The 10 Stages Of A Spiritual Awakening & How To Navigate Your Spiritual Journey

Everyone’s spiritual journey is unique, but there are some commonalities. Namely, the stages of a spiritual awakening. Here’s what you need to know!

You’re not going crazy, you’re just waking up! That’s been my favorite quote around the overwhelming feeling of a Spiritual Awakening. And as I work with more and more people, trying to bring them awareness and provide the tools that would help towards the journey, I’m noticing a pattern. There are actual stages to all of this. Stages of a spiritual awakening!

There seems to be a sophisticated awakening process that the universe follows, to navigate us from the state of autopilot living to conscious living. But wait, let’s take a step back.

What even is a spiritual awakening? And is it the same as being ‘enlightened’?

A spiritual awakening is like an AHA moment, where you finally begin to see the limiting ways of the human mind and human life. All the while realizing how much more expansive and powerful we are. And that there’s much more happening behind the scenes, in the ‘spiritual realms’ than you had realized!

You literally “wake up” to seeing and experiencing life through a much bigger and wider lens.

magic, spiritual awakening stages, enlightenment, spiritual journey

Enlightenment? Well, I’m not there yet so I can’t really talk about the experience of it from a personal reference. But what I understand it to be, is finally realizing that not only are we really more powerful and more expansive, we are infinite.

And then being able to carry forward that realization as a lived experience, is what an enlightened person would do. Now that would be something!

While our journeys to this sense of infinitude are unique, and the catalysts for our growth differ per our soul contracts, here are my observations of what the various stages of spiritual growth encompass.

I hope that this resource will help you understand how to start, or even how to continue your spiritual journey. I get how confusing it can be when you’re first having spiritual experiences and through this guide, it’s my intention to give you some grounded examples of what to expect.

Stage 1 – The Dark Night of the Soul

This is the precursor. Every single person I’ve spoken to so far, has told me similar stories :

  • “I felt like going to a psychologist”,
  • “People asked me if I’m in depression”,
  • “I was having an existential crisis”,
  • “Life feels shallow or meaningless now”,
  • And so on…

The Dark Night of the Soul is a period when your vision of how life should be begins to shatter. It might occur after the death of a loved one, a huge tragedy or trauma that hits you at a deeper, subconscious level.

I also love what one of my beautiful subscribers, Chelsey recently shared with me, about how her dark night felt different from depression, because unlike depression, this time, she was able to still get things done. And yet, she felt dark clouds and lots of heaviness leading up to the awakening.

depression, sad, anxiety, dark night of the soul, stages of a spiritual awakening

Or in some cases, it could arise for no specific reason at all. As was my case. For me, everything felt perfect. Until it was not. Here’s my story, written from back in the day.

The dark night of the soul can last for months, or for some people, spread across years. There’s good news of course, and all this perseverance adds up to something, which you discover eventually! Which brings us to the next stage.

Stage 2 – A Ray Of Hope

Somehow, you keep going. You don’t want to give up, maybe just not yet. And finally, one day, there’s a breakthrough.

This marks the before and after of your life. The movement from autopilot to conscious living.
Hands, Open, Candle, Candlelight, Prayer, Hope, Faith, Sunshine

For me, it started with a deep sense of fulfillment that came from chanting OM during my meditation practice. And then finally, when I looked into the meaning of seeing 11:11 on the clock, it all added up!

You might search “am I going crazy?” one day and find spiritual awakening as your search result. Or you could stumble upon a book like A New Earth that sets things into motion for you.

Whatever is your soul’s choice of weapon, as soon as it happens, it is certain to instantly relieve you of that initial heaviness and discomfort. And even though you don’t have all the questions answered yet, you’re beginning to believe in the possibility of finding the answers.

Stage 3 – Inquisitiveness

This is where you start binging on information about anything and everything that has to do with spirituality.

