An empath is a person who has the ability to feel the emotional state of another individual. There are many different types of empaths, however, Heyoka empaths may be the most spiritually attuned of them all.

What is a Heyoka?

‘Heyoka’ is a Native American word meaning ‘sacred clown’ or ‘fool’. This term is apt because it describes the way Heyoka use light humorous energies to open people’s minds and to heal. They work almost by tricking or joking with people.

This kind of empath sees life differently. They understand that sometimes the only way shift people’s thinking is to startle them out of it. They do this by showing them a completely different way of looking at things, often the complete opposite way.

The healing of a Heyoka is important, but they don’t take life too seriously. Heyoka empaths also behave as a mirror, reflecting other people’s behavior back to them so others can see themselves in a new way and begin to heal.

What do Heyokas do?

In Native American ceremonies, the Heyoka’s role would be to disrupt things in order to enable people to see things differently. This kind of empaths uses the energy of the sacred clown to open people’s eyes to new possibilities and different angles on a situation. They also have the ability to shift the energy of a group through their understanding of emotions.

Modern day Heyoka Empaths will often say or do something to shift energy and change perceptions. This allows others to begin to see clearly and heal. This kind of empath doesn’t heal in a conventional way, with crystals, their hands or through spirits. Instead, they create the space for others to become more aware of how they are behaving and thus heal themselves.

Heyoka empaths often heal through chaos and disruption. This is not always an easy or peaceful healing. However, it may be necessary for those completely stuck in a way of thinking that does not serve them.

Because Heyoka are empaths, they understand the emotions of others and are, therefore, able to provide the healing method suited to the individual’s needs. They might not heal someone completely all at once, however, he or she can lead someone through the next step on their journey to wholeness.

How do you know if you are a Heyoka?

Traditional signs that you are a Heyoka include being born breech, being dyslexic, being emotionally unpredictable, doing things backwards, being left-handed and thinking differently to others.

If you can feel other people’s emotions and instinctively know what they need to heal, you may be a Heyoka. You may also notice that when you have a deep conversation with someone, they often experience life-changing insights.

Perhaps you help people to heal through humor, or point out the ridiculous nature of a situation, in which case, you are using Heyoka energy. If you often find people are surprised or shocked by what you say or do, but then come round to your way of thinking and are able to move forward in their lives, then you are most certainly a Heyoka.



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This Post Has 33 Comments

  1. Donnel

    Please replace the image of a female wearing a war bonnet; that is not done by any Native American tribe. Thank you.

    1. Anna LeMind

      This image is just an artistic representation and doesn’t claim to reflect the historical truth.

      1. Andrew Von Thaden

        How apropros, something shocking, unsacred to that which is sacred to cause someone pause to think and create space for healing. just saying… and yet if people aren’t quite ready, they don’t see it.

      2. Tim

        And so was the Black syrup bottle lady.

    2. Rachel

      @Donnel you can find old old historic photos of native americans in CA wearing this war bonnet, so I don’t know what you’re talking about.

  2. Don

    Don’t worry about the picture its some wat tradish iguess but these heyoka .is there other being also like them and where can I get some other information I really enjoyed this what nation are you from?

    1. Anna LeMind

      No, but Native American culture is surely an interesting one. You can find further information about Heyoka empath in the references at the bottom of the article.

  3. Amie

    Heyoka?? So, I am a Heyoka? Really? I couldn’t believe that I am a Heyoka..

