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The 7 Dark Night Of The Soul Stages [An Eye-Opening Guide]

The 7 Dark Night Of The Soul Stages [An Eye-Opening Guide]

The Dark Night of the Soul is an increasingly popular topic, because, as the vibration of planet Earth is rising and the world we live in is in continuous transformation, more and more people start experiencing it. 

If you chose to read this article, you most likely are experiencing this spiritual challenge, therefore I will describe in detail the 7 Dark Night of the Soul stages:

1. Waking up to the truth

2. The triggering event/ events

3. The Darkest time of your life

4. The Rollercoaster

5. Discovering your life purpose

6. Attaining balance

7. Becoming the best version of yourself

Reading about these stages will help you gain a better understanding of your own journey with it and how to emerge from it sooner.

What is the Dark Night of the Soul? 

The dark night of the soul stages

Spiritual people from different cultures have been speaking about the Dark Night of the soul in their books and writings for centuries. 

It is a concept that has been deeply explored by Christianity, but one carmelite priest, John of the Cross, actually described the whole process in his poem “Noche Oscura”. 

Therefore, people have been experiencing this since time immemorial, but what exactly is the Dark Night of the Soul?

The Dark Night of the Soul is a period of time in a person’s life when a lot of difficult experiences will happen, to make them grow spiritually, find their purpose in life, pay heavy karma, and understand deep karmic and spiritual lessons. 

How Long Does It Take To Move Through The Dark Night Of The Soul Stages? 

The duration of the Dark Night of the soul is different from person to person. 

For some people, passing through the Dark Night of the Soul stages lasts a few weeks, for others months or years, whereas for others it lasts decades. 

It all depends on how old you are as a soul, what truths you need to wake up to, how much karma you have to pay, and what lessons you have to learn.  

Another important aspect is how quick you are when it comes to learning your spiritual lessons. 

If you accept the lessons that life is presenting to you, integrate them, and move on with serenity, you are likely to end your Dark Night of the Soul sooner. 

However, if you are someone who likes to be in control of things and fight the direction that the Universe opens up for them, you may end up facing the same situations over and over again until you learn your lesson and align with your ultimate purpose.

It’s important to note that older souls can sometimes (not always) have tougher and longer Dark Nights of the Soul, as they may have more karma to pay than young souls. 

Also, souls with a big ego can have more difficult Dark Nights of the Soul because they fail to have faith in what the Universe brings and tend to always want to control things. This prevents them from moving on and learning the lesson.

During the Dark Night of the Soul, life will present you with all sorts of painful situations.

Your ego will be torn to pieces and you will need to face who you are as a person and as a spirit. 

But before that, you will find your connection to the Divine, and ultimately, your life purpose and mission here on earth. 

The journey of the Dark Night of the Soul can be compared to a butterfly emerging from its cocoon.

At first, the butterfly is scared and thinks his life is over, but in reality, his life has just begun and he starts to fly as high as he wants. 

The 7 Dark Night of the Soul Stages

showing the dark night of the soul stages

1. Waking up to the truth 

The first stage of the Dark Night of the Soul is waking up to the truth and becoming spiritually open and awake. 

Before this, you were probably living your life just like anyone – going to work, coming home to sleep eat, and spending time with your loved ones. 

Then, all of a sudden you started feeling the urge to discover more.

You start to feel and understand that life has a spiritual meaning as well, and that there is a higher force in this universe. 

There could be a person helping you realize this, or a situation, or even a place.

You could even come to this realization on your own.

In this stage you become more interested in the spiritual world, and start exploring it, trying to find your path and understand your journey.

This realization, that there is a Divine Energy out there and that we live in a spiritual world gives your life a whole new meaning. 

You feel stronger and wiser than before, and you could even feel very happy and very aligned with who you’re supposed to be. 

The only thing is that you’re only at the beginning of your spiritual journey, and you haven’t yet discovered who you’re meant to be. 

2. The triggering event 

The Dark Night of the Soul is always triggered by something that happens to you. 

This event could be something negative, as well as something positive.

It could also be just one event, or more events, one after the other. 

