Are You a Heyoka Empath? Signs & Guidance

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There are many different types of empaths, but there is one whose powers of perception and ability to truly see and heal the people around them places them head and shoulders above the rest. This type of empath is called the Heyoka empath.

Heyoka empaths are particularly spiritually attuned and are considered to be the most powerful type of empath. True Heyokas sense the needs, wants, desires and pain of others on a deep intuitive level and tend to mirror what the person needs in that moment in order to heal or grow.

Heyokas are emotionally unpredictable – they can be counted on to challenge and distrust the status quo in ways that are equally refreshing and liberating. Often, when people get really stuck in their negative patterns or limiting beliefs, it takes a Heyoka to help snap them out of it.

Heyoka is a Native American word meaning sacred clown or fool

The Native American word Heyoka means sacred clown or fool, encapsulating the light humorous energies that characterise the Heyoka empath. Because Heyokas are lighthearted and playful, they are able to approach even the most serious and painful topics with empathic humour.

Because Heyoka is a Native American word it doesn’t have a direct English counterpart. Heyoka can be taken to mean either sacred clown or sacred fool. Neither is to be understood in a negative way – in this case, the word fool does not mean idiot but something closer to jester. The expression Heyoka very much embodies the energies of the Fool archetype as we encounter it in the Tarot. Lightness, playfulness and humour are implied, but not stupidity.

The Heyoka empath sees life differently – they are always able to view things from more than one angle, and to flip any difficult situation on its head. Heyoka empaths are disrupters and jesters. These sacred clowns can be counted on to do things backwards, to find different angles to a situation that you thought you had investigated thoroughly, and to find unconventional ways and solutions to any quandary.

True Heyokas can be provocateurs – they don’t like to stay within the lines. It is because the Heyoka comes from a liberarted perspective that they are able to open people’s minds and hearts and are able to bring fresh and invigorating energy to any go-nowhere situation.

Types of empaths

Not all empaths are the same – just like many other traits, empathy comes in many different forms.

Not all empaths even identify themselves as such, and some may not know that they are empaths. It is rare for people to be purely one kind of empath or another, but will instead be a hybrid kind of empath, possessing a range and combination of abilities.

You may, for example, be both a claircognizant and Heyoka empath.

Claircognizant/intuitive empath

The claircoignizant or intuitive empath walk through life with their third eye wide open. Their intuition is strong and instinctual, and they trust it to pick up instant downloads from the universe and from the people and environments around them.

Psychometric empath

The psychometric empath has the ability to pick up energies and impressions from physical places and objects, whether we are talking a photograph, a crime scene, or an inherited brooch.

Flora empath

Flora empaths are able to communicate with plants in a unique way, receiving their information and sensing their needs. A flora empath may for example enter a room where a house plant is in shadow, and immediately know that it should be moved to a more brightly lit spot.

Fauna empath

Fauna empaths have the ability to communicate with different types of animals, picking up on their needs, wants, ailments and requirements.

Geomantic empath

Geomantic empaths have a unique ability to communicate with Mother Earth, with the very landscape and the earth under their feet.

Telepathic empath

Telepathic empaths are able to read the thoughts of others. When they are near others, they may hear their inner dialogue or se the images floating through their minds.

Precognitive empath

Precognitive empaths know things before they happen. This knowledge of what is to come may appear in visions, as flashes of information or simply as a strong but inexplicable feeling about how something is going to go.

Emotional empath

Probably the best known kind of empath, emotional empaths are able to pick up on other people’s emotions – the ones they express and the ones they don’t.

Physical empath

Physical empaths sense through touch. We all receive some information information when we touch others, and even when we touch an inanimate object. Physical empaths pick up much more information and intuitive impressions via touch than the average person does.

Psychic empath

Also known as mediums, psychic empaths have a unique connection to other worlds and realms. Psychic empaths are more likely to see and sense the presence of lingering spirits than anyone else.

Heyoka empath

Finally, we have the Heyoka empath, or as I also think of this type of empath, the kaleidoscope empath.

While it is possible to possess the skills and characteristic of several different types of empaths without being a Heyoka, a Heyoka always possesses traits of several other types of empath. Typically, a Heyoka will possess the traits of the claircognizant, telepathic, precognitive and emotional empath.

What sets the true Heyoka apart is the unique, unconventional and playful way in which they approach, provoke, unlock and heal even the darkest feelings or situations.

Heyoka, the rarest empath

Heyoka is considered the most powerful type of empath, as well as the rarest.

We all have certain abilities when it comes to our capacity for empathy and our ability to pick up impressions and information with our intuition and the super spectrum of our normal senses.

What makes the Heyoka the most powerful empath and healer is their unrestrained and unorthodox thinking, and their vast energy. The Heyoka empath is able to see things in a completely different way to everyone else.

