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The 5th-level spell teleportation circle says:

As you cast the spell, you draw a 10-foot-diameter circle on the ground inscribed with sigils that link your location to a permanent teleportation circle of your choice, whose sigil sequence you know and that is on the same plane of existence as you. A shimmering portal opens within the circle you drew and remains open until the end of your next turn.

[...]

You can create a permanent teleportation circle by casting this spell in the same location every day for one year. You need not use the circle to teleport when you cast the spell in this way.

The teleportation circle you draw seems to be a point of departure only when you cast it. When it's a permanent teleportation circle, however, it doesn't mention whether you can use it as a point of departure.

Can permanent teleportation circles only serve as destinations?

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Permanent teleportation circles are for creating "custom" teleport destinations, such as a party's home base. Permanent teleportation circles themselves are only destinations, as you said. They don't allow you to teleport from them without casting the Teleportation Circle spell.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I do have to say that the spell is contradictory in this regard... you draw a sigil sequence that you know to where you want to go, but it is assumed that once you cast 365 circles regardless of the sigil sequences used it creates a unique one for a permanent destination at that location...? I agree this answer is RAI but it does seem to be a bit weird as written. \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Apr 6 '17 at 14:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ The spell seems weird not the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Apr 6 '17 at 14:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ I agree that the spell is a bit weird as written. It could be that there are multiple parts to the inscription such as where the caster is (departure point) as well as the destination (and possibly other parts). After a year of casting the spell in the same place with the same departure point, that bit of the inscription becomes permanently "etched" into the location, allowing you to use that location as a destination in the future. But that's just speculation. \$\endgroup\$ – Jay Apr 6 '17 at 14:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ I like where you went with the rationale but that leaves a few other questions out there... like how do you extrapolate your origin point in order to add it to the casting or is it an "under the hood" thing like a programming language feature? LOL... in any event this answer is the intention of the spell. \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Apr 6 '17 at 14:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DaleM It's weird because the text describing how to make a teleportation circle (which would involve sigils unique to that location) says to cast the spell that sends you elsewhere (which involves sigils for other locations). They are not separate functions. During the year you are creating the permanent circle, you can use a single casting to both further the progress of the permanent circle as well as teleport somewhere else. The text says you "need not" teleport, which implies that you are able to if you wish. \$\endgroup\$ – Jay Apr 7 '17 at 11:54

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