On March 8, 415, a woman died tragically in the city of Alexandria, Egypt, then a territory of the Eastern Roman Empire. She was murdered in a vile way by a mob of fanatics.

Her name was Hypatia, philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer, one of the most relevant women in Classical Antiquity and in the History of humankind in general.

Hypatia had a dream: to promote the reconciliation of religions, philosophies and sciences and consequently favor universal human fraternity, through the valorization of their common spiritual root, which in her perspective was the connection with the One as the infinite, eternal and immutable principle of everything that exists, visible and invisible.


Hypatia’s date of birth is not exact. But the most reasonable information indicates that Hypatia may have been born around the year 370, in Alexandria.

In Antiquity, Alexandria was one of the main cities in the world, where the cultures of the East and West converged, having a truly multicultural population where Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Jews, Nubians, Persians, and Indians stood out, among other groups.

The great cultural, religious and ethnic diversity generated tensions, but also provided the fertile soil in which a particularly fruitful spiritual and philosophical wealth developed.

Due to her mother’s early death, Hypatia was educated by her father, Theon, an illustrious philosopher who was also dedicated to mathematics and astronomy.

As an only child, Hypatia received all her paternal attention, receiving a careful multidisciplinary education, covering philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, religion, poetry, arts, oratory and rhetoric.

From a young age, Hypatia had a deep involvement with mystical and esoteric traditions. Hypatia was based on knowledge from the Mystery Schools, which was reflected in her philosophical teachings and the transmission of mystical wisdom to her students and followers.

Hypatia gave great importance to ethics in her life. Historical sources describe her as a model of ethical courage, rectitude, truthfulness, civic dedication and intellectual elevation.

The virtue most revered in her by her contemporaries was her sophrosyne , a mental state inspired by self-knowledge. “Sophrosyne” is a Greek concept that refers to the virtue of moderation, temperance, and self-control. It is related to the ability to maintain an adequate balance in life, through the prevention of extremism and excessive passions. Sophrosyne was considered a fundamental quality for achieving wisdom and ethical excellence.

Hypatia valued the love of wisdom in its diversity and freedom of thought and conscience.

Hence, he led a school of wisdom that was a true home for those who sought wisdom and truth, regardless of their religious or cultural background.

A school that emphasized knowledge, ethical integrity and spiritual growth in an atmosphere of tolerance, diversity and mutual respect.

Hypatia’s school was considered a reference of wisdom by students from Asia, Africa, and Europe, who came purposely to have her as a teacher and master.

Her disciples calling Hypatia “the most holy and revered philosopher”, “the blessed lady” and “divine guide”; praising his “divine spirit”.

Hypatia was a figure dedicated to knowledge, in the broadest sense of the term, having played a prominent role in the fields of astronomy and especially mathematics.

For Hypatia, mathematics was the alphabet with which the Divine wrote the Book of Nature. This perspective reflects his conviction in the underlying order and harmony of the cosmos, which can be discerned through the language of mathematics.

Deeply committed to the process of deepening and transmitting wisdom, when asked why she hadn’t gotten married, she replied that she was already married to the Truth,


Behind Hypatia’s multifaceted activity, there was a vision of reality or worldview.

Hypatia’s worldview encompasses her broader conceptions about the nature of reality, human existence, and the purpose of life, among other aspects.

Hypatia was a convinced follower of the spiritual vision advocated by Ammonius Sacas and Plotinus, among other great masters of Antiquity.

According to Hypatia, the true wisdom of the soul is found in the worship of the spiritual Light within the human soul, which illuminates the essence of all religions.

This concept suggests a universal, internal path of spiritual enlightenment that is accessible to individuals of all religious backgrounds, reflecting a universalist and inclusive view of spirituality.

When considering that Divine Light illuminates the essence of different religions from the inner core of the Mystery Schools, Hypatia recognized the existence of a hidden or esoteric dimension in religious teachings that transcends external beliefs and rituals, revealing higher spiritual truths and accessible to those looking for interior lighting.

