Ac Tah is a Maya spiritual leader and descendant of the Yucatec Maya of México. His lineage, from the Tah Canche Baak and Ac, as well as the Baak Huchin Bee Hat peoples, teaches about the synchronicity of the earth, its inhabitants, and the movement of the planets. Called Caminante Maya, or The Walking Maya, by his people, Ac Tah travels the world, sharing the wisdom of his forefathers. These teachings revolve around peace and unity consciousness, themes found throughout his book, Night of the Last Katun.
AumRak is an internationally acclaimed public speaker, curandera (medicine woman), ceremonialist, yogini, and transpersonal psychotherapist. She has developed diverse shamanic techniques to reconnect the hidden pathways within, to lead those around her to a healthy, balanced, and clear life path. Born in Guatemala, AumRak has received initiations from elders from many traditions, and has gone on to hold ceremonies worldwide. She holds degrees from Pädagogishe Akademie des Bundes of the University of Graz, Austria, and from University of México. AumRak has appeared in three documentary films, including 2012: The Beginning. She is a freelance journalist and lives by the Maya calendar.
Edwin Barnhart, PhD is director of the Maya Exploration Center and has over a decade of experience in Mesoamerica as an archaeologist, an explorer, and an instructor. He has published over a dozen papers and given presentations at five international conferences. His involvement in Maya studies began in 1990, as an archaeological intern in the ruins of Copán, Honduras. In January of 1996, he was invited to return to Copán and help the University of Pennsylvania excavate the early acropolis and the tomb of the city's dynastic founder. Barnhart began teaching archaeology and anthropology classes at Southwest Texas State University upon receiving his Masters degree in 1996. In 1998, he was invited by the Mexican government to direct the Palenque Mapping Project. He received a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 2001.
Lina Barrios is an anthropologist and ajq’ij, or one who tracks the Maya calendar. Though she became interested in the ancient Maya traditions at the age of 19, it would be some years later that, when in crisis, she consulted with an elderly ajq’ij. He told her that it was her energy to work as an ajq’ij in order to help people through ceremony and teachings. Says Barrios, “By helping others, my problems were resolved.” An advocate for environmental issues, she encourages people to stop leading what she calls “an instant life”, which she believes is harming Mother Earth. She resides in Guatemala.
Tata José Soc Chivalán is a Maya spiritual leader in the Quiché tradition. Initiated by elders into his sacred power, he has visions that enable him to recognize and heal physical, psychological, and spiritual illness. A ceremonialist residing in Guatemala, Chivalán says it is his sacred contract to share ancient teachings with the four colors of mankind, and in the four cardinal directions. This production marks the first time he’s been photographed or recorded.
Tata Pedro Cruz García is a Maya spiritual guide and one of the last living Tzutujil Maya elders of Lake Atitlán, Guatemala. A day keeper of the Tzutujil Maya calendar, he leads workshops to unite the Maya of all lineages. His life’s motto—“No matter what, always with love”—resonates with the many people he’s taught around the world, as well as with the children who attend his Maya studies school in San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala. A ceremonialist, García is a member of the Council of Mayan Elders of Guatemala, and was a 2005 World Peace Ambassador.
Michael J. Grofe, PhD is a specialist in Maya hieroglyphic writing and archaeoastronomy. In his doctoral research at the University of California at Davis, he explored a new astronomical interpretation of the Serpent Series within the Dresden Codex that incorporates precise measurements of the sidereal year. He is currently expanding this research to systematically explore how applied theoretical astronomy is interwoven with mythological narratives throughout Maya hieroglyphic inscriptions. An experienced teacher, Grofe leads multiple field courses with the Maya Exploration Center, and he is a four-field professor of anthropology at American River College, Sacramento City College, and Santa Rosa Junior College in California.
John Major Jenkins has been studying Maya culture and writing about 2012 since the mid-1980s. As an independent scholar, he is the author of over a dozen books on Maya cosmology and calendrics, including The 2012 Story. He is an advisory board member of the Maya Conservancy and Director of The Center for 2012 Studies. He is the originator of the "2012 alignment theory" and has taught at the Institute of Maya Studies, Naropa University, Esalen Institute, the Universidad Francisco Marroquin, and many venues internationally. In 2010 he presented research on 2012 astronomy at the Society for American Archaeology. A recent article was published in 2012: Decoding the Countercultural Apocalypse (ed. Dr. Joseph Gelfer, intro. by Dr. Michael Coe). His latest book is Lord Jaguar and 2012: A Maya King Reaches Through Time.
Barbara MacLeod is an independent scholar residing in Austin, Texas. She has traveled widely in the region to both accessible and remote Maya cities and has explored hundreds of caves. MacLeod has had a decades-long specialization in Mayan languages and mythology, and is a major contributor to the decipherment of the Maya script. Together with archaeologist Sven Gronemeyer, she made the most comprehensive decipherment of Tortuguero Monument 6. This monument contains the only known inscription citing the December 21, 2012, date. She celebrated the 220.127.116.11.0 K'atun completion in July, 1973, and has been looking forward to The Great Return of 2012 for 40 years.
David W. Sedat is a University of Pennsylvania Museum Consulting Scholar. Born in Guatemala to missionary linguist parents, Sedat returned to the Maya lands to serve as field director of University of Pennsylvania Museum’s Early Copán Archaeological Project from 1989 to 2003 (Dr. Robert J. Sharer, director). Sedat led the team that discovered two of the richest tombs ever found in the Americas—the resting places of Copán’s dynastic founder and his queen, the so-called Lady in Red.
Robert Sitler, PhD had his first exposure to the genius of Mayan culture in the mid-1970s while hiking in the rainforests of Chiapas. Since then, he has spent as much time as possible in the Mayan world, visiting regularly among natives from more than a dozen language groups. His long-standing relationships with Maya and their humble wisdom informed and inspired his book, The Living Maya: Ancient Wisdom in the Era of 2012. He completed a PhD at the University of Texas - Austin in 1994 with a dissertation on Mayan-related literature under the guidance of Dr. Linda Schele. Sitler is currently a professor at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, and serves as Director of its Latin American Studies Program, teaching courses in Spanish, Mayan culture, and the Latin American humanities.
Geoff Stray has been studying the meaning of the year 2012 since 1982. He is the founder of Diagnosis2012.com, the most comprehensive database on 2012, on which he’s gathered input from every corner of the world. Stray has presented on the topic across his native England, as well as in Belgium, Peru, the US, and beyond. He is the author of Beyond 2012: Catastrophe or Ecstasy, which has been translated into several languages, as well as of 2012 In Your Pocket, The Mayan and Other Ancient Calendars, and The Mystery of 2012.