The 27th Solstice at the Solar Living Center

John Schaeffer by John Schaeffer | December 21st, 2007 | 2 Comments
topic: Green Living

A tradition began on December 21, 1994 when 23 intrepid souls braved the freezing weather at the construction site that was to become the Real Goods Solar Living Center. We built a fire and huddled around to see if we did our geometry correctly. We designed the Solar Living Center to be a temple to the sun. If we did it right, we would see the winter solstice sun set directly over our local mountain of power, Duncan Peak.

As the sun began to descend over Duncan Peak at 4:30 pm it did an amazing thing. Half of the sun stayed above the mountain and half remained below the mountain until it slid down symmetrically for an hour and proceeded to set right in the notch of Duncan Peak. Goosebumps tickled us all at this phenomenon. The drum beat picked up on the Djembes, Congas, and various pots and pans in attendance. We were warmed twice as we beat the drums and felt our fire.

Thus began the first Winter Solstice celebration at the Solar Living Center. This December 21st 2007 marks our 27th consecutive Solstice celebration when we all gather to honor the sun and the cardinal directions, the earth and the sky, and show our gratitude for another cycle completed when the days begin their six-month journey toward getting longer. I hope that all of our readers will be inspired to join us at the Solar Living Center in Hopland, California for this or any future Solstice where we reestablish our connection to the sun and to this beautiful planet we live on. Call 707.744.2017 for details.

Thanks to all of our customers, readers and Real Goods family for all of your kind support throughout this year. And may your holidays be filled with warmth and joy, and may 2008 see the continued healing of our fragile planet.

For the Earth,

John Schaeffer


  1. 27th or 17th?

    John Hensley | January 25th, 2008 | Comment Permalink
  2. [...] The word solstice literally means “standing-still sun” and is the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, when the sun is at its lowest point at noon in the southern sky. All human religions and cultures observe this seasonal turning point, which predate the Christian era by thousands of years. By incorporating fire with candles, a fire or Yule log, or electric lights, we honor the return of the warming sun. [...]

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