Spiritual awakenings are often depicted as calm, fun loving times where all of the angels, guides and spiritual protectors come out to help you, but…that’s often far from the truth.

It can stir up unusual, intense feelings, cause sporadic thought patterns and even cause you to question, ‘is it normal for feeling like this?’ The spiritual awakening process is more of a transformation, from the dark to the light.

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This in-depth guide to spiritual awakenings identifies the 19 major symptoms of a spiritual awakening, and aims to guide you through the whole process so you’re not left in the ‘dark’. (Literally.)

In this post, you will find everything you need to know about the spiritual transformation process.

What is a Spiritual Awakening?

In simple terms, a spiritual awakening marks the beginning of your spiritual journey. It is effectively stage 1 of your journey (more on this later).

They can be triggered by traumatic life events, and often happen at the most unexpected times, but one thing you should know, they will always happen when you need them most.

There’s no way to know when one is coming, and there’s no way to prepare for them either.

They effectively shake up your life, and leave you in the dark. Yet, at the same time, transform you from the caterpillar into the butterfly.

Why do we have them? Spiritual awakenings help you to see beyond the illusions and conventional fabric of society, and instead helps you to transition into your ‘true’ life, the life you were meant to live from birth; a life full of true abundance, prosperity and happiness.

Consider a spiritual awakening as a major wake-up call from the universe.

What are the Symptoms of a Spiritual Awakening?

There are MANY spiritual awakening symptoms (more than 19!), but having studied other people’s awakenings (coupled with my own experience), I’ve listed 19 major, common symptoms to watch out for.

19 Major Signs you’re going through a Deep Spiritual Awakening;

1. You’ve lost interest in things that once brought you happiness and joy

2. You feel completely lost, and as though you have no direction

3. You experience a rollercoaster of emotions regularly

4. You feel as though life around you is fake

5. You seek more meaning and purpose in life

6. You see past the masks of other people, and see how unhappy they are

7. You feel like a ‘misfit’, or someone who doesn’t belong here

8. You are an intense dreamer, creative and visionary and want to make the world a better place

9. You ask deep, thought provoking questions

10. You’ve cut off people who no longer support your higher purpose

11. You see beyond the illusions of society, man’s creation

12. You crave more alone time

13. You feel drawn to help animals, mother nature or those in need even if you’re not sure how or why yet

14. Regular conversations and small talk seem shallow to you

15. You’re desperate to understand who you truly are

16. You notice an inner struggle between what ego wants you to do versus what your creative higher self craves

17. Patterns & synchronicities emerge

18. You begin to forgive those who’ve caused you hurt, pain or grief

19. You realise you’re the creator of your life, and take more responsibility for your decisions and actions.

Books I highly recommend checking out to help you through your spiritual awakening;

Living With Joy; Keys to Personal Power & Spiritual Transformation by Sanaya Roman

Spiritual Growth: Being Your Higher Self by Sanaya Roman

The Leap; The Psychology of Spiritual Awakenings by Eckhart Tolle

Creating Money; Attracting Abundance by Sanaya Roman

Let’s take a deep dive into each of the symptoms;

1. You’ve lost interest in things that once brought you happiness and joy

As a part of the shedding process, you might find that things that once brought you happiness and joy no longer do.

This might seem extremely alarming, but it simply means that the old fabric of your conditioned mind is being questioned.

But, don’t worry, this does not mean you won’t find joy in that activity again. It’s a temporary shift in energy whilst you’re going through the awakening process.

2. You feel completely lost, and feel as though you have no direction

Life may feel empty to you, and as though nothing truly makes sense anymore. Even if you once had direction, you now feel as though you don’t.

You may feel as though you’re wandering through life, with no real direction. This can be a trigger for the awakening in itself.

3. You regularly experience a roller coaster of emotions

Just like the natural rhythms of the Earth, your energy levels will ebb and flow. One moment you’ll be in a low mood, then experience a short burst of high energy, then be in a low mood again.

As you’re going through the awakening stages (listed below), you might find yourself dealing with more low energy than high.

This can be incredibly intense, and cause you to question whether you need psychological help. Unless this is a long term condition (e.g. 12 months+) or you’ve been previously diagnosed with a mental health condition, this lack of positive energy is surprisingly normal.

4. You feel as though life around you is fake

You come to the realisation that what you’ve been taught, believed in or built seems to be false. You’ll recognise this falseness in society too.

