According to the Skidi-Pawnee, “our people were made by the stars”. This world will end when the Death Star captures the stars of Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. Then, “when the time comes…our people will turn into small stars and will fly to the South Star where they belong.”
Philosopher Hartley Burr Alexander wrote:
Another Pawnee myth, with the same astrological turn, tells of the termination that is to come to all earthly life. Various portents will precede: the moon will turn red and the sun will die in the skies. The North Star is the power which is to preside at the end of all things, as the Bright Star of Evening was the ruler when life began. The Morning Star, the messenger of heaven, which revealed the mysteries of fate to the people, said that in the beginning, at the first great council which apportioned to star folk their stations, two of the people fell ill. One of these was old, and one was young. They were placed upon stretchers, carried by stars (Ursa Major and Ursa Minor), and the two stretchers were tied to the North Star. Now the South Star, the Spirit Star, or Star of Death, comes higher and higher in the heavens, and nearer and nearer to the North Star, and when the time for the end of life draws nigh, the Death Star will approach so close to the North Star that it will capture the stars that bear the stretchers and cause the death of the persons who are lying ill upon those stellar couches.
The North Star will then disappear and move away and the South Star will take possession of earth and its people. “The command for the ending of all things will be given by the North Star, and the South Star will carry out the commands. Our people were made by the stars. When the time comes for all things to end our people will turn into small stars and will fly to the South Star where they belong.” Like other Indians, the Pawnee regard the Milky Way as the path taken by the souls after death. The soul goes first to the North Star, they say, which sets them upon the north end of the celestial road, by which they proceed to the Spirit Star of the South.1