If you are wondering about the meaning of the Dark Night of the Soul, you are not alone.  Increasing numbers of people are seeking the Dark Night of the Soul meaning. This blog post explains all.

In 2021, when I was going through the spiritual Dark Night for the first time, I searched the internet in desperation for the Dark Night of the Soul meaning.

Following a period of intense, blissful connection to my higher self and my team on the ‘other side’, the Dark Night had plunged me into blackout, seemingly overnight.

Communication had been almost completely cut off, and I was woefully low in energy and mood.

Worst of all, I felt angry, frustrated, abandoned, and desolate.

I knew I was experiencing something called ‘the Dark Night of the Soul’ because my team had told me so on one of the rare occasions that a snippet of communication filtered through.

But beyond that, I was lost.

Like many of you reading this page, I typed the words ‘Dark Night of the Soul meaning’ into Google’s rectangular box of hope.

This pulled up a variety of definitions:

A spiritual crisis…

A period of darkness and depression…

A time of listless lethargy…

These descriptions seemed to apply to what was happening to me, but they didn’t answer the central question: what exactly is the Dark Night of the Soul?

What does the Dark Night of the Soul mean?

And perhaps more importantly, ‘WHY is the Dark Night of the Soul?’

Why did the universe want to put me through this agonising and extended experience?

Dark Nigh of the soul meaning - photo of a sad looking puppy.

The Dark Night of the Soul meaning was not to be found on the internet…

I searched ever deeper for information. However, much of what I found was written in a religious context and centuries old.

I read ‘The Interior Castle’, a sixteenth century text by Spanish nun Teresa of Avila, who described the Dark Night of the Soul as a waypoint on the journey towards God.

I also read the sixteenth century Spanish poem by John of the Cross, ‘The Dark Night of the Soul’,’ which gives the condition the name we know it by today.

I discovered only two other famous documented cases of the Dark Night, those of St Therese de Lisieux, a nineteenth century nun, and of Mother Teresa, whose personal Dark Night experience lasted for fifty years.

(Three Teresas— isn’t it funny how the universe works…?)

But I wasn’t religious (although I had become aware that we live in a ‘created’ universe as part of my spiritual journey), and these accounts held little meaning for me.

Are You Going Through the Dark Night of the Soul? 

Everything You Need is In This Book

How to get through the Dark Night of the Soul book cover with the title in bold type on a purple background.

Most people give up the spiritual journey when they hit the Dark Night of the Soul, and I was no exception.

In despair, I abandoned my spiritual practice (and my hard-won abstinence – as a former functioning alcoholic, I had stopped drinking as part of my awakening journey).

I ‘gave up’ on my spiritual path.

I now know, through my work as a spiritual awakening coach, that this is the experience of the majority.

Very few of us push on through this period, precisely because we do not understand the Dark Night of the Soul meaning.

We start to question whether there is anything bigger than ourselves out there, because we can no longer ‘feel’ it.

Soon the ‘spiritual stuff’ slides into dim and distant memory and we revert to the ego-driven behaviours that are the norm for the human race at this time in our history.

Photo of a woman with her head face down resting on a desk.

In the end it was my team who explained the Dark Night of the Soul meaning to me.

So, what enabled me to navigate through the Dark Night of the Soul and out of the other side on the second time of trying, meaning I could complete the spiritual awakening process and reach a state of ‘transcendence’?

(Which, by the way, anyone can do.)

It worked like this.

As I let my spiritual practice slip, all the good work I had done to integrate with my higher self unravelled, and I slid backwards on the continuum of awakening.

I exited the Dark Night of the Soul the way I came in, rather than out of the other side.

This meant that communication was (thankfully) restored with my team and they could explain what had happened to me, why it had happened, and what to do about it next time.

When I entered the Dark Night for the second time I applied my new knowledge and was out of the other side in just three weeks, having learned an enormous amount.

Finally, I understood the meaning of the Dark Night of the Soul.

This is the information I am passing on to you.

There are two types of Dark Night of the Soul

One of the most important things I learned was that there are two types of Dark Night of the Soul.

The spiritual kind, which I described above, but also another version which is ‘growth-oriented’.

I explain the differences between each type in detail in this blog post.

Each of these Dark Nights of the Soul has a different meaning.

The spiritual Dark Night is a closely controlled stage of spiritual awakening; the growth-oriented Dark Night can happen at any time but is often a trigger to start the awakening process.

Today, we often think of a growth-oriented Dark Night of the Soul as a period of depression, anxiety, or run of bad luck, and distinctly separate to a spiritual Dark Night.

However, my team taught me one vital truth: the root cause of each type of Dark Night of the Soul is exactly the same.

This means that the ‘protocols’ needed to navigate through are also the same.

Imagine that – we have all of the tools we need at our fingertips to find our way out of the Dark Night, without recourse to anti-depressants or other drugs, if we only knew what to do.

Teaching people how to use these tools is part of my mission in this lifetime.

Whichever type of the Dark Night of the Soul you are experiencing, I promise you, you can find your way through, with a little focus and perseverance.

The Meaning of the Dark Night of the Soul - illustration of seated figure showing the seven main chakras of the human system.

