For the record, I've been working in this industry for over 20 years and have never heard of any of these terms before today. They seem to only exist to bring traffic to blogs, and I can find no official sources or texts where either originates.
That said based on reading a few of those blogs each with their own interpretation here's what I am gathering:
Micro vs Macro - This is considering Micro to be the density or weight within an element. For example making text Bold vs Regular would be making a Micro change to the amount of white space. Macro is the spacing between such elements.
Passive vs Active - This is less clear and seems to be almost the same as the above but what I gather is that Passive is really the minimum amount of space between elements for clarity. So if you have let's say a list of bullets:
The minimum space between those items would be passive space. If you decide to exaggerate the spacing in some way it's now active space.
I'm not sure this Active vs Passive really makes sense. In fact when I first starting writing this answer I said this axis appears to be lazy or constrained by technology. Good design should never really be passive. You shouldn't put the minimum amount of space in just to make something legible, it should be considered.
Of the articles I just read the best was