Mary Anne's Bad Luck Mystery
Boethius wrote his Consolation of Philosophy around 526 C.E., while imprisoned for treason and "engaging in magic" after attacking the corrupt policies of the emperor Theoderic. The Consolation is a "prosimetrum" (prose with verse interspersed), and it deliberately avoids a theological outlook, despite the author's devout Christianity, focusing instead on metaphysical lessons imparted by a personified Philosophy. Boethius writes about the rota fortunae (Wheel of Fortune) therein:
"I know how Fortune is ever most friendly and alluring to those whom she strives to deceive, until she overwhelms them with grief beyond bearing, by deserting them when least expected. … Are you trying to stay the force of her turning wheel? Ah! dull-witted mortal, if Fortune begin to stay still, she is no longer Fortune."
This would doubtless have been of some consolation to Mary Anne had she been aware of the text.
The Parable of the Mustard Seed is Matthew 13:31-32
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
As always, I recommend Ricoeur for a thorough exegesis, though you can't go wrong with Crossan either.
Artemidorus, Ὀνειροκριτικά (On the Interpretation of Dreams) is a delightful 2nd Century insight into the Greek view of dreams and dream interpretation.
On Witchcraft, by Cotton Mather, was published in 1692.
Sadly cut out of this episode for brevity reasons was a fairly important analysis of Anne M. Martin's theory of "Powermasters," alluded to in a discussion between Jessi and Kristy about the origins of their misfortunes. I will leave it here and allow Baby Nation to draw their own conclusions:
“Hmm,” said Kristy. “I see what you mean. Like, is it someone we know? Or is it someone evil and unknown — an evil powermaster, or maybe just an evil force?”
Jessi shivered. “Evil powermaster. You’re scaring me, Kristy.”
Here's the insane ensemble that Claudia wore this week: “It was her vegetable blouse: an oversized white shirt with a green vegetable print all over it — cabbages and squashes and turnips and stuff. Under the blouse was a very short jean skirt, white stockings, green anklets over the stockings, and lavender sneakers, the kind boys usually wear, with a lot of rubber and big laces and the name of the manufacturer in huge letters on the sides. Wait, I’m not done. Claudia had pulled the hair on one side of her head back with a yellow clip that looked like a poodle. The hair on the other side of her head was hanging in her face. Attached to the one ear you could see was a plastic earring about the size of a jar lid.”