Greetings Beautiful Oracle!
At a certain Stage of your Spiritual Path, there will come a point when your Holy Guardian Angel, will need to purge from you various weaknesses, inhibitions, and flaws in your nature, that hold you back from attaining Metaphysical Maturity; wherein your False Self — your Inflated Ego — is gone, and only your True Self — your Innate Ego — remains. Although it is a Tumultuous Period, the Dark Night of the Soul (see Table 4 on Page 22 of Liber Aether) is a great Metaphysical Cleansing and Transformation, and so is something well worth the effort. So long as you aren't overly self-absorbed, and can stay focused on the goal, you can generally complete this process efficiently. Otherwise, to avoid having a drawn-out experience in this challenging state, either wait until you are ready in a future life, or transcend the self-absorption and gain some focus, before performing the Invocation of the Sephiroth in Liber Lux.
Your Ascension completes when you attain Metaphysical Maturity or Metaphysical Wisdom. The number of years it takes — whether they be few or many — as well as the Level of Ascension you attain, depend on factors individual to you. Ascension is the Process of becoming Conscious in the Unconscious. Thus, for example, attaining 5th Dimensional Consciousness occurs when you Awaken your Consciousness — your Self Awareness — at this Level of the Unconscious, after already having awoken 4th Dimensional Consciousness (see Figure 13 on Page 35 of Liber Aether). Metaphysical Maturity is achieved at the end of your Dark Night of the Soul. This unsettling period, is a Natural part of Life, but it is Enhanced — maximising its Metaphysically Maturing benefits — by discovering and following your Spiritual Path — your Path to your Spirit.
Once the Dark Night finally ends, then comes the Golden Dawn Experience of Ascension, usually after your First or Second Saturn Return, at around 30 years of age (Metaphysical Maturity) or 60 years of age (Metaphysical Wisdom) respectively. The bulk of Humankind lag One Cycle behind we, who are Initiates of the Metaphysical Mysteries. Thus, they attain Mundane Adulthood after 30 years of age, Mundane Maturity after 60 years of age, and Mundane Wisdom after 90 years of age, but of course, no Illumination. Jesus Christ attained Metaphysical Maturity and Wisdom — at his Divine Ascension — at the optimal age of 33. His Ascension was so perfect and complete, that even his Physical Body was raised and merged into his Body of Resurrection — the Light Body known as the Merkabah — disappearing into an Aetheric Cloud. Because his Life was deliberately structured, as the Perfect Template for Humankind to follow, it took one Soli-Lunar Cycle for him to attain his Ascension. One Soli-Lunar Cycle is 33 Years 7 Lunar Months and 7 Days — a Perfect Cycle of Metaphysical Maturation. This 33.6 year Soli-Lunar Cycle, is the time it takes for the Solar Year of 365.242 days, and the Lunar Year of 354.367 days, to come back into sync, as each year there is a difference of 10.875 days (the epact).
The Dark Night of the Soul has Three Main Stages: The Dark Night of the Senses, the Dark Night of the Emotions, and the Dark Night of the Mind. In fact, many Oracles will have already passed through, One or Two of these Stages of the Dark Night of the Soul, before coming here. The Third Stage, the Dark Night of the Mind, is a rarer undertaking; but if you are ready for it in this lifetime, then through selflessness and long-suffering, it leads to the Threshold of your Divine Ascension.
The Dark Night of the Senses is the easiest and the shortest to pass through. This Stage took me exactly 1 year of my Spiritual Path to complete (see 33 Years on the Path of Eight Oracles on Page 2 of Liber Aether). Crossing this Mystic Threshold eventually brings Sensual Balance, and takes your Awareness and Consciousness into the Emotional Plane (i.e. Mystic Realm of Emotion, see Figure 6 on Page 21 of Liber Aether). This Level of Ascension — Mystic Ascension — awakens Mystic Consciousness, which grants Intuition, Extrasensory Abilities, and Healing Powers, in accordance with your Innate Abilities (from your past incarnations, natal astrological influences, and genetic heritage) and your efforts in this life. Your Spiritual Path then takes your Ascension, through your Emotional Development and Mystical Unfoldment, until you are at the Psychic Threshold.
Mystic Consciousness — to varying degrees — will be the Normal State of Consciousness for Metaphysically Advanced people in the Age of Aquarius. Thus, during this coming Age of Enlightenment, the Earth will be attuned with the Emotional Plane, allowing a direct experience of the 4th, 5th, or 6th Dimensional Levels of Consciousness (see Table 6 on Page 26 and Text Box on Page 27 of Liber Aether) depending on their Level of Unfoldment. The precise calculations of Western Sidereal Astrology, place the commencement of the next Age of Aquarius on 20 March 2376, with its influence having been felt since the latter part of the 19th Century, as it came into the Immediate Foreground. In this context, the Immediate Foreground is within 7 degrees, from the exact conjunction of the Northern Hemisphere Vernal Equinox Sun, with Sidereal Aquarius at 30 degrees, with a precession rate of 1 degree per 71.6 years. Thus, this influence commenced on 21 March 1875. The Theosophical Society — Preliminary Aquarian Age Eastern Mysteries — was Founded in A.D. 1875. This was followed by the Founding in A.D. 1888, of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn — Preliminary Aquarian Age Western Mysteries. This Order had emerged from the very low profile, short-lived, Society of Eight, Founded in A.D. 1883. Thus, we are Forerunners, preparing this Golden Age (Revelation 21: a new heaven and a new earth) for the Vast Majority of Humankind, who — as always — trail behind, following the Path of Least Resistance.
