I have no idea what I'm doing
Yes!! I'd love to help, but this is a very big topic. Do you have any specific questions? I do this all the time, it's one of my favorite things to do :)
If you want just a general tips and tricks, I can do that tomorrow night when I have time to sit down and type a bunch haha
I would like general tips and tricks, thanks!!
(Promise I haven't forgotten about you, I have a draft in te works I'll post tomorrow ^^)
Deities in general are hard to write, so it's important to remember one thing when writing them: they can be anything yiu want them to be. Anything. A chaos goddess of death and destruction? Make her a fucking parrot if you want. The cool thing about gods is that there is no real "wrong way" to write them.
A few secondary things to remember: if you can't come up with proper names, look some up. Not only does it help inspire you, it could also help with the rest of the pantheon.
Second: research. I don't care how long it takes. If you're baseing your pantheon and/or deity off an already existing one, do research to get fine details. If it's a trickster god, research Loki or Hermes (Mercury for you Romans.) If it's a storm god, research Zeus (Jupiter), Odin or Thor. Harvest goddess? Demeter is your gal.
The third (and quite possibly the most important secondary fact): Have fun with it. That's the point of creating this stuff: to have fun. So get out there and create!
I'm sorry if this wasn't as helpful as you'd like, but it's the best I've got, love. Hopefully it does help some ammount with your project. From what I can tell though, you've got a better world than mine so far. Keep on rockin'!
When I go through and create pantheons/mythologies/gods/etc, the first thing I start with is what they represent. From there it's really easy to decide further themes/imaging etc.
I'll give an example of one off mine, and then kinda explain how I got where I got with them and the thought process behind it.
This culture is ruled by God-kings. The ruling class is a certain line of a certain type of Entity that is deemed better to lead the humans that serve it then the humans ruling themselves. These creatures are amorphous, and very vague in being, they can look however they want, and so on. They can read minds, have telepathy, weather control, can choose exactly how they look, choose a gender, and, most importantly to them, they are mortal. Long lived, but mortal. They are distant from the humans, only interacting with an immediate council of humans right around them. As such, most average humans would never see their king/queen. There's a lot of blind belief in my world because of it. They know their ruler exists, and the council is the word of their ruler. They are raised to believe that the god is infallible, prefect, and pure. This is actually not true, which makes it fun to play around with a disconnect between deity and worshipers.
The god currently ruling is a very arrogant, dare I say spoiled one. He leads with no experience, even though he is old, because he never leaves his throne. As such, the culture is one that dotes on him, as are his wishes. They engage in regular, near daily prayer, and, as a trickle down effect from his rule, are arrogant a classist themselves. They believe they are the elite, the chosen, the rightful rulers of not just their land, but all land. Think holy crusades. What the god wishes for, he gets. And right now he wishes for land. All of it.
The culture despises and denounces 'heretics' and cast them out of the land, where they are hence referred to as Dead. As the king encroaches on the Dead lands, the people there are forced to flee or be killed.
Of course, eventually power will be passed down to the next God-king, and the culture may change based on the new king/queen's personality.
Okay, so now, my advice based on this.
Obviously, these entities aren't gods of anything specific, like most pantheons have. So when I was deciding limiters and defining characteristics, I decided that these creatures would be defined by certain abilities, rather than a look/certain domain. These abilities were chosen based on the fact that they are rulers. So I thought about what kinds of abilities would best allow them to navigate into that position. That's always how I start, is just, what are they, what do they do, what is their role, and what do they need to fill that role. Then I can add 'frilly' powers, just for embellishment if I want.
Then I think about how the worship of these entities is portrayed in the culture. Think about how they interact with the culture. If they are benevolent, violent, etc.
The culture should reflect the deity, so mine is classist and arrogant, while another culture might follow a more mature deity, and their practices are reflected as such. If I'm having trouble deciding that, I start writing lore, to decide what historical affect the god has on it's culture. With my entities being mortal, I came up with the idea that the culture is always shifting and changing to match it's current ruler, which led me to the 'blind belief' system. You'd be surprised how these things end up leading to each other.
Think about how people do or don't interact with the deity. Mine engage in regular, daily prayer. However, not everyone follows the god. Think about what happens to those who rebel. Does the god strike them down? Is it up to other worshipers to pass judgment? Are they accepted? Kicked out? etc. Are there multiple religions? Some might have full pantheons, but maybe certain gods are worshipped more, or each person picks/is chosen by a god and they serve that one, ignoring the rest of the pantheon.
Anyways, I hope this was helpful. If I ever get stuck, I have a few things I fall back on:
1) Ask the old "Who, how, what, where, why" questions about everything, until something hits the right chord and inspires you.
2) Just start. It doesn't have to be perfect on the first try. Your culture and religion are going to evolve. Just start somewhere, and you can always go back and change anything to match the new ideas.
3) literally google "Religion development." You'd be surprised what a little digging might find.
4) Just pick a religion that seems close to yours, and look into it. Very helpful. Also look at any religion! Theology is fun, and very inspiring!