Recede means to pull back, retreat, or become faint or distant. Flood waters recede, as do glaciers, and even abstractions like "panic" and "hope." Think "receding hairline." (That means bald.)
Cede means to yield. Politicians, after losing an election will "cede the field" or "concede the race." Recede means to yield back. Over time it has collected a sense of fading, or growing faint, as in "The ghostly vision of a woman receded into the fog."