The Dark Night of the Emotions is harder and takes longer to pass through. This Stage took me exactly 4 years of my Spiritual Path to complete (see 33 Years on the Path of Eight Oracles on Page 2 of Liber Aether). Crossing this Psychic Threshold eventually brings Emotional Balance, and takes your Awareness and Consciousness into the Mental Plane (i.e. Psychic Realm of Mind, see Figure 6 on Page 21 of Liber Aether). This Level of Ascension — Psychic Ascension — awakens Psychic Consciousness, which grants further Intuition, Extrasensory Abilities, and Healing Powers, as well as the ability for Two-Way, Telepathic, Holistic Knowledge, in accordance with your Innate Abilities (from your past incarnations, natal astrological influences, and genetic heritage) and your efforts in this life. This State of Consciousness is accompanied at times, by the Guiding and Directing Presence of the Holy Guardian Angel at the Alta Major Chakra (see Table 8 on Page 30 of Liber Aether). Your Spiritual Path then takes your Ascension, through your Mental and Psychical Unfoldment, until you are at the Divine Threshold.
The Dark Night of the Mind is the hardest and the longest to pass through. This Stage took me exactly 13 years of my Spiritual Path to complete (see 33 Years on the Path of Eight Oracles on Page 2 of Liber Aether). Crossing this Divine Threshold eventually brings Mental Balance, and takes your Awareness and Consciousness into the Spiritual Plane (i.e. Divine Realm of Being, see Figure 6 on Page 21 of Liber Aether). The end of this Stage is your symbolic Resurrection from the Dead. Then, after a final preparation period — at the appointed hour — your Purified and Harmonised Kundalini is then suddenly and permanently Raised, and you Unite with your Holy Guardian Angel and attain Divine Consciousness — Divine Ascension (see Discussion of Figure 15 on Page 38 and Figure 15 on Page 39 of Liber Aether). This Level of Ascension — Divine Ascension — awakens Divine Consciousness, which grants Total Self-Awareness and Pure Comprehension (see Discussion of Figure 13 on Page 34 of Liber Aether). This State of Consciousness is permanently accompanied, by the Divine Ruling Presence of the I AM, at the Crown Chakra (see Table 8 on Page 30 of Liber Aether).
In the days (in my case, precisely 1 week) prior to the commencement of the Dark Night of the Mind (in my case, at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, 2 December 2003), there is a growing sense of approaching Doom and Death, and you feel part of yourself is Dying. The Dark Night of the Mind then commences, with a Profound Shock, resulting in your Metaphysical Death. The Combined Mental, Emotional, and Aetheric Bodies start Dying and leave you, and this Mortal Subtle Body then begins to Disintegrate, in Ascending Order — from its Lowest Level of Vibration to its Highest. Thus, this Disintegration of the Mortal Subtle Body, is firstly up through its Aetheric Layer, then its Emotional Layer, then finally its Mental Layer (see Descent into Hell — Diabolic Purging). Your Physical Body is separated from your Causal Body and Spirit (see Figure 6 on Page 21 of Liber Aether). You are then a kind of Zombie; alive, but feeling and knowing that you are Metaphysically Empty, and Devoid of any Higher Consciousness. A short while thereafter (in my case exactly 26 hours later, at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, 3 December 2003), your Causal Body reconnects with your Physical Body, by forming the Unified and Developing Merkabah, which can perform Instantaneous Projections of your Consciousness throughout the Universe, from the Heights of Heaven to the Depths of Hell. Thus, you are ready for your Challenging, Transformative Journey, through the Dark Night of the Mind.
There a lucky few, who walk a different Path to the vast majority — they walk the Royal Way. They travel their Spiritual Path, without the need for any Dark Night of the Soul, as they are already their True Self, and thus have no False Self to purge. Of course, their luck is of their own doing. They have done such good works, and had such sound Mystical Development and Psychical Unfoldment in their last incarnation, that they are reaping the rewards in this. One other means of walking the Royal Way or enhancing it, is if your Twin Flame has forged ahead Metaphysically, and then after Blessing you with Divinely Guided Shaktipat Transmission (LEVEL: Supreme Inferior Grace), they Raise you up to their Spiritual Level at your Twin Flame Alchemical Marriage. Anyhow, as mentioned in the Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz, fewer than one-in-a-thousand walk this Spiritual Path, but with the Dawning of the Aquarian Age and more-and-more Twin Flames Uniting, their numbers are on the increase.
The Dark Night of the Soul is the Alchemical Transmutation of our Base Nature — Ascension Process — into Pure Gold — Ascension.
Blessings from the Eighth Oracle,