Numerologist Melbourne

Numerology MelbourneReadings for Women!

Benita French is an author and one of Australia’s most experienced Numerologists. She is a widely respected Melbourne Numerologist. Her study of it began in 1981 and has continued ever since.

Benita French is a top Melbourne Numerologist integrating her own approach to Numerology as part of her exclusive healing sessions for women. Benita’s down-to-earth and non judgemental approach created a space for her client to be listened to in ways they have never been listened to before.

Benita’s Melbourne Numerology Readings were followed up with Kinesiology healing and Intuitive Counselling. This helped to heal pain from her client’s past and aimed at correcting their old emotional patterns so they can attract more of what they want into their life, more often.

This remainder of this Numerology Melbourne page is a testimonial to the pioneering women of Numerology in Melbourne.
Melbourne has a thriving history of numerology dating back to the 1920s. 

Numerology Melbourne "Pythagoras"

Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY

Discovering Numerology with Melbourne Numerologist – Benita French

Written by Jeanviere Darcy (2017)

This Numerology Melbourne story is a history of the first Melbourne Numerologists.

Psychology in the 19th and early 20th century was received more openly in metaphysical and spiritual circles than it initially was in the medical and academic sciences. At its core was an argument which tried to better explain the changing states of ‘consciousness’. Numerology does this with your numbers (what Pythagoras called “Nature’s Chorus”) as the labels for your inherent personality traits which are plotted in a chart to determine the balance (or lack thereof) between the Physical, Emotional, Mental and Spiritual qualities.

Numerology can also pinpoint important upcoming dates and highlight the most formative events from your past. A good Melbourne numerologist will also take into account your cultural upbringing, your parental conditioning, and their highly developed intuition as Benita did.

On a day trip into Melbourne in the 1920s, a budding Melbourne Numerologist would definitely visit the then nationally famous, Cole’s Book Arcade and there hidden amongst the two million books, in a section labelled “Occultism” she would have seen what are now two very scarce, antiquarian collector’s items. “Numerology – its practical application to life” by Clifford W. Cheasley and “Number, Name and Colour – a practical demonstration of the laws of numerology” by O. Hashnu Hara. For around 3 shillings she could have made her choice or alternatively, for the sum of 21 shillings a year, she could simply enjoy O. Hashnu Hara’s book in the peace of a forgotten reading room inside the oldest Library in Melbourne, The Melbourne Atheneum. Folding back the cover of this exotic Eastern manual she would have been absorbed into a world of psychic influence, practical ‘mental science’, personal magnetism and psychology. (1)

O. Hashnu Hara is in himself a mystical character, a ghost if you like and although he created a prolific body of work it is impossible to find any concrete information about this author. His often self-published books have now slipped into obscurity with only a facsimile available to purchase in present day. The only information as to the true identity of the author is that it seems to be yet another pseudonym of William Atkinson, a pioneer of the American New Thought movement, who’s other pseudonyms like Yogi Ramacharaka and Swami Bhakta reached a far wider audience than books penned in his own, less exotic, name.


So here our Melbourne numerologist sits in a library that no longer exists, reading a book authored by a mystical Hindu who never existed, trying to get a glimpse at the ancient art of Numerology, a term that was only coined in 1907. Like many uninitiated new age devotees, we are being a little bedazzled and manipulated by the trends of a time that no longer exists, a time when clairvoyance and spiritual development was believed to be the secret knowledge of exotic orientals. Even today when you look up Numerology in Melbourne and beyond, we still hear these echoes and a need to link the modern numerologist to the ancient Egyptians, or to the work of Pythagoras, or to the Hindu Mystics. Strip away all the pretence, the clever marketing, the theatre, and at its core, these books are only a brief look at a type of Numerology that was common in the early 1900’s.

The truth is that the system of what we now call Numerology, was only alluded to by Pythagoras. He did give each number a philosophical personality based on the geographical shape created between that many points and what that symbol signified. For example a ‘4’ being a tetrad (square) representing justice, wholeness and the completion associated with the four seasons. The modern science of Western Numerology and how to determine ‘Your Numbers” was only extensively developed and documented in 1904 by Mrs. L. Dow Balliet and published in her unfinished work “How To Attain Success Through Vibration – a system of numbers as taught by Pythagoras” in 1906. Mrs Balliett was the principal at her own “School of Psychology and Physical Culture” in Atlantic City, New Jersey and her theory of vibration focussed on the numbers that can be found in your name and birth numbers. O. Hashnu Hara (AKA William Atkinson’s work) was a mere shadow of Mrs Balliet’s system which would later be coined by Julia Seton (MD) as Numerology.

