A Cradle is a 4-figure aspect configuration consisting of 2 planets in opposition, plus 2 other planets in sextile to each other. Each of the sextile planets form a trine aspect to one side of the opposition and a sextile to the other. All planets in this figure are in signs that have the same polarity - masculine/yang or feminine/yin - which also means the signs have different but compatible elements - Fire and Air, or Earth and Water.
In effect, the Cradle is two interlocking Wedge configurations. In the Wedge, the apex planet provides a release point or outlet for the stress of the opposition.The Cradle therefore has 2 apex planets that give two potential outlets for creative problem-solving or escapism.
This may indicate considerable ability to "make lemonade out of the lemons" or to make the best of a bad situation.
However, even with all this cooperative and creative potential, the underlying problem may or may not be actually resolved by it. It could also indicate an escapist or avoidance tendency, preferring to sidestep rather than face the real problems. As a result, in a natal chart, the person might struggle with maturation and find it difficult to "grow up," since the temptation can be very strong to take the easy way out. By not fully facing life's challenges, the person may a bit slow to develop emotionally to some extent – hence the name: Cradle.
On the other hand, the more the stress and conflict of the opposed planets is worked through, the more it is possible to use the potential of the apex planets in a constructive, productive way, without creating secondary problems that can arise due to avoidance. That said, even avoidance can generate some pretty impressive creative ability, in the broadest sense of the word – not just artistic but any innovative, original or imaginative approach to the obstacles and challenges of life.
This is also called a Cradle in Huber astrology.