Dark Night of the Soul has been referenced in poetry, music, art, and spirituality. It is a period of difficulty and challenge in a person’s life that may lead to spiritual transformation. It may come after a great tragedy of loss, or through some event that shakes the foundations of what one believed to be true or real. It may be marked by apathy, grief, anger, or rage, and a sense of life having no sense of meaning or purpose. It is a sort of “spiritual depression”, that may greatly shift in how one may look at the world and how one wants to show up. It may also be referred to as an existential crisis. When faced, witnessed, and understood, it may lead to personal and spiritual transformation. This is the alchemical process of turning base metals into gold.
Ego Death, also known as psychic death, was first coined by Carl Gustav Jung. It refers to when a person loses all sense of identity for a brief or prolonged period, peeling away layers to reveal a connection to a more universal sense of self. It is often held as the highest test of spiritual elevation and transformation, so much so that psychonauts seek to hack into this transcended state using psychedelics. Ego death is often seen during growth periods that are related to stages in personal psychic development. Often this state of uncertainty is an indication that a person is about to take step int their personal growth and awareness.
The Shadow is the part of the Psyche that is hidden and unconscious. It may lead to self-destructive thoughts, patterns, behaviors if left unexamined. During times of crisis and change, the shadow often emerges and calls us to examine the parts of ourselves that may be shameful to admit. Through psychic tools for meditation and other methods, it is possible to face, embrace, and clear the shadow leading to greater freedom and joy in the body and increased psychic awareness.