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.


A Heyoka (in Lakota, Heyókȟa, also spelled “Haokah,” “Heyokha”) is a trickster spirit, a contrarian, jester, satirist or sacred clown. The Heyoka spirit speaks, moves and reacts in an opposite fashion to the people around it. It is not a spirit that people wish to meet at any time; it usually appears to people when it wishes to take something from you or cause some sort of mayhem. The Lakota people have learned to respect it enough to leave it be, avoiding it as much as possible.


The Trickster…

The Trickster...

I was the Trickster in my own story.

The trickster deity breaks the rules of the gods or nature, sometimes maliciously (for example, Loki) but usually with ultimately positive effects (though the trickster’s initial intentions may have been either positive or negative). Often, the bending/breaking of rules takes the form of tricks (e.g. Eris) or thievery. Tricksters can be cunning or foolish or both; they are often funny even when considered sacred or performing important cultural tasks. An example of this is the sacred Iktomi, whose role is to play tricks and games and by doing so raises awareness and acts as an equalizer.


“The trickster is a very important archetype in the history of humankind.  He is a god, yet he is not. He is the “wise fool.”  It is he, through his creations that destroy, who points out flaws in the carefully constructed societies of humankind. He rebels against authority, pokes fun at the overly serious, creates convoluted schemes that may or may not work, plays with the Laws of the Universe, and is sometimes his own worst enemy. He exists to question, and to cause us to question and not accept things blindly. He appears when a way of thinking that has become outmoded needs to be torn down and built anew.  He is the Destroyer of Worlds and at the same time, the savior of us all.”

“The Trickster lives inside and outside of Time.  He is of our world, yet not of our world, so our laws will not always apply.  Among other mythological images, symbols associated with him include keys, clocks, masks, and infinity.”

“The Trickster is a creator, a joker, a truth teller, a storyteller; a transformer linked to the spiritual frequency changes that humanity is experiencing at this time.”

“We seem most accessible to the synchronistic gifts of the Trickster when we ourselves are at or near boundaries or are experiencing transition states – periods of major life transitions that seem to be occasioned by an abundance of meaningful coincidence.  Personal growth sees not only to facilitate synchronicity, but also in turn, to be facilitated by it. As an archetype, the Trickster, the boundary dweller, finds expression through human imagination and experience.”