Heyoka, the mirror

The Heyoka often functions as an emotional mirror, reflecting others’ emotions back at them.

The Heyoka will typically mirror back whatever it is that the person they are working with needs in that moment in order to heal, grow or evolve. If, for example, someone is very arrogant and cold, the Heyoka may reflect this attitude back at them in a way that makes them realise their own cruelty.

Why are Heyokas so powerful?

Most people spend their lives colouring carefully inside the lines – a Heyoka doesn’t.

As an archetype, the Heyoka disrupts, shakes loose, shifts and changes. Heyokas are less restrained by the mores of society, and because negative programming and limiting beliefs seem to slide right off them, the Heyoka wants to help others experience the same level of inner freedom and sovereignty that they themselves enjoy.

Are you a Heyoka, the most powerful type of empath?

Do you think you might be a Heyoka empath? All Heyoka empaths have these seven traits in common.

Signs of being a Heyoka empath

1. You are an indigo child

You already know that you view the world differently and that you have certain abilities that go beyond what most people would consider normal. You may have already been on your journey of self discovery and spiritual awakening for a while. Most likely, your third eye is already open, and like most empaths, you are very aware of and sensitive to the energy of other humans.

2. You are composed of many opposites and contradictions

As the Native American term Heyoka suggests, you are a sacred clown or fool, a walking contradiction, a jester and a free spirit. You do things differently, and you don’t worry a great deal about how others perceive you. You are comfortable blurring the line and leaving others scratching their heads in confusion.

3. You crave alone time despite your strong social skills

While your social skills are strong and you enjoy the company of others, you also crave your alone time. Constantly picking up on the emotions and energy around you can be exhausting and you recharge best when you are alone.

4. You are direct and sincere

You value honesty over nicety. You neither take yourself or any other person so seriously that you cannot tell it to them straight. Sometimes in life, things need to be said directly and you are bold enough to step up and do it.

5. You are unconventional and creative

You march to the beat of your own drum in life. You follow and trust your intuition to take you where you need to go. You see new possibilities where others see locked and bolted doors. You can find a way around anything. You are completely nonjudgemental. You are playful and free-spirited.

6. You sense what others need to grow or heal

A Heyoka senses where other people’s behavior or mindset is keeping them stuck, and helps them to explore alternative ways of looking at, thinking about and overcoming mental health challenges and other obstacles.

7. You see the humour in all things

Despite your unfaltering willingness to stare the most grim and dark topics in the eye, you know that you cannot do this without also being able to laugh in their face.

A true Heyoka empath is never callous or insensitive when expressing their unusual humour, but they intuitively understand the power of laughter to heal and uplift, and to dissolve negativity and taboo. You know that life is best approached with a glimmer in your eye and a spring in your step, and as a Heyoka empath part of your missions is to convey this to wisdom to others.

The path of the Heyoka empath

Being a Heyoka can at times be a lonely and difficult path, as well as one that is exceptionally satisfying and rewarding.

Challenges of being a Heyoka empath

As a Heyoka, you will be dealign with the deepest and darkest emotions and wounds that other people carry, making it extremely important that you learn how to balance your desire to give, help and be available to others with your own need to maintain a healthy emotional state.

Many empaths find themselves carrying a lot of emotional baggage for others – this is especially true for the Heyoka.

Blessings of being a Heyoka empath

Being a Heyoka comes with many blessings, as well.

As a Heyoka, you will easily win people’s trust and become very important and close to them. Because you possess unique abilities to see and sense them, and to help them, you will be very valuable to the people you choose to share your gifts with. In many cases, you will be able to fulfil a need in people’s lives that they didn’t even know they had until you crossed their path.

The role of Heyoka empaths

The Native Americans honoured and revered the role of the Heyoka empath within the tribe. Serving a function somewhere between seer, healer and court jester, the Heyoka occupied and fulfilled a unique role.

The world has changed, but at a core level, the role of the Heyoka today is not much different.

Personal growth for Heyoka empaths

If you are not Native American but still identify the traits of the Heyoka empath within yourself, you can still embody the archetype of the Heyoka.

Heyoka is a native identity, but the archetype of the Heyoka healer, humanity’s emotional mirrors, can apply to anyone who approaches the archetype respectfully, willing to hone and develop the skills and tools – and assume the inherent responsibilities – that come with being a sacred clown.

Lucius Nothing

Lucius has been slinging tarot cards professionally since 2014. He’s taken the tarot to places most wouldn’t think of: His best-known patrons include Torture Garden, The Dark Circus Party, Handel & Hendrix, A Curious Invitation and The Candlelight Club, where he has been resident tarot reader for the past half-decade. His writing on divination, magic and creativity has been published in Sabbat Magazine and on Medium.

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