This made me wonder if a modern Melbourne Numerologist could do the reverse. Could a person’s numbers be derived from an alleged personality and would those numbers match the birthdate of the Man. So I approached Melbourne Numerologist – Benita French and with the name “William Atkins” omitted I blindly pitched the story of a man who created a prolific wardrobe of alter egos to help market his literary works: A French expert on personal magnetism (Theron Q. Dumont), a Hindu astral traveler and medium (Swami Bhakta Vishita), and a Hatha Yogi and teacher of Hindu scriptures (Yogi Ramacharaka), all of them the alleged pseudonyms of an American attorney turned author of the esoteric (William Walter Atkins).

Benita had no prior knowledge of the man and I simply recorded her response…

“He probably has a 2, 6 and 8 because he prefers to be convoluted than rather than being straightforward. He’d need at least two 1s to have the determination to keep going in his field. To get out there in public he’d need a 5. I think he has a 7 because he makes spirituality look like a mystery, that’s what 7s do, they make things secretive. 5s are a saving grace for numerology charts that would otherwise be somewhat negative and manipulative, like his. He ultimately had good intentions.”

I was eager to look up his birthdate to see if these numbers matched. In order of date first, month second, his birthdate was: 5/12/1862. Even the uninitiated can clearly see that he has a 5 as well as a 2, 6 and 8 and all his numbers added up come to 25 and 2+5=7, therefore a 7 is in his chart too. Benita’s educated guess was completely accurate. I was amazed. I asked Benita if what she did, is something that Melbourne Numerologists do or is it taught?

“I used to give Numerology readings at new age festivals across Australia for many years and came into contact with A LOT of Numerologists. I never heard of any of them hypothesizing what a persons’ numbers were from their personality alone. It is incredibly hard. It’s like trying to understand a language by working it all out for yourself through observation and intuition. And it takes a lot of time. You can only do it if you are ridiculously dedicated: to learn and observe a person’s behaviour; to keep studying endless numerology charts; to develop your intuition to the point where you can attune yourself to a person’s energy to then come to understand what numbers are likely to be active.

“I recall two separate instances when I was a teenager in Melbourne, where I correctly ‘guessed’ a man’s and a woman’s birthdates, not just their numbers, but in the exact order of date, month and year. I was so happy with myself at the time but wasn’t aware of the complexity of skill I didn’t know I had. I took it for granted. It would not have been possible had I not already interpreted hundreds of Numerology charts as I was growing up.

“I haven’t taught how to intuit a persons’ numbers from their personality in any classes I’ve held and I don’t believe it is taught or can be taught. Numerology students are legitimately too busy trying to understand what the numbers mean, how to interpret them together and trying to incorporate their intuition in the process. At least my numerology students were. Some numerologists don’t believe intuition has anything to do with interpreting a persons’ birth date, but I know that’s not true. When I look at a person’s chart, I can feel what’s going on with them, having never met them. Even after a student comes to understand advanced numerology, they then need to go out into the world and find at least 100 people and study their behaviour and their charts before they can truly understand how numerology really works. This generally doesn’t happen because most people are not interested in pursuing numerology that seriously or as a career.

“I couldn’t teach the process of extracting a persons’ numbers from their behaviour, because that process is based on the student ‘feeling’ the persons’ energy, putting their own opinions of that person aside and from there, encoding the person’s energy into numbers. It’s like translating the meaning of an essay, from English into French, from French into Mandarin, then translating Mandarin back into English, keeping the ‘meaning’ of the essay in-tact. It entails the student to have an astonishing level of dedication to attunement, focus and study. I haven’t met one of those students, let alone a numerologist that is like that.

“I consider myself a student as well as an expert in Numerology. A student because I am ALWAYS fascinated to learn about a person and how they are expressing the numbers in their chart. An expert because I seem to know more than any numerologist or any book on numerology that I have picked up. An expert also because numerology must be linked to the age we are in, to the person’s culture, the socio economic environment and parental conditioning if a numerology chart is to be done properly. Every being expresses the same numbers differently, including twins, triplets etc. People who have the same numbers are not the same kind of person, when they physically look different, when they live in different parts of the world and are exposed to different situations and opportunities. The people surrounding the child as they grow up and the mentality of those people also have a massive influence on how the numbers are expressed.”


