Here is an in-depth article describing what traits to look for in determining if you or someone you know is an indigo child or adult.
When talking to people about indigos I often hear that the characteristics are not specific and practically anyone could consider themselves an indigo. Therefore in this article I’m going try to be as clear as possible in describing the things that make indigos DIFFERENT from other people.
In the first part of the article I’ll try to define indigos, and in the second part I’ll get into listing their particular characteristics.
This is now the second edition of this article, as it has been rewritten and expanded since 24/10/2011. I’ve evolved a lot as a person in this time and have tried to update some of the slightly negative attitudes that got into my writing back then. I’ve also added new insights about indigo children / adults from this time.
The actual term “indigo” may have come from the colour of the sixth chakra (energy center) or third eye chakra. There’s a theory that indigos are largely governed by the third eye chakra which explains several of their traits. Personally I tend towards thinking that “indigo” has no special significance for us and is just a name.
Note that indigo in this context is not the colour of the aura. It has been called the “life colour”, which contrasts with the aura in that it’s supposedly the colour of a person’s deeper being and not simply their general state at this point in their life.
I don’t know how much meaning any of these ideas have but I’ve offered them for your consideration.
The concept of indigo children or adults is tied to spirituality and I think there are some very good reasons for that; however I wanted to mention that if what I say conflicts with the way you understand the world, you always can take what works for you and leave the rest. The fact that there are people who have certain, unusual personalities is fact. From there, you can work out what these personalities mean for you in the context of your worldview. On that note, if you want to read about this personality profile from a more scientific/atheistic/skeptical viewpoint, you may want to Google “gifted children”. They are the same thing, but the term doesn’t have any of the spiritual implications.
Now, what’s the point of knowing how to spot an indigo? Self understanding – which leads to self acceptance. Or, if the indigo in your life happens to be someone other than you, the goal is to understand her or him as best you can and again, be better equipped to accept them as they are.
Indigos have been called sick, falsely diagnosed with ADD and other things. They are not sick, they are special. They have been called supernatural. They are not supernatural, they are natural. They are very natural: super-natural, if you will. I think they are very special beings that are worth understanding, respecting, and taking care of.
What is an indigo? The non-spiritual version is just that indigo people (children and adults) are gifted souls. They have a lot of creativity, a lot of intelligence, and a sense of mission.
While we’re on the non spiritual version, we can also list all of their traits, which is what is going to happen in the next half of this article.
Aside from that, though, we can define indigos in a more exact way from a spiritual perspective.
The spiritual version, then, is that indigos are, in general, old souls or at least souls with great spiritual depth.
I think this definition is the most telling because an indigo is really defined by his or her soul and not necessarily how they express it. An indigo is born with a deep soul and will always have it, but, like other people, they can be connected or disconnected from that soul, and can express to a greater or lesser extent what they have inside. So sometimes you might get an indigo who doesn’t look like an indigo, or someone who isn’t an indigo who looks like one; but it’s what they have inside that truly defines them. The indigo who doesn’t look like an indigo will, deep down, have that wisdom, that depth, that power you expect from a normal indigo. It will come out in unexpected ways. Someone who looks like an indigo but isn’t will seem deep but when you look closer there won’t be so much substance to them. It’ll be a false depth — or maybe an authentic one, but just not so much of it.
So indigo people are considered to be “old souls”.
The standard depiction of spiritual evolution shows a soul starting out from a very basic, caveperson-like consciousness, and going through the horrible birthing pain centuries of confusion and war, eventually evolving into a modern human, eventually becoming enlightened or a saint. Being a saint in this case just means that they fully realise the fact that Love is their essence, and that Love is the only thing worth living for, and they become that. At this stage humanity doesn’t work as a collection of isolated fragments but becomes a single being with all its parts working together for the common wellbeing.
I think that evolution isn’t always as linear as that, but still, it seems that most souls do go through this kind of process. On Earth, then, a lot of souls have started out millenia ago as cavepeople and have evolved to where they are now.
Indigo souls started before that time, on other planets, and eventually came over to Earth to share what they have learned. In fact, most of the great visionaries or spiritual teachers were likely of this profile (indigo, crystal, or rainbow souls). They come to Earth with the special intention of helping with its spiritual development.
