Weasel Readings

Receiving a reading of any sort infers a power relationship; one in which the giver of a reading assumes the authority to make some sort of proclamation or psychic diagnosis about the receiver of the reading. There is always some vulnerability in this for the recipient. When the setup is legitimate any authority the reader assumes ultimately derives from their authentic connection to a benign spiritual source of information. Even if the delivery is sometimes imperfect the intention is always to benefit the recipient. When the situation is contaminated by ulterior motives that authority is snatched for its own sake and the aim is mainly the benefit of the dodgy reader, not the recipient.

You may have found yourself at a group event minding your own business only to have an intrusive psychic, ’shaman’ or medium pounce. Before you know it you have been ambushed with an unexpected - and most importantly - unwelcome pronouncement about your life, relationships or practice.

I refer to these as weasel readings.

I’m not talking about the garden variety scam reader, mind you. No, the weasel reader is an interloper who graces you with their ‘gift’ gratis. Frequently a pier or some sort. Which is why the weasel reader often strikes at spiritual festivals, workshops, classes, rituals and other public events. In my experience this happens in group settings but it can occur anywhere; online, in the street or even over the phone. The weasel reader will sidle up to you either casually or more dramatically (in order to grand stand) and launch into a misty-eyed pronouncement; spewing out something troubling or manipulative dressed up in the language of a reading.

This information might be coated with a thin veneer of concern but contains a poisonous kernel meant to set doubt or fear into your mind about your health, work or spiritual life. Sometimes the intention is to belittle your spiritual practice in a roundabout way.  Other times it is intended to sow a seed of discord between you and another person, or otherwise manipulate you. This is someone who wants to impose themselves. Someone who doesn’t care for your well-being at all. 

The defining features of a weasel reading are: 
  • you didn’t ask for it
  • it is delivered by someone you distrust 
  • it’s absolute baloney 
  • it leaves you feeling soiled. 
You see, the weasel reading is a subtle combination of psychological warfare, put-down and spiritual attack and if you are active in spiritual/occult/esoteric groups of any sort you should be as aware of this phenomenon as you are of psychic attacks. And if the content of the weasel reading were to take hold in your consciousness the effects can be quite similar.

Narcissistic or sociopathic personality types are especially fond of using the platform that a psychic reading offers them to manipulate, undermine or harm others. Not every weasel reader is a sociopath however. Most weasel readers are simply motivated by unconscious envy, ego inflation or some other of deluded state of mind that tempts them to use the ‘psychic’ routine as a platform to voice their unresolved feelings. 

Similarly, not all unsolicited readings with troubling content are necessarily weasel readings. Sometimes these kinds of unexpected readings are valid messages from the OtherWorld, so discretion needs to be applied. You can tell the difference by your state of mind after receiving the impromptu reading. A weasel reading will leave you feeling soiled, or stepped-on in some way. A valid warning will bring an ‘aha’ of recognition since you most likely have been getting the message in other ways already (dreams, omens and so forth). The OtherWorld uses repetition to get a message through - making sure you have plenty of confirmation. This very thing, in fact, is another strong indicator of a weasel reading. There will be a glaring absence of signs or intuitions that support what this psychic weasel is saying.

Suggestions for handling a weasel reading:


Often you can see or sense a weasel reading coming a mile a way. The weasel will begin setting up the situation in some way, and if you see it coming you can evade it. Excuse yourself and go to the bathroom, or wave at someone across the room, take a pretend phone call. Do whatever you can to evade it. The idea is to remove yourself from the situation cleanly and with least amount of confrontation. This will take the steam out of most weasel readers and they will let it go.


When you cannot evade you must block. It’s more confrontational, but really, you will feel better for it. If the weasel launches into it before you can get away quickly put up your hand making a clear stopping gesture and say “excuse me”. For the interrupt move you will need your weasel reading policy ready. Decide on it before hand and stick to it; for example: “I’m very sorry but the rules in my tradition/house/lodge/coven bar me from receiving readings from anyone other than my highpriestess/godparent/minister/guru etc”. You might get a startled reaction from the weasel but if you stick to your guns there isn't much more to say about it. 


If you can neither evade or interrupt the weasel before finish the weasel reading you are perfectly entitled to speak up and dismiss its content.  It is the most confrontational but it will feel better than the alternative. As with the interrupt you should have a dismissal statement ready and rehearsed so you don’t miss a beat. As soon as they have finished - set your jaw, fold your arms firmly and say something such as: “I’m sorry but I cannot relate to anything you have just said. It makes no sense at all. I also want to tell you that the rules in my tradition/house/lodge/coven bar me from getting readings from anyone other than my highpriestess/godparent/minister etc”. Most weasels will apologise and back off. Nobody wants the platform kicked out from under them. A truly obnoxious weasel however will get stubborn and insist on shoving the psychic doodoo down your throat.

Turn your back and walk away.


  1. Absolute truth here....

    I hate when xians walk up to you in Walmart and give you a message, thus sayeth the lord. Then invite you to church..... ARGH!!!!!

  2. Hadn't considered that but I suppose getting prophesied at by fundamentalist Christians would constitute a form of weasel reading.

  3. A very intelligent article,my compliments.Very good stuff to read.It is the first time that i hear about that definition,but many times i made in my mind similar observations about the sense of negativity i feel encountering some abusive ways to misuse the noble art of reading and divination.

  4. Thanks Roberto, I'm glad to hear that this resonated with you!

  5. This is an extremely interesting topic, and it is very telling of the kind of power that a reader can have on another's life. It is something that has always fascinated and even scared me. My teacher always told me: there is no glory crushing another. This is why I always try to be extra careful when I deliver a response, whether positive or negative. Good article anyway, and nice word to have in my vocabulary: weasel reader