Suddenly, you’re eager to know more about what a soul is, the purpose of life is, reincarnation, soul contracts and then some. You may notice yourself reading beyond your own inherited religious texts, diving deeper into the other eastern, western or ancient scriptures.

reading lots of spiritual books is a natural part of the stages of a spiritual awakening,

Personally, despite being from the country of all things spiritual (India), I was gravitating more towards western tools and practical spirituality.

I was more interested in reading books by skeptical psychologists instead of the mystical gurus. It wasn’t until much later that I enjoyed the works of enlightened masters like Osho and Paramhans Yogananda.

There’s nothing wrong with that of course, that was just the path I wanted to take. In contrast, I’ve had many clients talk to me in Vedantic terminology, and that’s just as beautiful.

At this stage of your spiritual awakening, it’s important to just find what works for you to really help build your spiritual muscles. And until you don’t find it, keep looking!

In ancient Hindu scriptures, the path to enlightenment through knowledge, is called jnana yog, and is one of the four paths explained Patanjali.

When my journey began and I reached this stage, I was feverishly reading book after book. After book. This is exactly why I have dozens of recommendations for spiritual books, sprinkled across the blog. Because I became OBSESSED!

How did the obsession with reading taper down? By balancing the Root and Crown Chakras. I don’t want to digress too much here, because the conversation around our energy centres goes way deeper. So if you’re also curious to learn how more about the Chakra System, you can peruse through this 8-part series after you’re done reading this article.

Let’s hop to the next stage now.

Stage 4 – Denial & Inner Conflict

I believe that you swing between Stage 3 and Stage 4 for a while. You want to believe in the existence of something beyond this reality. But the ego mind isn’t able to put 2+2 together yet.

Things that aren’t logical can’t be trusted, right?

And what if it’s all just a bunch of confirmation bias?

Also, am I really spiritual? I mean, I’m always so angry and irritable. I’m losing control of myself. Isn’t that the opposite of being spiritual?

And on go your questions. Don’t let these strange experiences disappoint you or prevent you from progressing on the spiritual awakening journey headfirst! It’s absolutely okay to challenge your faith and this new-found wisdom.

Sometimes you let it in and guide you, sometimes you don’t. In this phase of your spiritual awakening, it can feel like you’re walking through a maze, always being met by surprises and never really sure where you’re going.

different stages of a spiritual awakening, spirituality can feel like walking in a maze

It’s mostly the logical aspects, like metaphysics that begin helping you move past the conflict and denial. Here are some solid books that scientifically-back spirituality, if you are seeking more proof to strengthen your faith.

This is also one of the stages of a spiritual awakening where you feel the most overloaded and overwhelmed. The ego-mind fights against all the unfamiliarity as your charter unseen territory with your spiritual knowledge, and you can feel extremely tired. It’s not pleasant, but it is a part of the package.

We’ll dive deeper into the workings of this ego in just a minute. Lets first talk about the spiritual makeover that many of us experience in this awakening.

Stage 5 – Spiritual Makeover

At some point, you will receive enough signs and divine guidance to know that this isn’t a coincidence anymore. And then, your Spiritual Journey will really kick in.

It’ll be like experiencing a crash course on evolution. Everything happening all at once, being rapidly pushed through a tight tunnel towards a bigger Light.

  • You’ll experience a deep sense of self-awareness arising,
  • The guilt or shock will make you rapidly start re-evaluating and changing behaviors to be in alignment with who you really are,
  • A lot of old preferences and hobbies will shed off, and you’ll gain new interests,
  • You’ll also grow conscious of those around you that are still living on autopilot, and consequently, repel them sometimes,
  • You’ll feel angry and/or sad to see the world as it is,
  • Also, you’ll want to help everyone jump on the spiritual boat but quickly realize that you can’t make other people heal, thus feeling periods of sadness and dejection,
  • You may experience a deeper sense of emotional sensitivity, and find yourself avoiding crowded places to protect your energy.