Other indigos may have originated from less linear evolution processes. They may have been angels or high-vibration spirits, not used to incarnating, before they decided to come down. Some may have also come from other dimensions. What distinguishes indigos, anyway, is the depth and power of their spirits. Given their special role here, they will also tend to have a very strong instinct that they are meant to help out in some way. More on that later.
Indigos being somehow “more spiritual” than other people is a sensitive topic, which is why I’m rewriting this article to clarify this point.
I know that when I first heard about the indigo label, my first reaction was negative. I didn’t want to label myself, to start with, and I didn’t like the idea of being better or worse than other people. Out of pure principle, I disagreed with ideas of superiority and inferiority. I was also scared of the part of me that *wanted* to be better or worse than people.
This is pretty common in indigos. To underline where the error is in this, I should point out that there is a difference between thinking that you are better than someone and making a comparison purely for the sake of understanding.
Indigos do have wisdom and depth inside of them. They have great potential in their souls which, as time goes on, they will tap and bring into their current incarnation.
I think that this is not a reason to feel better or worse, but an opportunity to share.
Children don’t hate adults because they have more experience. The best way of dealing with adults is to make good use of their knowledge and depth.
In the same way, adults don’t usually look down on children and think how dumb they are. When they realise what the situation calls for, they instead ask themselves how they can share their gift of maturity with the children.
Indigo children and adults have a lot of gifts to share. Instead of thinking that they are better than others, or attempting to deny that they are different in any way, indigos should recognise that they are different and try to make the best use of the situation. Their gifts are much in demand, and it would be crazy to hold them back from the world.
Other people have plenty of gifts too. Indigos aren’t the only people who can help out. I think one of the things an indigo can do is show other people the huge power and brilliance that lies within their own souls. An indigo has learnt to be more of themselves; and they can show others how to be more of themselves, too.
So. One last question before we go into the list of indigo characteristics. Why do we need to have a word for indigo people as opposed to just spiritually advanced people? Apart from what we’ve already explained – including the fact that “indigo” refers more to the soul and the potential of a person, whereas the vaguer “spiritual” is normally used to talk about the external personality – I could say that the term is useful simply because you can look at a set of characteristics or traits and match people up to them. This is the really grounded, practical aspect of the concept. Whether or not you agree, disagree, or aren’t sure about the interpretations about what indigos are, you can still look at a person and say, “oh, she has the indigo traits.” Then you can work out what this means for you.
So without further ado, let me get into the various indigo adult / child traits.
First of all indigo people feel DIFFERENT. Not just different, but DIFFERENT.
Here’s a normal kid thinking he’s different:
“I wish I was cool like the other kids. Why do I get picked on like this? I’m so glad I’m better than all the other kids. No-one is as smart as I am.”
Here’s an indigo thinking he is different:
“I don’t understand. Why is it that I’m the only one who can see the things I see? Am I crazy? Why is everyone so cruel and stupid in the way they live? Why doesn’t anyone love me like I can love them? Why are people wasting their lives so much? Why are they such sadomasochists? Why does everyone try and be better than everyone else and own each other like slaves? Shouldn’t it be obvious that we could all just get together, solve all our problems, and enjoy life? Am I the only person in the world who can see this??
“Why am I the only person who can’t put on a social mask? Why am I unable to be happy with the way things are? Why is it that I feel like no-one else is really happy, either, they just put up with it? Is there something going on here?
“Holy $%&@ – I’m an ALIEN!”
Indigos often feel strongly like they are from another planet or another dimension (see above) or at least just generally “out of place”. They might be travellers and live in different countries, subconsciously or consciously looking for the place they fit in. They’ll relocate to find family that feels like family and a place that feels like home. If they can’t find that, they are prone to depression – even suicide.
The power of the indigo lies in his or her soul, which lies underneath their external personality. This means they go through the same process of waking up to their essence as other people do, although generally at a more accelerated pace. During this time, they often go through some pretty rough times, and can fall into chronic negative emotion.
