The Awakening is a mechanic that trades time for design points. You can gain more design points for your pretender by using either of the two Awakening options but this removes your pretender from play for some time. There are three different degress of Awakening. Notice that whether the pretender is awake or not has no effect on bless effects.
The pretender god is available right from the start. This option gives you no extra points at all. This is a common choice for combat pretenders who can take independent provinces almost immediately.
The pretender god is in a dormant state and it will remain in such state for roughly a year (12 turns) in game time. This option gives you 150 extra design points and your pretender god will wake up roughly within a year. This is a good choice for pretenders who require some research or items before they can start bashing in skulls, for pretenders who simply are not needed right away but are wanted before year three, and for rainbow pretenders.
Banished by the previous Pantokrator, the pretender god is Imprisoned and struggling to break free. The escape will last roughly three years (36 turns) and you will gain 250 design points by using this option. Since the time that your pretender spends away from the game is great you should use this option with great consideration. Bargain pretenders most often are made imprisoned, but high end bless pretenders occasionally use this as well if they can't afford to be just dormant.