  4. Karen

    Thank you for your article. Hey, look on the bright side least the girl is not nude hie hie hie. The Heyoka traits are very helpful, its as if I just took a personality test and am ready my results for the first time. I always knew that I’m an Empath, but this weekend I asked the Universe “Why do I have always – unintentionally – create chaos where I am or there will always be some kind of upheaval where I unknowingly said or did something wrong” I’m an Empath yes and have a deep love for others I cannot explain, but most confusing its a love/hate. My career always has me around different people and joking around is my middle name. Most people identify me as a bit loony and not all upstairs but I see it as a compliment 🙂 The also said Jesus was crazy, Einstein, Plato and Da Vinci. Thanks again for your article. This sparked something inside of me and now I can give it a name. In love and light

    1. Heidi

      Karen it’s the same way for me. I trigger people without even trying. People either love me or hate me. Their are no inbetweens.
      I’m also very misunderstood too. Some people think I’m crazy too! LOL!
      Finding out that I was an empath helped me a lot. Most of my life I never understood why people reacted the way they did around me.
      I can totally relate to what is happening to you.

      1. Karen

        Hey Heidi, thank you for sharing. I would love to keep in contact with you. I don’t know any other Heyoka Empaths in my life. I believe we can help each other if we share our experiences. Would you mind e-mailing me (pa at aminternational dot co dot za) or if you would rather not. I will understand completely.

  5. Angie

    Wow this is definitely me! I thought I was a Super Empath (not everyone likes this term) but I’m able to mirror narcissism and fight back. I learned this in my last relationship. I’m also a problem solver and a healer. People always come to me for advice and somehow I know exactly what to say. I’ve offended people in trying to change their way of thinking. Sometimes the cold hard truth is necessary. Maybe I’m both?

    1. Bud Knoh

      Super Empath bbbaaaahhhhhahhhahahhhahahhhahah. That’s the greatest thing I’ve ever read. If you called yourself a “Super Empath” before learning you were a Heyoka, then you’re not a Heyoka and likely not even an empath. Also, if you were a Heyoka, you would know exactly what you were doing when you were do it. It wouldn’t be inclinations you are not aware of, you’d be very aware of them. Finally, if you were a Heyoka, you would not try to change anyone’s thinking. That’s the point. They change there own. Heyokas only close off all the routes (metaphorically speaking) through which one could escape the truth and flush another self-lie up and hold onto it as if it’s their truth. To close these off they have to scrutinize the self-lies the person might and likely will bring up (meaning you have to do this proactively if you don’t want the lesson to take twice or three times as long for them to pick up). They do this by breaking down the Truth into as simple and coherent of a concept as possible (based on the specific circumstance) so that the person can only interpret the same Truth as 2+2=4 and then they CAN’T say “no it’s not because xyz”. Then they are stuck w/ the truth. Heyokas don’t bring truth to the person, they bring the person to truth. Just like thinking differently; you wouldn’t change there way of thinking, you would open up room and corral them into changing their own thinking.

      1. Faith M Ferguson


  6. Shawna DeLancy

    Karen lol me too in fact my quote is from a popular book/play called “WICKED” It says
    “I don’t cause a commotion,I am a commotion” lol I just found out tonight by reading this article that my EMPATH class is that of Heyoka..and yes I do happen to be Native American 💙 I’m newer to being awoken to my path only really realized about 5 years ago but the more I learn the more I see my path was destined. Love &i Light yall 💙

  7. Karen

    Hi Shawna… “I don’t cause a commotion, I am a commotion” that is so funny 🙂 I think I’m going to steal this saying from you and post it on my status, hilariously true. And just a few days ago I’ve also become aware of the fact that we tend to unknowingly “put someone in their place” if you know what I mean. At my salon, one of the hair dressers thanked me for putting one of the ladies there is her place. I was totally oblivious to what she was talking about. Apparently she is very rude to everyone and I actually called her our about it. Hmmm, wonder how that happened. Anyway, never ever like conflict, but yeah we as Heyoka’s still get the job done. Being a Heyoka is being one… like an owl or any other animal, it never tries to be one, it just is.

