The Most Powerful Type of Empath, Are You A Heyoka? gives a definition of empathy as the following: “the psychological identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.” In other words, empathy is the ability to intuitively understand that thoughts and feelings of people you interact with, and a capacity to relate genuinely on those same issues. Prized in many cultures as a virtue, empathy is more than mere sensitivity towards other human beings; it includes a connectedness to all of creation, with the empath often experiencing a much wider variety of nuanced emotional states than the average person.

As with any specific quality, a person is either born an empath or not. Able to feel the physical, emotional, and spiritual pain of other people, empaths may contract symptoms of others’ illnesses just by being in their vicinity. This incredible sensitivity often makes empaths more difficult to relate to, as they are able to discern others’ motivations much more acutely than expected.

“Heyoka”, a Native Sioux Indian word meaning “sacred clown” or “fool”, has been adopted as the name for a particularly sensitive sort of empath. Able to mirror the emotions of those around them, heyokas can be difficult to spend time around. Essentially, they show everyone around them their own weakness and faults — but also, a way to overcome them.

Oftentimes, Heyokas are born dyslexic (thinking backwards) or breech (born backwards). This sort of “backwardsness” comes to define them. Similarly, they often appear younger than their actual age.

In the balancing act that is being a Heyoka, their gifts also come with corresponding downfalls. Though their basic motive is always good, their emotional mirroring can often show sides of people around them that they’d rather not see — from anger, to lust, to pride. The plus side? Seeing a side of yourself through the form of a Heyoka, you may learn more about yourself than you originally thought possible.

When encountering a Heyoka, it’s tempting to run away from the experience of interacting with them — or to ignore it entirely. This would be a mistake. Heyokas are there to help you in your journey, not hinder — so, keeping an open mind while interacting with one is a sure way to build more positivity in your life.

Being beyond general wisdom, a Heyoka has solidly-developed spiritual energies. Their message? Use what is “bad” in you to further your spiritual journey. It’s the integration of the shadow-self that leads to our ultimate awakening.

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