What's an Indigo Child? What You Need to Know About This New Age Term

What’s An Indigo Child? What You Need to Know About This New Age Term

August 3, 2020 Updated April 13, 2021

indigo children
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When the world sucks (as it does right now), we need people who can uplift humanity and lead us towards the light — or at least help us discover that there’s a point to living on this third rock from the sun. Enter: Indigo children. Based on New Age concepts developed in the 1970s, Indigo children are thought to be divine creatures with supernatural powers who were sent here from God/Universe/Zuul/fill-in-the-blank to upgrade life as we know it.

Heavy, right? We might add: These are not aliens. No, according to those who espouse the theory, these are people who you might know right now. In fact, Indigo children are said to have been born between 1978 and 1988, so chances are, not only might you have one in your life already but…you might even be one yourself! Curious? Scared? Inspired? Skeptical? All of the above?

Whether you subscribe to the theory or not, this explainer should serve as a primer on the history and markings of an Indigo child. If you’re curious and want to read more, The New York Times, Vice, and many academic papers have turned a critical lens on the concept and what it may mean for the children in question. Ahead, more about Indigo children and what they are thought to represent.

Who came up with the term “Indigo Child”?

The term “Indigo children” originated with parapsychologist and psychic Nancy Ann Tapp who studied human auric fields in the 1970s. While a few people had indigo auras back then, she noticed a lot of children being born with indigo auras from 1978 into the late 1980s, which led her to believe there was a new wave of spiritual leaders upon us, a.k.a. Indigo children.

What are the signs of an Indigo child?

Besides the year of your birth (which, by the way, doesn’t automatically make you an Indigo child), if you’re an Indigo child, you possess: extreme empathy, sensitivity, a high level of intuition and psychic ability, an innate spirituality, a deep desire to help the world, a special bond with animals and nature, stubbornness, a feeling of being an outsider as well as the overall knowingness that you are unique and are meant to do big things.

Indigo Child Test

Do you suspect you might know an Indigo child? Or maybe you’ve always suspected that you were one yourself. Luckily there are a bunch of questions you can ask to determine if you’re really part of this small magical generation. If you agree to a majority of these queries below, you just might be an Indigo child.

I can easily discern what other people are thinking and/or feeling.
I consider myself and/or other people consider me “wise beyond my years”.
I tend to have an unconventional personality/temperament.
I tend to be highly sensitive to the environment around me.
I feel as though I have an inner mission that I must fulfill.
I’m often perceived by other people as “strange” or “odd”
I’m very in touch with my intuition, often using it to guide me.
I am sensitive to processed foods, additives refrigerants, and red meat.
I am intelligent, but I don’t always get the best grades.
I am creative and enjoy making things with my hands.
I enjoy knowing why things are done.
I was rebellious in school and didn’t enjoy doing homework or respecting authority figures.
I’ve felt existential depression, helplessness and suicidal thoughts often growing up.
I have often like my voice doesn’t count especially in terms of politics.
I have recurring dreams that I can easily remember.
I tend to attract emotionally unbalanced people who need healing.
I’ve partaken in destructive behavior like alcohol and drug abuse.
I am extremely passionate about what my life’s mission means and how that affects and relates to my time on Earth.

The Indigo child doesn’t like school

Indigo children aren’t big fans of school. You might think, okay, what kid likes school? But the Indigo child doesn’t conform to typical societal structures like school. Instead, they love to follow their curiosity and passions. Indigo children do enjoy learning — they are known to be voracious readers — but they just want to learn on their own time and in their own way.

It’s important to note opponents to the “Indigo child” theory believe the New Age concept was created to deny the existence of ADHD and autism. Which means those Indigo children who struggle in school might actually have ADHD, autism, or a learning disability that they are denied help for or are overlooked.

If you met an Indigo child…

If you did subscribe to the concept of an Indigo child, how could you tell them apart from everyone else? Per the theory, you would probably notice they are a little…different. A loner who didn’t conform to authority and who walked to the beat of their own drum. They are super artistic people who are more about creating from their soul than they are about making money. They’re the gifted storytellers whose energy feels inspiring and nothing but authentic. They refuse to fit in and stand up to what they feel might be wrong about the world, life, your office environment.

The challenge of an Indigo

Being the sensitive creatures they are, it makes sense that Indigos often suffer from depression and anxiety. They might also easily get frustrated with their life purpose, especially when it seems they are making little to no headway with their dreams and passions. Their “on point” perceptions (yes, their psychic ability) make them susceptible to absorbing other peoples’ energy in the room, which can be a downer. And because they often feel misunderstood, they have a habit of isolating themselves.

The Indigo world looks like…

Well, paradise, obviously. We would eat natural and organic plant-based food (all animals are family to an Indigo). We would live in a world free of harmful chemicals and toxins. Indigo children are big on family, including creating family from friends and extending their family circle outside of traditional norms. Kind of like in a “Love the one you’re with” type of way. Mother Nature and her needs would come first, and we would all work together to protect her. All people would be treated equal and with respect, and we would live from a foundation built on love, forgiveness, and trust.

A Sociological Explanation For Indigo Children

If “auras” aren’t your thing, we get it. You might still read through the description of an Indigo Child and see yourself, your child or your friend. Can you believe in Indigo Children without believing in the spiritual aspects? We think so! After all, babies born between 1978 and the late 1980s grew up during a pretty tumultuous time for our planet. They witnessed the AIDS explosion (and subsequent inhumane treatment of the LGBTQ+ community), Chernobyl, and the Challenger Explosion. Indigo Children probably remember The Central Park Five and the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. Everything we experience or see in our own lives, even the stuff we may not remember clearly, has the chance to shape us.

Indigo Children (most likely Xennials) were born to parents who remember the discovery of the hole in our Ozone, the desegregation of schools, and were some of the first people to start recycling. Those things left lasting marks on humans, which in turn could have easily spurned the sort of personalities who pushed back against norms, worried deeply about our environment, and felt more empathy than those from the generations before them… because they were raised to do so.

Quotes About Empaths and Empathy

“The Empath is often said to have such a great degree of empathy that they can literally feel what others feel, and thus intuitively know many of the yearnings, sensitivities, tastes and even thought patterns of the people they’re around.”
― Aletheia Luna, Old Souls: The Sages and Mystics of Our World

“Dear empath: You are a being of immense depth, wisdom, and compassion. You are a pioneer and trailblazer of humanity, a model for others on how to be sensitive and powerful. All the strength and love you need is already within you, waiting to be discovered.” ― Mateo Sol, Awakened Empath: The Ultimate Guide to Emotional, Psychological and Spiritual Healing

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.” ― James Baldwin

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” ― Ernest Hemingway

“Sensitive people care when the world doesn’t because we understand waiting to be rescued and no one shows up. We have rescued ourselves, so many times that we have become self-taught in the art of compassion for those forgotten.” ― Shannon L. Alder

“Empaths and Lightworkers did not arrive on this planet to lead a cheerful carnival parade into a perfect New Earth paradise. There is much work to be done before anyone will ever enter that promised land.” ― Anthon St. Maarten

“Empathy is the medicine the world needs.” ― Judith Orloff, The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People