For Benita, Numerology is no longer Ancient Wisdom, it is an art that takes dedication, patience and study, but in the 1920s Melbourne Numerology was closely linked with Spiritualism in a world that was still coming to grips with the loss of so many young men in the First World War. The commonality of all that grief found an outlet in the esoteric arts and in an era when most people were members of clubs of some sort or other, Spiritualism experienced a great revival. Then on November 4th, 1922 the world was gripped by the incredible discovery of the virtually intact tomb of an Egyptian pharaoh, Tutankhamun. This singular event, coinciding with the dawn of the mass media age, went on to affect the art, fashion, music, furniture and the Art Deco architecture of the decade. The frenzy of this event also added some fuel to the resurgence of divination and the other spiritual topics which hailed from the secret (pre-Christian) doctrines of Egypt, India, China, and Greece.

The metaphysical, along with Numerology was having its Golden Age in 1920’s Melbourne and although some Numerology books, like those of Francis E. Housholder, were often over-hyped as “The book that the thinking world has been waiting many centuries for, lost since the time of Pythagoras and hunted for by Plato, Socrates, Democritus, Swedenborg and Mrs Eddy. The book that science approves, and the whole world needs.” Most Melbourne Numerologists were very humble and lecturing to friends and colleagues within the flourishing Spiritualist Churches of Melbourne. Psychology often went hand in hand with Numerology in the 1920s and was then a very new word that hadn’t yet been set apart from the metaphysical, as it has today by the medical profession. It is important to note that Psychology was born from these metaphysical circles.

Alongside Numerology in Melbourne, Benita also studied Psychology for 5 years in the 1990s. Even though she obtained, as she describes it “two bits of paper”, ie Bachelor of Behavioural Science and a Bachelor of Psychology, she noticed how divorced the study of modern Psychology was from its metaphysical origins. She recalled an assignment that she did on the paranormal. The Professor failed her assignment because he personally considered the paranormal a ridiculous subject and irrelevant to Psychology and wrote as much as his notes on her paper. Interestingly, the same Professor gave her a high distinction on her next assignment because, as Benita relayed “I decided to play his game” and described how the paranormal can’t be considered legitimate because it’s based on the subjective perception of the individual. In other words, because Benita condemned the metaphysical, the Professor agreed that her assignment about perception was indeed related to Psychology!

“It was an intriguing experiment, one that added to my being put off Psychology for the future. I would never consider a Doctor or professor of Psychology an authority of the paranormal or the metaphysical. They can’t be. They have to take their Psychology hat off and their Psychology glasses off before they can fully enter the world of the metaphysical. I should know. I had great difficulty connecting with my intuition while I was in my last year of Psychology. Lecturers who teach psychology live in that world full time. I can only imagine how blocked their intuition is. Even mine was considerably blocked for that last year and the metaphysical was my life.”

Benita said that Carl Jung and the other pioneering Psychologists of who studied the metaphysical, were part of the University’s Psychology curriculum, but they were only mentioned, not discussed, nor taken seriously. As Benita discovered, modern Psychology has become unconscious of its background and purpose.

“The purpose of Psychology these days, seems mainly, to confuse people. In fact, in the 5 years I studied Psychology, they didn’t teach us a thing about how to emotionally connect with the plight of another human being or ways of dealing with it. They taught us that you needed to do a statistical study to prove whether your hypothesis about an aspect of human behaviour was valid. We don’t need statistics to prove that. We need heart, observation and intuition.”

The Numerology Melbourne Story

Above a now forgotten Royal Tearoom at 334 Collins Street and on her second visit to Australia in 1922, Julia Seton gave one of her “Psychology of Success” lectures. Julia Seton M.D. was the founder of the American “New Civilisation Church” and set a solid foundation for the Australian Numerologists who would soon rise from Melbourne.