So on, and so forth. This is perhaps the most visibly revolutionizing stages of a spiritual awakening.

The spiritual community is commonly heard terming the process as a metamorphosis.
a spiritual awakening is like metamorphosis of a butterfly

The journey can truly be seen as though one transforms into a beautiful butterfly, breaking free from the stigmas and old patterns that were holding us back in our cocoon.

Of course, at this point, you’re probably feeling lonelier and distant from people around you, than ever. I know this feeling through-and-through. And so do the dozens of people that help me write this guide.

Trust me, your loved ones might not “get it”, but they do NOT want you to suffer. It took me years to figure that out, and I hope you realize that sooner.

Stage 6 – Spiritual Ego

Well, now that you’ve established you’re spiritual, there’s a subtle sense of pride rising within.

  • You’re rare because you woke up, but not everyone does,
  • You’re better than those that don’t live life consciously,
  • People don’t deserve your attention, ugh!
  • Some people are just so toxic for your divinity,
  • You don’t belong here, you’re actually an old soul that’s just here to help other people,
  • And so on….

You may also experience spiritual bypassing, believing that fear is an illusion and that love and light is all that is, therefore escaping negative emotions or being unwilling to deal with your darkness.

It happens to all of us. And several times. This isn’t a one-time thing, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Like one of my friends in the spiritual writing community says, “it’s difficult not to get cocky sometimes when you’re doing so well”.

Shadow, Healing, Inner Transformation, Ego

I also remember an incident when a guy on LinkedIn that had the title of a Spiritual Coach was belittling me for not being enlightened. It was amusing to see how neither one of us were, but only one of us could see that!

At such a stage, what helps is to build awareness and integrate the ego-mind so that you’re able to see these shadow aspects of yourself with compassion. That’s what we all really need, is to be able to embrace all parts of ourselves, even the ones that we aren’t so proud of. As we do so, our scale doesn’t keep tipping from one side to the other (light to dark, or dark to light, and back again).

We learn to find our inner “tao”, that place of perfect balance which neither puts others on a pedestal nor ourselves.

Of course, learning to witness and balance the ego is a work in progress for many of us, so we must allow ourselves the grace to get there at whatever pace we can. One step at a time. There’s no rush, there’s nowhere we really need to be other than here.

Related: 15 Myths About Spirituality Debunked

For now, let’s talk more about one of the next stages of spiritual awakening.

Stage 7 – Grounding & Getting Serious

Sooner or later, your first reality check hits you. At that point, you understand that you’ve been goofing around and getting this spiritual stuff all wrong.

So far, the journey was on and off, you weren’t committed. But in this and the upcoming stages of a spiritual awakening, you experience yourself getting into a serious relationship with the Universe and its magic. Some people consider this the mysticism phase.

Here are things that you begin to realize:

  • You are fully accountable for clearing out your karmic debts and taking the plunge towards an enlightened existence;
  • The universe is always helping you attain enlightenment, but it is your choice how fast you want to learn the lessons being taught;
  • No one’s journey is better or worse than the other’s;
  • We are all one, merely here to experience our duality and expand the consciousness of existence;
  • Our key objectives are to heal ourselves and help others heal in their journeys;
  • And so on….
As an attempt to ascend faster, you will thus notice a growing inclination towards certain spiritual healing techniques. In all the stages of a spiritual awakening, this one is perhaps the most exciting!

These could include:

  • Energy work such as reiki or pranic healing,
  • Subconscious healing (hypnotherapy, CBT etc),
  • Body healing (yoga, breathe work, ayurveda, etc)
  • Energy body healing by working on your prana or chi,
  • Healing crystals, stones, sage & essential oils,
  • Past of future based work using tarot cards, astrology, etc.