You might start to see yourself in past situations where you had to sacrifice your true self to fit in, and now despise it. 

5. You seek more meaning and purpose in life

You have a deep knowing that something’s missing in your life, but you’re not sure what it is yet. You crave to live a life of purpose, and have a deep yearning to find meaning in life.

You might even feel frustrated that you haven’t figured it out yet. You have many ideas swirling in your head, some of which will help you to become free, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.

These might include starting a business, finding a new career path or even fantasising about going on a spiritual journey (e.g. travelling to a Buddhist monastery, going to a Holy Mountain etc).

6. You see past the masks of other people, and see how unhappy they are

As you become more aware of yourself and more sensitive to emotions, you notice how unhappy others are even when they’re wearing their ‘happy’ mask.

You start to become more aware and affected by the pain and suffering of others.

Your empathy and compassion heightens as a result. You might be a HSP, a highly sensitive person.

7. You feel out of place, a ‘misfit’, someone who doesn’t belong on this planet

This is extremely common during stage 1 of the awakening transformation, and often starts at a young age. You might struggle to relate to those closest to you, prefer older company, or feel as though no-one understands the way you think.

In essence, you feel like a misfit, as though you don’t belong here.

I recommend looking up ‘starseeds’ if you’re interested in learning more about souls originating from other planets. You might even be attracted to an era long gone.

8. You are an intense dreamer, creative and visionary and want to make the world a better place

Forget diamonds, imagination is your best friend. You have grand, large scale visions of making the world a better place. These visions often don’t revolve around monetary gain, but rather social impact.

But at the same time, you wonder if these visions are even possible. The suffering in the world weighs you down and drains your energy.

You turn off TV programmes or the news when it’s too negative. You wonder if anyone else cares about the suffering in the world like you do.

You might even feel bitter or angry towards others for not caring. You decide to make more ethical, environmentally choices in your life.

9. You ask deep, thought provoking questions

You’re not satisfied with ‘that’s just the way the world works’. You can see beyond that narrow thinking.

You start to ask deep philosophical questions such as ‘Why are we here?’, ‘what is the purpose of our existence?’. You become a truth and knowledge seeker.

10. You cut off people who no longer support your higher purpose

You realise you feel even more alone with the people who currently surround you. When you look at the people in your circle, you might realise you actually share little in common, and whilst difference can be a good thing, you feel less of a connection with them.

You also recognise toxic people in your life and now want to cut them out of your life. You dream of attracting your true tribe, finding like-minded people. 

11. You see beyond the illusions of society

You see the bigger picture in life. You question the structure and fabric of society as a whole, and start to see the bigger picture in life.

You’re starting to realise the nitty gritty details don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

Even though you worked extremely hard for that degree, or spent years training, climbing the ranks means nothing to you anymore. You are seeking deeper fulfilment in life. 

12. You crave more alone time

You crave solitude and time alone. Even if you consider yourself extroverted, and highly social, you now desire to be alone. You might also experiment with meditation.

13. You feel drawn to helping nature/animals or the environment

With a deep sense of compassion and empathy, you want to leave the world a better place. You actively seek a life that allows you to help others, even if it’s not for monetary gain.

You feel an amazing connection to the natural world. You might be drawn to practice herbalism, shamanism or green magic.

14. Regular conversations and small talk seem shallow to you

You feel as though there’s a deep separation when you talk to other people. You prefer to discuss goals, emotions, big visions and dreams, but no-one quite seems to understand.

Small talk seems to drain you of your energy, and you long for deep, meaningful conversations.

15. You are desperate to understand who you truly are

‘Why am I here?’ ‘What am I born to do?’ ‘What are my skills, gifts and innate talents? You read many books, articles, and personal development texts hoping to find the answer.

You might even become interested in astrology, birth charts and tarot readings as a way of deepening your understanding. 

16. You notice an inner struggle between what ego wants you to do versus what your creative higher self craves

This is a more advanced symptom, most likely occurring between stages 5 and 6. As you begin to breakthrough the old, and make way for the new, you might face an internal battle between your ego and your higher self.

This is a play-fight between your ego, the part of you that wants to cling onto ideas and habits that only attract more of what you’ve got, or attract things which are not in your highest interest (e.g. seeking external praise from others), and your higher self, the part of you that’s connected to source, to your soul.

