because her doctoral dissertation had been on time-series analysis, which looks for the patterns in events that are repeated over regular intervals.

“Prediction of sunspot cycle 25. The prediction range (uncertainty) indicates cycle 25 will be similar or slightly stronger than the previous cycle.”

Halberg had already discovered that virtually every one of our biological processes operates according to a predictable timetable. It was Halberg who first coined the term “circadian” (circa = about; dia = day) for daily biological rhythms, such as our own sleep-wake cycle, and eventually the term “chronobiology,” the recurrent cycles of biological function. He also set up the most respected institution to study this phenomenon, the Chronobiology Laboratories at the University of Minnesota, now world-renowned.

After puzzling for years over the mechanism for these cycles within organisms and whether “time genes” turned on by external influences could exist, Halberg finally concurred with Chizhevsky’s conclusion all those years before: the synchronizer of many of these processes is not built in, but is, as certain of his colleagues referred to it, a zeitgeber—his native German for “timekeeper”—some sort of external environmental signal that set off and entrained, or synchronized, the biological rhythms of all living systems. Although Halberg himself detested the term as imprecise—many of the rhythms seemed slightly irregular—it wasn’t until he was in his eighties that he uncovered evidence that the zeitgeber resided in outer space, and that the master switch was not light but, just as Chizhevsky had predicted, solar magnetic fields. Everywhere Halberg and Cornélissen look they see new cycles and periodicities. During years of meticulous research the pair have discovered that the biological processes of every living thing not only have daily rhythms, but also biweekly, weekly, and even yearly cycles; human pulse and blood pressure, body temperature and blood clotting, circulation of lymphocytes and hormonal cycles, variability of heart rate, and most other functions of the human body all ebb and flow according to a relatively predictable timetable…

The Earth is essentially a giant magnet, its North and South Poles, the two poles of the magnet, surrounded by a donut-shaped magnetic field. This ambient geomagnetic field, or magnetosphere, is in constant flux, affected by the weather, any geological changes on Earth, even the wobble of the Earth in its daily rotation, but most particularly by the extreme changes of weather in space, largely caused by the ferocious activity of the sun. Halberg realized that Chizhevsky’s discovery went beyond periodicities and cycles, for he had uncovered a sobering truth about the human condition: we are not completely in charge of our own destiny, particularly our biological destiny. The sphere of influence on our biology does not end with our immediate environment or even the Earth itself, but extends to the outer reaches of the cosmos. As many other colleagues of his around the world now confirm, the metronome of every living thing, setting the tempo for our basic regulatory systems and maintaining us in a state of healthy equilibrium, is the sun.

So powerful is this cosmic zeitgeber that it may even influence our physical size, our longevity, our mental stability, our propensity to violence, and possibly even what we consider our uniquely individual motivation. Our ultimate environmental Bond, which shapes us and our lives, is with a star 93 million miles away. The benign star responsible for all life on Earth is essentially a cluster of unimaginably hot hydrogen and helium the size of approximately one million Earths, crossed with a layer of unstable magnetic fields. Not surprisingly this mercurial combination results in periodic volcano-style eruptions, propelling gas into space as vortices of concentrated fields, the dark blobs on the sun’s surface that we call sunspots, pull apart and reconnect in new arrangements. Despite this potentially anarchic combination, the sun carries out this activity according to a fairly predictable timetable; solar cycles consist of approximately eleven years, during which time sunspots build up, discharge, and begin to wane.

During the waxing stage, as sunspots accumulate, so the sun begins to hurl its gaseous explosions our way: solar flares, electrified, bullet-like high-energy protons, corona mass ejections—a billion tons’ worth of gas and magnetic fields with the force of billions of atomic bombs—all made airborne and some aimed toward Earth through the electrified gas of the solar wind, traveling some five million miles per hour. This activity causes extreme geomagnetic storms in space, which, during moments of intense solar activity, create a powerful effect on the Earth’s magnetic field. During any given eleven-year solar cycle, we can expect to experience two years’ worth of geomagnetic storms severe enough to disrupt portions of the Earth’s electrical power, interrupt high-tech communications systems, and disorient spacecraft and satellite navigation systems.