I want to add a caveat here that the stage requires special attention and balancing oneself. Initially, when you get serious, you may notice yourself getting obsessed with spirituality. If left unchecked though, you may develop spiritual vices.

grounding, strength, tarot, healing, stages of a spiritual awakening

Stage 8 – Coming out of the spiritual closet

It surprisingly takes quite long for most of us to begin openly talking about what’s going on internally, with our loved ones. For most people on the spiritual journey, they feel isolated and build their ‘tribe’ outside their original circle. It becomes easier to share the journey with strangers across the world than the person sitting next door.

I’ve met countless friends through Instagram myself! It is reassuring to know that you’re not alone and that there are many others going through the same wave of change.

forest, friends, relationships, stages of a spiritual awakening, heart chakra, nature, grounding

But eventually, as you experience deeper healing and undergo the transformative phases, you learn how to balance your physical and spiritual realities.

You will find yourself more and more comfortable talking about your interests, whether it is meditation or burning sage. This is also the stage where many spiritual aspirants start stepping away from their daily jobs and having serious thoughts about starting their own holistic health professions.

Understanding this need for a community, I’ve been putting together Our Spiritual Shenanigans for all my clients. I want to make sure genuine seekers around the world have access to powerful tools, consistent support, and friendship. That none of us have to do this thing called spirituality, alone anymore!

Stage 9 – Walking your purpose

When the spiritual journey begins, the initial turmoil and helplessness goes away. But for most people, there’s still a feeling like something is missing. I’ve noticed that as soon as you begin realizing how you will be giving back to the world with your own unique skills, the remainder of the missing dots connect for you.

Like Joseph Campbell shares through the Hero’s Journey, you finally come home to your true purpose to protect, heal and help those that are counting on you. I love this video, and find it fitting for our discussion on the different stages of a spiritual awakening. What do you think?

For me, despite the fact that I’ve been passionate about writing all my life, it took me really long to realize that being a spiritual writer is my purpose.

I used to do this more casually, first writing in school magazines and as a ghostwriter. But once my corporate life really began to feel unfulfilling and like I was wasting my time, it forced me to reevaluate the direction I wanted to take my career.

There was a time when I got electrocuted, and had a reality check. The universe really wanted me to write my own book, and fast!

It took a long time to finally make it happen, but when it did, it was the most natural thing to do. That’s when I finally overcame perfectionism, and published my first work about the power of our Spirit Animals here. You can also download a PDF version below.

From being an anonymous writer on Instagram, to starting this blog, and then to publishing a book, I worked through a lot of self-limiting beliefs.

I worked through a series of self-reflecting questions to arrive at the conclusion, over and over again. I’ve now converted that into a step-by-step guide on how you can gain more clarity about your life purpose too.

Amongst the many stages of a spiritual awakening, this one can bring a momentous shift in your reality. It can also bring a lot of confusion.

Some people might find themselves conflicted and uncertain of what to do in order to step away from the cliche 9 to 5 job, and into their purpose. In contrast, some people find it hard to quit their job despite wanting to.

Again, all this confusion is a part of the process. The only thing that can help you out of this confusion is allowing yourself to be the Universe’s conduit, and show up every day to be of service to the community.

Stage 10 – Mastering Spiritual Lessons

This is where old patterns begin to resurface. It can almost feel like once again, you’re becoming “un-spiritual”, and you might feel like you’ve disconnected from the Universe.

And it’s an unpleasant feeling to have at this stage because as you walk into your purpose, you almost want to feel like a Buddha. Serene, calm, with everything effortlessly under control. But if you look deeper, something magical is happening.

the spiritual journey is like a lotus that surfaces and blossoms in the mud

I loved this beautiful post on Instagram by Joy, which perfectly explains this situation. Quoting her, she says, “if you’re revisiting a challenge [Spiritual lesson] at this time, step back and notice if it feels different. Is the lesson more isolated, focused on a single aspect?”.

Life brings forth the lessons we seemingly overcame a long time ago, but it isn’t to remind us of our failure. It’s to help us clean our act in a deeper, more refined way.

