. . . at the root of all superstition is an inaccurate and unworthy conception of the character of God. To be more explicit, men believe God to be whimsical, and consequently expect Him to be impulsive and unpredictable in His dealings with mankind. Out of this notion comes a score of superstitious fancies that have gotten themselves accepted through the years. Various fears originate here. Fear of black cats, omens, signs and magic numbers results from the ignoble idea that God is a kind of playful Puck who delights in practical jokes and Halloween tricks. The only defense against this is to know some word or sign that will protect the victim from the celestial prankster, hence the thousand and one marriage customs, funeral usages, and practices touching birth, death, travel, food, clothing, sleep, planting, harvesting, illness and almost every other phase of our life on earth.