Perhaps this article is a little self-serving, but I hope you’ll find my “coincidences” here of interest.
Over the years, I’ve written a number of books, first beginning my writing journey in the 1990s when I had not yet entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
During that time, one of the books I wrote was called The Tattooed Cat after visiting a small town in Wisconsin with my wife. Frank Lloyd Wright had a home he called Taliesin in that community of Spring Green that also housed a school for aspiring architects. The somewhat quaint town itself and a particular church sparked my creative juices, and I proceeded to write my novel. One of the key components was that I happened to see a number of cats as we drove around.
In the course of that work, I named my antagonist Marcus Ahriman. At this point, I couldn’t begin to tell you how I came up with that name.
Was there something having to do with evil that I searched and found on the internet? Or did it just come to me? Regardless, when I re-crafted the novel following my conversion as a Christ-follower, I kept much of what I’d written but had to do away with the ungodly aspects and turn the story toward a redemptive message. Of course, in this, there is a major and divisive clash between good and evil.
For my efforts with this book, I was given the Christian Redemptive Fiction Award, which I greatly appreciated. Here are a couple of paragraphs from Peter Younghusband’s review for this award:
This “cats are everywhere!” scene at the beginning of the novel is a great platform to introduce our main characters, Greg and Elena, and why they have come to Green Springs. It is from here that Ritter shows his expertise at characterization. I was drawn to Elena but not so much to Greg. I picked up that this latter character had some issues, and these were revealed as the novel progressed. It is Elena’s well-developed character that becomes a mainstay in this novel as everything revolves around her reason for being in Green Springs and, as it is revealed, her crucial and pivotal role in the events that play out in the satanic manipulations and motives of Marcus Ahriman. But then again, all the characters in this novel are believable and credible to the degree of their involvement in Ritter’s plot arcs….
From the intersection of these arcs until the finale, I was exhausted and riveted, curiosity more than piqued! I wanted to know more about the mysterious two sisters, who really is Marcus Ahriman, what is the connection between him and Pastor Nesbitt, and what is it with all these cats! What will become of Charles Mayfair, [and] is Greg really out of the picture, or is there something suspicious going on with him? And then there is the sense of evilness that pervades everything to do with Marcus Ahriman and Pastor Nesbit. Is this just their persuasive personalities, or is this due to something more? What is the connection between the new Millennium and an ancient artifact that places Elena and her mother at the center of Nesbit’s and Ahriman’s attention? Who or what is The Tattooed Cat?
Fast forward to today. For the last several years, I’ve been reading and researching connections to the sons of God (bene Elohim) in Genesis 6, who descended from heaven to earth in rebellion against God. Of late, as well, I’ve been learning more about transhumanism, or, even as I put it in a recent Awaken Bible Prophecy Update: trans-specie-ism (Transhumanism? No: Trans-Specie-ism).
All this comes together from my wife commenting on the name Ahriman in something she saw. I thought she was referencing The Ahriman Gate by Tom Horn, but she remembered my character in The Tattooed Cat and was referring to that. I recently read The Ahriman Gate, which deals with demonic gateways or portals to other dimensions, so that was my current point of reference.
What is it with Ahriman as a name or entity? The World History Encyclopedia says:
Scholar John R. Hinnels describes Ahriman’s nature: “He is the demon of demons, and dwells in an abyss of endless darkness in the north, the traditional home of the demons. Ignorance, harmfulness, and disorder are the characteristics of Ahriman. He can change his outward form and appear as a lizard, a snake, or a youth. His aim is always to destroy the creation of [Ahura Mazda], and to this end, he follows behind the creator’s work, seeking to spoil it. As Ahura Mazda creates life, Ahriman creates death; for health, he produces disease; for beauty, ugliness. All man’s ills are due entirely to Ahriman.”
Did I know this about Ahriman when I chose that name for my evil character in my novel? If I had any clue, it certainly wasn’t to this extent; definitely not when I recast the story in a Christian light. However, this description captures the essence of Marcus Ahriman.
To add further intrigue, note Younghusband’s comment on the first name of this character:
When I saw the surname of Marcus, I instantly Googled it and was not surprised as to its definition. I have had this name in another supernatural and demonic novel, and both usages amount to the same definition. So this gave me more clues as to who Marcus could be and where Ritter was taking this novel. I wondered if this was deliberate on his part or not, but surely this could not be just a coincidence or made up by him? Only Ritter can answer that one.
No! I didn’t have a clue! Googling it, we learn that it is another rendering of Mars, the Roman god of war. Seriously, could I have chosen an antagonist who is as wicked as my character and inadvertently chosen a better name?
Topping this off is the gate or portal aspect from Horn’s book that also ultimately plays a final key role in my story. It is believed – legitimately, I think – that around the world there are gateways into the spiritual realm. Is Jacob’s ladder one such that Godly entities use at that place where Jacob dreamed?
Was the Tower of Babel built at such a location where Nimrod and his followers attempted to reach the heavens so as to bring God down to their level? When Revelation 16 describes the star fallen from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit, does he descend through a portal to the underworld? The Tattooed Cat effectively shows one such place, and I assure you, I had no knowledge of these things when I wrote it!
From the “coincidences” I mention here, I can look back and see God’s hand in my writing and choosing of various aspects of the book. Isn’t it true that in many instances like this, we have no idea at the time but only from the perspective of years?
God continues His work in this world. As I write this, it is still daylight when followers of Jesus can do what the Lord desires of them. Night, however, will soon fall upon the earth. Thankfully, our beloved Bridegroom will deliver us from this coming darkness.
Just as Jesus tells us in Luke 21:28:
“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
Gary Ritter website: books & blog
Kindle Vella story: Tribulation Rising