Wakan Tanka

Wakan Tanka is the Sioux name for the Great Spirit or Great Mystery in Native American Mythology. Another name for wakan tanka is “the divine” and “the sacred”. Its pronunciation is “wack-in tink-ah”.

Wakan Tanka is the creator of the world or universe according to some myths. Believed to be the All-Providing One. This Spirit is paid reverence as providing for the needs of everyone. Also, 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 American Native 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”.


sioux photo


Symbol of Wakan Tanka

The symbol of the great spirit is the following:


Since it is traditional for the American Indian people not to argue over religious concepts. They invite everyone, especially the rainbow people, to join them. Each in their own way and expression, in the reverence of Wakan Tanka.



The lakota prayer:

“teach me how to trust my heart, my mind, my intuition, my inner knowing, the senses of my body, the blessings of my spirit. Teach me to trust these things so that I may enter my sacred space and love beyond my fear, and thus walk in balance with the passing of each glorious sun”


Read more articles about native american mythology.


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