Asteroid Bilkis & the Queen of Sheba

Asteroid Bilkis – number 585 – was named after the Queen of Sheba. One of my minor Mars-in-Virgo irritants is when people refer to the Queen of Sheba as if her name was Sheba. I think it comes from the movie “Solomon and Sheba.”

Sheba was her realm. Bilquis – aka Bilkis – was her name, at least in Arabic. The Ethiopians called her Makeda and the Romans knew her as Nicaula. And according to the inimitable Barbara Walker, there was more than one of her. In the Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, she refers to “Marib, City of the Moon, seat of the queens of Sheba.

…Sheba  was  the  land-name  and  Goddess-name  of  Arabian  queens  in the  ancient  seat  of  government,  Marib,  in  southern  Arabia  (now Yemen).  Shebat  was  the  Mesopotamian  Moon-goddess  (a  variation of  Hebat  or  Eve),  and  the  month  named  after  her.”

Her actual life story – like that of all ancient queens – is merged with religious texts, folklore, myth, bias and projections. Even so, Bilquis has survived the aeons with a reputation for beauty and good governance. Whether or not she had anything more than a trade agreement with King Solomon, she is evidently the subject of the only vaguely erotic bit in the Christian Bible, the Song of Songs.

The Ancient Chinese saw her as part-fairy and other cultures said she was a sylph. Bilquis and her realm may also have been conflated with the pre-Islamic Arabian goddesses – with many stories stressing her (unlikely) religious conversion.

It’s probably fictional but a Lao Tzu site quotes the Queen as having this to say, presumably about Jesus Christ: “He was a rebel, a troublemaker. They say he died for your sins but that is not the truth. He refused to be cowed, controlled. And now look at the power he wields, the worship he commands.

And, at least 20 centuries after this women strode the earth, she is iconic enough to be cited when people over-inflate their importance: “Who do you think you are? The Queen of Sheba?” Realistically, she probably pertains more to Lilith or Venus, but nonetheless, where is your asteroid Bilquis?

Top Image: Yetide Badaki as Bilquis in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods
Images Below from Left to Right: Bellifortis, Solomon and Sheba – 1959, Bilquis – the Queen of Sheba – Iran,
19th Century ‘Queen of Saba’ Opera, Solomon and Sheba – 1995La Regina De Saba.

74 thoughts on “Asteroid Bilkis & the Queen of Sheba”

  1. and two years down the track I stumbled across this archived blog. So 585 asteroid-Bilquis Queen of Sheba is conjunct(exact) my Natal Jupiter and today smack bang on my ascendant Aquarius. (585 10.28 / asc 10.55) Like today! Today the day this little gorgeous picture popped up in the side bar.

  2. She’s at 12 Leo in my 6th and 4 degrees from my North Node. Is that close enough for a conjunction? Coz I wouldn’t mind a future as a wise and beautiful Queen!

  3. Natal at 12 degrees Libra. Currently transiting my first house in Virgo along with Mars Venus Jupiter and North Node and the Moon. Where’s my Song of Songs? Or like Kate Bush’s song, “Song Of Solomon”

  4. Neil Gaiman certainly had Bilquis play up in ‘American Gods’. I was a little confused with Gaimans Sheba and Bilquis references but now understand. Thanks Mystic. This was prob one of the best books I have ever read. Loved all the Gods that played a part, big and small. Many times they turn up here in Mystics posts. Just saying.

        1. oh gosh, i’d forgotten about her in that! totally one of those books that tweaked my worldview. the gods and goddesses pop up here, in walking life, in dreams.
          note to self: avoid being squished by car. (that was her, right?)

  5. Nice, 11 degrees Taurus in the 11th house. Guess that’s some trine action going on. Better get saucy with my friends. 😉 What’s that terrible old saying when someone thinks a woman is lazy? ‘Who do you think you are? The Queen of Sheba?’ Now I know my natal placement I might reply, ‘What of it? Go peel me another grape!’

    1. Haha Geminian, I mentioned this same quote… As did Linda. Our respective mothers did say this to us in our younger years. Funny though… I’m far from lazy. I love to work.

      On second thoughts… Maybe I’m related to Q of S… Since she’s smack bang in the middle of Saturn and Pallas… In Capricorn. So could deinitely be some potential political leadership biz going on there. Hehehe

  6. Oh sweet, I have her rising! Less than a degree off my AC in the 12th.
    Jupiter, Bilquis, Sun, and Apollo rising.
    WTF maaaaan. Where is my queendom?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

  7. The Queen is at 11 degrees Sag in my chart, between 23 degrees Scorpio Neptune and 27 degrees Sagitarius Mars. A steamy spot for the subject of the Song of Songs.

