How To Get Out Of A Dark Night Of The Soul (Podcast Episode 140)

How To Get Out Of A Dark Night Of The Soul

We all go through depression or existential crises.

Here’s how to get out of a dark night of the soul using magickal practices.

Earlier this month, I asked my newsletter subscribers what they need most right now, and offered them a library of free resources on how to balance their life using the Five Elements.

I asked because it’s so important to me that the content I’m creating for is genuinely helpful. I’m grateful to have gotten some really helpful replies.

So in this video (and some upcoming content), we’ll be taking a look at some of the most popular desires from within our community and pairing them with the Element I feel would help most. Read on, watch or listen to discover how to navigate out of a dark night of the soul and into an uplifting phase of life.

By the way, if you’re not subscribed to my newsletter and want to join, I’ve actually added that email to my automated welcome sequence, so you too will have the opportunity to hit ‘reply’ and share your thoughts for upcoming content. I invite you to sign up here.

Here’s the link to the printable (or pre-printed) journal prompt pages, writing paper packs and ephemera kits for August’s Eve season.

And here is the link to join Your Book Of Seasons.

So one of the most popular desires mentioned by subscribers who replied to my question was “getting rid of inner turmoil.”

And since it’s August’s Eve season, I thought it would be perfectly fitting to share with you part of my story from August 2020 when that was my strongest desire too…

That was the year when I first really shifted my focus back to journaling with the seasons, and I created my very first seasonal junk journal for the August’s Eve / Lammas / Lughnasadh season, a time when I was going through a dark night of the soul.

We all navigate the delicate dance of balancing the various parts of our inner selves… But if there’s an overwhelming theme of chaos happening inside you, it may mean you’re going through a “dark night of the soul.”

This is a phase in your life where your soul is feeling buried by conditioning and is screaming to break free so you can express your true self.

Painting By Christian Schloe

The good news is a dark night of the soul is a sign that a MAJOR breakthrough is on the way!

Once you make your way out of the dark woods, you’ll find yourself in an inspiring new meadow of inspiration, creativity and fulfillment!

A dark night of the soul is a time to tap into the Spirit Element.

And for those like me who like to grasp such an “intangible” concept as Spirit through a more tangible modality, you may enjoy learning about your Human Design. It’s basically the study of the “anatomy” of your soul.

We each have an energy “type.” Each type has a positive signature” (or good feeling) such as success, peace, freedom, harmony and satisfaction. This is how you feel most often when you’re living in alignment with your true self.

On the other hand, each type also has it’s negative “not-self theme,” such as bitterness, frustration, anger, and disappointment. If these are the predominant feelings in your life right now, it’s time to dig deeper and find out what your soul is really desiring.

Unfortunately, human society hasn’t been as conscious in the past as it’s becoming now.

So we’ve all lived under social circumstances that have conditioned us to believe our natural way of being isn’t good enough.

So chances are you’ve been conditioned to believe that things have to be difficult, and you’re stuck in a negative feedback loop.

In Human Design, chronically experiencing your not-self theme is typically the result of conditioning that goes against your natural energy flow. In my case, I’m a Projector. This means my signature is success, and my not-self theme is bitterness.

A few years ago, I found myself in a dark night of the soul after getting burnt out from my career as a life coach – An industry which confusingly preached honoring your energy, while also prescribing business models that went against some people’s unique energy types.

I felt extremely bitter because I had worked really hard doing something I’d believed was a noble type of work. And yet I’d watched other people become overnight successes while I was constantly feeling ‘behind.’

I eventually hit a wall where even when I was doing everything “right,” I still wasn’t experiencing the success I felt I deserved. And in fact, my business just stopped making money all at once and seemingly out of nowhere.

afura at witchy business desk with laptop

I hit “rock bottom” and got fed up with everything. So I decided, “screw it all,” and went back to focusing on my art for a while…

I started actually implementing all the “self love” and “healthy boundaries” insight I’d picked up in my self help studies. And I started actually living in alignment with my own energy type. As a Projector, it’s extremely important to prioritize rest and authentic connections – Only saying “yes” to things that feel energetically aligned and saying “no” to anything that doesn’t…

And guess what? As soon as I started making decisions that were intuitively aligned with those values, EVERYTHING in my life and career crashed down around me like the Tower tarot card.

My long term relationship ended. I lost “important” clients. I hit my lowest income ever and was struggling just to get by. I even looked for a part time job and wasn’t hired anywhere.

And just when I thought everything that could go wrong had gone wrong, the pandemic hit while catastrophes of human making also descended upon the world. I lost my base group of friends due to incompatible worldviews. It seemed like I’d lost just about everything…

I eventually began to believe perhaps I just wasn’t meant to be happy… If I had dedicated my life’s work to learning how to heal people, and yet I was so unsuccessful, then the Law Of Divine Compensation must not be real. And if any of the Universal Laws weren’t real, than was all this mumbo-jumbo I’d devoted my life to one big waste of time and energy?

