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  • Ester Caty Young

Dark Night of the Soul

Updated: Apr 11


The Dark Night of the Soul, Psychospiritual crisis, Spiritual Emergency,

Kundalini Awakening, The Shamanic illness, Shamanic initiation, Shamanic Call

"There is no coming to consciousness without pain.

People will do anything, no matter how absurd,

in order to avoid facing their own soul.

One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light,

but by making the darkness conscious."

Carl Gustav Jung

There are many names for the many ways of this phenomenon.

Perhaps, it could be likened to a deep lament of the soul that with an almost

Kafkaesque manner wakes you up one morning and your life is never the same again.

The world you enter is that of a surreal, bizarre no man's land,

in which you are stripped of all consolations, solace, and comfort.

Feeling no pulse in your veins, no joy, no emotions through this

totally abrupt and unexplained life eruption, your soul begins

withering away into a deafening silence of emptiness. . .

Nothing but void as far as the eye can see and the void appears impossible to fill.

We end up like Gregor Samsa a protagonist from Kafka’s Metamorphosis;

a once ordinary travelling salesman transformed into a gigantic insect,

disconnected from everything, watching the world, we once were a part of, go by.


This process of metamorphosis is very real and one that mystics, seekers and

people without any spiritual background have been undergoing for centuries.

As we shed away every aspect of our being, like a serpent,

we die, in order to be reborn, awakened rising from our own ashes like a Phoenix.

Our consciousness and states of awakening bear a resemblance to

waking up from a deep sleep.


We have been thought by New Age Spirituality to love the light,

raise and hold our energy vibrations in the love and light by being simply

positive, visualizing the beautiful, never get angry, avoid all that is negative,

but those who taught us often fail to educate about the importance

of going to the dark side. As if the dark is something sinful and

not part of our existence. Our shadow self holds a key to our own ascension

and thus everything in the world that is negative is a projection of what we

are suppressing inside of us, that eventually comes to the surface.

Light nourishes us but it is the shadow that challenges us, teaches us,

evolves us, brings us face to face with ourselves and the world around us.

By facing it, rather than ignoring it, we strengthen the light within and around us.


The trigger for The Dark Night of the Soul is unknown and so something

as simple as one event, or myriad of little ones can rouse it from its sleep.

It can be events such as the loss of a job, house, finances, bankruptcy,

or the death of a loved one or childbirth.

When you feel abandoned by either God or your own ability

to manage life or solve the burning issues.

It can come in a form of disease or illness that presents itself

as a catalyst for the change that your body has to withstand.

It comes when it wants and leaves when it’s done.

You cannot cheat it or surpass it. You don't get to say no to the Dark Night.

It can hit like lightning out of the blue both when everything is going fine,

or even great and when things crumble down like the Tower of Babel.

Doctors cannot find anything wrong, even after getting all kinds of tests

and examinations and possibly even treatments for

the variety of baffling symptoms you present yourself with:


Some of the main symptoms are

Difficulties walking.

You will lose all sense of groundedness and might loose

all sense of your earthly existence.

You might experience severe spells of vertigo and dizziness

and the ground will feel as if walking on the cloud.

You will feel like a marshmallow man.


You might feel as if you cannot use your hands and legs

and experience sensations as if they are not part of your body.

It can resemble you have multiple sclerosis or fibromyalgia.

That is one of the main symptoms, as you are summoned by the shaman's death,

have to "die" and fall apart, in order to be put back together into a new person.

This is the passing of the test of a Shaman.


You can get a sense as if someone or something within you is controlling your body.

Meaning, that your body movements will be the same,

you will decide to move your arms and legs and everything else in the desired way,

but you will be somewhat disconnected from your body and feel that someone else

within you is carrying out your orders.

To the outside world, however, nothing will be visible.

This experience is extremely frightening and I highly recommend visiting

an experienced shaman, as you might have a foreign entity living inside of you.


You begin to see the world around you in grains -

like a static television when the broadcast ends.

You might also have difficulties focusing with your eyes;

things will seem blurry, as in distance and never seem sharp.