An effective spiral spin phase ground state provides a new paradigm for the high-temperature superconducting cuprates. It accounts for the recent neutron scattering observations of spin excitations regarding both the energy dispersion and the intensities, including the "universal" rotation by 45 degrees around the resonance energy E-res. The intensity has a 2D character even in a single twin crystal. The value of E-res is related to the nesting properties of the Fermi surface. The excitations above E-res are shown to be due to in-plane spin fluctuations, a testable difference from the stripe model. The form of the exchange interaction function reveals the effects of the Fermi surface, and the unique shape predicts large quantum spin fluctuations in the ground state.