A Dark Night of the Soul: it’s a chilling time where you go through an intense period of spiritual development, shedding your old spiritual beliefs that had been holding you back, gaining profound new wisdom, insight, and spirituality in the process.
Is it dangerous? Is it terrifying? How can you navigate it?
Like an insect going through metamorphosis, so too does your soul need to break down before it can be built back up into something beautiful and awe-inspiring.
Here are 11 signs you’re going through a dark night of the soul and why that’s ok.
What is a dark night of the soul?
A dark night of the soul is a rather poetic title for a spiritual journey — one where you rid yourself of old, inhibiting spiritual beliefs in order to gain new and profound beliefs that will help you along your journey.
Sometimes coined an existential crisis, the dark night of the soul can feel like an extremely deep point of despair. What is important is that you forge through the dark night of the soul in order to gain the wisdom that comes from taking the journey.
11 signs you’re experiencing a dark night of the soul
1) You’re suddenly demoralized
Feeling like life has no purpose? Feeling that all of your efforts are pushing toward nothing in particular? That all of your work feels meaningless when previously it had meaning?
Have the guidelines and tenets of your life — such as your religion or your personal morals — begun to feel pointless or less supportive than they used to?
These are symptoms of demoralization — a more profoundly disturbing state than depression. Demoralization signifies that your soul no longer feels tethered to what once gave it purpose and direction. You’re lost.
2) You’re purging
Purging is an undeniable symptom of a dark night of the soul. Purging can be physical — such as crying, sweating, screaming, or even vomiting. Purging can also be of the physical — meaning you rid your house of clutter or items that hold negative energy. Think of that like a deeply spiritual spring cleaning.
Purging is a way to rid your body and spirit of the negative thoughts, emotions, and energies that are holding you back. Listen to your mind, and rid yourself of the negative energies to bring yourself inner wisdom.
3) A real psychic confirms it
The signs above and below will give you a good idea if you’re going through a dark night of the soul.
But a surefire way to know for sure is to speak with a real psychic.
However, I know how important it is to stay away from fake mediums.
That’s why I recommend Psychic Source. They provided me with a unique insight into where my life should go, including who I was meant to be with.
Having tried several online psychics, I think they’re the most caring, compassionate, and knowledgeable psychic network out there. Not only will a genuine psychic tell you whether you’re going through a dark night of the soul, but they can reveal all your future possibilities.
4) You experience terrifying thoughts
Especially when you are alone, thoughts about your place in the universe, your life’s purpose, and the experience of what comes after death gnaw at you in an all-encompassing manner.
These thoughts can take on a life of their own as you stew and ruminate on them, desperately trying to find an answer in the fear. Our advice is to lean into the fear, and not try and subjugate your terrifying thoughts.
Embrace them as inquisitorial spirits that are here to strengthen you, not enemies to be vanquished.
5) Your dreams are vivid
We all have dreams that stick with us — ones that feel so real that waking up only brings confusion. Was that real? Or is this real now? When going through a dark night of the soul, these dreams happen frequently, multiple times a week, or nearly every night.
What do these dreams mean? One interesting theory is that these dreams are our subconscious minds trying to work through the anxieties we face in the day. Worry not! It’s only your brain trying to make sense of your dark night of the soul, even in sleep.
6) You have an urge to flee or return to a sacred place
When you enter the dark night of the soul, you may find that your body wants to flee where you currently are. Maybe on your commute to work, you suddenly feel an overpowering urge to drive away. Or take the train past your stop to the airport.
Alternatively, you may feel a strong pull to a place that means a lot to you. This may be a longing to visit your childhood home, or an urge to return to a special vacation spot from years prior.
These urges reflect the need to reorient and reground your soul. If it is feasible, embrace these urges. If up and leaving work isn’t totally doable, think of ways taht you can engineer small, manageable escapes within limitations. Even a small trip to the beach or your favorite museum may suffice.
7) You keep experiencing strange coincidences
No matter where you look, odd coincidences keep cropping up. Perhaps you run into the same friend randomly throughout the week. Or, if you’re feeling unfulfilled, you keep finding signs pointing you to a new career or new spiritual path.
Maybe one day you see a sign for a certain temple and the next day you see monks chanting in your local park.
Whatever the coincidences are, don’t run from them. Examine them, and approach once you feel comfortable.
8) You find yourself hungering for spiritual growth.
As the questions pile up, so does your search for answers. When the terrifying existential questions start to gnaw at you, you’ll find yourself turning to spiritual texts, self-improvement books, sermons, lectures, anything you can get your hands on.
You may try meditation, turn to spiritual guides, or find yourself engaged in spiritual rituals. All of these are symptoms that your spirit is progressing through its dark night of the spirit and to the answers of the dawn.
9) Old memories keep surfacing
In the dark night of the soul, you’ll find that strange, old memories will surface frequently. These can be as innocent as random memories from your childhood to as dangerous as dark memories you have tried to block out.
Sit still with these memories. Think about what they are trying to teach you — what lessons they seek to bring.
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10) Your views on death continue to shift
In the beginning of the dark night of the soul, a preoccupation with death is common. This preoccupation is often quite fearful, and you may feel a profound sense of impending death — as if you may be struck down at any second.