Your higher self will attract passions, purpose and natural abundance effortlessly. This internal struggle may cause you to lack the ability to make a decision, flip flop between choices and cause confusion.

17. Patterns & synchronicities start to emerge

You start seeing repeating numbers, symbols and even common manifestation signs which hold deeper meanings e.g. a crow in your backyard (an animal totem).

Every time you look at the clock, you see the same numbers repeated. You become interested in numerology and do lots of research.

18. You forgive those who have hurt you or caused you grief and pain

You come to terms with bad past experiences, no matter how traumatic they were. You realise that you’re hurting yourself more by harbouring feelings of hate, anger and resentment.

You might feel inclined to do inner shadow work or inner child work to heal painful memories. Through forgiveness, you learn to move on.

19. You realise you’re the creator of your life and take more responsibility

You come to the realisation that you are indeed the creator of your life. You attract your experiences through your belief systems, thoughts and energy. You take more responsibility for your actions and decisions. You realise you, and you alone can change your life.

Are there any Physical Spiritual Awakening Symptoms?

Surprisingly yes! Although not everyone experiences them. If you’re a HSP, a highly sensitive person, you’re more likely to experience these alongside the more traditional symptoms.

1. Increased intuition – gut feelings in the pit of your stomach, a deep sense of knowing without physical evidence that something’s not right, a deep fight or flight, flee response to ‘dangerous’ situations.

2. Increased sensitivity (HSP) – better hearing, eyesight, smell etc. You might discover ‘new’ food intolerances or food sensitivity. You start to change your diet and eat more natural, raw foods.

3. Personality change – you might find you become less tolerant around certain qualities you see in other people and are selective about who you let into your circle

4. Intense Dreams – Vivid dreams with cryptic messages and signs as your subconscious reprograms old belief systems and tries to make sense of the new

5. Intense energy fluctuations – Riding an emotional roller coaster, and feeling short-lived bursts of energy followed by long lasting low energy periods.

6. Changed eating habits – You might suddenly feel the urge to eat less or more. You might feel the need to become a vegetarian or vegan, especially if you feel more drawn to environmental causes and the natural world.

What is the Purpose of A Spiritual Awakening?

The jury’s out on this one as opinions vastly differ, but the most common explanation is simply that a spiritual awakening happens because your soul needs to evolve and expand.

Without growth, life halts to a standstill. You may have heard this being called ‘consciousness’, ‘opening up’ or the ‘path to enlightenment’. 

What Causes a Spiritual Awakening?

Sometimes there is a trigger life event, traumatic experience or just a feeling of general dissatisfaction that sparks this transformation. Other times, there is no trigger. It happens practically overnight.

Important Side Note

One thing you should know though, MANY are called to go through a spiritual awakening. Very few decide to actually take that opportunity.

So, if you’re here, I congratulate you for wanting to know more, because 1) spiritual awakenings are NOT easy 2) you’ve already recognised that you might be going through some sort of transformation.

How Many Stages are there to a Spiritual Awakening?

Again, debatable, but from my experience, there are 7 major stages to a deep spiritual awakening, each defined by its own unique characteristics.

Stage 1 – Deep sense of unhappiness, feeling alone and lost

At stage 1, you recognise that you feel lost, depressed and generally unhappy with your current situation. We’re not talking about an ‘down’ day either. This is a deep-rooted feeling. You feel trapped, replaying past experiences again and again. You crave change.

90% of people enter this stage, often without trying. It can happen after an intense life event e.g. death, divorce etc or for no apparent reason at all.

MOST people DON’T get past this stage, but NOT because they don’t know how, but rather because they DECIDE not to.

Stage 2 – A shift in perspective

At this stage, you start to question old conditioned habits, feelings and negative thinking. You see beyond society, and its man made systems. You imagine a different life lived on your own terms. Once you’ve entered this stage, you cannot see the world around you again in the same light.

Stage 3 – Seeking meaning and purpose

The research and deep thinking stage. At this stage, you’re desperate to discover more about yourself, your path and your purpose here on Earth. You conduct lots of research and begin to create a plan of action. You feel like you’re on a mission to discover your life’s purpose. 