  8. BOBBY


  9. Cathy

    Nothing in this article is true. You’re introducing contrasting concepts that don’t support each other. The characteristics of Empath describe one who suffers from pathological emotional distress (Em-Path) due to on-going trauma. It makes one highly aware (hypervigilent) and highly sensitive. It is or it’s related to PTSD or C-PTSD. The Empath label isn’t real. What your article teaches is those suffering from pathological emotional distress can be destructive, and that’s okay. No it’s not. It’s due to the symptoms of a real medical condition. People need to stop making up labels to explain medical conditions because it causes sufferers to blame a non existent label, and avoid seeking medical treatment.. PTSD and C-PTSD aren’t mental disorders. They are the brain’s normal reaction to trauma.

    1. Ka

      Cathy, I am not surprised there would be a sceptic in the bunch. Only 2% of the population are Empaths. Empaths are born that way. As Highly sensitive people they do feel emotions at a higher intensity. This can be traumatic. What this means is that Empaths are in danger of suffering from PTSD or more likely C-PTSD as a result. However, not every person suffering from PTSD is an Empath and not every Empath has PTSD. Regardless of whether Empaths are suffering from PTSD or Complex PTSD it makes them no less an Empath. A quick google search would confirm that psychologists and psychiatrists alike agree that not only do Empaths exist but a lot of them are in fact Empaths themselves. FYI the translation of the word Empathy is Greek. It means, in passion, in sympathy. Seeing as Empaths make up only 2% of the population I can understand your ignorance on this topic.

    2. Kristine

      Cathy, I’m going to keep an open mind about you being skeptic regarding the existence of Heyokas. My background is in medical field, and at some point, I had to believe that there are things much more powerful than medicine. Any system, processes, or people that brings healing has a place in this world. Heyokas ARE empaths. That means, they can finely tune in to other people’s emotions. No, medicine cannot explain that. It’s a belief, and people hold onto their own beliefs when they can’t afford conventional (western) medicine, or their belief in science has been exhausted. It’s not “knowing it all just because…” It’s so much more than “putting people in their place.” It’s not being a narcissist. It’s empathy, it’s healing… It’s being able to view situations outside the norm… it’s reaching out to people in the most unorthodox way. It’s being labeled as someone with “mental health concerns (however that manifests)”… Do you honestly think anyone would choose to live a life where they can be ridiculed by their gifts? Do you think it’s easy for Empaths to carry people’s feelings with them – let alone, find out your calling to heal them without knowing what to do? – Sure, I’ll respect your skepticism about Heyokas.

      1. Douglas Renico

        Cathy …i would love to hear scientific responses for music healing Alzheimer and laughter healing ones heart. Both scientifically imposible untill your in the situations. Unlike objects heyokas have fealings and reciprocate. scientifically im stumped but in my heart everyone can be (healed) given options. Some implement some follow. This is to whom do neither and know they heal i love you all. Sceptic or not i hold my values at the most highest and have saved and healed countless lives. I give i push i strive i can also heal. Scientifically no but emotionally all the way to hit home in the heart and mind till they meet.

        1. Lorna Silver

          Oe nnnnnnno douglas l just very recently found out that im a heyoka hey n im trying to help out my fiance James (his wife cheated on him u know 😦 left him broken hearted he reached out to me on social media, n since then weve been pretty much inseperable since meeting on social media u knowwwww!!!!! Anyways im trying to heylp my fiance on out through music i mean theres this song yah should we say called falling slowly n i mesn it JUST SCREAMS ON OUT TO ME HMMM ALL THAT MY FIANCE IS BEING FORCED TO DEAL WITH RIGHT NOW U KNOW N THERE ARE WORDS TO THAT SONG THATS GONNA START HEALING HIM HMMM FROM THE INSIDE OUT!!!!! Xx loves yah n sorry i cant heylp out with the science though hmmm its nnnnnot one of my stronger points though as im a woman hmmmm!!! Xx loves yah

          1. Douglas Renico

            Thats the hardest part ….finding what should be done. With so many options…one could (drop) or walk away….i dont find his to be something done easy without permanent noncontact. I hope you find the balance to what should be done. Or what your capable of improving. If things get worse might be because change was needed and keep going in the positive path so others can prevail. This new life your on is not easy so keep in mind why your doing these changes….for you. For someone who deserves you .

