Hand-strung on silver in the Himalayan foothills; this mala of 73 beads is made from nine types of semi-precious stones that represent the seven primary planets – Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn – as well as the Lunar North Node and South Node, known in the Vedic astrology system as Rahu and Ketu.  According to Vedic astrology, each planet has a presiding deity that can have a considerable influence on our lives.  The wearing of specific stones is believed to mitigate the malignant effects and augment the benevolent effect of these planetary deities.