Asteroid Files: Bilkis

Helios on Bilkis– No one likes having to answer to other people- telling us what to do, how to live our lives, demanding we play by their rules… well, this asteroid Queen is here to help us break out of that paradigm!

The Astronomy– 585 Bilkis is a minor planet orbiting the Sun. It was discovered in 1906 February and was given the Koran name for the Queen of Sheba. Photometric observations made in 2006–7 were used to build a light curve for this object. The asteroid displayed a rotation period of 8.5742 ± 0.0005 hours and a brightness variation of 0.40 ± 0.02 in magnitude.

The Myth–  Based on the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, the “queen of the South” is claimed to be the queen of Ethiopia. In those times, King Solomon sought merchants from all over the world, in order to buy materials for the building of the Temple. Among them was Tamrin, great merchant of Queen Makeda (the Ethiopic name of Bilkis) of Ethiopia. Having returned to Ethiopia, Tamrin told the queen of the wonderful things he had seen in Jerusalem, and of Solomon’s wisdom and generosity, whereupon she decided to visit Solomon. She was warmly welcomed, given a palace for dwelling, and received great gifts every day. Solomon and Makeda spoke with great wisdom, and instructed by him, she converted to Judaism.

Before she left, there was a great feast in the king’s palace. Makeda stayed in the palace overnight, after Solomon had sworn that he would not do her any harm, while she swore in return that she would not steal from him. As the meals had been spicy, Makeda awoke thirsty at night and went to drink some water, when Solomon appeared, reminding her of her oath. She answered: “Ignore your oath, just let me drink water.” That same night, Solomon had a dream about the sun rising over Israel, but being mistreated and despised by the Jews, the sun moved to shine over Ethiopia and Rome (i. e. the Byzantine empire). Solomon gave Makeda a ring as a token of faith, and then she left. On her way home, she gave birth to a son, whom she named Baina-leḥkem (i. e. bin al-ḥakīm, “Son of the Wise Man”, later called Menilek). After the boy had grown up in Ethiopia, he went to Jerusalem carrying the ring and was received with great honors. The king and the people tried in vain to persuade him to stay. Solomon gathered his nobles and announced that he would send his first-born son to Ethiopia together with their first-borns. He added that he was expecting a third son, who would marry the king of Rome’s daughter and reign over Rome so that the entire world would be ruled by David’s descendants.

Prior to leaving, the priests’ sons had stolen the Ark of the Covenant, after their leader Azaryas had offered a sacrifice as commanded by one God’s angel. With much wailing, the procession left Jerusalem on a wind cart lead and carried by the archangel Michael. Having arrived at the Red Sea, Azaryas revealed to the people that the Ark is with them. David prayed to the Ark and the people rejoiced, singing, dancing, blowing horns and flutes, and beating drums. The Ark showed its miraculous powers during the crossing of the stormy Sea, and all arrived unscathed. When Solomon learned that the Ark had been stolen, he sent a horseman after the thieves and even gave chase himself, but neither could catch them. Solomon returned to Jerusalem and gave orders to the priests to remain silent about the theft and to place a copy of the Ark in the Temple so that the foreign nations could not say that Israel had lost its fame.

In the Kabbalah, the Queen of Sheba was considered one of the queens of the demons and is sometimes identified with Lilith. A Jewish and Arab myth maintains that the Queen was actually a djinn, half human and half demon

Why She Matters– BILKIS IS SO COOL I LOVE HER! On the one hand you have the seductive, alluring temptress aspect that gets the most airplay in pop culture (American Gods, where she has a demonic vagina that swallows people whole to feed her power) and on the other you have this brilliant, fierce queen commanding an obscenely rich and powerful country without being slave to any man. Her myth is told across ALL of the Abrahamic texts, and each of them hints at a greater mystery that is as yet untold.

If I could describe Bilkis in one word, it would be unapologetic. Sure, she’s got the temptation of Salome, but its mixed with this awesome Eris attitude that just throws her middle finger up at the universe and DEMANDS that it bow down to her. Actually, this is a phenomenal look at Bilkis energy, go watch this video. Even though Bilkis is somewhat confrontational, she comes from a place of commanding respect. You WILL recognize her majesty, or you’ll regret it. Bilkis is also hugely representative of the “Black Girl Magic” upswell in recent years. Bilkis is strongly black, and she is every mature black woman, strong and a force in her own right, and always deserving of respect. She is matriarchal and powerful, like a warrior version of Juno. She is an ally to all PoC and a defender to those in need. Angela Bassett is an excellent embodiment of Bilkis energy, in literally any of her roles.

She is also a temptress, fully living within her own sexuality, and owning it as an expression of herself and revelling in self-love. This is aligned to Lilith, as seen above, but those old men who wandered the desert got very strange ideas about women stuck in their heads. She is no succubus, but she is in full ownership of her own lust and desires, and doesnt need anyone else keeping them in check for her! The lesson Bilkis teaches is that you can live your life on your own terms. This is not an asteroid Queen who doubts herself or her place in the universe, and this is reflected in the chart. Wherever you have Bilkis, you can ALWAYS work for incredible results. All you have to do is believe in your worthiness, and you will see wonders wrought.

To find out where she shows up in your chart, go to astro.com, put in your birth details and in the extended options, all the way at the bottom of the next page, there will be a menu of additional objects. Under that is a blank space where you can enter the number 585, for Bilkis. Once you have it entered, generate the chart! Where does Bilkis affect your life? Let us know in the comments below!

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