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The Magic of Azerbaijan

First of all, when I enter a country named Azerbaijan, I half expect to go on a magic carpet ride.

That’s not exactly what happened. But the country shocked me nonetheless.

The country is steeped in magic, mystery and modernity. Not what I expected at all.

While Azerbaijan is 97% Islamic, they still honor older traditions of Zoroastrianism… and I found symbols of an even earlier tradition of Goddess Worship (Anahita, their version of Innana/Astarte/Aphrodite/Artemis/Athena) everywhere.

And Azerbaijan was a major center of Sufism–Islamic mysticism.

“Azerbaijan” means “land of fire.” This makes perfect sense geographically. It’s a land of active volcanoes. It’s incredibly rich in oil. And it has a mountain that has been on fire for over 2,000 years. (Alexander the Great and Marco Polo wrote about Yanardag in their memoirs.)

Devin and Morgana at Yanardag

Devin and Morgana at Yanardag

 

Now I know how Moses felt... this fire has been burning for more than 2,000 years. Crazy.

Now I know how Moses felt… this fire has been burning for more than 2,000 years. Crazy.

Other surprises: women walked freely on their own, in modern dress without headscarves. Tribes of Jews and Christians continue to live in Azerbaijan, much as they have for thousands of years.

And the capital city Baku is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Even the century-old buildings gleam as if they were built yesterday, and the modern buildings look like sci-fi fantasies.

The land is a strange intersection of Russian/Persian/European/Arabic/Indian culture all at once. It’s impossible to fit the country into a convenient category. In the morning I can be touching 12,000 year old cave carvings, and then hours later be standing in a wildly modern, luxury highrise.

Enjoy my pictures. I took a lot of them!

 

Entering Azerbaijan:

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The Saki Palace Hotel

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View from my room:

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The real Palace of Saki Kahn:

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First Christian Church (1st century AD) in Kish:

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Outdoor Bazaar in Saki, happy home to some well-fed feral cats:

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Sufi Cave Temple:

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Graveyard and Headstones

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My first Mosque:

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On the road down to Baku

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Lunch:

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Baku! (The capital city)

My hotel

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View from my room:

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Arrow pointing to Mecca on my hotel room ceiling:

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The city:

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The Flame Tower Hotel

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More views of Baku

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A gleaming marble underground passage at night

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“Old Town” Baku

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The Four Season Hotel

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Zoroastrian Fire Temple

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What is (Hindu god) Shiva doing there?

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Check this out: 12,000 year old rock carvings you can touch!

 

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Caviar on the Caspian Sea. Only $100 an ounce.

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we_mag_morgana MORGANA RAE is an international #1 best selling author, pioneer in personal development, and regarded to be the world’s leading Relationship with Money coach. Morgana’s groundbreaking program for attracting wealth has featured her on ABC-TV, PBS, CNN, NPR, United Press International and The Wall Street Journal online. Learn how to become a Money Magnet with her FREE 4-part video gift series. Fill out your name in the form at the top of the page. (We promise not to share your info!)


  1. Carlos Ortiz J.
    November 8, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Fantastic city. Thanks for the pictures. So long. Carlos Ortiz.

    • morgana
      November 9, 2013 at 7:50 am

      You’re welcome, Carlos!

  2. Liam Edser
    November 8, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Oh my goodness you need a TV crew complete with PA and reporter lol
    Cheers
    Liam

    • morgana
      November 9, 2013 at 7:51 am

      Ha! I’m just imagining getting them through customs… 🙂

  3. Cyndi
    November 9, 2013 at 1:03 am

    Thank you! I love seeing pictures of old cultures and countries.

    • morgana
      November 9, 2013 at 7:52 am

      Me too, Cyndi!

  4. Athena
    November 9, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Thank you for taking me on vacation this afternoon! What a thrilling and beautiful city. I have a new appreciation for the depth and breadth of your education and appreciation for history, myth and majesty.

  5. Katie
    November 9, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    What a fascinating portrait you paint of this country and it’s culture. Just loved your writing along with the pictures!

  6. Olga
    November 11, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Просто великолепно! Древняя самобытная культура Азербайджана! Прекрасный взгляд на красоту и уникальность страны:) Спасибо! БОльшое удовольствие!

  7. Malik
    December 24, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Thanks for the pic Morgana. It’s like being there. Lovely shot, wonderful country.

    • morgana
      December 24, 2013 at 11:32 am

      You’re welcome, Malik!

  8. Shawn Cookson
    April 2, 2014 at 3:08 am

    Great article and display of photos!

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