There’s this Bill Hicks joke I’ve mentioned before where Hicks mocks Christians because they wear the equivalent to the electric chair round their neck (would Jesus really want to see it, if he came back? asks Hicks). It doesn’t quite work because the cross was a symbol before the Christians used it—there were depictions of Orpheus crucified, for example, so that Romans would have recognised Christ as another crucified god, it wasn’t as incongruous as if you started wearing a little electric chair round your neck today.
The cross also stands for more than execution, however. It doesn’t appeal to me as a symbol (I prefer the swastika; “Yes, so we gathered,” sighs the audience)—I do find Christianity to be a melancholy religion (probably why Christians insist it’s happy all the time). Anyway, the cross doesn’t just stand for “execution”—it has four points that correspond to earth, water, air, and fire (the four elements that release the fifth element, the quintessence).
Further, you can fold a cross into a cube (as you may recall from school mathematics, in a process that I believe is called “nets”). The cube represents “Saturn”, the Golden Age—hence the Ka’ba in Mecca is a cube (a black cube, black being the colour of wisdom). This offers the intriguing possibility that you could turn a Christian cross into a Muslim symbol and vice versa.
Also, there’s some graphic that shows how you can geometrically turn the Star of David into a swastika and vice versa; it shows the Raelians might have been onto something with their swastika-star symbol, which Kanye West got into trouble for posting last year—though he meant it to say “the Jews are Nazis”, not the heart chakra transforms into the polar chakra; so he didn’t get it.
Difference between Satanism and evil: you can be evil without being Satanic—good and evil, as Paracelsus observed, relate to amounts. Too much kindness can be an evil as surely as too much privation—so evil very much depends on context. The young have a predisposition to evil because the young have lots of energy and so tend to be extreme in any direction they take—that’s why Aeschylus said that suffering, drop by drop, falls upon man and teaches him moderation (which is wisdom).
So, for example, I saw some Ukrainian soldiers shoot Russian prisoners in the leg—I thought that was evil. It was evil because, so far as I know, it was behind the lines and they were safe; it was excessive, it was destruction just because they could—there was no need. However, if three Ukrainians captured 15 Russians single-handed, then I don’t think it would be evil to shoot them in the leg to take them prisoner. Depends on the circumstances.
Similarly, there was an American SEAL team that was discovered deep in Taliban territory in Afghanistan by an old man and two shepherd boys (who had a radio). The SEALs decided to let them go, and, sure enough, the trio raised the alarm and brought out hundreds of Taliban fighters—the SEAL team was wiped out, save one man. I would have killed the old man and two boys, it wouldn’t be evil—it was clear they were combatants, the radio showed it was so; and it was predictable that they would threaten my life. If anything, the American officer who spared them did evil—because his sentimentality (or fear of disapproval from the American media if it got out) killed his team off.
On the other hand, if you just sprayed machine-gun bullets at a random shepherd boy and an old man who hadn’t noticed you, I would say that’s evil. So it depends on the amount and the context—an action that can be evil in one circumstance can be good in another, it’s on a continuum.
Satanism, by contrast, means deliberate inversion. You can be evil without deliberate inversion (I say deliberate because it’s conceivable that you could invert a symbol, for example, by accident if you didn’t understand what it meant). Classic Satanism, to put a cross upside down—as you can see from above, the cross isn’t just a Christian symbol (not that if it was it would be acceptable to invert it); so to invert any cross is a Satanic sign, it’s a rejection of the four elements.
Similarly, the inverted pentagram, which you often see as a quintessential “Satanic” sign, inverts the upright pentagram—a symbol that denotes “the complete man” or “the alchemical man” or “Adam Kadmon” (it represents the four elements plus the quintessence, with its five points).
Again, inversion of a holy sign. The pentagram has become so associated with “Satanism” that many people don’t realise it is a positive sign and just think pentagram = occultic evil; however, it appears on the flag of Morocco, and to see it as Satanic would be as if you thought the upright cross was Satanic because you see the inverted cross associated with Satanism.
So Satanic evil is an excessive action that is concerned with deliberate inversion—usually with the inversion of a sacred symbol, although it can also be, as with the LGBT movement, the deliberate inversion of underlying metaphysical principles (in this case, the duality between the sexes—which is, in turn, represented symbolically by symbols like the yin-yang sign, male and female interpenetrate and are interdependent upon each other).
So that gives us some clarity as regards the difference between Satanism and evil. Satanism has a more metaphysical aspect to it—if I invert a cross, that might have no direct negative implications for anyone; and, if you’re of materialist disposition, you would say it is “no evil”—especially if no one saw it, if it didn’t even cause emotional distress to a Christian. However, you must remember Picasso—who maintained that his paintings “worked”, even if nobody ever saw them (hence even a private inversion attacks the harmony of the cosmos).