For example, you could meet the love of your life and then lose them.

Or you could lose your home, or your fortune, or your health, or several loved ones.

Some people even lose their faith or mental stability, as a triggering event for their Dark Night of the Soul.

Others lose their entire family, the city where they live, or everything they had.

The triggering event is always something that will completely shake up your entire world and reality. 

What you believed to be yours, whatever offered you stability is now gone, and you have to make it on your own. 

The only thing is that at this stage you are not able to make it on your own, as you don’t know who you’re meant to be yet. 

The triggering event is meant to bring to the surface your deepest fears, wounds, insecurities, from this life or from past lives, to give you the possibility of healing them. 

This is when your spiritual journey really begins.

This event will bring you immense pain, and you will feel like you no longer know who you are or why you’re here, in this lifetime.

3. The Darkest time of your life 

woman going through the dark night of the soul

I call the third Dark Night of the Soul stage “the Darkest time of your life”.

If you’ve been through it, you understand why. 

After the triggering event, in which you’ve lost something that deeply care for or which was essential to who you are as a person, you will be confronting a lot of ugly inner demons. 

The triggering event is meant to make you face a lot of intense negative emotions or states.

You could be experiencing anger, sadness, hatred, confusion, or even depression or anxiety. 

And it will not end very soon, because it is meant to make face your darkest fears and thus heal your deepest wounds. 

During this stage, it is indicated that you get support from friends, family, and even a therapist or psychiatrist, if that’s the case. 

Do not be ashamed to ask for help and to do whatever it takes for your healing.

Remember that this is just a stage, and it will pass, but you must take action towards your own healing. 

Taking the right action during this stage could help you heal faster while postponing it could prolong your state.

4. The Rollercoaster

After the “Darkest time of your life”, there will be a stage in which you start feeling better and it feels like you start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. 

This stage comes when you start healing the negative emotions you were feeling in the previous stage of the Dark Night of the soul. 

I consider this stage to be a period of transition. Things will not be good yet, but not as bad as before. 

You will have moments in which you will feel amazing like you can conquer anything – because you are overcoming something huge.

But then will be moments in which you will feel like you’re back where you left from because something negative will surface again and cause you to see what is yet unresolved, also making you feel all that pain all over again. 

In this “Rollercoaster” stage, life will give you all sorts of spiritual tests. 

And I know this may not be fair, as you’re not completely healed yet, but how you pass them can also speed up your healing and ease your karma. 

If you don’t pass them, don’t worry – just make sure you understand the lesson after every failure and remember to do better next time. 

It is very important to have self-love and compassion for yourself during this stage, and do not beat yourself up over small or big failures. 

When you start seeing failure as an opportunity to grow, the concept of failure will not exist for you anymore.

Just remember to listen to your heart, but take your brain with you. 

5. Discovering your life purpose

As you start healing old wounds and start feeling better, you will also positively shift your emotional state. 

You will have a deeper understanding of the events that needed to happen and you will understand that it had to happen in order to shape you into being who you’re destined to be. 

By understanding and accepting this, you will reach a state of inner peace and personal power like never before. 

You will have confidence that you can achieve and overcome anything. 

With this mindset, it will be possible for you to discover your real-life purpose, as you are now ready for it.

You have a lot of courage, power, and determination in chasing your dreams and bringing into reality whatever you want to bring into reality. 

If you’ve been through this process, you may be someone who has a mission involving healing or spirituality – perhaps a lightworker. 

This incredibly difficult journey is something most spiritual people must go through to develop empathy, compassion, and to be able to heal and love unconditionally.

If you’ve discovered your life purpose but has nothing to do with spirituality, not to worry, still pursue it, because you’re probably bringing healing in the world in ways you did not know are possible. 

6. Attaining balance 

spiritual image of woman in the dark night of the soul

In the sixth stage of the Dark Night of the Soul, you will be achieving a state of balance that may not even believe it’s possible anymore. 

After you’ve discovered your life purpose, you will start laying the foundations of the life that you are truly meant to live. 

This is a time of building the rest of your life, or in other words, an amazing chance to start all over again! 

