There are many official Wiccan paths, ranging from Chaos to Georgian to Celtic and many more. And many sets of rules therefore exist for following the Goddess path. There are many Wiccans who chose to remain solitary because it allows greater freedom to experience Spirit on your own terms, and in ways that speak to YOU, and that are not spoken to you by another person-- however enlightened and educated that person may be. To those who do not follow a set tradition of practice, or who welcome practitioners from many traditions to their events and activities, the label of "eclectic" has been given. I can't think of a portion of my life that does NOT fit the term "eclectic;" I know my practice certainly does.
Many Traditions follow the rule of requiring dedicated study of the "Wiccan Tradition" under an ordained Priest or Priestess of the faith for a year-and-a-day, before one can be officially recognized as a Witch. Literally. They count. There are many covens which follow a specific Tradition, and whose traditional path you must adhere to if you are to be one with that coven. But there are many more covens who simply call their Wiccan affiliation "eclectic." This generally means that they work by group consensus, and they work what feels most appropriate for their coven-- regardless of whose tradition they may borrow from or what "rules" of a tradition they may ignore. The one rule that is never ignored is that of "An it Harm None, Do as Ye Will." It isn't about a traditional offshoot within the broad spectrum of Wicca-- it IS Wicca, in some sense. And "harming none" has a broad definition, to include trees, animals, and Gaia herself.
The witches who do not live by this rule do not call themselves Wiccan. Many of these are good people, too. They are simply less hesitant to work with the energy they have available to will that the jerk who cheated them out of $50 lose all his money. Or that the mean person who spray painted hate messages on their local schools get a bad case of tennis elbow (for example)... Revenge is a very dangerous tool. It leads the practitioner to be the wronged party, the judge, and the jury-- all in one. And in such a scenario, perspective and balance are easy to lose.
Anyway-- the reason I got into all of this is that I have definitely not been researching Pagan practice and casting meditation circles for a year and a day. Not yet. But a few nights ago, I had a spontaneous dedication ceremony. The magick involved and the Guidance I received throughout the evening... I don't know how to tell you about the intense feelings of being in the presence of grace, of great appreciation, of receiving a high honor, and of radiant joy I felt... and still feel when I think about that Circle, and the Spirit I encountered within.
There are, traditionally (I use this word when I'm making a generalization, or talking about a format that most of the authors I've read use-- but that isn't a hard-and-fast rule of the practice), several steps to a Dedication Ceremony-- and these differ somewhat from the traditional components of your basic Sacred Circle experience. After the Sacred Time was over and I'd felt the Circle wall dissipate into the air, I began to journal and record my experience-- and I realized that even though I thought I was simply going about my regular Circle-casting, etc... all the components for the Dedication Ceremony had been included in my evening, even if I wasn't intentional about the process. It made me feel better about my understanding of that evening as it unfolded.
I feel a new sense of equilibrium-- of balance-- in my outlook (and my in-look, so to speak). I also feel approval when I call myself a Witch, and a practicing Wiccan Woman. The approval of an action taken that is in harmony with my greater purpose and my intention of right-living. It is appropriate that I call myself by these names now. I don't know everything. I am not a Teacher at this point, and some mysteries are meant to simply be enjoyed for what they are. But I'm learning, and growing, all the time. And I am Dedicated to my Goddess/God in all Her forms. This connection is strong.
As my Guide said within me at the end of my Spirit Ceremony,
Blessings be, child. Blessings Be.