In the Sioux way of life, Wakan Tanka is the term for "the sacred" or "the divine". This is usually translated as "The Great Spirit" or the "Great Mystery".
Before the attempted conversion to Christianity, Wakan Tanka was used to refer to an organization of sacred entities whose ways were mysterious; thus, "The Great Mystery". It is typically understood as the power or the sacredness which resides in everything, similar to many animistic and pantheistic beliefs.
Wakan Tanka was supposed to have placed the stones and minerals in the ground. They were also supposed to change the seasons and weather, and plants were supposed to have come out of the ground by their hand.
"Wakan Tanka is pleased with music. He likes to hear the drums and the rattles. when any of the Wakan beings hear the drum and the rattles they always give attention. He is also fond of the smoke of sweetgrass and evil Wakan beings are afraid of the smoke of sage. all of the Wakan, both the good and the evil, are pleased with the smoke of the pipe."