This mystical and esoteric wisdom is considered a bridge between Earth and Heaven, symbolizing the connection between the human and the Divine. This image suggests that true spiritual wisdom facilitates a harmonious relationship between the material and the transcendent, allowing human beings to experience spiritual ascension and union with the Divine, as well as a relationship of fraternity and respect for the unity and diversity of Life.

Hypatia’s comprehensive and inclusive attitude in the search for wisdom is part of ancient Theosophy. It must be borne in mind that the term “Theosophy” means “Divine Wisdom”.

Hypatia had a great reverence for Ammonius Saccas, the founder of the Eclectic Theosophical School. Furthermore, the diverse aspects of Hypatia’s life demonstrate her emphasis on the search for spiritual wisdom, the exploration of esoteric teachings, and the appreciation of ethical virtues.

Inspired by the wisdom of Antiquity, Hipatia emphasized the relevance of the One, the ultimate source of all reality.

His spiritual vision valued the interconnection of all beings and the Cosmos. He taught that everything is part of a greater divine Whole and that recognizing this unity is essential for the spiritual development of the human person.

Hypatia considered that human beings must be persevering in the search for wisdom, knowledge and self-realization.

He advocated the importance of self-knowledge to expand awareness and understanding of the Divine, as well as the relevance of existential harmony. Human beings must live in harmony with themselves, with others and with the natural world. In this sense, they must cultivate compassion, empathy, and respect for all forms of life.

Hypatia considered that human beings can reach higher levels of consciousness, transcend their limitations and achieve enlightenment through spiritual practices and above all through inner transformation.

Next, we will analyze Hypatia’s perspectives on the vision of the Divine, the Cosmos, and Humankind, as well as spiritual practices.


The vision of the Divine, according to Hypatia, is deeply mystical, rooted in the teachings of philosophers such as Ammonius Sacas, Plotinus, Porphyry and Proclus, who emphasized the unity of existence, the simultaneously transcendent and immanent nature of the Divine and the interconnectedness of all things.

Hypatia believed in idealistic monism, with panentheistic characteristics, with the following structuring characteristics:

  • The diversity of existence is seen as emanations or reflections of a supreme unity;
  • Ultimate reality is considered to be fundamentally spiritual rather than material in nature.
  • The Divine is seen as transcendent and immanent, permeating all levels of existence at the same time as transcending them. Hypatia appreciated the dynamic interaction between Divine Oneness and the multiple levels of reality.

In this sense, Hypatia defended the proposition that the One, also called the Absolute or the Good, is the absolute, supreme, ineffable, and unknowable principle, which is the source of everything that exists, visible and invisible.

She approached the nature of the One through the so-called apophatic theology, also known as via Virgínia, which seeks to describe the Divine by negation or by what it is not. The One transcends being and non-being. It is ineffable, beyond all predicates and attributes, and cannot be grasped by the intellect or perceived by the senses. It is the source from which all realities emanate, but it remains eternally beyond the plane of multiplicity and differentiation. All existence participates in the unity of the One, which serves as the ultimate basis of being.

According to Hypatia’s perspective, the One gives rise to subsequent levels of reality through a process of emanations.

The first emanations of the One are the Nous and the Soul of the World, which form with the One the hypostases of the Triad or Divine Trinity.

The first emanation of the One and the second hypostasis of the Divine Trinity is the Nous, also called the Divine Intellect or the Divine Mind, The Nous is characterized by absolute unity and knowledge. It is the source of all intelligible reality and the plane of perfect unity and understanding, where multiplicity is synthesized into the harmonious whole. Within the Nous, there are the Archetypes or divine Forms, which are the perfect and eternal concepts of everything that exists in the material world. Among the Archetypes, Hypatia highlights Beauty, Goodness, Justice, and Truth.

The Soul of the World is the third hypostasis of the Divine Trinity, emanating from the Nous and, ultimately, from the One. Also called the Cosmic Soul, the World Soul is associated with life, movement, and order in the cosmos. It is the principle that animates and organizes the material universe, reflecting divine order and unity. It has a mediating role between the divine plan and the material universe. Therefore, it is connected with individual souls.

In short, in Hypatia’s view, the Divine Plan, which emanates from the One or Absolute, is simultaneously transcendent and immanent, being present in all aspects and dimensions of reality. Hypatia’s spirituality emphasized the infinite wisdom and unconditional love of the Divine, inspiring human beings to cultivate these qualities in their own lives.


The cosmos is seen as an ordered and harmonious whole, reflecting the divine principles of unity and perfection.

Hypatia’s perspective values the interconnection of the macrocosm and microcosm.

The vision of the material cosmos is characterized by the emanation of superior and divine realities.

According to Hypatia, the material cosmos emanates from the ultimate source, the One. The process of emanation is not a creative act but a natural overflow of the divine essence. Nous contains the Forms or Archetypes, which are perfect and eternal representations of everything that exists in the material world. The World Soul is the animating principle that gives order, harmony, and vitality to the material cosmos. It serves as a mediator or intermediary between the intelligible plane of the Divine Plane and the sensitive plane of the material world.

The material world includes the physical universe and everything within it. The material world is characterized by multiplicity, change, and imperfection. It is the plane of becoming, where the diverse forms of life participate in the archetypal Forms to varying degrees.

Hypatia emphasizes the idea of the unity of Life within diversity, recognizing the interconnection of all forms of life – mineral, vegetable, animal, human, and suprahuman.

The World Soul is connected with individual souls in the material world. Individual souls are considered emanations or reflections of the World Soul, and their journey involves a return to unity with the Divine.


Hypatia advocated that Human beings have divine origins. Just as the entire cosmos emanates from the One, human souls are also considered emanations from the Divine Source. Each human being is a spark of Divinity and is inherently linked to higher realities and descends into the material world.

Hypatia conceptualized the human being as consisting of three fundamental aspects:

  • Nous (spirit or superior soul): Nous is the aspect of the human being that is associated with spiritually higher intelligence, reason, and understanding. It is considered as the highest part of the human being, capable of contemplating eternal ideas, tuning in to the Divine and transcending mundane experience.
  • Psyche (inferior soul) The psyche is the basis of the human personality. It covers concrete thoughts, emotions, and desires. It is influenced by the contingencies of the material world but can be improved and elevated through spiritual development.
  • Soma (Body): The soma is the physical, material, and tangible body of a person. It is the vehicle through which the psyche and nous interact with the physical world.

According to Hypatia’s view, souls descend from the highest, divine planes into the material world. This descent is not seen as a punishment but as a necessary part of the soul’s journey toward self-realization and spiritual evolution. The material world serves as a plane of experience and learning, where souls can develop virtues, overcome obstacles, and, finally, return to their divine origin.

Human beings are responsible for their own ethical and spiritual growth. According to Hypatia, death refers to the physical body, as the soul seeks new forms in which to continue its pilgrimage.

In fact, Hypatia recognized reincarnation, considering that, after physical death, the soul leaves the body and will live again in another human body. Each life is seen as a time of preparation for the next life, leading to increasing improvement on the path toward union with the Divine.


Hypatia recognized a hierarchical structure of beings that emanate from the One, the ultimate source of all existence.

Within the scope of intermediate beings between the One and humankind, angels and daimones (guardian spirits) can be referenced.

Hypatia believed that these beings helped in the spiritual evolution and ethical development of Humankind.

In the interaction between the Divine and humankind, Hypatia greatly valued the role of instructors, human beings who achieved Divine Wisdom, the highest level of wisdom.

These beings were seen as intermediaries between the material world and the Divine, and were often revered as sources of inspiration and spiritual guidance.

Hypatia valued the very present tendency in Antiquity to attribute divine qualities to notable figures who transcended normal human limitations, especially those who were spiritual leaders, philosophers or teachers of wisdom. Figures that inspired spiritual, religious, and philosophical currents. Among these figures, classical Greek philosophers, such as Pythagoras, Socrates and Plato, the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaton and religious messengers such as Moses, Zoroaster, Siddhartha Gautama and Jesus.

