WARNING! This page contains massive spoilers for the overall mythology of the canon! Like the timeline, this page is full of spoilers and assumes the reader is up-to-date on the show. You have been warned; this page will not be under a spoiler cut for ease of reading and editing. Continue reading at your own peril!
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, only most of them - The Web and The End have never attempted one. (MAG 134)
As of MAG 160, it's revealed that every single ritual attempted has failed because it aims to only bring one Entity into the world, when all 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 failed, stopping the rituals is 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.
- The Eye's ritual is called "The Watcher's Crown."
- Elias Bouchard reveals in MAG 160 that he attempted the Watcher's Crown in the 19th century.
- The ritual used the panopticon, guard tower of the Millbank Prisonn. 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 there, and left Elias 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.
- The Worker of Clay (MAG 126) created a door through which the Great Twisting would happen.
- Gertrude Robinson took her assistant Michael Shelley to "Sannikov Land" in Russia and gave him a map to navigate the maze. He subsequently became The Distortion, an aspect of The Spiral (or it may be more accurate to say that it became him). Gertrude left the island before it disappeared (MAG 101).
- The Lonely's ritual is called "The Silence." (MAG 159).
- Peter Lukas' attempt took the form of a collection of people living in a building designed to isolate them, and, upon the residents reaching a critical degree of loneliness, left to die. (MAG 159).
- Peter Lukas confirms that Gertrude Robinson stopped the Lonely's ritual. (MAG 134).
- The Lonely's ritual won't be able to be attempted 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 is called "The Awful Deep."
- Simon Fairchild attempted the ritual in 1853 but was sabotaged by an agent of The Hunt. By Fairchild's own admission the ritual was 'not a very good idea', suggesting that it may have failed even without sabotage (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-Alesund, 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.
- 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 Rituals
- 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 Archives
- 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 Entites 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 also mean the ritual was centered on the Eye.
- "The Magus Archives" isn't the official name for this ritual, but it's the 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!
- Bring all that is fear and all that is terror and all that is the awful dread that crawls and chokes and blinds and falls and twists and leaves and hides and weaves and burns and hunts and rips and bleeds and dies! Come to us!
- I open the door!