One of these (famously) is anger. Indigos have a very high self-esteem because they are POWERFUL – at least inside – and some part of their brain remembers a time in their soul’s past when they lived like kings. Guys, that’s what a Oneness world is like – everyone has a vast personal power. Weakness is not divine, it is an illness.
The self esteem is not a negative thing, but when subjected to the standard anti-self esteem processing of our industrial culture, where children are taught that they are powerless and dependent so that their energy can be sucked from them, indigos often react strongly. They know that they are worth more than that.
Here are some of my own thoughts from years ago, now happily transmuted into healthier energy:
You do NOT talk to me like I was shit. You do NOT talk down to me just because I am a child. I am NOT worth less. I am NOT less capable of deciding for myself how I will live. If you try and tell me what to do I will KILL you.
I wrote this a year and a half ago, in my first version of this article. I’ve since got to the point where it’s harder for me to bring back up those feelings and feel identified with them.
Note that in all the years of being possessed by anger and hatred, I never acted on those emotions. I also had an even more powerful underlying desire to do good and avoid causing harm.
Resuming some points:
Indigos, at least deep down, understand themselves to be powerful and highly valuable. They see through the lie that people are not that.
They can sometimes feel emotions like low self esteem, shame, self hatred and so on. But the proof is in the pudding – when it comes to the crunch, indigos are rarely willing to settle being talked down to or being made part of a machine.
Even if they are so incredibly destroyed that they stop fighting, they will still feel a sense in such situations that things are dreadfully wrong.
This instinct will never let them be at peace with themselves until they recognise it.
Indigos, seeing through the lie of society, know that the normal concept of “authority” is an illusion. They often dislike or simply evade teachers, doctors and anyone else who seems to look down on them. It’s not like they can’t love those people as people, but they are not willing to accept anyone as “above” them (or “below” them for that matter). When forced to live under imposed authority, indigos usually get rebellious. This can take the form of explosive revolution or perhaps more quiet, passive rebellion depending on the indigo’s particular makeup.
I remember as a child pointedly refusing to do anything my father told me until he learnt not to state things in the form of an order. He eventually stopped trying to get me to do anything, as he couldn’t understand that I just wanted to be treated like a real person. In class, I did everything to make people laugh as I couldn’t stand living like a zombie. I occasionally did things to make a point that the teachers didn’t own my will.
I was one of the revolutionary ones.
Indigos see things as they really are. According to some, this would be because they are currently developing the energy centre of their third eye. Or maybe it’s just because they have enough spiritual depth, intuition and integrity to make deceptions useless on them.
They know society is a lie. They know there are more important things in life than what most people seem to chase after. They have powerful instincts guiding them in many areas of their life, and dismiss ideas or systems which conflict with their instincts. If they are brought up in religion or other dogmatic beliefs, they will eventually come to question them and break them down until they find something that withstands scrutiny.
The more indigos wake up, the more they question everything in their life. But even before the process their instinct to question is strong. As has been said about them in other places, they always say, “WHY?”
Because of this, indigos rarely accept anything that has not been explained to them. They don’t like to do things just because everyone else does or because someone else told them to. They ignore rules unless someone explains to them why they have been put in place, as well as structures, routines, disciplines, rituals, or decorum that doesn’t make sense to them. They often stand out like a sore thumb in society unless they’ve learnt to camouflage themselves. Their presence can often make other people rather nervous.
So most indigos REALLY don’t get on well in school. And without exception they find “normal” jobs very draining and stressful. If they try to live like everyone else lives, they will probably end up suicidal.
Because of this, when they grow up indigos are usually involved in some alternative means of living: entrepreneurship, writing blogs :), art, alternative therapies, freeganism, activism, etc. Because of their disposition they may have a lot of problems in finding their place in life, which can be a factor for depression.
When an indigo is presented a structure which does not serve an authentic purpose, her first reaction is to work to break it down. This of course puts her at odds with school, work and everything. Indigos therefore either work alone or as leaders – they are not willing to accept other people imposing their rules on them. They are rebels and revolutionaries, made to remake the world.