There is one simple root cause of both Dark Nights of the Soul

As I mentioned, the underlying cause of both types of Dark Night is the same and it’s as simple as this: chakra blockage.

We are each of us connected to the major energy sources in the universe by seven main chakras or ‘superconductors’, as my team described them (I had to look it up).

A superconductor is something which allows electricity to flow with no resistance.

In this instance, the ‘electricity’ we are talking about is universal energy.

When our chakras become blocked, energy cannot flow through our system as it should.

This can have a multitude of effects, depending on which chakras are affected.

In a growth-oriented Dark Night of the Soul, there can be a substantial variation in which chakras which are impacted and to what degree, which is why there can be such a wide range of symptoms and levels of severity.

This makes a growth-oriented Dark Night harder to diagnose.

In the spiritual Dark Night of the Soul however, all of the chakras are equally constricted to a very significant degree.

This is why we experience it as such a complete and utter ‘closing off’.

In turn, this makes the spiritual Dark Night far easier to diagnose, not least because it will always arrive after a period of intense spiritual connection that one could describe as ‘blissful’.

Why does the dark night of the soul occur? Silhouetted image of young woman sitting on a swing looking out at a sunset.

What does a growth-oriented Dark Night of the Soul mean?

The growth-oriented Dark Night of the Soul is teaching us we need to make changes in our life.

We may be living in a way which is impacting our chakra health.

This can include many things, such as poor diet, reliance on addictive substances, lack of spiritual routine (meditation, for example), or behaving in ways which are less than desirable.

Or otherwise external situations are disrupting our energy flow.

This can be things such as damaging relationships, feeling trapped in a job we hate, or financial or family worries.

Unlike a spiritual Dark Night of the Soul, the universe does not mandate a growth-oriented Dark Night, and it can strike at any time.

However, your team will aim to use it as a springboard to deeper personal discovery and a more spiritual way of life.

So in this sense, you can consider both types of Dark Night of the Soul to be part of your ‘spiritual’ journey.

An arm outstretched on a beach with stones representing each of the chakras laid out along it.

Why do we go through a spiritual Dark Night of the Soul as part of awakening?

The more conventional spiritual Dark Night has a clear purpose and happens at a very precise point in the spiritual awakening process.

It occurs after you have ‘made contact’ with the other side and at around fifty percent integration with your higher self.

(Integration with your higher self, or ‘oversoul’, is one of the primary goals of spiritual awakening.)

This kind of Dark Night is primarily designed to reduce reliance on your team and to encourage you to take charge of your own life.

It is very easy, during the spiritual awakening process, to become overly dependent on your higher self and guides – after all, you will have been enjoying unprecedented levels of communication, help, and support.

But we are here to live our own, independent lives, as part of our learning cycle as souls.

The almost total ‘closing-off’ that we experience during the spiritual Dark Night of the Soul is intended to remind us that we are the CEOs of our own lives and to encourage us to take back control.

It’s not pleasant, but it is effective.

The good news is that, once you have successfully navigated the spiritual Dark Night, then many of the perks you previously enjoyed, such as being able to access your guides at any time, are restored.

The Meaning of the Dark Night of the Soul - photo of 3 people in trenchcoats standing in the desert with long shadows.

How Long Does the Dark Night of the Soul Last?

With a growth-oriented Dark Night, we may as well ask, ‘how long is a piece of string?’.

Put simply, it will last as long as it takes for you to resolve at least some of the issues which are causing it.

For a spiritual Dark Night of the Soul, it is possible to exit in as short a time as two or three months, however between three and nine months is the norm.

It rarely lasts beyond a year.

Whilst this may seem like a long time it is a mere drop in the ocean. compared to the lifetime of spiritual bounty which awaits on the other side.

If you push through and onto the ‘good stuff’ then it will soon become a dim and distant memory, provided you keep up with your protocols, of course.

Dark Night of the Soul Meaning - image of hourglass.

Does everyone go through the Dark Night of the Soul?

My experience as an awakening coach tells me that anyone who commits to the awakening journey will hit the Dark Night of the Soul at some point. 

However, they may feel it with varying levels of intensity.

The severity of each Dark Night experience seems to be inversely correlated to the depth of connection the individual enjoys.

The depth of our connection is dictated by how naturally ‘adept’ we are and how well we adhere to our protocols.

The universe constantly seeks balance, so deeper connection = a more severe Dark Night.

Sad woman sitting against a wall with head on her arms, face covered by a hoodie.

A message of hope if you are going through the Dark Night of the Soul

If you are going through the Dark Night of the Soul, I just want to reassure you that:

It IS temporary and,

You CAN get through it.

Is it miserable? Yes.

Is what waits on the other side truly wonderful? 

YES!

Please, keep going.  Daily meditation and walks in nature are your friends at this time, even though you probably feel like doing nothing at all.

(Don’t worry, that’s normal.)

And always remember, you have been chosen for this journey.

You are doing a big and important thing which will benefit, not just you, but the entire human race.

As a higher evolved soul I know that you understand that goal is worth a few weeks or months of pain.

I wish you well in your journey.

Work with me: Book a spiritual awakening coaching session

Read more articles about the Dark Night of the Soul: