House of the Lotus
Detail from the wall of Chehel Sotoon in Isfahan, Persia depicting singing and dancing women
Fieldless, a lotus flower gules
آب حیات است عشق
"Love is the Water of Life"
- Jalāl al-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī
The House of the Lotus is a 16th century Safavid Persian house of courtesans. Our estates are located in Isfahan, under the rulership of Shah Abbas I, in the Hijri year 1008 (CE 1599). Our household is focused on the role of courtesans in the arts of Safavid Persia, and our courtesans include talented dancers, singers, instrumentalists, painters, calligraphers, and conversationalists.
As we grow, we want to be representative of a fully functioning Persian estate. As such, we are interested in recruiting not only courtesans, but also fighters, artists, craftspeople, and any others who want to explore this unique piece of history.
The House of the Lotus is centered in the Crown Province of Ostgardr (New York, New York), but membership is not dependent on geography. We are an LGBTQ-friendly, disability-adaptive, and socially progressive household. Our personas come from diverse backgrounds, from al-Andalus to the Mongolian plains, and we hope that our membership will reflect a similar diversity.
The House of the Lotus
In the Hijri year 1008 (CE 1599), during the reign of Shah Abbas I, Sayyida Laila al-Sanna’ al-Andalusiyya, favored courtesan of the Shah and famed court singer, founded the House of the Lotus in the glorious city of Isfahan. Blessed with the patronage of The Honorable Lady Ajir Tsagaan, and the favor of the Shah himself, the new house of courtesans built its estates on the Chahar Bagh, the Champs Elysées of Isfahan.
Though the House of the Lotus is young, we are already home to charming and talented courtesans from every corner of the world. In time, our dancers and singers, scribes and poets will surely be renowned throughout the Kingdom and even beyond its borders.
Welcome to the House of the Lotus. The pleasure is yours.
- August 2018. The House of the Lotus is founded in the Kingdom of the East, by Sayyida Laila al-Sanna' al-Andalusiyya, the Honorable Lady Ajir Tsagaan, Jibril al-Ghazal, and Bahja al-Azraq.
- December 2018. Jibril al-Ghazal is inducted into the Order of the Silver Wheel.
- December 2018. Sayyida Laila al-Sanna' al-Andalusiyya becomes the Arts & Sciences Champion for the Barony of Bhakail.
- December 2018. Sayyida Laila al-Sanna' al-Andalusiyya becomes the Chair of Opera Studies for the East Kingdom Royal College of Performers.
- January 2019. The House of the Lotus welcomes three new members: Estienne de Bellefaye, Safiyya al-Zahra', and Ameline qui donois.
- January 2019. Sayyida Laila al-Sanna' al-Andalusiyya becomes the Chatelaine of the Crown Province of Ostgardr.
Projects and Publications
Household Architecture Project: The Lotus House
IN PROGRESS. Led by The Honorable Lady Ajir Tsagaan, The House of the Lotus is embarking on a large-scale project to design our household estates, located in Isfahan, Persia, in the year 1599. The project will include a research paper, drawings and elevations, and a scale model.
Household Costuming Project: Coordinated Formal Safavid Persian Garb
IN PROGRESS. As a House of Courtesans, it is important that we carry ourselves with poise and dress impeccably. In order to present ourselves in our best light, we are designing, patterning, and constructing full formal Safavid Persian garb for each member of the household, in coordinating colors of silk, with metal-thread trim. Design and Patterning by Sayyida Laila al-Sanna' al-Andalusiyya, based on historic garments. Costume construction by Sayyid Jibril al-Ghazal. Hand finishing by Sayyida Laila al-Sanna' al-Andalusiyya.
Resource List: Courtesans in the Performing Arts
ON-GOING. Led by Sayyida Laila al-Sanna' al-Andalusiyya, we are building an anotated bibliography (with links) of resources pertaining to the role of courtesans in the performing arts before 1600, categorized by time period and culture.
Resource List: Eunuchs, LGBTQ People, and the Arab World
ON-GOING. Led by Sayyida Laila al-Sanna' al-Andalusiyya, we are building an anotated bibliography (with links) of resources pertaining to eunuchs and LGBTQ people in the Arab world, categorized by topic, time period, and culture.
- Sayyida Laila al-Sanna' al-Andalusiyya
- The Honorable Lady Ajir Tsagaan
- Sayyid Jibril al-Ghazal
- Bahja al-Azraq
- Estienne de Bellefaye
- Safiyya al-Zahra'
- Ameline qui donois
Those interested in joining the House of the Lotus should contact Sayyida Laila al-Sanna' al-Andalusiyya through Facebook (Krishna Alexandra) or by email at HouseoftheLotus@gmail.com.