The Trial of Water tends to be less physically demanding and focus on the inner world instead. Typically, it comes after the Fire phase but you may also find that this is the first Trial you take in this lifetime. This level is popularly referred to as the Dark Night of the Soul.
In short, it makes you question reality as you know it.
It can bring feelings of intense sadness verging on despair, frustration and hopelessness, when whatever you do seems pointless. You lose interest in things you once loved. Nothing seems to excite you or bring you joy. Your world is crumbling apart and you feel like you’re alone in the entire universe. You start questioning what’s real, and what is the meaning of you being alive. All the while, you’re haunted by a strange inexplicable longing, as though you are meant to go somewhere, someplace you could call ‘home’, but you don’t know what and where it might be.
This phase is surreal, confusing and dispiriting in many ways but it is usually much shorter than the Fire phase. The intensity and the duration of the Trial depend on the rigidity of your old ego—the stronger your old patterns, the more time you will need to shake them off.
The reward you receive from passing this test is profound spiritual awakening. Your vision of the self and the universe expands to a degree beyond what you could imagine. You may start observing spiritual phenomena, see or sense energy or have glimpses of the past or of the future. This Trial helps you recognise and embrace both the physical and the spiritual part of you, and become whole.
There is a way of preparing yourself for this stage to pass relatively easy and quickly. Develop a daily routine of meditative practice, and strengthen your connection with the Light through prayer and contemplation. Having firm pointers to rely on—a clear set of values and the idea of what you stand for—allows you to get through the Trial of Water without experiencing its most troubling aspects.
In other words, if you start working on expanding your awareness consciously and naturally, your soul won’t feel it has to deliver a shattering blow in order to ‘wake you up’. The mistake to avoid on this level is resisting. The pain you’re experiencing is the last throes of the dissolving old ego-story, the one that doesn’t serve you anymore. Trying to preserve that outdated ego is what can make the suffering worse. If you become a willing and conscious participant in the process of your transformation and find the courage to let go of your limiting concepts and old beliefs, your journey will pass much smoother.
You need to go through this Trial in order to put things in the right perspective; to understand on a deeper level what being human really means, what truly matters and what doesn’t. It allows you to navigate through life with a new level of clarity, confidence and wisdom. In its highest expression, the Trial of Water is called to free you from the fear of death—by allowing you to experience your real immortal essence and become fully connected with it.
— Codex Semperis