Until recently scientists had discounted the idea that the Earth’s faint magnetic field (a thousand times weaker than a standard high school horseshoe magnet) had any effect on basic biological processes, particularly as all living things on Earth are now exposed to much stronger electromagnetic and geomagnetic fields every moment of our modern technologically dependent lives. But the latest discoveries have unveiled that living things have a small window through which subtle geomagnetic and electromagnetic fields, such as those generated by the Earth, rather than the artificial kind generated by technology, have the most profound effect upon all cellular processes in living things. Changes in this faint charge, particularly those of extremely low frequencies (less than 100 Hz), profoundly influence virtually all biological processes in living things—particularly the two major engines of the body, the heart and the brain.

This shouldn’t be surprising, remarks Cornélissen. “We know when a geomagnetic storm is coming—through our electrical grids,” she says. “Electric circuits react to it, as do the heart, brain, and neurosystem. In fact, the heart is the biggest electrical system of the body.” As she views it, a human being is simply one more satellite system prone to being destabilized or even blown off course by an electrical storm in space. Magnetic fields arise from the flow of ions, the electrons and atoms with charge. When magnetic forces change direction, as they often do on the surface of the sun, they shift the direction of the flow of atoms and particles. All living things, including humans, are made of the same basic material, and as Chizhevsky intuited, any change of magnetic force will alter our own internal atomic and subatomic flow…

When the sun explodes, so, in a sense, do we. Geomagnetic activity in space upsets our energetic equilibrium, profoundly affecting our mental stability. During a magnetic storm the mentally disturbed get even more so. The higher the geomagnetic activity, the greater the increases in general psychiatric disorders, the greater the number of patients hospitalized for nervous conditions, and the greater the number of attempted suicides… We have to develop greater appreciation of the fact that we live within a cosmic Bond of complex interrelationships and constant flux. Rather than discrete entities, living things and the Earth itself are part of an energetic system dependent upon other outer forces, gravitational and geomagnetic. Halberg regards this effect poetically. The living organism, he says, must be viewed as “a dynamo and a magnet, living on the Earth, a larger magnet, in the atmosphere of the sun … with magnetic storms causing blackouts in cities and … in human hearts.”

The importance of Chizhevsky’s discovery and Halberg’s evidence cannot be overestimated. If we are essentially at the mercy of the slightest move of the sun and its activity, their work stands as a giant refutation of our misplaced belief in ourselves as masters of the universe—or even of ourselves. The Earth, its inhabitants, and all the other planets around us exist within a sphere of collective influence, resonating in unison. Our true zeitgeber is the collective effect of all the solar system. Ultimately it is difficult to consider our universe as anything other than a unified whole. We can begin to take charge of our own destiny only when we consider the Bond in its entirety, as a superorganism, completely interrelated. In a manner of speaking, we already do. It is actually through our interdependence that we learn to comprehend our world.”


Georges Bataille (1897-1962): “Solar radiation results in a superabundance of energy on the surface of the globe. But, first, living matter receives this energy and accumulates it within the limits given by the space that is available to it. It then radiates or squanders it, but before devoting an appreciable share to this radiation it makes maximum use of it for growth. Only the impossibility of continuing growth makes way for squander. Hence the real excess does not begin until the growth of the individual or group has reached its limits.

Alexander Chizhevsky (1897-1964)

On the Political Influence of the Sun
by Boris Groys / 2/2017

“During the period of modernity we got accustomed to the understanding of the human beings as determined by the social milieu in which they live, as knots in the informational networks, as organisms depending on their environment. In the times of globalization we learned that we are dependent on everything that happens around the globe – politically, economically, ecologically. But the Earth is not isolated in Cosmos. It depends on the processes that take place in the cosmic space – on black matter, waves and particles, star explosions and galactic collapses. And the fate of mankind also depends on these cosmic processes because all these cosmic waves and particles go through the human bodies.

