It was impossible for me to watch today’s Rugby World Cup without imagining the fiery suit of wands playing out across the field. The New Zealand All Blacks gave the best rendition ever of the 9 of Wands (with Death and the Ace) in their amazing pre-game Haka:
My friend Ken has taught me that the most common version of the Haka — different than today’s — starts with the words: Ka Mate Ka Mate (It is Death, It is Death) and then Ka ora Ka ora (It is life, it is life). Death, Vitality (the Ace of Wands), and Strength (the 9 of wands) are embodied together in the pyramid of All Blacks teammates. Don’t mess!