What will happen during this dark night of the soul stage is that you may not receive as much guidance as before, especially in stage one, when you were at the beginning of your spiritual journey and a lot of angels and spirit guides were probably helping you. 

This test is also spiritual, as it is the time for you to start acting like a creator and to build the life that you want. 

I advise you to have determination and faith, that you are on the right path and that you are being helped and supported in achieving what you need to achieve. 

7. Becoming the best version of yourself 

Now that you have been through all the previous dark night of the soul stages, you have become the best version of yourself that there could possibly be. 

You were shattered, you were in deep pain, your whole world was torn to pieces, then you suffered tremendously and managed to heal yourself and build an amazing life. 

You have also learned a lot of lessons, healed many old wounds, and broke many dysfunctional patterns – both personal and generational.

Now you will be able to catch yourself before reacting to something that might have triggered you in the past and to stop. 

You are also able to recognize negative patterns as they start developing and not choose to allow them into your life anymore. 

You can control your emotions and maintain your inner peace in any situation, and also be able to fulfill your destiny and continue to create an amazing life. 

From this point on, you will also be able to offer support to others, and you can say that your life has just begun. 

❤️ Related: 20 Signs You May Be Experiencing A Dark Night Of The Soul

Emerging from the Dark Night of the Soul

emerging from the final dark night of the soul stages

If you are in the process of emerging from the Dark Night of the Soul, the following advice can help you overcome it faster: 

1. Trust the Universe 

Trust God, or the Universe, even if it’s hard to understand why you had to go through certain experiences. 

Let go of your need to control life and just surrender to what it is bringing to you, trusting that everything happens for your higher good. 

When things happen to you, let go of resistance and just try to just go with the flow of life.

2. Get the lesson 

After every unpleasant or painful event, do your emotional healing and look at what lesson was there to get. 

You can do this through meditation, or simply by having a look or asking the opinion of someone you deeply trust.

This way, you will evolve spiritually and will not have to go through the same lesson later on.

3. Spend time alone and meditate

woman meditating in the dark

Don’t be afraid to spend time by yourself, having an honest look at the role you played in certain situations. 

Don’t try to blame what’s happening to you on others, as it is not their fault – you are the one creating your life. 

Rather, take responsibility for your actions, thoughts, and energies, and look at how you were creating things in the wrong way. 

Only this way you will know how to create a better life in the future. 

4. Close the door on the past

One trap that many people fall into is spending too much time thinking about the past and contemplating certain situations which can never happen again. 

No matter how beautiful the past was, or how much it has impacted you, you can never go back in the past to change it or live it again.

Life is happening now, and you’ve done a lot of work to move on with your life, so allow yourself to enjoy the new life you have created for yourself.

To conclude, the Dark Night of the Soul happens to most people, especially spiritual people in this lifetime and it is a very difficult experience, but it allows you to transform and become the best version of yourself. 

If you are living this currently, or have been through it, share it with us in the comments below and let us know in which one of the Dark Night of the Soul stages you’re in.

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Saturday 22nd of July 2023

I like to think I am in the rollercoaster stage as I had three weeks of deep depression and then three weeks of bliss but now I am in the severe state of depression. I keep telling myself it is only temporary and I should be thankful but it can be tough. Thank you for the above and sending love to you all.


Monday 22nd of August 2022

Thank you. I believe I am getting out of it(stage 6 too), but it still feels painful and low on occasion. Thank you for taking time to write the article, it is really helping to know, that we are part of the process.

Alan Young

Tuesday 30th of August 2022

Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad the article was helpful. I know it can be painful and difficult to go through the process, but it is worth it in the end. Thank you for taking the time to write. 🙏


Sunday 1st of May 2022

I cannot thank you enough for writing this article. I was beginning to think that I was totally loosing it, looking for some glimmer of hope that I wasn’t. I am in the mist of stage six. I have found a greater sense of peace knowing that there isn’t so much an end but a new beginning at the end of the tunnel. Thank you so very very much.

Alan Young

Sunday 1st of May 2022

You're welcome! I'm glad this article was able to give you some peace of mind. Wishing you a peaceful journey through your final stage. :)