Or maybe the Universal Laws were real, but they were just rigged against me. Like maybe I’d made some kind of soul contract where in this lifetime I was forced to constantly be fighting an uphill battle in order to learn some lesson or fulfill some karma?

Why else would manifestation work so well for other people and be so challenging for me? And if all these terrible things were happening in the world to innocent creatures, then why should I expect anything better for myself?

These dark thoughts and hopeless feelings spiraled deeper and deeper until one day I just fell apart.

Something someone had done had triggered me into a depressive episode. And even after the misunderstanding had been rectified, I found myself still endlessly crying and crawling in my skin…

It was as if a lifetime’s worth of pain and suffering were flooding out of me dis-proportunately to the actual situation at hand.

…But I had also recently learned that I’m an emotional authority according to Human Design – Meaning that I always go through periodic mood swings… So I decided to just go with it!

Rather than trying to make myself feel better by stuffing the feelings back down, I instead recognized that eventually the feelings would pass – So why not let this be a big shadow work session where I get to release as much as possible?

I mindfully made a ritual out of feeling depressed. I gave myself permission to indulge in the wallowing of my sadness. I lit a candle, sat in the bath and played sad music from my teen years as I poured my heart and soul out into the Water through my tears.

You know that thing we always hear from meditation gurus…

That the goal of mindfulness is to become the “conscious, objective observer” of our human thoughts and feelings?

Well that thing happened.

It’s like one part of me was 100% in the throws of an emotional tantrum, while the other part of me was 100% aware that this pain wasn’t my identity – This was just a shamanic ritual facilitated and curated by my Higher Self to purge out old energy. This was a temporary re-living of every past trauma in a chain of memories so that I could find closure and step into a new reality free from these chains.

And when I got to the bottom, I found at the very core of my being a genuine and unconditional spark of hope and love. I remembered that all these layers of trauma that I’d come to identify with were not my true identity, but a dense network of conditioning. I recalled that my true identity is of someone who is always divinely protected and blessed by the Universe.

The circumstances I’d been experiencing were just a culmination of unwanted manifestations from years of living out of alignment with my core being – That and the inevitable chaos which ensues when we finally set standards that don’t resonate with our current reality. In order to manifest the life we want, we have to be willing to give up the life we have. And during the transition, that can look and feel a whole lot like the end of the world.

So I decided that even though there might still be some more muck to get through, I would start living in alignment with my truth in earnest from then on – Knowing eventually things would be better.

Rather than continuing to fight with the Earth Element (focusing on the apparent lack of tangible resources) I gave myself permission to temporarily shift my focus to abundance of the Element of Spirit.

Pack Clouds Away And Welcome Day By Edward Robert Hughes

The four cardinal Elements (Earth, Air, Fire and Water) are merely the tools of the overarching Spirit.

I knew that any apparent blockage of a cardinal Element (or blockage in any area of 3D reality) was merely the reflection of a deeper soul wound.

I knew that no amount of hustling to “fix” the external problem would work until I went within to heal the source.

I realized that I was experiencing an existential crisis, and that I needed to reestablish faith in the Universe, in my intuition and in my own sense of self worth. I returned to some of the simple things that had made me feel a sense of purpose, peace and fulfillment earlier in my spiritual journey – Art, journaling, poetry, yoga, meditation, shadow work, nature and the observance of the changing seasons.

And I leaned further into the relationships in my life that were truly aligned and fulfilling – Which naturally attracted more and more aligned connections.

And now, I look back and am actually immensely grateful for that extremely dark phase of my journey. I see now that as horrible is it all felt, it was necessary for me to shed away the baggage of all my past disappointments so that I could make room in my energy field for the good things I really deserved.

By building up evidence that my intuition really does always know best, I’ve become unshakably confident in my inner guidance system, even when outside circumstances seem to suck. I’ve remembered that I Am God, and that Life is happening for me, rather than to me.

Five Elements And Pentagram

And once I’d gotten my footing with the Spirit element, it became easier to deal with the inevitable ups and downs of manifesting with the cardinal Elements. Some apparent challenges simply began to melt away, while others have been a more gradual healing process.

But rather than letting these apparent setbacks spiral me into a pattern of existentialism or low self worth, I’ve gotten better and better at not letting them get to me. Instead, I’ve learned to see all apparent challenges not as obstacles but as opportunities for growth – To prove to myself all the more that my core self is un-fuck-with-able, unbothered and unapologetic about my values and desires.