Maybe again because of the energy of the third eye in their life which lets them see to the core of themselves and others, indigos have the compulsion to be authentic and express their true selves. Authenticity is not simply a desire for indigos, it’s practically a need. If an indigo can’t express him or herself as he really is, he generally keeps quiet, goes away, or gets really pissed off. 🙂
Indigos have some serious problems in school because of this, where life is all about putting on a social mask. Life generally gets better after school.
Because of this inability to have a social mask, and inability to really connect with people on the level of their social masks (people require of other people approval for their masks, which indigos are not willing to give), indigos feel a very strong desire to find other indigos, people with whom they will be able to express themselves truly and share love on the level of the heart and spirit, not the mask.
There is no love like indigo love.
I have often found that the love I express or want to express with people, especially my lovers, is too strong for them. They either take it as coming on too strong, or as commitment and try to marry me. Neither is the case; most people just haven’t experienced such intense, unconditional love before, and they don’t know what to do with it.
When an indigo can’t find another indigo to pair up with, they’ll often be seen with older people who tend to be more sensitive and more capable of seeing the gem in the indigo’s soul. (In general indigos don’t have hang ups about age as they see people for what they are, not what their label is).
Indigos are warm people at heart and enjoy contact. This is because most humans have been infected by a cultural sickness. Indigos express themselves as all humans deep down want to express themselves but don’t have the clarity or bravery to do: lovingly. Touch, hug, kiss, “I love you”. They love for the god damn pleasure of it. And unlove is incomprehensible for them.
However, for the reasons previously described indigos are loners, so they may not actively express this trait.
Kristen Finlayson says that the depression springs from a combination of not actualising their personal power and not connecting with other indigos. Oh, let’s talk about power.
Indigos have come here to make a change, and deep in their soul, they feel that. They have huge energy and huge creativity, as well as intelligence – and these things want to be expressed. When they feel trapped in by the limits of this world, or too lost to work out what to do, this can result in some serious depression.
As indigos see the state that the world is really in, they feel an urgency to get things moving around here. They feel things are NOT alright just as they are. (Paradoxically they may be able to see the beauty and perfection in all existence, but that doesn’t make them passive Buddhist monks).
I don’t know where I heard this bit of advice but it rings very true to me – indigos should have an outlet for their creativity while they are waiting to know what their mission is in life. Our energy is strong and will find an outlet whether we want it to or not – and this could be in negative forms such as obsessive thinking or worrying as well as addictions or even excessive spirituality.
As I said, indigos have huge energy. Whatever they do, they do intensely. They are often geniuses – or called that – in part I think because of their capability of single-minded focus on what interests them. On the other hand, if something does not interest them they are very good at NOT focusing on it. I’ve seen a pattern of high grades in class followed by low as indigos learn very easily but end up getting uninspired by schoolwork 🙂
Indigos are often classified Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. I would like to take the opportunity to flip the bird now to conventional psychiatrists everywhere: we are special, not sick! If anyone gives anyone Ritalin for this “illness”, please shoot them. Or make sure that the patient in question is indigo, and if they are, shoot the perpetrator twice.
(I no longer feel the intensity of frustration as I did when I wrote the last paragraph, but I’ve kept it because it’s funny).
Indigos are usually multitalented. Their interests lie in anything creative, anything that expresses personal power, anything that expresses joy (particularly humour), healing, communication, spirituality and personal growth.
An indigo’s energy can be chanelled into love (see above), pure unconditional joy, intense focused learning or action, personal growth and spirituality, as well as hatred, intense depression, addictions, and drama (“little old me” syndrome). Whatever they do, they do intensely. An indigo isn’t half of anything. Even when they’re living like a zombie, they zombie HARD. No-one has ever been dead inside like an indigo who doesn’t know who she is. They practically vanish from this earth, leaving behind an empty shell.
Indigos are very, very powerful and probably at some level feel this. I know I do. I feel like my body is a poor expression of the size I feel – I am MASSIVE. I can take on the world! There is nothing I can’t do! I’ve also felt the opposite at times when I was zombieing, though. We’ve been brought into a world that trains people to be powerless. I also wonder if any spiritual beings or even non-spiritual beings have a vested interest in keeping indigos down. I never felt like I was particularly targeted, but I have heard from some active indigos that there is this anti-indigo conspiracy, involving implants, energetic manipulation, etc. No idea if that is the case. I’ve definitely seen some pretty destroyed indigos. But in any case when you remember you are powerful – and all it takes is to remember – NOTHING can stop you. You are the one and only creator of your own experience. I recommend all indigos I meet who are having trouble with power read up on the law of attraction. We tend to be especially good at manifesting once we get into the flow of it.
