No two cultures that use shamanism are the same. However, there are some common threads that are found in most places around the world where shamans operate. Medicine songs or chants are common. For example, South American shamans will often sing icaros, a type of medicine at ayahuasca
ceremonies that supposedly cleanse the spirit of the people undergoing them. Vigils are also common, whereby a shaman will stay awake for a prolonged period. Ecstatic dancing is also a feature of shamanism. These dances
will usually involve very repetitive movements and go on for a long time. Sweat lodges are also something that shamans tend to use, sometimes in combination with fasting
, another common feature of the practice. In Native American culture, vision quests are quite common, a practice whereby natural phenomena are invoked as symbols of a personal journey. In South America, yachay, a special type of phlegm, is used in shamanic ceremonies. To get it, shamans will sometimes stick darts into their noses.