However, from Hypatia’s perspective, reverence and veneration for the various spiritual beings should not devalue the conviction that spiritual worship par excellence should be reserved only for the Divine Source, from which everything that exists emanates.


Hypatia greatly valued ethical conduct as a means of aligning with the divine order and facilitating spiritual ascension.

In this context, he defended the practice of ethical virtues as essential for the spiritual development of human beings.

Hypatia’s spirituality was based on the following spiritual practices:

  • Contemplative Practices: meditation and prayers were an integral part of daily spiritual practices, promoting inner awareness and connection with the Divine.
  • Rituals and symbolic ceremonies, aiming to transmit spiritual truths and promote transformative experiences.
  • Study of texts relevant to spiritual development, including classic philosophical works and scriptures from different religious traditions.
  • Community meetings for shared spiritual practices, discussions and mutual support on the spiritual journey.
  • Service to the community, including charitable activities, praising the values of compassion and service to others.

Hypatia proposed an initiation path for spiritual development, which has parallels with ancient philosophical schools and mysterious spiritualities.

Indeed, for Hypatia, philosophy was much more than an intellectual activity. Based on the ancient Greek word therapeia, from which “therapy” derives, which means simultaneously “cure” and “care” ” hypatia understood that ancient philosophy was therapeia – at the same time cure and care – for the soul, having as its contribution to progress your level of spiritual progress. In fact, the purpose of philosophy is higher than the healing and care of the soul, which is the spiritual transformation of the human being.

Like many cures, philosophy must proceed in stages, starting with your current condition and proceeding through successive phases until the cure is successful.

In this sense, Hypatia developed an initiatory path based on the concept of the three degrees of wisdom, which was associated with the corresponding stages in the initiation process of the ancient mystery schools and physical locations of ancient Athens.

Drawing inspiration from the legacy of the great incitements of Antiquity, which recognized three degrees – purification, illumination, and revelation – in which the initiate had a growing experience of connection with the Divine, the initiatory path proposed by Hypatia had the following degrees:

  • 1st degree of wisdom – Garden (Epicureanism): The garden symbolized the first degree of wisdom associated with Epicureanism. This degree emphasized the importance of cultivating inner peace, contentment, and tranquility through moderation of desires. Initiates at this stage focused on self-care, personal well-being, and the pursuit of pleasure in moderation. The objective was to achieve a state of calm and mental freedom.
  • 2nd degree of wisdom – Portico (stoicism): The portico symbolizes the second degree of wisdom associated with stoicism. The search for freedom and serenity was valued through detachment from external circumstances and acceptance of destiny. This degree emphasized resilience, self-discipline, and virtue in the face of adversity. In this phase, initiates learn to cultivate inner strength, resilience, and emotional equanimity, overcoming attachment to external results. The goal is to achieve a state of inner peace and serenity, regardless of external circumstances.
  • 3rd degree of wisdom – Forest (Platonism). The forest symbolized the third degree of wisdom, associated with Platonism and Neoplatonism. In this degree, spiritual transformation and union with the Divine were sought through philosophical contemplation and intellectual ascension. This degree emphasized the pursuit of transcendent truth, beauty, wisdom, and harmony. Initiates at this stage engaged in deep philosophical investigation, contemplation of mystical forms and practices designed to transcend the limitations of the material world. The objective was to achieve a state of spiritual enlightenment, the realization of the true human essence and union with the Divine.


Hypatia’s attitude towards the religions of her time was characterized by tolerance, intellectual curiosity, critical discernment, and a search for universal truth in spiritual and ethical terms.

Although she may have been critical of aspects of religious beliefs and practices, she likely approached them with an open mindset and a commitment to universal ethics and philosophical inquiry.

Living in a metropolis where followers of different religions lived, Hypatia was inserted in a plural and diverse cultural and religious environment, advocating tolerance, dialogue, and mutual understanding rather than conflict or hostility.

