Ulf Bolling - Borodin

For Arnulf "Ulf" Bolling
May 21, 1933 - May 19, 2010

We are gathered together to commemorate with thanksgiving the life of Arnulf Bolling, who was a member of The International Brotherhood of Magicians, The Psychic Entertainers Association and the Magischer Zirkel von Deutschland. As a member of our great fraternity, Ulf, as he was known to his friends, was linked in fellowship with magicians all over the world, and his interest, activity and skill of performing magic was enjoyed by those who were privileged to share his friendship.

We of the Brotherhood offer this time as commemoration for his life and express our sympathy, prayers and hope in the power of life eternal to his loved ones.

Ulf was born in Aschaffenburg, Germany on May 21, 1933. He lived through one of the most horrible wars that ever crossed the face of Europe. He told me that one morning when he was about 10 years old, he stepped out of his house in Aschaffenburg to find almost everything in the town blown apart.

After the War, Ulf's father was taken prisoner by the Russians. So Ulf and his mother basically had to scrabble for a living. He was gifted with an amazing voice, and with that voice, he earned a living as a child singer in the bars in his area. Sometimes, he was paid in cigarettes, other times in other pieces of barter, but his great talent helped his mother to survive.

When his voice changed, he took up magic and continued to entertain. He met Punx and learned some of his future trade from him. For a while, he performed in Chinese costume as Bo-Ling.

When his voice became more pleasant and controllable, he went back to singing. He was a composer as well as a singer, and recorded many German popular songs under the name "Ulf Barbas."

His talents were many. He was a fisherman, a circus entertainer, a pharmacist, a teacher, a counselor and a conductor. And he was also a great storyteller, known professionally as Borodin.

His book Sheherazed was given the Author of the Year Award 1999-2000 by the Magischer Zirkel von Deutschland. It was this book that expressed his unusual method of combining magic and stories.

During his time as a storyteller, he founded a group of theatrical magicians called Ars Magica, whose members are from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

He will be fondly remembered for his great contributions to the magical arts.

The wand in story and symbol is an ancient conjuring representation of mystery. To the uninitiated, it is but a piece of wood. To our late member it was a reminder to him of the joy and pleasure of an entertainment art that has existed since ancient times. This symbol was for our departed member an historic emblem like that old illusion called the Linking Rings, it linked him with others of like mind and heart in this vast magic fraternity. This wand without Arnulf is now useless. The magic that infused itself into the life of performing on this earth is now broken and joined with the magic of the eternal.

The magic of earth is over. The magic and mystery of another realm awaits him and will be revealed.

May the life of Ulf be blessed. May we now have a moment of silence offering our prayers for Ulf, each in our own way, and for his loved ones that they may continue in faith and hope.


It is now my privilege to offer this prayer for the repose of the soul of Arnulf, who was born into the world in Aschaffenburg, Germany, May 21, 1933 and departed this life in Gro▀ostheim, Germany, May 19, 2010.

We, who are members of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, Society of American Magicians and the Houston Association of Magicians, extend to his loved ones our sympathy, fellowship and thanksgiving for his life.

Let us pray. . .

O Divine Master of all mystery, who in wisdom and skill didst create and design all that is visible and invisible. Thou hast instilled within us the talent to amaze, mystify and entertain. We acknowledge Thy gift to us and your supreme power as the only true and lasting reality from whom we gain inner strength, comfort and peace. Teach us who are members of this ancient theatrical craft to use our earthly skills, dexterity of hands and voice to bring happiness and awe to those for whom we conjure our pleasant and benign wonders. Make us always humble and aware that our imperfect mysteries and illusions are nothing but an imitation of a higher magic unfathomed by mortal man. We acknowledge Thee, O Master, as the Divine Architect of all talent and source of inspiration. From Thy throne flows the purest magic within all the force of life itself. We offer our thanks for the good spirit of mystery that has filled the lives of our past members and though, like theirs, our wand be one day broken and the spell of our efforts on earth to bring smiles of amazement be stilled; yet, shall we stand in wonder of ourselves. Receive, we beseech thee, our prayers for the soul of Thy servant Arnulf Bolling, a departed member of The International Brotherhood of Magicians, The Psychic Entertainers Association and the Magischer Zirkel von Deutschland. May he enter into the land of light and joy. Grant that one day we shall meet again in fellowship where no trickery abounds and share the magic of divine love in that house not made with hands-eternal in the heavens. This we pray while standing upon the transitory stage of life. AMEN.

Let us go forth into the world of peace. AMEN.

To see the ceremony on YouTube, click here.

Many thanks to my friend, Eugene Protas, for making the video and putting it on YouTube.

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