What with the whole third eye chakra thing it shouldn’t be a surprise that indigo children and adults are intuitive. They are capable of guiding themselves easily by their ability to “just kind of know” what to do, their gut feeling, etc. Whether this perception goes into the supernatural I think is often to do with whether they were brought up to believe in such things or not.
When they are lucky enough not to have shut down their third eye ability, indigos are basically just what the hype about them obsesses about – psychic kids. They see spirits, other planes, talk to angels and spirit guides, and see the future.
Not all indigos are at this level. But they all have the potential, as is evidenced by their strong intuition and their ability to see through to the essence of things.
It might not feel that special to you if you’re an indigo – that’s because it’s so natural. You might say, “Oh, I see how people are inside, but that’s not psychic, that’s just being perceptive, picking up on cues, etc!”
Well, being supernatural IS natural. It’s the zombies who aren’t natural. 🙂
The subject of loner-hood has been touched upon but it needed its own bullet point for emphasis. Indigos, when they don’t find other indigos to be with, are usually loners. They get frustrated by not feeling recognised by others and dislike trying to relate at the relatively superficial level that most non-indigos demand. They tend to have few relationships and prefer one-on-one relationships rather than groups, when they are socialising with non-indigos.
I’m going to wrap this up with one last important trait of indigos. Indigos are highly sensitive. This is part of the reason they are such loners; they see inside people and perceive all the suffering and inauthenticity they’re filled with, and it isn’t pretty. Indigos can get very uncomfortable in crowds and large groups, noisy places, and especially energetically charged atmospheres such as conventional parties.
As I said, indigos feel things more powerfully. Their sensitivity is part of this. In general they FEEL more – more pain and more pleasure – because they are closer to their being.
This is also a part of the reason why they act the way they do. People, deep down, feel the same things indigos do. They often percieve the lie of society to a greater or lesser extent. But indigos really FEEL that. Not acting differently would be like voluntarily impaling themselves. They are just NOT able to do something which is discordant with their being, because they feel it, and damn do they FEEL it.
This is a strength though it can appear a weakness. Don’t listen to people who tell you you have a problem. If you can’t stay in a party because the energy is too heavy, that’s because the poison is in the PARTY, not in you. Other people can’t feel the poison so they just keep on wallowing in it – they become one and the same as the other people – so that’s their strength for them. Have some self-acceptance and don’t do anything your being tells you is not for you – your being is right, even if everyone else in the whole world tells you different. They don’t know what it’s like to be indigo. You are special, child of God.
Are there any other indigo child / adult traits I can add for the second edition of this article?
There are a lot of small cues you can pick up on for identifying an indigo child or adult. I’ve noticed that indigos often have a strong connection to children and animals, for instance. Or that they defy age classification. They can look like they are thirty when they are twenty (those deep, learned eyes) or they can look twenty when they are thirty (young, playful disposition). In general they age slower on an external level than other people.
They have a tendency towards vegetarianism and often become vegans when they read articles like my Spiritual Perspective On Veganism. I think about 50% of the awake indigos I’ve met have become vegan, especially those who are skilled with finding things out on the Internet. Even when they’re not “officially” vegetarian or vegan, they’ll usually just not like meat much or otherwise not feel attracted to eating much of it. (I was an exception to this as a kid mind – heavy foods were my way of medicating my pain).
They respond strongly to toxins in general and a healthy diet is more important than usual for them.
Indigos have a faster internal rhythm than normal people. This has often been diagnosed as “Attention Deficit Disorder”, although it is not actually a negative thing, just different.
This causes them to be impatient and want to have their desires faster, faster, always faster. They can’t believe how slow life moves.
