12 Signs You're A 'Heyoka Empath' — The Most Powerful Empath Type

There are many different types of empaths, but the Heyoka is the most powerful of all.

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There are many different kinds 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.

What is a heyoka empath?

Heyokas are the most powerful types 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 allows 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 doesn’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.

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12 Signs You’re A Heyoka Empath

1. You're an empath.

Empaths are people who are particularly receptive to others’ emotions. That is, you feel the emotions of others. 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.

In other words, people feel, but a heyoka empath feels their feelings deeper.


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; 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 are emotional mirrors (i.e., they 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 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.

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4. You're 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 view 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're 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're caring.

A heyoka's empathic abilities make them 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 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.


7. You're open-minded.

A heyoka may encounter turbulent situations, both natural and manmade, where people display a wide array of emotions. As a true empath, a heyoka avoids judgment or condemnation and approaches each situation with an open mind.

It is solely this quality that enables the heyoka to foster profound healing, irrespective of the challenges faced by individuals.

The heyoka's ability to empathize deeply with others allows them to truly understand and connect with the emotions experienced by individuals in these turbulent situations. By approaching each circumstance without preconceived notions, a heyoka creates a safe and non-judgmental space where genuine healing can occur.

8. Honesty is a core value of yours.

Honesty is of utmost importance to the very essence of the heyoka's being. Their honesty is profound, yet delivered with gentle sincerity.


As highly intuitive individuals, heyokas possess an innate understanding of how to respond to others. The honesty and truthfulness conveyed by a heyoka serves as a catalyst for healing, even in the most emotionally delicate situations, often alleviating the burdens of sadness or depression.

They even have the unique ability to "sense another person's energy" and accurately detect their sincerity and integrity. Through their empathic abilities, a heyoka can discern a person's intentions, serving as a reliable gauge of honesty, whether positive or negative.

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9. You need time to 'recharge.'

Because you feel the highs and lows of everyone so intensely, you will want time away to take care of yourself and recharge your energy. Self-care and grounding techniques are essential to prevent exhaustion.


The heyoka understands the importance of allowing negative energy to pass through them while channeling healing energy. This is why they occasionally withdraw to recharge and focus on self-healing, knowing that taking care of themselves enables them to better help others.

If this sounds like you, you may be a heyoka empath.

10. Your sense of humor helps heal.

One of their empathic powers is having a strong sense of what can get someone laughing.


Even while cracking jokes, the heyoka possesses the remarkable ability to facilitate healing and create a sense of comfort for the other person. Through their unique approach, they can infuse humor into the healing process, easing tension and fostering a relaxed environment.

By skillfully intertwining laughter and lightheartedness with their healing work, the heyoka can bring joy and relief to others, allowing them to heal while feeling at ease. This exceptional talent to blend humor and healing is a testament to the heyoka's skills as both a healer and a compassionate companion.

To them, laughter is the best medicine.

11. You're free-spirited.

The heyoka empath exists in their own unique world, unaffected by societal norms or easily conforming to them as a free spirit. They embrace their own distinct way of living, disregarding the expectations of acceptance or conformity.


This specific empath confidently charts their own path, guided by their inner compass rather than external influences. Their refusal to be swayed by societal expectations grants them the freedom to authentically express themselves and live a life that resonates with their true essence.

12. Your inner child is very present.

The heyoka empath embodies their inner child in everything they do, embracing a natural sense of wonder and innocence alongside their capacity to carry emotional burdens. Regardless of the circumstances, they possess an innate ability to perceive the good and discover joy, while remaining distinct from being labeled as a mere optimist.

In fact, the heyoka empath surpasses many in their capacity to acknowledge the darker aspects of life. However, they possess a unique talent for nurturing their inner child, viewing the world through fresh eyes, and wholeheartedly embracing an insatiable sense of curiosity.

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.


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Colleen Fogarty is a writer and contributor to YourTango. She covers self-care, astrology, lifestyle, and relationship topics.