Wakan Tanka – Meaning, Symbol and prayer

The meaning

Wakan Tanka is the Sioux name for the Great Spirit or Great Mystery. It’s meaning is also known as “the divine” and “the sacred”.

Wakan Tanka is the creator of the world or universe; believed to be the All-Providing One.

This Spirit is paid reverence as providing for the needs of everyone. This reverence is displayed when the people honor the four directions, the Sun, Mother Earth, and their fellow man because these are Wakan Tanka’s creation; when honoring them, people honor the spirit of Wakan Tanka which resides within each of them.


The great Power of Wakan Tanka

The American Native mythology does not attempt to describe this Great Power that Created All because “it is a Mystery,” they advise, “leave it alone; no one describe such a vast mystery.”

Since it is traditional for the American Indian people not to argue over religious concepts, considering such arguments foolish, they invite everyone, especially the rainbow people, to join them, each in their own way and expression, in the reverence of Wakan Tanka. A.G.H.


McGaa, Ed, “Eagle Man.” Mother Earth Spirituality. New York. HarperCollins. 1990 pp. 44-46