| ATTENTION! SPOILERS AHEAD!!|
This article contains information from later episodes of The Magnus Archives, and may contain major spoilers for the setting and plot. Continue at your own risk.
The Entities normally do not and cannot exist in the physical world - in order for them to do so, they must "merge with reality" by changing the world to be closer to the essence of the Entity. Servants of the Entities can perform a ritual to accomplish this (MAG 92). If the ritual succeeds, the entire world is reshaped in a way that reflects the Entity, making the Entity's fear-energy much more plentiful. Rituals require massive amounts of power built up over centuries; if the ritual fails, that power is lost and must be rebuilt before another ritual can be attempted.
Robert Smirke devised rituals for each Entity, though he was not sure whether he invented the rituals or merely discovered them (MAG 138). Smirke suspected that the entities always had rituals; if nothing else, Maxwell Rayner had discussed rituals for the Dark before Smirke ever codified anything about the entities. The Magnus Institute later learned that The Stranger attempted a ritual in 1787 when Smirke was only a child (MAG 116). However, Smirke feared that his ritual designs created blueprints for the Entities' followers, making it easier for rituals to be attempted.
Not all Entities have a ritual - The Web and The End have never attempted one (MAG 134).
As of MAG 160, it's revealed that every ritual attempted to date has failed because they have aimed to only bring one Entity into the world when all of the Entities are connected. Elias Bouchard came to this conclusion after observing Gertrude Robinson's attempts at stopping rituals. At one point, she simply let a ritual play out to see what would happen, and it still failed.
It's worth noting that even though individual rituals were always doomed to fail, stopping the rituals was not pointless. In the few cases where a ritual was not purposely stopped, many lives have been lost and an Entity grows stronger, as was the case for Elias' first attempt at the Watcher's Crown. Hundred of prisoners were killed, and Elias gained his powers.
Individual Rituals Edit
- The Eye's ritual is called "The Watcher's Crown."
- Jonah Magnus attempted the Watcher's Crown at some point closely after February 13th, 1867. (MAG 160)
- The ritual used the panopticon, guard tower of the Millbank Prison. A panopticon is a central tower built in the middle of a ring of cells, designed so that prisoners are always being watched.
- Though the ritual failed, it killed the hundreds of prisoners residing in Milbank, destroyed the prison, and left Jonah with his semi-omniscient powers.
- The Spiral's ritual is called "The Great Twisting". It happened some time after mid-2009 and at latest 2011, and took place on Sannikov Land, a phantom island in the Arctic Ocean.
- Many Spiral manifestations were present, such as the Distortion and The-Worker-of-Clay (MAG 126), who built a massive altar through which the Great Twisting would happen. The Ritual included the presence of a thousand human sacrifices, mesmerized by the The-Worker-of-Clay's construction. The ritual centered on the Distortion, 'the door that would open to all the places that were never there.'
- Gertrude Robinson stopped the ritual at a critical point by sacrificing Michael Shelley, giving him a map of the Distortion's interior and telling him to walk through the door. With the aid of the map, Michael navigated the Distortion and merged with it, turning the two of them into Michael. The resulting confusion of identity caused the ritual to collapse, banishing the Spiral's servants and returning Sannikov Land to nonexistence. Gertrude left the island before it disappeared (MAG 101).
- Peter Lukas invented a ritual for the Lonely, which he called "The Silence" because he thought it needed a name (MAG 159).
- Peter's attempt involved constructing an apartment complex designed to isolate the inhabitants, filling it with stressed and miserable people, and, upon the residents reaching a critical degree of loneliness, sealing them inside and leaving them to die. (MAG 159)
- Gertrude Robinson stopped the ritual (MAG 134) by bringing the building up to a reporter at The Guardian, causing an enormous influx of social and media attention. (MAG 159)
- The Lonely won't be able to attempt a ritual for a few decades or even centuries. (MAG 134).
- The Stranger's ritual is called "The Unknowing."
- It takes the form of a dance.
- The Stranger has attempted The Unknowing twice that we know of: once in 1787 (stopped by The Slaughter) and once in 2017 (stopped by servants of the Eye, a Hunter, and copious quantities of plastic explosives).
- The Desolation's Ritual is called "The Scoured Earth".
- The Cult of the Lightless Flame deliberately created a "messiah" (Agnes Montague) whom they hoped would prepare the world for the Scoured Earth (MAG 139). Gertrude Robinson partially suppressed Agnes' power (accidentally and at great cost) and thereby prevented the cult from completing the ritual for decades (MAG 145). Agnes began to doubt her destiny during that delay, and her doubts strengthened when she began "dating" a normal man untouched by the powers (MAG 67). Agnes ultimately gave up on the ritual and convinced the cult that she should die without attempting the Scoured Earth, saving the Desolation's long-hoarded power for another attempt. The cult hanged her at her own request (MAG 139).
