A Shaman’s Guide To The Dark Night Of The Soul

Dec 11, 2014 · 9 min read

(This was posted in the past and no longer indicative of where I am now as a shaman. However, it might be valid information for where you are in your journey so I still have it publicly available.)

A spiritual awakening comes along after you’ve experienced a whole lot of changes. Once you start to become aware of your spirit, your soul and your true self, your old life starts to fall away. You are going through a profound and life-changing experience and if you hold on to tightly to the past you might experience a Dark Night Of The Soul.

A Dark Night Of The Soul can happen to anyone after going through rapid spiritual progress. Once you activate the mirror, meaning once you start to become aware your outer reality is reflecting your inner reality, the lessons come swiftly whether you want them or not. If you’re surrounded by angry people, you are being called to explore feelings of unresolved anger in yourself. If people start to annoy you, you’re being called to learn patience and compassion for the trials and tribulations of others. You may be encouraged to start forming feelings of compassion for yourself. Which may be an odd feeling if you’ve been beating yourself up for a long time over things.

Compassion Starts With You

A DNOTS is a rough time and you should go easy on the process. Trust that it’s a natural thing and process of evolution. Once you open the door, it’s not easily closed. It’s difficult to feel compassion for others if you cannot feel it for yourself. If you’re constantly feeling bad about your life choices without realizing you are just a human being doing the best you can, that’s a clue to explore compassion for yourself. But if you’re not doing the best you can…if you are reacting with anger to others instead of compassion you can find your whole life (and the plans for your life) crashing down around your ears. Things only work when you come from a place of love. And while things might have the illusion of working if your in that mindset, you’ll also notice that keeping up this illusion takes a lot of upkeep and work. If you’re feeling a lot of stress and anxiety about your daily life, that’s a big clue your are coming from a place of falseness and ego. And the negative emotions you feel are messengers. So pay attention to what the world is trying to tell you.

The default of life of is happiness and peace and it’s easy for us to get locked into situations that serve the ego instead of serving our true self. When you are aligned with your soul and connected to your higher self, life becomes easier and lighter. You stop chasing after dragons. You give up on having to be right all the time. But this can have an effect of shining a light on all the dark places in your life. You are being shown the places where your soul has been shattered and the Dark Night of The Soul is all about healing those broken parts of yourself. The DNOTS shows you the dark side of yourself and that can be some…

Some Scary Shit

If a Dark Night Of The Soul sounds like a scary thing, trust me that it is. It’s basically a point when everything in your life has failed. All your schemes and plans have not worked out and your life seems rather meaningless. You have entered into a phase of your spiritual development where you’ve been stripped of the false things you used to hold so dear. The alcohol doesn’t work anymore. The mindless shows on television fail to entertain. Your friends seem more attached to materialistic and shallow pursuits that no longer interest you. You’re in a spiritual crisis.

But you’ve already accepted the challenges of the spiritual path. You’ve done a lot of emotional clearing and you’re ready for the next step but the fact is you’ve got one foot stuck in the past and one foot in the future and right there in the present moment you’ve been sequestered by the spirits to deal with your ego once and for all. Your guides and teachers are waiting for you to catch up and they have a lot of lessons to teach you. They are trying to get you to be who you were always meant to be: a loving and kind person who deals in truth.

And dishonesty and manipulative people will be intolerable to you, but also the loving light of truth can’t get in because you’ve built so many barriers. Your ego is a barrier to the truth that you are a divine being having incarnated into a human body to have a human experience. And the DNOTS is all about waking you up to this fact that the life you were living—and the pursuit of materialism, addictive sexual behavior and other addictions were elegantly crafted lies to keep you from realizing you have a greater purpose than happy hour at the local bar.

Basically, it comes down to a showdown between you and falseness. And you get to a point where no one can help you and nothing can ease your pain. The fake stuff doesn’t work anymore. The falseness fails to comfort. This becomes the point where it’s just you and God. And He becomes the only thing you can rely on.

The Dark Night of The Soul is about giving up and grieving. It’s about facing the places where you are stuck and working with God to clear them. There is no one you can call. There is nothing you can do. During my own DNOTS I just laid wrapped myself in a dark blanket for days on end a played dead and just gave up. I ate very little and I cried a whole lot. I just yielded to the power of the Universe to work its magic in me. And that’s the thing about the DNOTS…you gotta have faith that it’s going to work out and at it’s heart it is an exercise of faith.

And yes you will be tempted to drop this whole spirituality thing when the DNOTS is at it’s worst. But that is precisely the time to see it through. You could try to go back to your old life and old ways but those would seem empty. The remedies temporary. The relationships shallow and uninteresting. See this part through. You’re being cleared of negative things by thinking of negative things. Stuff that you buried for years is being brought to the surface so stick with it and use it as an opportunity to find out what your soul really wants. The shaman says sit down, shut up and listen to what your soul and the Universe is trying to tell you. It does not want you to be in pain. And the DNOTS is all about healing you. And true healing takes time, patience and sacrifice.

In the trenches of the deepest part of the DNOTS, suicidal feelings are not uncommon. That is simply aspects of your consciousness that have been healed and wish to move on. Since the soul usually moves on during death, these suicidal feelings are nothing more than that: feelings. So get through them and know that they are a natural part of it. Facing death is a thing you must do and it’s not that you yourself that wants to die, it’s just the healed aspects and your old self that wants to die. That’s old business so cry it out and move on. And don’t reach for a razor blade or shotgun or a fistful of pills. I can’t stress enough how powerful these feelings might be so just let them play out and remain calm. They will pass and you will feel better once that is cleared.

Another thing you will feel is totally alone and just try and sit with that feeling of lonesomeness. You must feel and master this loneliness before you can be allowed into the realms of higher consciousness. Everything you feel during the DNOTS must be truly felt and mastered. You are being given tests and lessons so will you make it through this part or will you succumb to the darkness? It’s always darkest before the dawn and trust me that…

The Light Is Coming

In my case I just wrapped myself up in a dark blanket and let it all wash over me. Every feeling of regret, shame, guilt, panic, fear, remorse and heartbreak. After that I took myself to a Chicago beach and spent a few days crying and just staring at the waves building sand castles and then stomping on them. I built some really beautiful structures only to destroy them. I started ridding my life of things I didn’t need. I started breaking plates and dishes I no longer used. I let negative emotions consume me. I felt the blame for everything. I made everything my fault. I had fucked up my whole life by never noticing how beautiful it was. Sucked into drama and negativity, I could not survive this way. My addictions were threatening to kill me. My heartbreak so dire and so severe. It was just God and me hashing it out. I was the crazy man on the beach yelling at the clouds and I didn’t care one bit. But here’s the promise…

One day it will all be over. You’ll just wake up one day and you’ll be cleared. You’ll feel a few aftershocks but for the most part you’ll be like a blank slate. And it’s not like you won’t face new challenges and if your ego flares up there is the chance that you can slide into another Dark Night, but this time around you’ll know better what to do and how to get through it a little bit faster.

The Blessing Of The Dark Night

Much love from your friendly neighborhood shaman,

Patrick John Coleman

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