"But Rhonabwy, since he could neither sleep nor rest, thought he would suffer less if he went to sleep on the yellow ox-skin on the dais"
Young man sleeping
Public DomainYoung man sleeping - Credit: Antonio Cortina Farinós

There are several descriptions in literature of people experiencing dreams and visions whilst sleeping on animal skins. For example, in Book 7 of Virgil’s Aeneid, there is reference to visions stimulated by sleeping on the hides of slaughtered sheep, and in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae, Brutus hears the goddess Diana speak whilst sleeping on the skin of a hind. There is also reference in the Irish tradition to dreams and prophetic visions being stimulated by sleeping on ox-hides, as well as to the tarb feis (‘bull sleep’) where consuming the meat of a bull was said to induce visionary sleep.