The void phase is a state of nothingness; a visceral experience of being without form, belonging to no time or location. It can also be experienced as a state of consciousness which we feel pulled or drawn into at pivotal moments of our spiritual development.
In this post I want to talk about the void stage of spiritual awakening, often associated with the ‘hermit’ or ‘limbo’ phases.
This is a period on our spiritual awakening journey where we experience this nothingness, or where we come to a point of extreme stillness.
How can we navigate a phase like this and reconnect with our inner guidance and the world around us?
Spiritual void symptoms
The spiritual void during awakening could be compared to the hermit, limbo or dark night of the soul phases. However there are some key differences depending on how you interpret these terms.
Here’s how I differentiate them:
With the hermit phase there is a distinct pull inward, to be solitary and dive into metaphysical study. However this isn’t usually accompanied by the same sense of deep empty or nothingness.
During the limbo phase we can feel neither here nor there, uncertain of what to do next and feeling disoriented. However during this phase there are usually more noticeable ups and downs, your energy is being pulled back and forth.
With the dark night of the soul we might feel deeply disconnected and uncertain, but the dark night usually has a very dark emotional tone, comparable to a ‘spiritual depression’.
The void is accompanied by emptiness rather than fluctuating emotions negative or positive. There is just a nothingness.
Things feel stationary
The most obvious sign that we are experiencing the void is that everything feels stationary. We might have been having uplifting metaphysical experiences, deep meditations full of insight and felt strongly connected to our spiritual guidance, but suddenly it all stops. This can come abruptly all at once or gradually over time.
This can be unsettling because we might mistake it for a dulling of our psychic senses. We might believe we have done something wrong during our spiritual development or that we aren’t going to feel connected again.
You’ll notice a similar stillness in your outer life too; plans that were moving forward without a problem suddenly fall through unexpectedly, the momentum we’ve built towards specific goals comes to a halt.
You receive less spiritual guidance
When we work on developing ourselves spiritually there is an expectation that we will always be receiving new insights. We experience signs and synchronicities in abundance at the start of a spiritual awakening (which can even become overwhelming) and it’s easy to think that things will always remain at this level.
You feel a lack of connection
Along with a lack of spiritual guidance we can also experience disconnection in other areas. We might feel disconnected from ourselves, family and friends or the world at large. This is less a sense of loneliness or isolation, and more so the feeling that you cannot place yourself within the world.
You dream less
A striking symptom of the spiritual void is that you dream a lot less or even never (at least it seems that way), this is particularly noticeable if you were a frequent lucid dreamer.
This happens when we are doing deeper work in the sleep state. Often when we get to a deeper level of dream work or lucid dreaming, our dreams start to take on a more abstract or fluid form. We’re not always dreaming within a 3D construct or environment, dreams are more conceptual in nature.
You feel a call to go inward
This is distinct from the pull to go inwards during the hermit phase because it’s less about needing to spend time alone in solitude. Instead we are called to let go and connect with our feminine energy – to look inward. To observe what guidance can come through even when there are no noticeable signs, to deeply trust ourselves even when we feel lost.
How to get out of the spiritual void
This phase is closely linked with ascension, which is the stripping away of our ‘old’ or ego self in order to welcome something new. During an awakening we are confronted with the flimsy nature of our beliefs, thought patterns, egoistic structures etc. Where we have mistaken the ego for who we are it takes a lot of time to readjust and find our footing again.
Focus on continuing to ground your energy and maintain your existing physical rituals. Focus on how it feels to do something physically rather than the spiritual insights or guidance you are gaining. Meditate without a goal. Partake in movement (for example yoga) and just pay attention to the physical sensations.
Brain dump. Get a piece of paper and just write the words and phrases that come to mind, without them needing to come from some deeper intuitive place. What are you doing, what do you feel, what do you want to do, and so on. Allow these mundane musings to hold a life of their own.
Connect with people who you can be comfortable with in silence. When we are going through this phase lengthy conversation often doesn’t feel necessary, we can reconnect through just being in someone’s space, hugging, through touch etc.
How long does the spiritual void last?
The spiritual void happens when we dissolve aspects of ego – which relate to our identity.
The void phase encourages us to get in touch with our feminine energy, where we can find peace in this space of ‘no thing’. We aren’t attached to our identity or location for the moment, and can simply just be.
If we continue to practice our usual rituals and trust that guidance will eventually come through, this phase can be over much quicker.
I believe there are larger and smaller phases of each spiritual awakening stage. What I mean by this is that we will go through lengthier periods of the dark night of the soul, hermit phase etc. but also more subtle versions of these same experiences. This is so that we can come back to old lessons and properly integrate them. We start to embody abstract spiritual concepts in our daily lives and our physical bodies.
These longer phases tend to last for months even years, while the shorter phases can come and go within weeks or months.
This phase usually occurs much further into our spiritual awakening journey, where we’ve had a long period of deep connection and feel solidified in our daily routines.
This can throw people off in a big way because their ego is likely to be the most rattled at this stage. We feel a definite sense of security and that is quickly pulled away. There is less to be certain about and hold onto, we have to cultivate much deeper levels of faith. Where we mistakenly thought our ego had vanished or had been gotten rid of ‘completely’, receiving a reality check.
My experience with the void
We can talk about the void as a phase of embodying nothingness but we can also talk about the void as a construct or level of consciousness which we feel our awareness pulled into at specific moments.
My first experience with the void was back in 2018. My grandmother was severely ill and only had a few months to live. One day after coming back from visiting her I was sitting on the couch in a state of deep sadness but also tangible depression. I was allowing myself to feel these things but also observing them from a distance.
Suddenly it was as if I was looking at these emotions from some other vantage point and they took on the form of a black hole. Immediately I felt my awareness fly through this black hole and out the other side, just like an out of body experience, and I came back to the couch.
My next experience with the void is more recent and took on a phase as I describe here rather than a singular experience.
One of the things I do each day is write, even just a few hundred words. A lot of my writing (perhaps all in some fashion) pulls from my spiritual practice. I noticed that I was writing less and less. Internally I felt less and less guidance coming through, less ‘insights’.
I can’t say it wasn’t unsettling because it absolutely was, but I also kept in mind that if this was happening it was for good reason.
When going through the void phase it’s important to focus on what you do know, where you can stay grounded and noticing the much more subtle ways your intuition might be coming through.
Know that this is a phase and that it will pass. Releasing aspects of the ego is a great pain on many levels because we can be so deeply attached to it. But once we are through it, we will find there are more expansive ways to perceive ourselves and move through the world.
Continue with your usual practices even if they aren’t reaping the same ‘rewards’. Embrace periods where nothing is coming up and get into observation mode instead.