Julia Seton talked a lot about Pythagoras based Numerology during her Melbourne visit, at one point deciphering the word “Digger” as ominous in front of a large crowd at Anzac house. In one article from “Table Talk” (Melbourne 1922) the writer explains the popularity of Julia’s lectures as an example of “how unsatisfying a large section of the community evidently find Christianity as taught in our churches.” (***) In 1922 traditional “church work” for women was restricted to attending service, fundraising, producing arts and crafts for fetes, flower arranging, cleaning and organ playing. Many Australian women were becoming disillusioned with their traditional church life and were embracing new thoughts around the subjects of Religion, Sexuality, and Philosophy. These new spiritual churches and movements offered greater roles, responsibilities, and authority to women and Julia was a great ambassador who showed that not only could women give sermons and lead congregations, they could even form and run their own churches.

With Julia Seton, we discover the name-based Numerology combined with colour-based Numerology which was popular with most Melbourne Numerologist of this time. This brand of numerology links the numbers derived from a name to success and failure. In reverse, it was also becoming popular amongst movie stars and writers to change their names to be inline with more successful numbers. In Julia Seton’s case, it was also inseparable from other varied ‘New Thought’ topics which hailed from the “secret doctrines of Egypt, India, and Greece”. (3)

In 1922 Mrs Seton set up a Melbourne branch of her ‘new thought’ church (New Civilisation Centre) and as soon as Julia Seton left Melbourne, one her local Melbourne disciples, Mrs M. B. Dixon begins teaching a regular Thursday night Numerology class, and here we get the first traceable history of a Melbourne Numerologist.


Edith Marshall – The Melbourne Numerologist (1927 – 1933)

Five years later, on Wednesday the 19th of January in 1927 Mrs Edith Marshall conducted a series of regular Numerology classes and took her first steps towards becoming “The Melbourne Numerologist” of the 1920s. Mrs Marshall actually began as a Sydney Numerologist in 1916 and began her Melbourne Numerology chapter at Mrs. Arthur’s residence and “The Church for All” at 96 Beavers Rd, Northcote which Mrs Arthur began in 1926. The following month Edith Marshall gave a talk “Numerology – Explained and Demonstrated.” at the Brunswick Spiritual Lyceum Church, a medium circle at 259 Victoria Street that is still conducting services in the same building to this day. Again in March at the Occult Church (Oddfellow’s Hall) in the Melbourne CBD, Edith gives another talk, “Your Name Reveals Personality, Colour and Responding Note.” A title that hints that she may be drawing from the same source as Julia Seton’s style. A school of Numerology well documented by Florence Campbell as “Your Days are Numbered” (1931 ). One that matches Pythagoras’ diatonic scale (C to G) with the numbers 1 to 7 and the seven colours of the spectrum (Red to Blue). In May 1927 Mrs Marshall accompanies the Arthurs’ “Church for All” to Sydney where they conduct daily psychic demonstrations, flower readings, talks, Numerology readings, tuition and classes (***), they stay for a few months.

By 1928 there were over 30 different Melbourne Spiritualist groups conducting meetings and services and a Melbourne Numerologist was easy to find within these circles.

“Spiritualism” had moved to its own denomination in the church notices of the Melbourne Newspapers, and Edith Marshal was perfectly positioned to tour the loosely affiliated circuit of Spiritualist Churches around Melbourne. From 1928 to 1931 Edith gave regular Numerology lectures and readings at the; Malvern Spiritual Temple (Valetta Hall), Spiritual Research Society (Collins Street), School of Occult Science (1928), Madame Gisel’s (107 Blyth St, East Brunswick residence), S.O.L Church, Spiritualist Research Society (1928), Theosophical Society (1928), Spiritualist Research centre (1929), Victorian Association Spiritualist New Church (1929), Brunswick Spiritual Temple (Rechabites’ Hall), and the Natural Health Society of Australasia (Queens Hall). Then in 1930, she takes her Numerology on the road and tours other Australian states before returning to her regular Melbourne circuit in 1931.

In 1928 Mrs Edith Marshall could also be found at the 18 Flinders Street flats every Tuesday from 10am to 4pm giving readings with Numerology classes in the evenings

It is important to note that Numerology in the late 1920s was also spreading outside of the more serious Spiritualist movements and quickly becoming a popular novelty amusement with more and more books summarising it within a catalogue that also umbrellaed card games, yoga, hypnotism, and magic. A typical example of this would be “The Science of Numerology” by Walter B. Gibson which was stocked by Hutchinson and Co of Melbourne in 1928.

