Beloved Sara Zaltash

Beloved Sara Zaltash

Beloved Sara Zaltash is a British-Iranian, queer, non-binary, neuro-diverse artist, singer, astrologer, spiritual practitioner and public mystic. She lives to serve god(S) of all disciplines, ideologies and theologies. In any other moment in history, she’d likely have become some kind of ordained priest or devotee. Perhaps one day she I will. For now, here, in this moment, while the established religions are making space for her outré practice of divine inclusivity, she makes do with becoming herself, bismillah.

Sara gave her formative years over to music and performance art, inspiring audiences and growing communities as a performer, director, singer and host, cutting her teeth at the emergent, radical, political, grassroots end of showbiz. People matter to her; she cares about them almost too much. Travelling the world to groove and grow with festivals, activist hubs, peace-making organisations and vagabond aristos – the diverse human ecology which constitutes today’s wildly nascent (r)evolutions – Sara continued to study diligently – subjects as diverse as Law, Sustainability, Cybernetics, Persian Literature, Quranic Arabic, Astrology, Grief Tending, Spiritual Ecology and Ancestral Lineage Healing.

Beloved Sara loves to study. It soothes her epileptic brain and fills the gaps in her heart that have been gouged out by shoddy politics and pervasive systemic injustice. Knowledge is power, after all: power for my people.

Her life was transformed in 2011, when she began to offer her own unique adaptation of the Islamic Call to Prayer – the azan/adhan – in unusual contexts all over the world.

Around 2016, Beloved Sara found myself wishing that she could have some kind of marker to show her commitment to god(S), something that preceded her and introduced her. Like, if she were a nun, she’d be called Sister Zaltash, and you’d all know what she was about, you know? The trouble: so far none of the established religions would have me. So, in 2018, Sara fashioned something for myself…

The Arabic word “habibi” is used to address Muslim nuns, and can be translated as “beloved”. Sara likes this, because Beloved also points towards the Sufic encounter with the Divine, of Allah as the Beloved One, at once vast and intimate. Whenever Sara is addressed as Beloved, she enacts a silent prayer of dedication to the memory of the Persian poet Rumi and his beloved Shams, the echo of their homo-devotional affair ringing queerly into this time in which she lives. She is sure they would be pleased.

So, self-styled as Beloved Sara Zaltash, a non-denominational rabble-rouser and soul-soother for a world in crisis, Sara has dedicated her life to using her gifts as an artist, performer, poet, singer, facilitator, teacher, space-holder, ritualist, diviner, psychic and community organiser to catalyse the Great Turning of our shared Being. Key themes that she orientates around are justice, honesty, courage, glory, power, humility, integrity and enquiry. Sara is inspired by our ancestors, the stars, the river, the land and the birds, and all pathways of faith and persistence. She loves to sing, dance, write, cook and pray.

Born in Reading, UK (1985) to Iranian parents of Islamic heritage, Sara attained British Citizenship in 1996. Her Roman Catholic primary schooling and comprehensive secondary education were followed by a BA Theatre, Film and Television (Bristol, 2008), a Postgraduate Language Certificate in Persian Language and Literature (Tehran, 2010), an MA Performance, Culture, Context (Leeds, 2012), and half a Graduate Diploma in Law (BPP, 2013). She has performed professionally as an actor and singer continuously since 2003, and committed her solo practice to Live Art in 2013, and committed by soul to Oneness in 2016.

Beloved Sara is a Fellow of the Schumacher Institute, Associate Fellow of St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace and lifelong student of theological, esoteric and mystical practices from multiple traditions and teachers.

Her work has been supported by the British Council and Arts Council England, among others, and written about by the BBC, ITV, the Guardian and the New York Times, among many others.

She asks that you address her as Beloved only when she is truly beloved to you.

Let’s begin.