Hypatia showed reservations regarding aspects of religious beliefs and practices that she considered superstitious or dogmatized. Alternatively, he advocated a mystical, esoteric, and philosophical approach to spirituality.

Indeed, Hypatia was interested in discovering universal truths about the nature of reality and the human condition, which transcended specific religious doctrines. Furthermore, he valued the search for truth and spiritual ascension, often through philosophical contemplation and ethical practice.

We can infer aspects of Hypatia’s perspectives regarding the specific religions of her time, which were present in the Roman Empire or nearby territories.


Hypatia, as a Neoplatonic philosopher, probably had a clear appreciation for the philosophical and mystical aspects of pagan religions. She may have viewed pagan myths and rituals as symbolic expressions of spiritual truths and cosmic principles, consistent with Neoplatonic metaphysics. However, Hypatia may have criticized aspects of pagan beliefs and practices that she considered superstitious or irrational. For example, Hypatia considered polytheism, that is, the belief in multiple gods as symbolic expressions of divine principles and archetypes rather than literal beings. In fact, Hypatia had a monistic understanding of reality, where the diversity of existence is seen as emanations or reflections of a supreme unity.


Zoroastrianism, with its dualistic worldview and emphasis on moral conduct, may have motivated Hypatia’s interest as a philosopher concerned with ethical values and the importance of leading a virtuous life. 


Hypatia’s deep interest in mysticism and the search for enlightenment may have led her to appreciate certain aspects of Buddhism, namely its emphasis on meditation and overcoming suffering and attachment.


Hypatia probably had great respect for Jewish religious traditions, especially in their mystical and esoteric dimension and the importance attributed to ethics.


Hypatia lived at a time characterized by the progressive rise of Christianity to the status of the official religion of the Empire. In the line of Ammonius Sacas, Hypatia viewed Jesus as a figure who represents divine wisdom and sought to reestablish ancient and perennial wisdom in its original integrity, presenting the principles of a harmonious life from an ethical and spiritual point of view. Within the scope of the internal plurality of Christianity, Hypatia had a greater connection with Gnostic Christianity than with Orthodox Christianity. Indeed, Gnostic Christianity emphasized esoteric knowledge and the idea of salvation through gnosis or spiritual enlightenment. Hypatia, with her great interest in mysticism, may have found common ground with relevant aspects of Christian Gnosticism, namely its emphasis on inner spiritual experience, on the simultaneously transcendent and immanent nature of Divinity and on the divine essence of all human beings. In turn, her spiritual vision may have led her to have reservations regarding orthodox Christian conceptions, such as the Incarnation, the Atonement or the doctrine of the Trinity, as it was approved at the Council of Nicaea (325) and subsequent councils, considering that such conceptions distorted the true message of Jesus and perpetuated religious dogmatism.


Hypatia, with her interest in spiritual ascension and purification of the soul, may have found parallels between Manichaean teachings and Neoplatonic concepts, although she moved away from the idea that the material world was inherently evil.


Hypatia had a spiritual dream deeply intertwined with her mystical aspirations and her diverse intellectual pursuits.

Throughout her earthly life, Hypatia demonstrated an especially broad understanding that all paths of knowledge ultimately lead to Divine Truth.

Hypatia was aware that human beings, when in tune with universal values, occupy their exact place in the whole and respect the other parts of that whole with tolerance, manifesting Universal Wisdom within themselves.

Hypatia proclaimed and experienced a holistic spirituality, a tapestry of diverse spiritual and philosophical systems woven by the threads of Universal Truth.

A spirituality that honors the sacredness of all life, embraces the interconnectedness of all existence, and celebrates the divinity immanent within each being.

We find in Hypatia a vision of the entire Cosmos as a theophany, that is, the manifestation of the One, the absolute and supreme principle, the source of everything that exists, visible and invisible.

A manifestation that can be described as Love.

A manifestation that calls us to the inner life of Divinity so that we can realize our divine essence as sons and daughters of Absolute Love.

Written by Daniel José Ribeiro de Faria

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