This time last year Marina Mirga felt life had become little more than a soul-sapping and exhausting treadmill.
A successful career as a PA in the financial world meant she enjoyed luxury weekends away and designer clothes but the high-pressured job, with its 12-hour days, had taken a toll. ‘I used to get angry quickly,’ she says.
‘I didn’t notice how beautiful the world is. I was always rushing, wanting things done yesterday, and putting myself first.’
Today the single mother of one couldn’t be more different. Just a few months ago Marina walked out on her lucrative career and now intends to become an emotional healer, with a life more focused on her two-year-old son.
Marina, 38, won’t be the first or last to overhaul her life in a dramatic way.
What’s more unexpected is what has motivated her to make the change — Marina, who appears perfectly sane and rational, firmly believes she is a fairy.
Marina Mirga (pictured), 38, from London quit her lucrative career as a PA in the financial world to become an emotional healer after an encounter in Glastonbury that awakened her inner fairy
The seismic shift happened this year after she signed up to a residential yoga course in Glastonbury. ‘I was there to practise yoga but also to energise myself,’ she explains. ‘I live in London, which is a masculine hustle-bustle environment. I wanted to feel more feminine.’
It was while in Glastonbury, a town popular among those interested in alternative lifestyles, that Marina says she first felt the full force of fairy energy. ‘My eyes were drawn to a picture of a fairy. I know it sounds crazy, but the only way to explain it is that I fizzed internally,’ she says.
‘A magical kindness flowed through me. I realised I was here on this planet to help others. I could suddenly see the world with new eyes. I came away feeling reborn. My whole body sparkled with energy and positivity.’
Shortly afterwards a friend took a curious photograph of her, which shows a fairy fluttering on the back of her shirt. The size of a thumb, the fairy appears to have gauzy wings and a translucent body, shot through with dazzling light.
‘It was extraordinary,’ says Marina. ‘There’s no trickery. I wouldn’t bother to go to such lengths. I see it as proof that my inner fairy has been awakened.’
She adds: ‘I suspect my fairy energy has always been inside of me. My home environment wouldn’t have accepted me as a little girl living life as a fairy. I didn’t even know that the tooth fairy existed.’
Of course, most children grow out of the tooth fairy at around the same time they stop believing in Santa, but Marina is one of many educated, successful women subscribing to a world in which fairies are real and humans can experience ‘fairy magic’.
While wearing wings appears to be optional, what these women share is a determination to put others before themselves, an unbounding love of nature and a ‘sparkling’ or ‘fizzing’ energy when utilising their fairy powers.
Marina (pictured right with her son) claims working in a corporate environment would be incompatible with her new life as a fairy who spreads and receives love. A friend was able to capture a fairy sparkling on the back of her shirt shortly after her encounter in Glastonbury
‘That’s why the corporate environment I used to work in is incompatible with my new life,’ says Marina. ‘Being a fairy is about spreading and receiving love. This year has changed me totally. People have noticed I’m a nicer, kinder person to be with.
‘Before, I’d get angry on the phone with customer services. Now I realise the way to live a better life is to be kind. Fairies aren’t angry and cruel, they show compassion to everyone.
‘When we’re little we believe in fairies. For some reason we stop before we reach puberty. But I’m convinced this magic is inside everyone.’
It’s easy to dismiss belief in fairies as simply filling a void in these women’s lives. It’s surely nothing more than harmless escapism and a way to reconnect with the natural world. Yet women like Marina are adamant: fairies and fairy energy are real.
Karen Kay, a 54-year-old mother of two insists: ‘While many will dismiss the idea as kooky, I know I have fairy genes and I’m proud of them. It means I fizz with fairy energy and am able to see my fellow fairies all the time.’
Karen was in her grandmother’s garden, aged five, when she first spotted tiny sparkling lights dancing among the flowerbeds and hedgerows.
Karen Kay (pictured), 54, from Cornwall was age five when she first encountered fairies. She now sees herself as a fairy whose purpose is looking after others and nature
‘At the time I had no idea that not everyone could see these pinpricks of light. The first time I saw them I knew they were fairies. I didn’t question their existence. They were as real as the flowers and the trees. They made me feel happy and safe.
‘I began to see them more regularly in all sorts of places. I’m so familiar with them that I can communicate telepathically with them. They’ll say if the phone is going to ring or guide me if I need to travel somewhere. It has always seemed normal to me.’
Karen, from Penzance in Cornwall, believes her purpose is to help others and look after nature, while helping others recognise and embrace their inner fairy.
With the definition of fairy being ‘an imaginary winged creature in miniature human form possessing magical powers’, it’s hardly surprising many are sceptical of the claims of real-life fairies.
But Karen says: ‘It is only in Victorian times that fairies were depicted with wings. Fine gossamer wings are simply a representation of the energy of a fairy.
‘While they are traditionally depicted as tiny beings, they can be tall, too. The archetypal fairy that many recognise today came from the Irish tales of the “little people” but it’s more than that.’ She adds: ‘I am vocal about my belief I’m a fairy. But many fairies keep it to themselves. They feel isolated and embarrassed. That’s why I get thousands of other fairies making contact with me.
Kristine Ivan (pictured), 37, from Wimbledon was doing an online course in magical energy when she had the revelation that her true self is as a fairy. She separated from her partner of three years as their misery went against her fairy experiences
‘Men are the shyest about their fairy magic but they absolutely exist and they shouldn’t deny it.’
But what do her sons, a 29-year-old pilot and 27-year-old personal trainer, make of her belief? ‘They accept it’s a part of Mum and that I’m perhaps delightfully bonkers,’ says Karen, who split from their father 20 years ago.
‘I used to work in local radio, but left over a decade ago to pursue my fairy lifestyle full time. I live in the countryside where I love working with my fairy energy. My role as a fairy is protecting nature.
‘Others focus on helping those less fortunate than themselves. That can involve caring and looking out for people, nature, animals — even insects.’
Karen, an author, claims the fairy phenomenon is growing apace. She organises festivals for her supernatural colleagues in Cornwall, which thousands attend. She describes the events as ‘like being in fairyland’. Everyone dresses up and ‘we’re at one with nature’. They dance and attend workshops, sharing their knowledge.
As for her daily life, Karen says: ‘Whenever I summon my fairy energy it’s a case of closing my eyes and asking for help. I can feel when my fairy energy is taking over because I feel fizzy as if electricity is pulsating though the body.
Marina (pictured) says being a fairy has helped her to realize the best way to live life is by being kind and showing compassion to everyone
‘I don’t use the energy for selfish reasons. It is always for the good of others. If someone is feeling low, getting divorced or going through a life change.’
According to Karen, fairies instantly recognise one another. They have a sparkling, twinkly aura and live peaceful lives.
They care about the environment, and pesticides and harmful chemicals are rarely used in their garden or for household chores. They eat organic food, too. They also believe that those with fairy genes don’t age in the same way as the rest of us mere mortals and exude a youthful aura.
‘Fairies do tend to look younger than their human age,’ says Karen. ‘In fairyland, time doesn’t exist in the same way as it does in our world.
‘It’s hard for me to be objective about myself but I have been told I really don’t look my age.’
Those who discover their inner fairy can find themselves undergoing a profound life change, such as Kristine Ivan, 37.
‘Two years ago I was living with my partner, had a great job in retail management and enjoyed the typical life of a 30-something in London,’ she says.
Karen (pictured) compares summoning her fairy energy to the feeling of having electricity pulsating though her body
‘But there was something missing. I’d get grumpy quickly. My partner and I argued a lot. I realised if I didn’t change my outlook, I’d still be living this miserable existence in 20 years.’
Kristine, from Wimbledon, was doing an online course in magical energy when ‘everything fell into place’. ‘When I came across the “light and feminine energy” that fairies are meant to exude, it sparked something inside and changed my life for ever.
‘Fairies absolutely do exist. They are in wooded areas typically — although not exclusively. I feel them and I see them as small specks of light.
‘Connecting with their energy has made me recognise that this is who I really am.
‘It was as though a flick had been switched and I was properly alive. I had no sense of embarrassment about realising that I could choose to live my life as a fairy, too.’
That said, she didn’t tell her then partner of three years — ‘he would have dismissed it as fanciful and silly’. But she did decide to separate from him. ‘We were making one another miserable. It went against everything I was experiencing as a fairy.
‘I wanted to make people happy and I wasn’t able to do that with him.’
Kristine (pictured) revealed since becoming a fairy she has swapped going to the bar with friends to unwind with sitting in the park or woods to feel the fairy energy vibrating around her
She adds: ‘I started to reframe my opinions of people and see only the good in them. I learned how to enjoy life every day. Instead of seeing rain as a nuisance, I appreciated how good it would be for the garden, for example.
‘Before, I’d go out to a bar with friends to unwind. Now I sit in the park or woods and feel the fairy energy vibrate around me.’
Kristine also changed her approach to work as an office manager of a retail store. Her colleagues were left stunned by her personality transformation. ‘I was prone to grumpiness,’ she admits.
‘Then I focused on the fairy principle of helping people. It felt really important to me to live my life this way.
‘Each day I set about making someone happy. If I noticed someone sad on the train, I’d smile and compliment them on how they looked. Some of my friends weren’t happy. They warned I’d risk being taken advantage of. But this is part of me and it makes me happy helping other people be happier.
‘If people are happier then they are more inclined to appreciate where they live: the flowers, the trees, even the weeds. That’s what being a fairy and using fairy magic is all about.
‘Family and friends made jokes at first, but now they ask me to help bring nice things into their lives, too. Others want to be around me so that the magic rubs off on them.’
Indeed Kristine, who is now single, recently gave up her job and is looking for a position in the care sector so she can continue to use her fairy-focused lifestyle choices to help people.
Real or not, it’s hard to deny that the odd sprinkle of fairy dust is very welcome in an increasingly weary world.