The Heyoka Empath

There are many different types of Empaths and many levels of gifts and abilities. It’s one thing to be an empath, it’s entirely another, to be a Heyoka.

The Heyoka is the sacred clown in the culture of the Lakota people, in the great plains of North America. The Heyoka is a contrarian, jester, and satirist, who speaks, moves and reacts in an opposite fashion to the people around them. Only those having visions of the thunder beings of the west, the Wakíŋyaŋ, and who are recognized as such by the community, can take on the ceremonial role of the heyoka.

Closely associated with the psychological archetype of the ‘Trickster’, which exhibits a great degree of intellect or secret knowledge, who plays tricks or otherwise disobeys normal rules and conventional behaviour. The purpose of the trickster is to violate principles of social and natural order, playfully disrupting normal life and then re-establishing it on a new basis, the Trickster closely resembles the Heyoka in that it uses shock tactics, to psychologically shake someone, out of their current stagnation!

The Heyoka is a spirit of thunder and lightning. In Lakota people, he is said to use the wind as sticks to beat the drum of thunder. His emotions are portrayed opposite the norm; he laughs when he is sad and cries when he is happy, cold makes him sweat and heat makes him shiver.

The role of Heyoka functions both as a mirror and a teacher, using extreme behaviors to mirror others, and forcing them to examine their own doubts, fears, hatreds, and weaknesses. The real gifts of the Heyoka have the power to heal emotional pain; such power comes from their experience of shame – they sing of shameful events in their lives, beg for food, and live as clowns. They provoke laughter in distressing situations of despair, and provoke fear and chaos when people feel complacent and overly secure, to keep them from taking themselves too seriously or believing they are more powerful than they are.

Therefore, the Heyoka’s mirror is one of emotion, for however you react to them emotionally is their guidance to reflect back to you, after being with one you may feel anger, feeling them to be arrogant yet the Heyoka’s mirror is showing you that you have wounds of arrogance and you need to learn to be humble. Or you may feel great love, again the Mirror is showing you the path of your self-love.

Those who resonate and identify as an empath may question if they are a Heyoka. As empaths are people that mirror everything and will bring these aspects out of you. If you’re masking something bad, they will bring that out of you to help you face your weakness uncovering your false mask.

There are many people in society that identify themselves as an empath, and as empathy can often at times be a curse, because you feel and absorb everything in the environment, knowing yourself and your own psychological wounds is imperative to understanding what emotions belong to you and what belongs to the other mirror.

A Heyoka recognizes another Heyoka when they feel that energy. It’s a deep understanding of our how the sensitivities and emotions interact with each other.

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.

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.

11 thoughts on “The Heyoka Empath

  1. truly fascinating read thank you, I’ve recently hit a brick wall between understanding the difference between empathy and sympathy. Have to say your words definitely gave me a new direction of thought inn some perceptions, answered questions I wasn’t even aware had a voice yet….. brilliantly written as well


    1. Hi, thank you naturalempathiser. When your around a natural empath, you will know, they are powerful mirrors that bring up the best and worst in people. We’re rejected by those who don’t want to hear what they need to grow and appreciated by those who do which affects self esteem for the natrual empath! Can you relate?


  2. Thank you so much for posting this as I am one and it is so hard to be so misunderstood. I was born breach and tend to do everything backwards while mirroring other i get close to. It is very very hard at times. Thanks again for the great blog!!!!!!!


    1. Hi Heyoke muse, your welcome, I had the same problems too. Once I learnt where my boundaries were and what I needed to heal, I noticed the mirrors that was before me. It was a hard journey with hard lessons too, but coke through it and felt I needed to share. Glad to have helped x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I got5 into major legal trouble due to the fact I attracted a narcissist and told him the truth about his life when we were friends. I would find myself mirroring his behavior and he would get angry yet I would tell him I am you


  3. I have just started learning about myself for the last few years. I was called heyoka as a child and never knew exactly what it meant in words, just knew that I was different. That I did not see with just my eye, but my soul. My heart feels the truth be for my eyes can see it. I need only hear a person’s voice and with that I’ll know if they are truth or the darkness creeping in. I find it funny that strangers off the street will lose there whole selves in conversation with me, telling their life stories and completely delvulging there deepest secrets to me. Wanting my advice without even knowing my name. So often do I get the comment” I’m sorry, I don’t know why I’m telling you all this, I just feel like I can trust you” I smile. I listen. And try my hardest to make sure the smile is on their face by the time they leave me…. Thank you f I r your insightful page…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bless you Asia, I totally understand what you’re saying here. It can be a curse, feeling other people like this, I’m so glad you recognize the darkness from their voice – I guess that’s the positive aspect of high empathy. It’s also a great bullshit identifier too, your sensitivity is a gift, few people can really understand… so I hope you get to hone this aspect too, as it will keep you safe from all the energy sucking that can occur for you.


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