Currently, anger and compassion are two lessons I’m struggling to work on this year. But I’ve got this! And so do you. So just keep going! πŸ™‚

Wait…what about enlightenment?

Maybe this is an unpopular opinion, but I believe that enlightenment isn’t a destination, nor the ‘end goal’ of these stages. It’s a way of being, a state of existence and it comes and goes in between these stages. How?

This journey isn’t about being perfectly happy around the clock of course. But it’s about being able to rise above the nuances and stay in the flow of life. To surrender and have lesser and lesser personal preferences. And as a consequence, you become naturally more joyous.

If you’ve been on the journey for at least a few stages of spiritual awakening, you’ll agree with me on this. Sometimes you experience bliss, feelings of ego-death, and absolute calm. And most of the other times, you’re fighting between the two – ego versus soul.

But the journey is about taking one conscious decision at a time to pick the soul’s subtleness over the ego’s drama.

Concluding Thoughts

The initial stages of a spiritual awakening are somewhat in-order but the latter come and go several times. Especially the spiritual ego, always followed by a reality check, which spiral around each other like yin and yang.

The journey is exciting, strange and mystical. But more importantly, it is unique to your soul’s evolution. So make the most of it. Let yourself shine through and through. And let me know if you need my help, I’m just an email away. πŸ™‚


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10 Stages of a Spiritual Awakening

37 thoughts on “The 10 Stages Of A Spiritual Awakening & How To Navigate Your Spiritual Journey”

  1. Thank you so much this was very insightful and helpful too me at this time. Describing the most part of my journey perfectly. I actually currently sit here while I try too fill my time. Ive recently left Social Media and am fast becoming too realise that it took up a huge part of not just my mind but my day. My thought process. I feel your website has gave me a nice wee starting point on my future endeavours, i feel almost supported and encouraged even though these passages were in no means wrote for me. Meant for me, obviously but anyway. Yeah amazing thank you.

    1. So amazing to hear that, Jade! I am happy that the blog holds you with love and light, encouraging you to keep going on your journey… that has always been the intention and will always be my hopes for whatever other materials are shared through this space πŸ™‚ Happy healing, dear one!

  2. I loved reading this article. Completely relatable. Best part is that how you have expressed it so well. Keep doing this work selflessly .
    Love ❀

  3. Very delighted to know your spiritual experiences.I started this journey in uttar distressing period and jumped in the lap of Almighty within no time.It was only through reciting guruvani with love and devotion.I surrendered myself to the will of God and accepted all the sufferings as will of God. I feel blessed and satisfied by surrendering and accepting whatever He bestowed me. This is very easy way to meet Him. He raises our kundalini from root chakra to crown within seconds,if we obey His rules. Thanks once again for being my spiritual mate and guide.

  4. Thank you for this post! It was full of great information. πŸ™‚ I have been on the awakening path for quite a while, it started around 2014 for me, and I feel like I am in the stages of 7-10 like a rollercoaster..:D And I realized something through this post that I have been thinking about so much… I’ve been wondering that is my inner voices from the soul or from the ego and your words of the ”ego’s drama” answered my question: its definitely the ego whenever its dramatic and makes me feel worried and terrible about my life..! Thank you!!! <3

    1. Aw, that is so awesome to hear Maija! And absolutely – the soul has such a subtle, non-judging presence. If you’re not at peace, it’s the egomind at play. No two doubts! I have a few posts dedicated to the ego mind, you may like searching for those and reading about them too πŸ™‚

  5. I came across this writing of yours when I am going through a similar process in my life. There’s expansiveness one moment and the next moment my ego is fighting hard. There’s conflict and utter dissatisfaction. Then when you move away from the sense of, “I” there’s unspeakable joy. However, I just can’t understand how to find the thin line between accepting the situation and changing it. I have a 9 to 5 job and it has really got intolerable. I crave for investigations and learning more about the nature of consciousness 24*7 and want to be highly creative but gotta do job for another 6 months. Don’t know how to keep on accepting because acceptance is very conceptual in this scenario. Don’t know when will I be out of this conflict of ecstasy and existential crisis.

