Heyoka: The Most Powerful Type of Empath


Some people say they hold the medicine for chaos.

Feeling the energy of an Empath can be both a powerful and potentially unsettling experience. However, this disruption will never be one meant to harm or destroy, but to give us hope for growth and enlightenment.

In the eyes of a Heyoka, we will be able to see a mirror of truth and, if we are humble enough to see it, see ourself as we truly are.

Written by Robyn Iacuone


40 thoughts on “Heyoka: The Most Powerful Type of Empath”

  1. Avatar of Faye

    I always feel like I’m oddly different from other people and tend to give pedastals to people and THEY fall short of their potential and I take it back (the pedastals) for various reasons but mainly disappointment. Serenity and peace are the most important elements to me and I delight in being that for others. I loved this article, puts a lot of things in perspective for me.

  2. Avatar of Bojack

    Though it is originally uncomfortable to accept a title presented by Spirit and doesn’t happen until after a very long journey of self discovery… AFTER you reach the true beginning… I’ve been asked to show myself to the world, and it apparently includes this title.

  3. Avatar of Celia Tiberio

    Thank you ,this clears up a ton of questions for me.I feel like you just looked into my Soul.l come from a long line of healers origins that are based in Italy .I am a Reiki Sound practioner now for 35yrs using crystal bowls,tuning forks ,chines and drum.I am also an INTERDIMENSIONAL photographer showing how Sound effects our bodies. THANK YOU AGAIN FOR THIS INFO.

  4. Avatar of Michael Diego Forman
    Michael Diego Forman

    I am a heyoka empath and an indigo child. Multplie shamans have confirmed this.

  5. Avatar of Sonje Robertson

    I found this interesting – do you have any more information on this. My best friend thinks I might be a Heyoka empath & it rings true with me too. Anyone I can contact? Thanks for your help.

  6. Avatar of erin

    When the author uses the word inept when meaning innate, I’ll not give the writing much credence. As someone who has studied anthropology, I understand the disconnect between the strict English translation and the actual meaning. And yes this is absolutely an example of cultural appropriation — and I don’t use thst term often. It’s making a mockery out of a religious and cultural belief. And I imagine there is a heck of a lot more that goes into attaining this title then a couple of personality traits. Not cool.

  7. Avatar of Adrienne Zimiga

    “This later vision clearly defines the Wasichus (whites) as the enemy of the people — a significant aspect of the Heyoka vision.” – Black Elk

    1. Avatar of Ben Fiocchi

      live’d in Rapid city walk’d and honor’d your holy places aroud there with sage and me .. I am White… and love mother earth like you do, feel’d the disacceptance of your people… just the Familly of Yellow Robe help’d me to see and understand ….Black elk plaese… all we will be one … and not all of your incarnation happen in your Blood line… some grow out of your soziality… they look’d around and found no Comunity to grow.. We grow and learn.. it is hart to born to know but nobody teaches..
      heal .. there out is a beautyfull world coming

  8. Avatar of Adrienne Zimiga

    This is a perfect example of cultural appropriation. A Heyoka is not a universally indigenous/Native American term or being. Unless you are Lakota or Dakota, you should never use the word Heyoka to describe yourself or others as “empathic clowns or fools”. The English translation/definition does not accurately depict the word and it’s true meaning so claiming yourself to be Heyoka is culturally inappropriate. Please stop trying to honor us by stealing from us.

    1. Avatar of Ben Fiocchi

      Please you are Young and open … beautifull in spirit … Show and live …
      got not many words … but stop cultural differencess.. we all have the same obstacle now..

      Love live life Love be happy… I have to do the same.. and I am on my way without elders but and as a free will in spirit

    2. Avatar of Ben Fiocchi

      sorry my engl. … hopefully you will understand what i mean to say…. and yess the wasichus 🙂 are the once that loose there soul … tricked out of reality… but not 100% of them ….. many of you are now in Europa fighting for Mother earth.. if you like or not .. they are there with there light to manifest a soul …. I found many of them … not knowing where there song is … and electronicaly Downgradet… Crying not knowing in there soul … no elthers …. but also they …. get slowly free .. with knowledge …
      Black Elk … please open up that they can understand and learn … it is time
      Light/flame with two faces/world would be a better name ..
      foolish / clown … would be better with laughing / childish turning the worlds…… then adulds understand only basics
      Never read or study something from that cain of Shaman, I just hear about .. here in Mex.. very little
      please reply

      1. Avatar of Jay Evans

        I followed my bloodline back to my Great Grandfather(x7) Menominee Chief Ahkenepaweh, earth standing. Signer of the Stambaugh treaty in 1831. My grandfather named me Little Windy. Forgive me if I do not know the old ways, I had no trainer, no guidance, and the color of my skin didn’t help. I been called an effin white man all my life, but in my heart I do not feel as such. I am everything, and more, that fits the description as an Heyoka. At least understanding some of the explanations and interpretations attempted by others has helped me deal with being so misinterpreted and misunderstood. We are mixed blood now, anyone who wishes to remain segregated has now become the antagonist. I love all as all should. <3 <3 <3

    3. Avatar of dottie

      Would you mind please giving the proper description as to correct the information given?

    4. Avatar of dottie

      I found this but wonder if it’s correct or no? I’m legit curious as I often wonder about these posts and just how authentic they are. So you’re insight would be much appreciated, thanks “A Lakota way of being, a medicine way. A Heyoka is one who does things backwards or opposite. The idea that Heyoka is a clown comes from the opposite behavior; it is part of the medicine of Heyoka, to remind us we are merely human beings and not to become too serious about ourselves, not to imagine we are more powerful than we really are, reminding us that Spirit holds all the power. In this day there are those among the Lakota who pour Heyoka lodges, which are directed towards the West and full of laughter. If a Heyoka man messes up he has the Thunder Nation to deal with. Spirit chooses who is Heyoka; it is a very difficult path to follow.” http://www.pantheon.org/articles/h/heyoka.html

      1. Avatar of Jay Evans

        Thank you for further trying to interpret and understand. I have been doing the same. But is very far and few between to find a true spirit of the old ways who will share information with a different color of their skin. I keep on being hopeful and forgiving.

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