This is a response to your old systems of beliefs dying away — you fear this change. As your spirit is broken down and rebuilt, your fears of death will change into examinations of death.
You’ll evolve from believing that death is right around the corner to asking yourself “why am I occupied with death?” Or, “what comes after death?” Your questions will abound, but the fear will slowly subside.
11) You begin to feel free
When the dark night of the soul begins, it can feel terrifying. Losing the strength that our faiths provide is upsetting. We cling to these faiths, even as we feel them dying. This struggle produces profound anxiety.
But once these faiths are allowed to be broken down, we see that our old faiths were holding us back more than they were holding us up. This awareness brings a profound sense of freedom. In this free state, we are free to take the dismantled elements of our faith, and raise them up as tools of exploration, rather than chains of fear.
What causes a dark night of the soul?
The dark night of the soul can be precipitated by many things. For many people, the death of the loved one can bring about the dark night of the soul. Grief is a powerful catalyst for transformation, and the painful realization that the people we love are so easily taken from their temporal form can induce feelings of anger, confusion, and demoralization.
In other cases, the dark night of the soul can be brought upon through the loss of a job, the dissolution of a relationship, rejection, an illness, or even loss of trust.
The underlying theme in all of these causes is an unexpected loss. Loss shakes us. We make plans for the future, and these plans involve things going our way — relationships ought to continue, jobs lead to promotions.
When a loss happens (say a fire burned down your house), the future plans you had disappear with that loss. You lose both components of the present and the future.
This loss of the future causes deep anxiety. Why wasn’t my plan allowed to come to fruition? This confusion often leads to a profound sense of doubt about central elements of your life you hold dear: faith, creed, morals.
Once this doubt sets in, a dark night of the soul usually follows?
Is a dark night of the soul dangerous?
A dark night of the soul can be dangerous if the terrors of the existential crisis or the demoralization becomes too strong. These steps in the dark night are critical for breaking down old ways of thinking, so that new beliefs can flourish. If one gets stuck in these preliminary steps, severe depression can set in.
If you find yourself feeling severely depressed or have thoughts of harming yourself, it is critical that you speak with a mental health professional immediately.
If you need immediate help, or just need someone to talk to, please call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the suicide prevention hotline.
Spiritual growth is hard, but there is no reason to try and go it alone.
Will I have more than one dark night of the soul?
A common question we get is “how many times will I have a dark night of the soul?” I understand that. Experiencing a dark night of the soul is painful! But, you may experience multiple dark nights of the soul throughout your lifetime.
Why? Because your soul is actively working to learn new lessons and gain further insights. Each dark night reduces old, inhibitive beliefs and increases new, beneficial ones. But the process is continuous over your life. As you grow and age, you may gain other beliefs which inhibit your spiritual journey.
These beliefs will need to be shed through another dark night of the soul.
How long does a dark night of the soul last?
A dark night of the soul lasts as long as it needs to.
This may sound glib, but it’s completely true. Your soul’s growth isn’t on a timeline. A dark night of the soul isn’t like a case of COVID — you don’t need to quarantine for a week and get a negative PCR to go back out in public. Instead, your soul’s journey will be determined by the power of the old beliefs that need to be broken down.
This process can be slowed down by fighting against it. If you cling aggressively to the beliefs that are holding you back, you’ll end up in a deeper state of darkness for longer. Similarly, you cannot rush the process. Racing to spiritual realization will most likely lead to superficial enlightenment that won’t give you any real peace.
Instead, you need to let it ride. Accept the pain, the confusion, and the uncertainty. Clarity will follow.
Dark Night of the Soul: you’re not alone
The good news is that you aren’t the first person to experience a dark night of the soul. Billions of people since the dawn of man have questioned their purpose, their faith, and their existence. You can lean on their journeys, taking solace in the fact that they made it through the darkness to discover the light.
Here is a great list of 10 books that have helped people manage their own dark nights of the soul.
Being in your dark night of the soul, you may feel an urge to pull away from your community and your support structures. Unless these structures are unhealthy, resist that urge.
Speak to your spiritual leader if you have one. Speak to your friends and family. Let them know you are grappling with your place in this universe. Odds are, they have grappled with similar issues, and they will help shoulder some of the anxiety.
Because even though you may feel like this world has no meaning, it’s nice to know that there’s a friend to go through that feeling with you.
Hopefully, the signs above will shed some light on whether you’re going through a dark night of the soul.
But if there’s a part of you that still wants to know more, I recommend speaking to a genuine, professional psychic.
And there’s one company that I always end up recommending; Psychic Source. Not only did they blow me away with their accurate readings, but they were also kind and understanding of my situation.
So if you’re tired of wondering about what you’re going through, get in touch with a legit psychic and take your future into your own hands. I did, and I’ve never looked back since.
Can a gifted advisor help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to someone with special intuition.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Psychic Source when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into what my future holds, and the confidence to make the right decisions when it comes to love.
If you haven’t heard of Psychic Source before, it’s a site where gifted advisors help people through complicated and difficult life situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a highly intuitive psychic and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my psychic was.