  8. 9th house Kataka. Glad to see something else Kataka in my chart – Circe is the only other one there that I know of worth mentioning. Someone should do a photography project of ancient queens & the like. I saw a Disney princess one (ok sorry I know that’s lame) with historically accurate models, clothing, etc that was very interesting. This would be way better.

      1. Awesome 🙂 Mine is at 10 degrees, trine Uranus and squared to Pluto and NN.

        Sorry to hear about the business thing that fell through. Hope you’re bouncing back from that ok. xx

        1. Your Bilkis is conjunct my Moon 🙂

          Saturn on my Neptune surely made a thorough job. It is not true that Saturn doesn’t like Neptune’s dreams, he just carefully test them. I’m fine now. Thanks! xx

  9. Linda River Valente

    Exactly conjunct my Aries Moon in Twelfth House . 9Which is conjunct my daughter’s moon!) And yes– I am another gal who heard from my mother, “Who do you think you are, the Queen of Sheba?”

  10. Bilquis is conjunct my Sun (11;36 virgo) right now ! That must be why I’m just hearing about her for the first time. Natally 18 pisces. Thanks, off to research.

  11. Natal Bilquis in Virgo: trine Lilith, sextile Jupe – she runs with the best, hairy legs ‘n all.

    But while I mention Lilith – she’s been on my NN for last week – it’s like being on sspeeed with the focus of a Hellfire missile.
    Done more work in the past few days than in the whole damned year.
    Even sleep more efficiently, with instructive dreams, inducing light bulb moments.
    Shame I can’t lasso her and keep her there!

  12. Black is my fave. It contains all the waves. Transcendent.

    What is this spicy queen’s sun/rising/moon, is all I wonder.

    So many hidden truths coming to light in the news recently. PA scandalous behavior of the upper crust, IL cop’s suicide, the Vatican biz… Sun & Mercury in Scorpio, the skeletons are rattling the closet doors!

  13. She is at 20 Taurus, smack on my 5th house cusp … bet she enjoys the Venus energy and Leo placement … perfect for a queen

  14. Bilkis is at 12 Leo-9th conjunct Uranus and square Asc. Prog she is at 2 Virgo in my 10th-

    The Queens of yore fascinate me. King David’s wife Michal mocked and scorned him when he danced in the streets. She bore no children- so he cherished his other queens.

    I love headbands- and capes.

    My mum was Leo Moon on my Bilkis- and Hebe, a service centered asteroid. My sister and I cringed at her imperious ways. She loved issuing commands.

  15. Hmm I got Bilkis at 22 Cap 59, in between Saturn 18 Cap 00 and Pallas… 24 Cap 08. 1st and 2nd House.

    Don’t remember what I did at the time, but I’m pretty sure I recall my mother saying words to the effect of “Who do you think you are? The Queen of Sheba?” when I was younger. Hahahaha

  16. This is a great site, but sadly, the few times when it does depict black women, be they of history or myth, it fails to do them justice. Why illustrate a powerful, black African queen as a white witch as in the first illustration? Or in the same vein as the Eurocentric painters have done? Why keep appropriating other non-white cultures? It only perpetuates the prejudice and might even disappoint women of color.

    1. Good point and thank you – but it is partly to do with this being a post more about an asteroid and cultural archetype than any sort of depiction of history.

      Also, this site is just me. I write thousands of words a day and sadly, do not have the time/resources to devote to image research so forth that i would like to have. This is a blog not Time magazine.

      1. I understand, Mystic – and I really don’t know how you manage it. But it’s because I would rather read your blog than Time magazine, that I would like to draw your awareness to the above point, so as to make this even a better place for my mind to graze in. Call me selfish! Thank you for everything that you do.
        Love and Blessings.

    2. Feel free to share more info on Black Women / History BIR in the comments if that’s your expertise! I’m sure a few of us would be delighted to learn more from you 🙂

    3. BIR, I would also love to see African queens- not white versions- And MM welcomes and counts on us to enrich/expand and if need be correct, kindly, inaccurate or limited views/data.

      Yes to richer/ wider views!

  17. In my first house.

    Funny to think of it, as I am a Whatever-Piscean with Whatever-Goes Sag Rising. But that is not how i’m perceived apparently. This asteroid is minor but there’s also MC Leo, and with the asteroid Scheherezade bang on it. Had always thought perhaps the Mars Cap on 2nd House cusp plus Antares warrior fixed star exact on my rising degree might add to this. Have a definite dont-fq-me-about vibe happening, and used to be surprised at reactions to me, when younger.