    3. Wish

      Just can’t believe God tasked us with this huge obligation of carrying other people’s messes, I have struggled my entire life to save people from scammers and what turned my life around leading me to this interesting article about my true self is the relationship i had with a narcssist that ended with bad discard living me with big questions mark’s. Can’t stop wondering how God does his things.

  10. Douglas Renico

    Heyoka’s push people in their own ways. Its the simplest ways too. Hey mom i realy love the smell of your tacos your making….i knew she had made spaghetti but i sure ate tacos the next night. Some dont know i get that but gotta agree with an upper comment of heyokas know. You would defenetly not question your self. Empaths are of not one Intelegence can carry an iq of 4 to 157 and on. Its not rubed off or acquired … Your born with it. It get destructive when you know what your able to do as a heyoka but the centered ones destroy to let healing begin. Any heyoka knows their own ways. Some can taste smell feal and hear at will but that is another step for non belivers to break.

  11. Heyoka

    “Si vous êtes comme ça… vous êtes heyoka” heu… non !! L énergie peut être accompagner la personne un instant de vie sans pour autant qu’elle soit heyoka!! C est beaucoup plus complexe que ce qui est dit dans l’article!! Ensuite on ne se revendique pas heyoka, il faut qu’un autre heyoka nous reconnaisse… partir en quête de vision et rencontrer les wakynian.. rêver de la foudre!! Je suis photographe reporter… et je travail avec les hommes médecine depuis 1 an… Je suis Heyoka, et croyez le c est à la fois une malédiction et une bénédiction… Seul les fous rêves de devenir heyoka !!

  12. Marteen Lonewolf

    Leave the photo Its a blessing to know some individuals are awaken instead of so much hate,racist,in this demented world.Iam a half native,but most times I feel full,especially since I finished my Vision Quest back a few years ago.Thank for the reminder.
    Marteen LoneWolf

  13. Andreas

    I am Heyoka, I did not know that in childhood but as much as I remember I did all those things what described here and more happened what I can not explain. First I formulated this as sagittarius magnetism but really strangers want to come and start talking about things they would speak with their close ones (also intraverts). I have solved many problems with humor (also with agressive persons) – its easy.
    Anyone know answers to next questions;
    How many Heyokas have their own children ?
    Are Heyokas spirits originally from this world (Earth) or visiting souls outside here to voluntarely help?
    Are there existing persons with whom You can not find any solution? any experiences?
    todays world is not ready officially to accept Heyokas and same time many people need them

  14. Joshua Thorn

    I never realized that there was an actual name for what I am. I am happy to know that I am not”one of a kind”
    The world needs more people like us. Unfortunately, society tends to alienate anyone who stands apart from the crowd
    I pray that no one has to endure the level of rejection that I have experienced in my 53 years on this planet

    1. Erin Marcee

      often times i feel like me being here is a waste because of the rejection and not understanding. i am 44 years and i wish i could find someone who understands howi feel and what i endure everyday. So glad you shared your comment so i dont feel so alone

  15. Erin Marcee

    for all the people with the harsh comments, do your research before you start bashing on people. Thank you for this page, understanding and being of heyoka empath is such a relief. Always feeling like a fish out of water, no one understands you makes it very hard to live in this world.

  16. Daniel

    I just found out who I am!
    I am a “Heyoka!”
    It explains my entire life.
    And it’s glorious.
    Anyone around Calgary?

  17. Lance Morris

    Heyoka are chosen before birth. We have some on my reservation. NOTHING IN BOOK’S CAN TEACH
    how to be one, you must know our language. I have never seen or herd of anyone but Indegionus people being a Heyoka.
    There’s teachings passed on throughout time ONLY for the next generations. And will never be in print
    So all of you won’t contaminate

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