I think this is because of them coming from worlds where matter is “softer” and the mind has more sway over things. So in those worlds it’s possible to manifest your desires very fast if not instantly, as well as fly, move things with your mind, etc etc. On Earth an indigo does have greater power to manifest their desires than other people and is often also good at telekinesis and so on; however, they still feel inside that they have greater power to create change and they find this world frustrating.
Indigos have very steady gazes. Actually this is one of my favourite measures for an indigo because it’s the hardest to fake. Sometimes they might avoid someone’s gaze because of whatever reason, but their natural tendency if left unhindered will be to look someone very straight, very unwaveringly in the eyes. When two indigos look in each others’ eyes, it’s not unusual for them to end up gazing for minutes at a stretch. It’s in their eyes that you can see that deep down, they have nothing they really wish to hide.
Indigos have a tendency to have harsh childhoods. I think this is because of their sensitivity and simply the shock of adapting to this world which wasn’t made for them. This pain can be lessened by growing up with indigo parents or parents that are otherwise highly conscious.
Indigos often also suffer from some great disability, illness, or other handicap which causes them a lot of anguish; especially, again, in childhood. I don’t know why this is. Maybe they have some spiritual purpose for doing so, or maybe their pain from other sources just manifests itself in this way. I think my own 10-year illness was a manifestation of the emotional turmoil that came from events in my childhood, for instance.
If you are currently going through horrible suffering, I can tell you: it gets better. You just need to harness your incredible indigo power to change your life situation. For that, just read up on the law of attraction and get applying it to your life. Also be aware of your needs (see: Depression Is Common) and don’t fall in the trap of trying to live like a normal person. You are bigger than that and that’s a good thing, OK?
While going over every major point about the indigo’s character, I tried to paint a picture without necessarily being constrained by talking about only that specific point. The article is a little all over the place, but I think quite complete and useful. I hope you enjoy it, and do share with your indigo friends or anyone who you think might be indigo. Self understanding can be enough to save an indigo’s life – I’ve seen it happen before.
We’re meant to be happy, wherever we live. Don’t fall victim to the pain. Refuse to be a victim. We are pure, unadulterated love – indigos and non indigos – though maybe indigos see that a little more clearly. There is nothing of us that the darkness can touch. Be happy and come save the world with me! 🙂
I so love you.
Sophia Gubb, 16 Febuary 2010. [Updated 24/10/2011].
If you enjoyed this article, please consider making a donation.
Indigos need three things especially in life. Self-understanding, which I hope I’ve just given you. Connection with people who understand and accept them for who they are (mostly other indigos). And actualisation of their personal power, feeling like they are making a difference in life. I’ll provide you with some resources for each of these in turn.
Kristen Finlayson provides two good articles on indigos: one, her version of the indigo adult characteristics, good for a different perspective on the same, and two, her Q&A for newly identified indigos which you may find useful.
Indigosociety.com is good for meeting new indigos, but also has two particular threads with info I think you might find useful: another page about indigo child / adult traits, and a useful “indigo starter kit“.
If you’ve been diagnosed with any mental illness at all, it’s worth reading this article: Why Anti-Authoritarians Are Diagnosed As Mentally Ill
Also, I wrote an article called How Do I Know If I’m Really Indigo? which could be useful if you’re still unsure after reading his one.
Indigo Society is quite a good forum. There are some nut jobs there but plenty of authentic indigos too who can help you out.
Indigo Adults Moderated is one of the richer forums in terms of civil and interesting discussion.
There are also plenty of interesting groups for indigos on Facebook. Just search for the term “indigo”, “indigo children”, “indigo adults” and maybe “indigo [your city or country]” and see what comes up.
You might also have some success putting up an ad to meet indigos in your area on your local version of craigslist (a website for online classified type ads). It’s worked for me. Just make an eye-catching title and list the characteristics – or link to this article 😉
Even better if you can find something on Meetup.com. It was no good for Barcelona, though.
Read Steve Pavlina’s blog from back to front if you want to become the best you can be in pretty much every area of your life. Also, read my blog 🙂
I also find a psychic reading with a person on the same wavelength as you can really give an awakening soul a kick in the ass for their growth. I recommend Erin Pavlina, Slade Roberson, or Becky Walsh.
I hope this all helps. Good luck!
If you enjoyed this article, please consider making a donation.