In 1932 Mrs. Marshall enters her 5th year as a professional Melbourne Numerologist and for the next few years, she continues giving readings and lectures along her established circuit which now expanded to include…

    • The Spiritual Temple (Chatres House)
    • Arcadia (17 Spring St, Melbourne)
    • Spiritual Research Society (Zercho’s Building)
    • SOL Church (Camberwell)
    • Melb. Prac, Psychology Club
  • Coburg Spiritual Mission

In 1934 Mrs Edith Marshall moved to London for 2 years and made her first appearance back in Melbourne at The Spiritual Research Society (Zerch’s building – next to Anzac house) and until around 1937 she continued with more professional lectures and 10 lesson Numerology classes in the Melbourne CBD, Thornbury, Camberwell, and Brunswick. Mrs Marchall is undoubtedly the earliest professional Melbourne Numerologist.
CALL BENITA – 0419 147 036

Other Melbourne Numerologists 

Other notable Melbourne Numerologists of the 1920s were:

    • Mrs. Vere Polis who gave a practical Numerology series of lectures with blackboard illustrations.
  • Mrs Smart and Mr Forscutt gave regular Numerology readings in 1929 at the Melbourne Progressive Spiritualist Lyceum (Irish National Foresters’ Hall) alongside mediums and clairvoyants. Founded in 1870 by William Henry Terry, The Melbourne Progressive Spiritualist Lyceum was the oldest organisation of this kind in Australia and also produced the “Harbinger of Light” monthly magazine for over 40 years.

By the middle of 1931 with the Great Depression well and truly established, spiritualism was still going strong with 42 listings under “Spiritualism” in The Age newspaper. Fortune telling, in general, was dramatically spreading across Melbourne, going from an occasionally pursued “illegal practice” to popular epidemic with practically every tearoom in Melbourne providing facilities for reading your future by tea leaves, astrology, clairvoyance, palmistry, and numerology (***).

    • Miss Marion Fisher also began giving lectures and (4 lessons for 10/) classes at the Melbourne Radiant Health Club, the Melbourne College of Psychology (Chartres House), and the School of Occult Science. In 1933 Miss Marion Fisher began giving Numerology demonstrations at the South Melbourne Dispensary Hall (Park St) as part of a spiritualist circle and in 1934 at the Spiritual Temple (Chartres House).
    • Mr Underhill began Numerology lectures at the United Spiritualist Church (Gooch St, Thornbury) from 1932 to 1933
    • Mr Stentz also visited from Sydney giving a Numerology lecture at the Melb. Prac.
    • In 1934 Mrs Best regularly addressed the Moonee Ponds Spiritual Church (Albert Hall) and the Footscray Spiritual Church on Numerology. In 1935 she began her Numerology classes is Seddon.
    • Throughout 1934 and 1935 Numerology Readers, Mr and Mrs Moore began a long run of appearances as Melbourne Numerologists at The Spiritual Temple (Chartres House, 163 Collins St).
    • Beginning also in 1934, Mr and Mrs Forscutt were giving Numerology classes at; the New Australian Spiritualist Church (559 Swanston St), Richmond Christian Spiritual Church, United Spiritualist Church (446 High S, Northcote), Druids Hall (Neill St, Carlton), and The Spiritual Research Society (Zerchos’ Building) up until 1938.
  • In 1937 “Let’s Talk Numerology” began a two year run on 3AW radio. This was a lunchtime show (12:45pm) that went to air every Tuesday and Friday hosted by ‘JACK’ and later renamed to “Numerology”. It is important to note that this came two years (1935) after Hettie Templeton’s highly successful Numerology Radio show “Numerology and the Child” began on 2GB Sydney. Hettie was instrumental in popularizing numerology in Australia in the 1930s, 40s and 50s.

In the late 1930’s postal courses were also being sold and more and more books were being published by the likes of Hettie Templeton, Numerology (along with Psychology and Astrology) was slowly establishing itself outside of the spiritualism circles and by an increasing number of Melbourne Numerologists; Mrs Rose Chandon, Mrs Hamilton, Floyd the Numerologist, Mr Torcutt, and Mr Gordon. Professor Zoloff also visited from Sydney and lectured on Psychology, Astrology and Numerology.

Melbourne Numerologists in the 21st century are now a more refined bridge between these early schools of Psychology and the intuitive spiritual arts.