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, this word has taken on the sense of fading or growing faint, as in "The ghostly vision of a woman receded into the fog."