Platonic Esoteric Geometry Parts I, II & III

Let none but geometers enter here

While Plato was publishing his dialogues, his Academy was researching and teaching sacred arithmetic and geometry. This explains the constant references to mathematics in the dialogues.

At the Platonic Academy of Melbourne we believe that a full understanding of Plato’s philosophy is only achieved by seeing and experiencing just how it was informed by the mystical mathematics practiced at Plato’s original Academy. This is why this very special course mixes discussion of the philosophical teaching with hands-on geometric drawing.

Part 1 is for geometry beginners. Beginners with Plato best take Reading Plato first.


Weekend Immersion | 9.30am-4pm | 11 & 12 May 2024


Take these courses to:

  • Practice the art that informs Plato’s dialogues
  • Get in touch with the universal form of experience through geometric drawing
  • Open your eyes to similarity and self-similarity in nature, art and architecture
  • Learn the ancient art of geometry without the tyranny of scale and without the distraction of numbers or algebra
  • Discover why geometry is the gateway to Platonism.


Course Outline

Part One: The geometry behind Plato’s Dialogues

Session 1.1 | Let none but geometers enter here
We begin by paying attention to the geometry of experienced objects, to sense and imagine their space, shape and form, their similarity and self-similarity, and these beyond the prison bars of scale. The geometric imagination is thereby awakened so that the mind’s eye may see, as the ancient Academics once did, the very elementary form of knowledge that underlies its every communication through signs, language and reason. We then take up the compass and draw our first circles. We rule our first square.

Session 1.2 | The doubling of square (Meno p. 81 to 85)
Starting with the problem of the doubling of the square, we explore the marvelous symmetries of the square’s diagonal, otherwise known as the square root of two (√2).

Session 1.3 | Geometric expansion of the doubling square
The square that is doubled is doubled again to give our first two geometric series, by double and by √2, and these serve to demonstrate the ‘power of the root’ to generate by ratio (logos).

Session 1.4 | The Spiral of Theodorus (Theaetetus p. 147d)
Diagonals underlie so much of the mathematical imagination! The use of arithmetic to measure diagonals gives what modern mathematics imagines to be numbers, imperfect, unresolved and irrational, thereby confusing geometric measurement with pure arithmetic. We eschew this modern confusion to instead explore diagonals, just as the ancients did, according to their own simple, self-measuring form.

Session 1.5 | The Golden Ratio (Republic p. 509d)
The essence of geometry is ratio (logos), and ratio of ratios is proportion (ana-logia). There are proportions in 4-terms, continuous proportions in 3-terms, and then there is that special cut of the line in 2. We make that cut with compass and rule, and then explore the symmetries of this marvelous ratio that the ancients kept secret, that the Renaissance called Divine and that we now call Golden. 

Week 1.6 | Figurate numbers and musical ratios (Timaeus 35b-36c)
Arithmetic arises from its geometric origin in the one-and-its-other, alternating odd & even, other & same, through linear time. The line is the origin of the plane, and the first plane numbers emanate triangular. The plane is the origin of the solid, and the first solid numbers emanates a crystalline pyramid with triangular base. Physical counters are used to build plane and solid (‘figurate’) number series. The fourth triangular number gives the sacred Tetractys, which contains the three musical ratios elementary to the tonal scale that remains in use today. The course finishes with the Renaissance revival of Platonic Esoteric Geometry, including the architectural application of these musical ratios.


Part Two: Back to basics

Part 2 is for all those who have taken Part 1 at some time or otherwise have experience with esoteric/sacred/traditional geometry. If unsure about suitability, contact us to discuss.


This course will run again in 2024. Contact us to register your interest or subscribe to the blog for updates..


Session 2.1 | Eggs and Squares
Easter egg and warm-ups exercises; Vesica Piscis goes golden; working in the square; radiating in fours & squaring the circle; doubling square fractal

Session 2.2 | Hexagomania
Hexagons & triangles; Star of David fractals; radiating in sixes; the Seed of Life; shapes in the Seed.

Session 2.3 The geometry of harmony
Pythagorean number generation; the three means; the harmonic ratios of the tetractys; overtones and the harmonic series; drawing the cycle of fifths.

Session 2.4 | The secrets of the pentagon
Pentagons & pentagrams; golden ratio fractals; radiating in fives, tens and twenties.

Session 2.5 Tessellations
Tiles in the square series; tessellations with hexagons.

Session 2.6 Platonic Solids
Project solids in the Metatron Cube; make solids in cardboard and other 3-dimensional media.


Part Three: Spirals and Tiles


Starting Monday 19 June 2023


We continue to consolidate skills and explore new domains. Suitable for anyone who has used a compass before. Those beginners new to the compass are also welcome, but please let us know prior to the first class.

Session 3.1 Archimedian Spiral

Sessin 3.2 Logarithmic Spirals

Session 3.3 The Flower of Life and beyond

Session 3.4 Tessellations with the Hexagon

Session 3.5 Tessellations with the Pentagon

Session 3.6 Students choice