6 Signs You're A Heyoka Empath & Why It's So Powerful

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There are many different types of empaths, but only one of them is considered the most powerful: the heyoka empath.

Pronounced hey-OH-kah, heyoka is a Lakota word meaning “fool” or “sacred clown” because of their ability to create healing from humor. Lakotas are Native Americans originating from the Great Plains.

Heyokas are the strongest type of empaths that open people’s minds to new perspectives by acting as a mirror and poking satirical fun at the situation. Making light of serious circumstances allow people to see themselves in a different way and begin to heal rather than be stuck in a wallowing point of view.

Do not be mistaken, heyokas do not ridicule or harm with their humor — they are still empaths and their perception of people’s emotions don’t let them cross the line into being offensive. Rather, they disrupt lines of thinking that do not benefit the people they are trying to help.

Here are signs that you might be a heyoka empath.

RELATED: 10 Unusual Empath Traits That Make You Unique

1. You are an empath.

Empaths are people who are particularly receptive to others’ emotions. Empaths can actually feel what others are feeling.

All people are empathetic to varying degrees, but empaths have such a strong capacity for it that they cannot control whether they feel others' emotions are not. They always do.

Empaths are wonderful friends, partners, and advisors because of their empathic powers. They want others to feel as happy and at peace as possible for, of course, the people’s sake as well as their own so that they can share in pleasantries instead of grief.

2. Opposites and mirrored images are an innate part of you.

While empaths are identified based on social and personality characteristics, heyokas can be further distinguished by some physical characteristics.

It is said that heyoka empaths are often born breech, and are left-handed or dyslexic. All of these qualities are reversed or mirrored to the norm. Most babies are born head-first, but breech births are when the baby’s buttocks come first; most people are right-handed; and dyslexia is a learning disorder where the person sees some letters flipped around, how they are written by themselves or switched within a word.


Heyokas mirror other people’s emotions to bring them awareness of how they are acting. Mirrored images are a natural aspect of a heyoka presented in many ways. This is not to mean that all lefties or breech babies, etc. are heyokas, but an empath with these qualities might be.

3. You prefer to be alone despite your strong social skills.

Sometimes empaths feel so much emotion coming from their environment that it is difficult for them to modulate how they are really feeling. Therefore, empaths often prefer solitude even though their innate gift lies in sociability.

Taking some alone time can help empaths be more at peace and in tune with how they are feeling without interference or influence from how others are feeling.

Heyokas in particular often find themselves in isolation. Their jarring words and behaviors can be too off-putting to many people leaving heyokas on the fringe of society.

Heyokas provoke deep-seated problems and insecurities because what is ignored cannot be healed. While this quality is beneficial in theory, it can be very uncomfortable in practice making people reject heyokas so that they can continue to reject their own emotional traumas.

RELATED: 8 Signs Of An Empath + How To Use Your Empathic Abilities As 'Superpowers'

4. You are frank with people.

Heyokas’ honesty may make people uncomfortable when they don’t want to confront their problems, but honesty is the best policy for a heyoka. They just want people to be able to heal from their emotional hold-ups that impede their stability and growth as a person.

Mirroring the other person and even using humor can provide a new perspective on those negative thoughts and feelings. In order to make a change in life, first, there must be a change in the way the situation is viewed.

Mirroring also makes people see the way they are behaving and their effect on their environment. Having to face the truth can be difficult, but what’s true is true, and heyokas are unafraid to point it out.

Some may be so stuck in their point of views that they will dismiss the heyoka as being inappropriate, but those who can open their minds and hearts to the heyoka will be able to see that they are right.

5. You are creative.

Heyoka’s creativity will not only push people to evolve, but it creates opportunities for romance, adventure, and beauty, too.

Being invited into a heyoka’s world is like finding a key to a wonderland. Their unlimited imagination and fearlessness of being different open up so many unique experiences.

Just as much as heyokas can unearth hidden negative emotions, they can show loving, happy, and exciting emotions in ways most people do not think of. Because they do not mind, and even like, to be alone, heyokas are daring innovators willing to explore unconventional possibilities.

When someone accepts a heyoka for who they truly are, they are a welcome adventure partner and can be led to fantastical places and ideas.

6. You are caring.

Their empathic abilities make heyokas deeply caring people. Even if shown in unconventional ways, heyokas want to take care of the people around them. They are good sounding boards because of their creative insights and emotional intuition.

Because heyokas can take on the feelings of others, they want to uplift people to healthier and happier states of being, and they will if allowed. Heyokas often take care of others before considering themselves because they cannot help but feel external emotions as well as their own internal feelings.

Although their methods may be jostling, heyokas ultimately just want to help the people around them heal and grow. Their humor is meant to shift the perspective of the other person as well as cheer them up.

RELATED: Why Empaths Are More Prone To Depression —​ And How To Protect Yourself

Colleen Fogarty is a writer who covers self-care, astrology, and relationship topics.

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