Aaron Rodgers has emerged from his “darkness retreat.”
The Packers quarterback, who spent four days and four nights in an isolation room in southern Oregon, left the facility on Wednesday, Scott Berman, who owns Sky Cave Retreats, told ESPN.
Rodgers spent his time there in a 300-square-foot room, which is a partially underground structure devoid of light, with a queen bed, a bathroom and a meditation-like mat, according to Berman. The space includes hot water plumbing and is fully powered, with lights that can be turned on from inside the room.
Sky Cave Retreats offers solo dark retreats in purpose-built, off-grid, Earth-sheltered “caves” in the Cascade wilderness outside Ashland, Ore. Although the facility is out of cell service range, it does have WiFi and other emergency resources.
During his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Feb. 7, Rodgers revealed his plan to spend four days in an isolation retreat in an effort to help him decide on his NFL future. On Feb. 14, Rodgers told McAfee that he was not going to the darkness retreat just to figure out whether he will play in 2023 or retire — and that he was hoping to “have a better sense of where I’m at in my life.”
Rodgers explained at the time that he would enter “a room in a little house” for four nights of complete darkness, where his meals would be delivered to him through a slot. It was an activity that he said had been on his calendar for months.
Sky Cave Retreats has three dark retreats, including one “cob/strawbale” cottage and two “hobbit” cottages built into the hillside that are fully buried in the Earth, according to the facility’s website. It is recommended that customers book the retreat for 3-5 days.
Guests are served two “simple organic meals” daily, which are delivered through a double door at the same time at sunset to minimize disturbance.
“Altered states of consciousness can naturally begin to arise as early as the 3rd day of the retreat and continue to intensify as the retreat progresses,” the website states. “This is due to different neurochemical reactions that occur from various glands and hormones being both suppressed and/or stimulated from the light deprivation. This can result in heightened sensory sensitivities, visions, lucid dreaming and many other profound & insightful experiences.”
Rodgers never disclosed where he was doing his four-day darkness retreat and has yet to publicly announce that he completed it.
Meanwhile, on the outside, multiple reports about his football future are dominating headlines.
On Thursday, ESPN’s Jeff Darlington, said a “very important Packers source” told him that they believe Rodgers will return to Green Bay this coming season — and that his situation is “being overhyped.”
Separate reports have said that the Packers are ready to cut ties with Rodgers, and that the quarterback is “disgusted” over the tainted relationship.
Then there’s the Jets, who have their sights set on Rodgers, and have already had preliminary discussions with the Packers, should the quarterback become available via trade.
The Jets have said publicly that they are going to pursue a veteran quarterback after benching Zach Wilson late last season. They also hired Rodgers’ former coach Nathaniel Hackett as their offensive coordinator last month.
Rodgers addressed trade rumors and his relationship with the Packers organization on “The Pat McAfee Show” last month.
“All the trade stuff is conjecture until I decide what I want to do moving forward for myself,” Rodgers said, adding that a trade “wouldn’t offend me, and it wouldn’t make me feel like a victim.”
Rodgers, who has spent his entire 18-year career with the Packers, said that he is “open to all honest and direct conversations” with the team about his future — and that it has to be mutual on both sides.
Rodgers has $110 million left on his contract extension that he signed with Green Bay last spring. The 39-year-old is due $59.5 million in guaranteed money in 2023 and another $49.25 million in 2024.
Rodgers has been open about his offseason remedies and psychedelic experiences. Last year, the quarterback revealed that he used ayahuasca in the 2020 and 2022 offseasons, which he said helped him to perform better on the football field due to its mental benefits.
Ayahuasca is a plant-based psychedelic tea containing the hallucinogenic drug DMT. Rodgers explained that it “gave [him] a deep and meaningful appreciation for life” and helped him find “self-love.”