    1. Hey Aditi, I hear you!

      What you said was exactly my challenge a few years back. It took me months to understand what to do with my career and once my karmic debt was paid, and I had continued healing, I was able to move out of the corporate and become a full-time writer and spiritual coach πŸ™‚
      If you feel called to, I would be happy to connect with you and walk you through some ways to overcome this time. Feel free to get in touch here –

      Love & Light,
      V πŸ™‚

    2. Im not sure on wheather you got my last comment, do you have Instagram?
      I went through exactly that, spent about 1 and a half years collectively on separate occasions in hospital. Always had an interest in spirituality ever since I was 8 im 27 now.

      I was reading up on akeshi records higher consciousness is that always attainable or just something that is gifted by the gods when nessacary? Im on meds that limit my sensitivity and frequencies most of the year about from winter spring and sometimes summer my senses heighten, im schzioaffective which might explain, but if you could alaberate on these topics it be appreciated.

      Also is kundalini awakening the same as an actual awakening or are they two separate things in the same process or the same thing?



  6. The entire post is amazing but what stood out the most for me is the last sentence, “And let me know if you need my help, I’m just an email away. πŸ™‚”

    I’ve seen only a miniscule of people say that and out of those only a few Actually take the time to connect. Most of them just leave it to the bots or for following or booking a session. While all that is not a bad thing but it just seems that they’re in an inaccessible bubble.

    I’m very happy to see you enjoy writing and make more grounding and natural connections. May you always keep inspiring and guiding others.

    To my most human MSS blogger.

    P.s. One time read is not enough. Whenever I get back to these posts I always find something new to reflect on πŸ™‚

  7. Growing and evolving in our relationship with God is a wonderful transformation. However, I was so focused on the “quest/pilgrimmage/journey” that I was always looking for signs and messages from the spirit world instead of just having faith in God. A very bad spirit took advantage of this mis-step of mine, and used everything from animals to numbers to dreams to lure me in. Once he had my attention with these seemingly harmless things, the road progressively got more and more dark. Asking Jesus for help was what saved me.

    1. Beth, thank you for sharing your own journey regarding spiritual attacks. I recently became a Christian right after my spiritual awakening. I am grateful that my awakening and path lead me to Jesus πŸ™. What you wrote about… I can relate!

  8. I dont know if i would be able to keep myself in any of the stages but if i have to, i would say 3. I feel uncomfortable of talking about stage of no thoughts, coz once i am there it is scary for good 1-2 minutes. Unable to understand it. Has it happened to you? Being in no thought position and feeling what to do now?

    1. Hi Surendra – the reason we find the stage of no thoughts scary initially is because we aren’t used to this much quietude in the mind. When we begin to observe divinity around us AND within us, this quietude becomes more natural. Let the journey take you wherever it needs to, and don’t be scared – fear is an emotion just like happiness and it isn’t meant to be escaped from. Merely transcended! πŸ™‚

      1. Do you have an insta page? I thought your article was the closest thing I read to what I’ve experienced from my early 20’s to now im 27. Marvelous read!


      2. Thank you Marcus! I do have an Instagram page by the same name and you’re welcome to DM there. Or you can use the contact page to send me an email to get in touch! Many blessings dear one πŸ™‚

  9. I’ve kept my spiritual journey to myself and find when I leave the house I have to consciously try not to smile all the time because I’m sure others think I’ve lost my mind! I’ve gone from being deeply depressed and pretending to be happy to the opposite. I’m just so grateful! Very happy to be able to share this! Thank you!

  10. Beautiful post. Sums up the entire spiritual journey and reading about it makes me excited.
    Earth is truly like a roller-coaster playfield where each character learns their lessons and keeps levelling up. There’s always more to seek and learn, even when we think we have seen it all and it always gets more amazing!

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