    This little asteroid goes well with other haughty-lady-haughty-lord stuff in my chart. I always have to temper how i connect in others’ perception, despite the Piscean empathy underlying it all. Plus the NN Aqua conjunct my IC, and Venus, Venus being in mutual reception with Uranus Libra 11H.

    Taming ancient patterns of leadership with modern humanitarian ways of relating is my theme this life.

  18. Ooh another asteroid. I love these posts.
    At 20 Pisces she is between Chiron and Psyche in the 8th. I have no idea what she does except possibly augment what I already have going on in Pisces. Which is quite a lot 🙂

  19. conjunct Venus in Capricorn 🙂
    I always loved the story and unconsciously took her on as a heroine as a kid. Officially Shir Hashirim -Song of Songs – is about the love between G-d and the people, but I prefer the connection with Bilquis 🙂

    1. she was said to be wise above all (as well as beautiful) and more than able to match Solomon’s legendary wisdom. Maybe she represents where you have a deep intuitive wisdom that is able to successfully negotiate and deliver results in the outer world…backed up with a beguiling beauty…powerful!

  20. Bilkis conjunct Mars at 3 Scorpio in the 1st house (&Pluto at 6 Scorp)

    What is this? Maybe The Empress card in the tarot?

  21. Not sure about calling her by the wrong name but I’m pretty sure she was black and hailed from Ethiopia. A couple of those photos above are cringeworthy. Also her mention in the bible was from the Hebrew not Christian books. The story goes that she had a very productive relationship with King Solomon including children. This connection although maybe myth created a strong bond between Ethiopians and the Hebrews. This connection appears in modern times with Haille Selassie, one of the Solomonic kings of Ethiopia, considered the Lion of Judah and messiah by the Rastafarians.
    Then in 1984 during a severe famine in Ethiopia a tribe called the Falashas were airlifted by the Israelis out of the Ethiopian desert to Israel. This tribe claimed its rights as a tribe of Israel by showing their connection again through the Queen of Sheba’s relationship with Solomon.

    1. I had read the bible/apocrypha and had no idea she was Ethiopian. You raised my consciousness. Thank you!

      Your breasts are like two fawns, twin fawns of a gazelle grazing among the lilies. Solomon 4:5

      1. Ha! I don’t know. Big noses are one of my ‘things.’ My husband used to do this party trick where he would put two quarters up one nostril, which is disgusting on multiple levels, and I luckily was able to get him to stop (wash your hands after handling money kids). But it proves my point. The man has an enormous nose, like the prow of a ship. And I love it.

        I think pretty much anything can be sexy on the right person.

        Sometimes I just want to run into Sephora and shout, “Beauty standards aren’t real,” and run out again.

  22. Bilki at 0 degrees Leo. What do 0 degrees mean again? I’m getting everything from ‘murderer’ to ‘stayer’ from google.

  23. Also about to have a Bilikis return! Fourth House Virgo at 16 degrees now she has just crossed Moon in same. Channelling her, thanks MM 🙂

  24. 24 degrees Aries

    Haha minor Mars-in-Virgo irritants, as a fellow Mars in Virgo I totally relate to similar irritations. I knew it was the realm she was the Queen of but didn’t know her real name, thanks MM! I shall be throwing this in the mix of conversations 😀

  25. she lay at 15 sag, right smack in the middle of my teensy all-sag 12th. closest thing to my 22 deg ascendant, though certainly not conjunct.

  26. Also, off topic but since we’re talking about asteroids… I recently discovered I have asteroid Gary exactly conjunct my north node. Good god/lolz.

  27. Lux Interior Is My Co-Pilot

    She is natally on my Virgo sun, how exciting.

    I have quite a well-stocked spice rack so clearly PAST LIVESSSS ha ha.

    1. Lux Interior Is My Co-Pilot

      And hairy legs.

      And I’m quite fond of a bit of sun worship.

      I like a good riddle.

      The similarities are staggering.

        1. Only to those who tried to shorten her name, but the Anglo world was not in clash with hers then ;P

          (from someone with an ancient name, which people try to shorten…unsuccessfully, since i can’t answer to it, as it’s not my name)

  28. Oh I am having a Bilquis return, have her at 17 deg.
    I guess if I need to check where I am seen as dangerously dark and beautiful, smelling of persimmon, carrying loads treasures, gems and glory, I need to look to Virgo/3rd House?

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