- It is possible, but not confirmed, that Agnes' premature death will allow the Desolation to attempt another ritual soon.
- The Slaughter's Ritual is called "The Risen War."
- It was attempted in 1942 aboard a ship called the Nemesis and seems to have failed on its own. Gertrude speculates that the ship was supposed to have been bombed in order to complete it but it sank before that could happen. (MAG 137)
- The Vast's Ritual, as codified by Smirke, has not yet been described. However, Simon Fairchild devised a Ritual called "The Awful Deep," themed on fear of the deep sea. Whether the two share any similarities is unknown.
- Simon attempted the Awful Deep in 1853, taking a group of sacrifices deep underwater in a specially-designed diving bell, but was sabotaged by an agent of The Hunt. By Fairchild's own admission the ritual was 'not a very good idea' and 'sort of fizzled,' as thalassophobia was not common enough for a ritual to take advantage of. (MAG 151)
- Simon has vague plans to conduct a Vast ritual set in deep space, but estimates it will be at least another century before human technology makes it possible. (MAG 151)
- The Buried's ritual is called "Sunken Sky" and the end result would be called "the Forever Buried."
- It was attempted in 2008 in Bucoda, Washington. The ritual involved Bucoda residents throwing themselves into a vast pit which grew wider with each life it consumed. (MAG 97).
- Gertrude Robinson disrupted the ritual by throwing astronaut Jan Kilbride (MAG 106), a person marked and partially consumed by the Vast, into the pit. Gertrude believed that she was merciful for killing and dismembering Kilbride first. (MAG 129).
- Backlash from the ritual's premature end caused an "earthquake" that obliterated Bucoda. (MAG 97)
- The Dark's ritual is called the "Extinguished Sun."
- The Dark's ritual may have taken place in March 2015 (MAG 25), tied to a solar eclipse in Ny-Ålesund, which would make the last ritual in 1715 and tied to the last solar eclipse there. (MAG 108)
- There is currently no information on The Corruption's ritual.
- It is possible the Corruption doesn't HAVE a formal ritual, but rather simply finds a narrow place between worlds and tries to burrow through. (MAG 41)
- The Flesh's ritual is "the Last Feast," in which participants continuously offer meat into a giant maw.
- Gertrude stopped the Last Feast in October 2008 by throwing explosives into the "meat pit" in a Gnostic temple in Istanbul (MAG 130).
- Jared Hopworth refused to help with the ritual because he liked the world the way it was (MAG 131).
- The Hunt's ritual is called the Everchase. It involves an endless hunt. One possible manifestation of the Everchase involved groups of explorers hunting for a mythical location, such as the Lost City of Zed or the Northwest Passage.
- Jonathan Sims and Daisy Tonner speculate that the ritual may be impossible to complete because the Hunt and its avatars value the act of hunting more than capturing their quarry, thus driving the Hunt to continue the Everchase forever. (MAG 133)
- It had not yet happened in 2007; Gertrude was looking at North America for its location but wasn't completely sold on this, and expected it to be at some point after that of The Buried in 2008 (MAG 99).
Entities That Have Never Attempted RitualsEdit
- The Web has not attempted a ritual because it prefers the world as it is, where it can play everyone off against each other. (MAG 134)
- The End has never attempted a ritual because it knows it "gets everything eventually" because everything dies.
- A world in which The End manifested would be lifeless, with no terror of death to feed on. (MAG 134)
The Magnus ArchivesEdit
- Only one mass ritual attempt has ever been recorded, and it's the only ritual that's ever succeeded. (MAG 160)
- Devised by Elias Bouchard, the ritual attempts to bring every single Entity into the world at once, based on the concept that all individuals rituals have failed because the Entities cannot be separated.
- The ritual requires a linchpin, someone who has experienced and been marked by all the Fears.
- In this case the linchpin was Jonathan Sims, the Archivist. Additionally, Elias used the Archivist because it would mean the ritual was centered on the Eye.
- "The Magnus Archives" isn't the official name for this ritual, but it's the only name Jonny Sims has tentatively provided.
- The ritual required an incantation read by the Archivist.
- You who watch and know and understand none!
- You who listen and hear and will not comprehend!
- You who wait and wait and drink in all that is not yours by right!
- Come to us in your wholeness! Come to us in your perfection!
- I open the door!