The Spiral is one of the fourteen main Entities. It is based on the fear of madness, that your world isn’t right, that your mind is lying to you. It deals with deception, lying, deceiving the mind and senses.

Jurgen Leitner and his assistants refer to it as "Es Mentiras" ("It is lies"). Its aspects refer to it as "It Is Not What It Is". It has also been called "the Twisting Deceit".

The Spiral is associated with fractal patterns, hallucinations, doubt of sanity, impossible geometry, and maddening realms and dimensions.

Episodes that seem to deal with this power

Episodes that may deal with this power


This article contains information from later episodes of The Magnus Archives, and may contain major spoilers for the setting and plot.

Ritual Information

Its ritual is called "Our Great Twisting". It took place in Zemlya Sannikova (Sannikov Land), where the entire island is defined by impossibility and structures that should not be able to exist. Gertrude Robinson stopped the ritual by sacrificing her assistant Michael Shelley to merge with The Distortion and become the being we have met as Michael. (MAG 101

This ritual took place sometime after October 2009 (MAG 126) and in or before 2011 (MAG 80, where Leitner mentions "six years ago" was when Gertrude lost the last of her assistants).

Gertrude Robinson used the statement from MAG 126: Sculptor's Tool in her research to formulate the counter-ritual, presumably taking inspiration from Gabriel saying that The Distortion does not have a name and would hate to have one, and using that as a weakness to exploit.

Recurring characters and concepts

  • The most encountered manifestation of The Spiral is The Distortion, which can open doors in various places that lead to other places - occasionally to another place in our world, usually to an endless labyrinth. While it does not naturally have a human form and manifests simply as its door, a human being trapped inside its labyrinth can find their way to The Distortion and merge with it.
    • The main human manifestation of its that we see is Michael, formerly an archival assistant who Gertrude Robinson sacrificed to The Distortion to disrupt The Spiral's ritual.
    • Helen Richardson replaces Michael at the end of MAG 101.
    • The father of the narrator of MAG 8 also encountered someone whose "all the bones were in his hands" in 1996 (before The Distortion became Michael), which matches Sasha's description of Michael's distorted form in MAG 26.
  • The Worker of Clay, "Gabriel", appears in MAG 126: Sculptor's Tool, first mentioned in MAG 101.
  • A creature taking the form of a Lichtenberg Figure, a fractal, tormented Michael Crew until he trapped it in the book Ex Altiora.

Connections with other powers

  • Its allegiances are difficult to fully know. It seems to want balance or a delay in events as Michael explained in the tunnels when combating Not Sasha.
  • It also helped the real Sasha fight a manifestation of The Hive.
  • It seems to be in a tentative alliance with Beholding (although this seems only to prevent other Entities from gaining power). While Michael helped the archives earlier on to foil others' plans, he said he wanted neither the circus nor the archives to "win", making it convenient for him to kill Jon himself before the Stranger could. Helen, on the other hand, is revealed in season 4 to be regularly helping the archive staff. 
  • It seems to actively fight against The Corruption, and more frequently against The Stranger.
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