The positioning of the Earth in the cosmic whole determines the conditions under which the living organisms can survive on its surface. This dependence of the mankind on the cosmic events that are uncontrollable and even unknown is the source of the specifically modern anxiety. One can say: Cosmic anxiety. The anxiety of being a part of Cosmos – and not able to control it. Not accidentally our contemporary mass culture is so much obsessed with the visions of asteroids coming form the black cosmic space and destroying the Earth. But this anxiety has also more subtle forms. As an example one can cite the theory of the ‘accursed share” that was developed by Georges Bataille.1

According to this theory, the Sun always sends more energy to the Earth than the Earth, including the organisms living on its surface, can absorb. After all the efforts to use this energy for production of goods and raising the living standard of the population there also remains a non-absorbed, non-used rest of the solar energy. This rest of energy is necessarily destructive – it can be spent only through violence and war. Or, at least, through ecstatic festivals and sexual orgies that channel and absorb this rest of energy through the less dangerous activities. Thus, human culture and politics become also determined by the cosmic energies – forever shifting between order and disorder.

Now, Bataille’s solar myth reminds one strongly of the interpretation of the world history as defined by the activity of the Sun – interpretation that was formulated by Russian historian and biologist Alexander Chizhevsky in the 1920s and 1930s. During this period of time Chizhevsky’s ideas spread also to the West, especially to France and the USA, and some of his texts were published in French and English – so that his ideas could reach Bataille (for example A. L. Chizhevsky (1938): Les Épidémies et les perturbations electromagnetiques; Paris, Hippocrate).2

However, the main text written by Chizhevsky in which his theory is extensively formulated and proved by empirical data was published only relatively recently in Russian.3 Chizhevsky collected a huge empirical data – from the Roman and early Chinese sources up to the 1930s – to show the close correlation between the periods of the higher activity of the Sun and mass revolutionary movements. It is, of course, the Russian revolution in 1917 that gave the decisive impulse to his research. Chizhevsky asks: why under similar social, economic and political constellations in some cases masses become mobilized and revolutionized but in other cases they remain passive and indifferent. The answer that Chizhevsky offers is this: to be able to start a revolutionary movement the human beings should be mobilized not only on the level of the spirit but also on the level of the body. The human spirit can be mobilized through an ideology but, according to Chizhevsky the degree of mobilization of the human body, like of all the organisms living on the Earth, is dependent on the cycles of solar activity.

Chizhevsky collected an incredible amount of astronomical and historical data to show the correlation between activity of the Sun and activity of revolutionary movements. As he shows the greatest revolutions coincided with the greatest activity of the Sun – and the historical process is characterized by a succession of active and passive periods corresponding to the 11 years cycles of solar activity (the highest degree of activity follows the 22 years cycle). But it seems to me that for our time the most interesting part of his results concerns the relationship between activity of the Sun and English parliamentary election. These results show that the influence of the Sun dictates not only the choice between revolution and status quo but also between leftwing and rightwing politics in the framework of regular parliamentary processes. Thus, Chizhevsky shows that for the period between 1830 and 1924 the summary activity of Sun during the rule of liberal governments was 155,6% higher than during the rule of conservative governments. The conservative governments never had power when the number of sunspots was over 93. The moments of change in the solar activity are almost precisely correlated to the changes of the English governments.

At the end of his text Chizhevsky suggests that the knowledge of the correlation between activity of the Sun and political activity of the masses can prepare the political classes to the seemingly unexpected changes of the public mood. During the financial crisis in the year 2009 some specialist remembered the so-called Kondratiev waves4Nikolai Kondratiev, a student of Chizhevsky, applied his theory on the economic cycles and predicted all of them including the 2009 crisis. On the political level one is reminded of the years 1968, 1989 and, again, 2010-11. Here it is interesting to mention that the present time is the time of the weakest solar activity since the 20th century – the period of political indifference and passivity of the masses. However, the political effects of the bigger numbers of sunspots are often ambiguous. Chizhevsky specifically warns that the growth of solar activity can lead not only to the adoption of progressive agenda by the masses but also to the rise of irrational and reactionary populist movements.”


1.     Georges Bataille, Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, vol. 1 (Zone Books, 1988).

2.     For example: A. L. Chizhevsky, les Épidémies et les perturbations electromagnettiques (Paris: Hippocrate, 1938).

3.     A. L. Chizhevsky, Zemlya v ob’yat’yakh solntsa, “The Earth in the Embrace of the Sun” in Chizhevsky, Kosmicheskiy pul’s zhizni (Moskva, 1995).

4.     See: Vincent Barnett, Kondratiev and the Dynamics of Economic Development (London: Macmillan, 1998).




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