As often happens, I came across this numerological technique while looking for something else. It was in a book titled, A Handbook of Cartomancy: Fortune-Telling and Occult Divination by someone with the obvious pseudonym Grand Orient, published in 1891. In the chapter titled “To Read a Person’s Character by Means of Cabalistic Calculations” it outlined a system of discerning a person’s character by a numerological breakdown of their name. Grand Orient, laying it on thick, said, “This art is sometimes said to have been invented by the sage Pythagoras, who held that…” etc. I looked at the alpha-numeric table below the author’s discourse on its origins. It certainly wasn’t either the Pythagorean or Chaldean system. I knew I’d seen that alpha-numeric system somewhere. A quick check with Wikipedia confirmed it for me—that alpha numeric table was adapted for the Western alphabet from the Hebrew form of Gematria.
Thanks for your post. Out of interest, you may find my articles very relevant to this topic. I have a bit of a unique perspective about Gematria, but nonetheless tease out important connections.
Thank you for mentioning your articles on the subject. I shall have to go have a look!