I’ve also learned to incorporate more humor into my spiritual path.

Just because life is a matter of “life and death” doesn’t mean everything has to be so serious all the time!

Life is a game, and I want to actually have fun playing it!

I even made up a funny mantra for when an external trigger rears it’s ugly head:

A single shit I do not give

Nor a flying fuck!

I live the live I love to live

And right along I chuck!

This helps me keep my vibration high even when I encounter something that would have deeply triggered a past version of me. It allows me to either deal with the issue without letting it dictate how I feel about myself – Or to realize there’s nothing that really even needs to be “dealt with.” To quote Fight Club, I’ve learned how to “let that which does not matter truly slide.”

And in many cases, that also means continuing to give compassion to a world issue without taking it on as my own sole responsibility to fix. I’m now able to truly focus on my authentic zone of genius and really maximize my impact, rather than being a jack of all trades, master of none.

Afura in Autumn

I’m able to say “yes” when I mean “yes,” and “no” when I mean “no.” That’s to people, opportunities, media influences, and even my own Ego when it invites me to head back down an old negative neural pathway.

I’ve learned the difference between proactive and reactive self help. And I can now discern between which triggers deserve a full shadow work rabbit hole, and which to just acknowledge, send love to and move on with my other plans for the day.

One of my most empowering ways to interrupt old patterns is through the use of the Air Element. As The Writing Witch, I know first hand that our predominant thoughts and the choice of language we use to describe our lives are some of the most powerful “spells” we can cast upon ourselves.

While I 100% condone venting out your negative emotions in your journal (which is a lot of what was going on in my August 2020 junk journal) it’s just as important to let that go afterward and begin to also write and speak affirmatively about ourselves and our desires.

If we want to things to change in our lives, we must commit to up-leveling our communication with the Universe, with ourselves and with the world.

In the responses to my email where I asked what you need most right now, I noticed a lot of “negative” language. Like “what I need most is NOT to have so much inner turmoil.” Rather than, “what I need most IS inner peace.” There were emails with a laundry list of what they DON’T need, with no affirmative statements of what they DO need.

I know first hand that sometimes when we’re in the thick of a dark night of the soul, it seems nearly impossible to see through the fog. But its SO important that we claim our actual desires, because the Universe doesn’t know the difference between “likes” and “dislikes.” All it knows is to send you more of what you’re focusing on MOST. This is why in upcoming content I’m going to be diving deeper on this subject of word magick.

One of the most helpful witchy practices that helped me shift from hot mess to grateful and blessed has been my habit of regularly responding to prompts related to the seasons, moon phases and elements. And even now that my life is filled with abundant blessings, I still keep the energy going and growing by continuing this practice.

That’s why this summer, around the two year anniversary of rediscovering my path of seasonal journaling, I’ve been inspired to restructure my Patreon to be centered around journal prompts and community discussion prompts. Now, every tier on my Patreon includes discussion prompts, some of which you can even participate in without a paid membership.

But if you want to get the most out of this practice (either in your journal, or just through community discussion) then I’d love to invite you to join our seasonal living challenge!

Every season, we’ll be holding a challenge for the five weeks surrounding each of the eight sabbats on the Wheel Of The Year! These challenges are for the Grimoire Goodies tier, the Magickal Mavens tier and the Manifestation Magicians tiers only.

Every Wednesday for five weeks per sabbat season, I’ll be posting a prompt to help you maximize your fulfillment by harnessing the themes of the sabbat.

Patrons who post a thoughtful response to every discussion prompt this season will be entered to win a prizes! First prize will be a Tarot reading from me for the season ahead. The first prize winner and two runners up will be sent a package of journaling goodies from my shop! Winners will be selected randomly.

August's Eve / Lammas / Lughnasadh Printable Journal Prompt Pages For Your Grimoire Or Book Of Shadows
August’s Eve / Lammas / Lughnasadh Printable Journal Prompt Pages For Your Grimoire Or Book Of Shadows

The challenge prompts I’ll be posting are similar to the prompts included in my printable journaling pages. I of course also invite you to write longer and more personal responses in your grimoire, and share your biggest takeaways on the challenge posts if you’d like. (Patrons in eligible tiers will begin receiving access to the seasonal printbles after their first donation is received).

I’ll also be sending out an email to eligible tiers for each week of the challenge as a reminder to pop in and share your responses!I’m so exited to get to know you better as we share our experiences with the seasons! See you there!

And may we all have a blessed August’s Eve season. For more on the themes of this season, I invite you to check out this video right here.

Until next time, blessed be.

Afura Signature

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Looking for more August’s Eve vibes?

Here is another episode you may enjoy:

Lammas / Lughnasadh / August's Eve (The First Harvest) journal prompts for your grimoire.

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