Stage 4 – Happiness, thinking you’ve found the answers, breakthroughs

Ah, this little gem. Treat this stage as fool’s gold. After a ton of soul searching, you finally believe you’ve struck gold and found your answers. You feel happier, more carefree and finally that dreadful veil of low energy is lifting. Old behavioural patterns start to dissolve, clarity comes your way and you’re ready to pivot onto a new path. Hello new life!

Stage 5 – The ‘VOID’ stage

Until you hit the void. The most frustrating stage of them all. After a strong belief in the spiritual world, you find that nothing has really changed.

You ask ‘where’s all the good stuff?’, ‘where is my magical new beginning?’. You’re now in spiritual no man’s land, aka the void. Consider this a test.

The void is the space between utter joy and utter despair. Stage 4 was just giving you a glimpse into what was on the other side, waiting for you as long as you push through. It’s normal to feel as though you’ve completely detached from the spiritual world during the void – just like anything in the world, there are ebbs and flows.

Sometimes your connection to the universe will increase, other times it will decrease. This is a decrease stage. Most people quit at this point.

With a heap of fake spiritual guidance floating around on the web promising awakening’s to be super easy, it’s no surprise many even feel more disillusioned than before.

Here, you either crave a deeper understanding of yourself, or you let go of this experience entirely, falling back to stage 1.

Stage 6 – Deep inner shadow and child work

You’re ready to get serious. You actively get your spiritual geek on – meditation, crystal work, astrology, moon charts, tarot card readings, inner child work, shadow emotional release…these are just some of the things you might use to go deeper and understand yourself.

Stage 7 – Ultimate breakthrough – joy, elevation, purpose

After deep inner work and applying what you’ve learnt to your daily life, you finally breakthrough to see the light. You feel happier, and more joyous, and you might have found your purpose.

Often, you will find it’s simpler than what you expected it to be, but it will be something that lights you up. Old habits will be broken, new ways of thinking installed into your brain and a general feeling of gratitude takes centre stage.

Enlightenment isn’t necessarily what you’ve reached at this point (and that’s totally okay!) – you don’t need to strive for that ultimate level of spirituality to feel immense joy, attract great abundance or feel immensely grateful.

You might feel a deep sense to share your new found wisdom with those around you (who are accepting of it – not everyone wants help!), or you might want to keep it to yourself as a little best-kept secret.

Expect deep alignment and miracles to happen, especially if you are using the Law of Attraction.

Is Progression Linear? 

Not at all. It’s perfectly natural to transition between multiple stages during your spiritual awakening.

Once you’ve reached stage 7 and you’ve been there for a while, it’s highly likely you’ll also flow back into previous stages so you can keep growing, improving and expanding on your previous knowledge.

If you start to feel ‘stuck’ in between stages, you could be trying to force your way through to the ‘light’. It’s natural to want to get through a spiritual awakening as fast as possible, but your spiritual awakening is teaching you many lessons, purging old belief systems and is shaking up the old from the new. Don’t rush it.

Should I be Scared of this Awakening?

The universe will never give you anything you can’t handle. It might feel scary in the beginning, especially if you’re not used to moving outside of your comfort zone, but it should never be so scary that you become terrified of the process.

If you feel it’s too much or too overwhelming to cope with, this could either be a sign that you THINK you’re not ready for the process yet (when in reality, you are), or it could mean that your pre-conditioned beliefs are holding you back from progressing to the next stage.

Deep rooted beliefs such as ‘who am I to live this good life?’’, ‘I fear the unknown, or ‘what if I end up in a worse situation?’ can hinder you from moving forward, but fortunately, these are all examples of negative beliefs you can work through.

Guess when the best time to work through these are? You guessed it. Your awakening!

When will I move into the next stage?

Hard to say. For some people, their transformation is pretty quick (2-3 weeks), others a few months or even years. A LOT of people stay stuck in stage 1 for their entire life without even realising they’re at the start of an awakening.

Think of how many people you know who are unhappy with their life, yet never seem to change their situation. Other times, people get stuck at stage 4 (the first happy stage), which is okay too.

Their spiritual journey took them to the level that they needed.

To them, stage 4 was the perfect stage to stay at, rather than move to stage 7, so don’t be afraid when I say some people take years to move through the process.

Wrapping Up

A spiritual awakening isn’t all love, light, meditation and roses, but it’s 111% necessary to evolve and grow spiritually. It can feel incredibly difficult at times, especially when you feel as though you’re stuck and not moving forward, but it’s something to be embraced, not afraid of.